Jacksons Grove United Methodist Church History
Updated January 2018
Welcome to Jacksons Grove United Methodist Church of Landrum! Our ministry here dates from the 1830s, when the family of Captain Thomas Jackson, a Revolutionary War veteran, established the congregation and built a meetinghouse on the site where our current sanctuary now stands. The earliest known reference to Jacksons Grove is a notation on an 1837 survey, and the original sanctuary is believed to have been a log cabin. Our current sanctuary was, according to The Carolina Spartan, dedicated on September 23, 1875. To commemorate that event, we celebrate Homecoming on the third Sunday of September each year, providing current and former members an opportunity to share fellowship and “Dinner on the Grounds.”
Our sanctuary and grounds evoke a long history of worship and service. Virtually everything in the sanctuary was built by hand, by local artisans who carefully selected materials that have stood the test of time. Of particular interest is the chancel area. The altar table, altar rails and pulpit were crafted from walnut. More recent additions include the cross, fashioned by a church member from a board found floating in a local river; the candle holders, hand forged by a church member; and the chairs with needlepoint cushions stitched by two church members.
The pews were made of selected wide pine boards, with marks of the planer’s axe (as well as the initials of generations of young worshippers) readily visible. The rods in each corner in the rear of the sanctuary once held curtains that marked off small Sunday School rooms for the children and youth, with the sanctuary reserved for the adult class. To the left of the chancel is a reconditioned historic pump organ, still used at Homecoming and on other special occasions.
Those of us who worship at Jacksons Grove are privileged to have such a unique place of worship, and we are committed to keeping this historic building as authentic as possible. Beginning in 1994, major efforts were undertaken to preserve and repair the sanctuary without distracting from its 19th century appearance. The only major modern fixtures are the heating/air conditioning system, electric lights with fans, and a modern piano/organ. As part of our ongoing effort to preserve the sanctuary while serving a modern day congregation, the historic windows have recently undergone restoration and a new, ADA compliant ramp is being constructed with attention to detail to insure architectural compatibility. The storage building and handicapped accessible restroom facility are also architecturally compatible with the sanctuary’s 19th century appearance.
The fieldstone markers in the cemetery suggest that it was in use long before the earliest documented burial in 1859. The cemetery is a resting place for “the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before,” many of whom worshipped here in bygone days. Our congregation includes many of their descendants, along with more recent arrivals drawn to this historic place of worship that provides them with opportunities for worship and service. We, the people of Jacksons Grove, are part of community of faith that now bridges into the 21st century. It is our hope that Jacksons Grove will remain a simple place of quiet dignity and beauty where people may worship God in spirit and truth for generations to come. We are delighted that your path has led you here, and would like nothing more than for you to share in the journey as part of our community.
Please also see The Jacksons Grove Story