Methodist-Congregational Federated Church in Demorest Holds Final Worship Service

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On Sunday, July 30, 2023, the Methodist-Congregational Federated Church in Demorest, GA celebrated the retirement of Rev. Joyce Acree. She had served the church for eighteen and a half years but had been a part of the congregation since 1986. With Rev. Acree’s retirement, Methodist-Congregational Federated Church made the difficult decision that the time had come for the Congregation to close its doors.

Sunday afternoon, we celebrated the ministry and legacy of this unique congregation. Rev. Tim Garvin-Leighton, Campus Minister of Piedmont University, Rev. Dr. Susan Martin Taylor (a former pastor of the congregation) and Rev. Bennett Clough from the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and Rev. Heather Fosburgh joined Rev. Acree in leading the closing service.

The Methodist-Congregational Federated Church was an ecumenical fellowship. Organizationally, it was comprised of two components: the Demorest Methodist Church (founded 1897 originally under the name the Methodist Episcopal Church, South) and the Union Congregational Church (founded 1892). The churches were Federated in 1947 with their first service held on July 27, 1947. This congregation has been associated with the United Methodist Church, The Congregational Christian Church, National Association, and the United Church of Christ. For the 76 years of the congregation’s life, they met in the Union Congregational building, which was dedicated in 1908. The Methodist Church building is still being used by the Demorest Women’s Club. The church has always been an example of ecumenical work with connections to the Presbyterian Church and the Baptist Church in its early beginnings and being served by ministers from many different denominations throughout its life.

Methodist-Congregational Federated Church has been a presence in the Demorest community, offering a place of love, inclusiveness, and being a spiritual home for many in the North Georgia Mountains, including many of Piedmont University’s Students. The love and legacy of Methodist-Congregational Federated will live on in the Demorest community through the lives of all of those who have walked through the church’s doors and shared the simple message to love one another.