A History of MAPLE AVENUEUNITED METHODIST CHURCH
1919 – 1994
"He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches " Revelation
The summer of 1919 was an exciting time for Marietta, Georgia. The Great War had taken many of the city’s young men. The women's suffrage movement and prohibition included topics which were commonly discussed, and the paving of the downtown streets was to begin soon. But it was also a town ripe for spiritual revival . God moved in a miraculous way in the hearts of men and the " little Church on the Corner" was born.
Rev. E.J. Hammond, Rev. E.E. Cavalier and Rev. W.L. Hampton, three ministers from the Methodist Episcopal Church, came to Marietta to hold a tent meeting. The tent was raised on a vacant lot on the east side of Locust Street near the present site of the First
Presbyterian Church parking lot. The tent was not very large and sawdust was used as the floor covering. Wooden planks were utilized as pews and a platform at the front held a pulpit and a little pump organ. During the services, the babies slept or played peacefully on quilts placed on the floor near the pulpit. The services themselves included a great deal of "good preaching and good singing". The meetings were so successful they lasted three weeks and it was during the third week the Holy Spirit came down and moved in a mighty way. It was reported that seventy people accepted Christ and some were so led by the Holy Spirit to shout and sing. Out of this great revival the Maple Avenue Episcopal Church was founded.
The Church property was purchased from Mrs. Dessa L. Dunn and the deed was made out to the Rev. E.J. Hammonds who was the District Superintendent of the Tallapoosa District of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The property included the ground where the Chapel stands today and extended to the edge of our present sanctuary. One small house was located on the property at the comer of Locust Street and Maple Avenue. The first Sunday or two services were held in the tent and then they were moved to the small house. Some six weeks later the tiny three room house was moved to the lot where the Education Building now stands so that the church building could be erected. That three room house became the first parsonage. Sunday services were then moved to a house on Hansell Street until the new Church could be completed.
Rev. William L. Hampton became the Church's first pastor and he served from 1919 - 1925 and then again from 1927 - 1928. Rev. Hampton, along with Rev. Cavalier and Rev. Hammond applied to the Board of Church Extension of the Methodist Episcopal Church for sufficient funds to erect a church building. The building was largely financed through this means. Rev. Hampton then placed an ad in the October 24, 1919 issue of the Marietta Daily Journal soliciting bids to construct the Maple Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church. The add stated: "The Church will contain pastor's study and washroom, the latter for the convenience of mothers with small children. The basement, to be finished later, will contain an auditorium 20 x 30 feet adjoining which will be a kitchen and furnace room. Windows will be of stained glass. The Auditorium will be seated with pews, the remainder of building with chairs". The construction of the Church was begun on November 1, 1919 and it was occupied July 4th, 1920. Until money could be saved for pews, cane-bottom chairs were used. The Church was dedicated on October 24, 1920 by Bishop Earnest G. Richardson of Atlanta.
The Church was founded with 36 charter members and the roll included the following:
Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Cunningham
Mrs. Walter Pavlosky
Mrs. Alfred Gunter
Mr. and Mrs. John Marshall Gregg
A L. Davenport
Bill Jones and his 4 children
M. L. Barrett Ernest Barrett
Jim Jones A.J. Kile
Mrs. Renamay Greenway Jones
Harry M. Bickers
Hendrix (a young girl)
Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Brown
An old gentleman who joined at the tent meeting and whose identity is unknown
The first Sunday School Superintendent was A.J. (Daddy) Kile and he served in this capacity for about two years. He was succeeded by J.M. Gregg . J. T. McEntyre held the position for one year followed by R.A. Cunningham who served also for one year. Mr. McEntyre was nominated again and after a year's time was succeeded by J.M. Gregg who held the position until shortly before his death in 1949. Clarence E. Davenport then served as Sunday School Superintendent for 37 years.
The Church organizations began to form. The first Board of Trustees included A.H. Cunningham, J.M. Gregg, Luther Jones, Walter Pavlosky and John Martin. The Ladies' Aid was organized with five or six charter members at the home of Mrs. J.M. Gregg in the fall of 1920. Mrs. Belle Hampton was the first president of this organization. The Epworth League consisted of the young people. Included in the Epworth League were Clarence Davenport, Lorene Duckett Wafford, Sally Holbrook Martin, Nell Holbrook, Lois Blair, Herbert Martin,
Hazel Greenway Kemp, R.N. McLemore, Nell Black, Katie Greenway Johnson, Blanche Greenway, Sarah Millwood, Lillan Duckett Brook, James Cheek, and Sarah McLemore Voyles.
