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Rooted in history: Chattahoochee United Methodist dates back to 1860s

POSTED: May 28, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Across the Chattahoochee River, just north of Helen and near a flea market and tube rental businesses, stands a church that has been in that area since 1860, long before any of the attractions of Helen existed. Chattahoochee United Methodist Church, sitting on the edge of Scorpion Hollow, celebrated its 150th anniversary last year.

The church was founded on May 18, 1860 when John Trammel deeded 3 acres of land north of Robertstown.

The early members of the church represented many of the original families in the area. The cemetery was used as the community cemetery even before the church was built and has graves dating back to the 1850s.

The first church building was used as a school and was built of logs. It was located closer to the river than the present building on Ga. Highway 75 Alternate. Before that road existed, the church was on a dirt road that had a single-lane bridge connecting it to the Highway 17/75, known then as the Unicoi Turnpike.

The present church building was built between 1888-90 with a shingle roof. Sunday School rooms were added in the late 1950s, and renovation of the sanctuary was completed in 1984.

The church, however, still looks the same as when it was featured in the movie "I’d Climb the Highest Mountain," filmed in the White County area and released in 1951. The film starred William Lundigan as a circuit preacher and Susan Hayward as his wife. Several people from the Helen area were extras in the film.

Today the church is led by Pastor Jack Summers and continues its history of contributing time and resources to the less fortunate, as well as providing spiritual guidance and Christian activities to the community.



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