Prior to the appointment in 1890 of Rev. George B. Draper as pastor in the Pactolus Community, the people used the school house as a place of worship. Rev. Draper brought with him the building spirit and the first church was built. The community united and the land, labor, and materials were all donated to construct what was then Pactolus Methodist Church.
In the late 1930’s a move was made to renovate the church building. However, World War II delayed this effort. In 1949 the Rev. Rye Fleenor was appointed as pastor and the idea of renovation was once again brought up. This time instead of just renovating the existing structure the church decided to build a new building. Once again, the community came together the land, labor, and materials were all donated. The windows, steeple, and many of the fixtures were hand crafted by men who worked at the Tennessee Eastman Company. It was considered a very modern building with a basement and not one but two indoor bathrooms. The only thing not crafted new for the building was the bell. It was brought over from the old church building and is still in use to this day. On June 27, 1954 the new church building was consecrated for use.
In the 1980’s the front of the church was equipped with a wheelchair ramp. In the early 1990’s a kitchen was added to the basement. In the early 2000’s a handicap accessible bathroom was installed upstairs, a covered picnic shelter was built, and a covered ramp leading to the basement was added for handicap accessibility to the basement. Most recently a community prayer garden and a multi-media system that allows for the expansion of ministry capabilities have been added.
Having said this the church mentioned in the bible is not a building, rather it is a people. Throughout the almost 125 years since Pactolus church has existed, it has been a place where people from the community have gathered. The main gathering is the worship service, but the the building is used for numerous other activities.
The church has been a place that has provided food for the hungry, as well as a place where people can go to warm up if their heat goes out during the winter. Today, the church offers many services to the community including a food pantry and clothes closet.
We look back and see God’s hand at work and look forward to what He has in store for the people of Pactolus U.M.C.