History of Robertson Chapel United Methodist Church:
In the early years of the 1870's a log building, known as a Methodist Church, stood on a hill located behind the Tom Head home. Elfonzy Robertson and his mother, Millie Robertson, owned most of the land around the area. Years later, N.A. Robertson, son of Elfonzy, felt the need for a larger and better church. The road which was near Highway 35, had been built and the site was chosen near it. Another consideration was that two Confederate soliders died in the area during the Civil War and had been buried on an adjoining lot now known as Robertson Chapel Cemetery. In the summer of 1899, a huge brush arbor was built on the site where the church now stands. This revival was well attended and led Mr. Robertson to think this would be a good location for the church. The seedlings that were planted then, now stand as witnesses to the stability of the church.
In 1902, N. A. Robertson and his wife, Mary C., deeded 5 acres of land for the church and graveyard. The church, named Robertson Chapel, was soon under construction.
Neighbors and church-goers helped cut the logs from the land of Mr. Robertson, J.E. Cassidy and brother, Gordon, set up a saw mill to cut the lumber. The church was built of heart pine. Most of the sub-flooring and decking of the new church was lumber from the old building.
Mr. Robertson and his sister, Mrs. Stewart, furnished the church well with beautiful hanging kerosene lamps, a table, chairs, and a large bell in the belfry, which now stands in the front of the church. It was used for many years to toll the death in the community.
The church was dedicated May 18, 1902 with Rev. Ackerman of Chattanooga, Tennessee, presiding.
The need for a parsonage was urgent so the church could have its pastor nearby. The church trustees ordered a prefabricated house from Sears Roebuck. It was erected on the church property near the main road, now Highway 35. In 1923, a fire swept through the frame building and completely destroyed t. The church and community were soon busy constructing another. The brick sided building on the corner of Main and Thompson was soon occupied by the pastor.
As Rainsville grew, a large and more modern church was needed. Church trustees and official board members were: Lester Thompson, L.M. Willingham, Lester Gray, John C. Richey, F.P. Davis, Dell Hall, Mrs. John C. Richey, and Rev. W. W. Brown.
In 1949, the new church was constructed. Dell Hall dug the basement, using county equipment. Most of the work tearing down the old and building the new, was on a volunteer basis. The Women's Society of Christian Service raised funds and paid for the pews and pulpit.
The church paid out with it's dedication on September 24, 1950 with the Bishop Purcell presiding.
The annex was added in 1964 while the Rev. Mack Finny was pastor. Robertson Chapel was "Town and Country of the Year " in the Huntsville District the same year.
Through the years of service, there have been three conference ministers provided by Robertson Chapel: J. C. Willingham, Acie Etherton, and Randy Etherton.
Robertson Chapel has maintained the spirit of revival that gave it birth. Today there is expectation of growth, not only in numbers, but also in the ongoing process of becoming a disciple and witness of Jesus Christ.
(taken from "The Heritage of Dekalb County, Alabama" book. )
GPS Coordinates: 34.48637, -85.83674
- Added: 26 May 2004
- Find A Grave Cemetery: #1984613
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