HISTORY OF SPATCHER AND PINKNEY CHAPEL
By Doris Thomas, Historian
According to available records the “mother” church of Pinkney Chapel United Methodist Church was Spatcher Chapel.
This church was probably one of the first all black churches after the Civil War. It was located at Traders Hill, Ga. on one acre of land given the church by Bro. Dave Spatcher in the year of 1887, being adjoined by a small cemetery. Traders Hill got its name for being a slave traders market. Being the county seat and located on the St Marys River made access easy by land and water. The St. Marys River is deep enough to allow ships to travel and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This causes the river to have high and low tides. Most of the slaves were brought into the county via the river.
This church began its membership with the Spatcher family. Later the Dasher and Nelson families enlarged its membership. Later in years the county seat moved to Folkston, Ga. causing the migration of people. This caused the need of another Methodist Episcopal Church. The pastor and officers of Spatcher Chapel found a plot of land in a section of Folkston called Homeland. Later this plot was exchanged for the present location in the section called Chinchville. In the year of 1923 Rev. J.H. Pinkney, District Superintendent, bought an adjoining piece of land and the lumber to build this second church. He and the pastor, Rev. N.C. Charlton built the church. During the building of the church, services were held under a bush arbor. With one minister serving both churches, they worshipped together on their respective Sundays. In rural areas with small memberships, one minister is given three or four churches with each having one Sunday a month. Most churches that are near, worship together, some using the same officers and minister is not unusual. So was the case with Spatcher and Pinkney. This church was named in honor of Rev. Pinkney because of his great dedication and kindness. The lumber to build was brought to the site by a horse-drawn wagon. He and the pastor, Rev. Charlton, then built the first building which served until the mid 1940s. The second structure was erected in the 1950’s under the late Rev. W.R. Dixon.
These buildings served the community well until the need for a larger and more modern building was needed. The church saw the need long before the actual beginning. They labored hard and untiring. Finally the time came. With the help of the So. Ga. Conference, the Methodist Youth Work Team, the So. Ga. Council on Ministries, the First Methodist Church of Douglas, Rev. Alvis A. Waite, Rev. H.W. Scoates, also the citizens of Folkston and Charlton County, a modern church was built.
To mention a few loyal members: the late Mrs. Delia Nelson and Mr. P.J. Fulton, Mr. Willie Williams. They’re gone but their loyalty shall never be forgotten. Mrs. Clara Fulton, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nelson, Mr. Henry Lee Bailey, Mr. and Mrs. S.M. Maynor and Sis. Ludie Thomas, also Mrs. Isabelle Brunt. Just as loyal is the entire membership.
This dream come true is not complete and is still in progress and represents hope for a newfound faith and growth of this great church. Let’s us pray for love, loyalty, strength and revival of the Holy Spirit in the continuing of this history.
This we pray------ REV. R.N. REEVES, Pastor
DORIS THOMAS, Historian