The following advertisement for Maple Avenue appeared in The Marietta Daily Journal on October 17, 1919:
Services every Sunday as follows:
Sabbath School - 9:45 a.m.
Morning Preaching - 11 :00.
Epworth League - 6:45 p.m.
Night Preaching - 7:30.
Prayer Service every Wednesday night at 7:30 and preaching every Saturday night at the same hour.
The public will find a cordial welcome at all these services. "Only once a stranger here".
Many of the Church members came from a Baptist background and they were somewhat unsure of Methodist practices. There were those who preferred emersion over sprinkling as a form of baptism. Lorene Duckett (Wafford) joined the Church when she was twelve years old and her parents wanted her to be immersed. The Church applied to Roselane Baptist to see whether or not Lorene could be baptized in their pool. The answer was "No indeed, we won't have any Methodist baptized in our pool!" Mr. J.M. Gregg then went to work and he built a wooden frame and made a canvass bag to go into it. This contraption was placed on the lawn of the parsonage and water was run into it all night. Lorene was then baptized along with another little girl. The collapsible pool was used a number of times before it was eventually thrown away.
In 1925 The Juniors Sunday School Class was founded Mrs. J.M. Gregg as the teacher. After three years the Class grew and was divided into two classes, the young men and women. Mrs. Ed. Wilson taught the men and Mrs. Gregg continued teaching the women. In 1929 the class was reorganized into the Willing Workers Class. Miss Maggie Cunningham was the teacher and she purchased 36 chairs at $1.00 each for every member of the class that attended regularly. As the years went by, another class, The Big Brothers, was formed with Miss Edith Greenway as their teacher. Eventually members of this class married members of the Willing Workers and it was decided these classes should merge and remain named The Willing Workers.
The second minister was Rev. F.L. Waid and he served from 1925 - 1926. He had four small children and their names were James, John, Ruth and Robert. There was not enough room in the tiny parsonage for all those children, but the house did have a large bathroom. The Waids placed a bed in the bathroom and two of the little boys slept there.
Rev. W.W. Ashe was the Pastor at Maple Avenue from 1926 - 1927. He had served thirty years as a medical missionary in India. It was a great thrill for the members to hear him speak of his ministry there. One story he shared was of his house which had a cloth ceiling. He noticed the ceiling was very heavy and when he investigated he discovered it was full of snakes! He also told of riding on the backs of elephants and other exciting tales.
Rev. Hampton returned in 1927 and he remained one year. At this time two rooms were added to the parsonage. Rev. Frank Cook pastored Maple Avenue for four years from 1928 - 1932. He had the habit of preaching to the empty pews before Church began. Rev. O.B. White followed Rev. Cook and he served from 1932 - 1936. Rev. White preached frequently on the book of Revelation and he always said he would not die, rather he would be raptured up.
The Queen Esther Missionary Society was organized from the members of the Young
Ladies Class and held its first meeting in January of 1934 with 17 charter members. Rev. White was an honorary member and Nell Holbrook was the first president. In 1939, with the unification of the Methodist Churches, the Society changed into the Wesleyan Service Guild and met at night for working women. Sarah Millwood became the first president of this organization.
Rev. Harold Cochran became the minister in 1936 and he remained until 1940. He was the first minister to have a baby during his pastorate. Times were hard and Rev. Cochran's pay was minimal, sometimes only $20 a week. Often he did not have enough money to buy coal to warm his home. Other times he was paid with household staples such as eggs etc.
During Harold Cochran's pastorate the last Annual Conference of the Georgia Methodist
Episcopal Church was held at Maple Avenue. The slavery issue had caused the Methodist Church to split into two parts, the Southern and the Northern. The Methodist Episcopal was affiliated with the Northern Methodist Church. In 1939 the two Churches united and Maple Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church became Maple Avenue United Methodist Church.
The first minister to come to Maple Avenue from the United Church was Rev E.D. Hale. He was here only one year. At this time the Ladies' Aid became the Woman’s Society of Christian Service. The first President of the W.S.C.S. was Mrs. Sudie Hardin.
Rev. Marvin Warwick was the pastor from 1940 - 1942 and he was followed by Rev. Tim Holbrook. Rev. Holbrook had been at Maple Avenue for one year when he volunteered to serve as a chaplain in the army. He served two years in Italy. At times when he was given an overcoat he would pass it along to someone who needed it more. Dr. Thomas Elliot remained at Maple Avenue from 1943 - 1945 and then retired. The war ended and Rev. Holbrook returned from 1945 - 1946. The thirteenth minister at Maple Avenue was Rev. Joseph Gray, a retired Army Chaplain. He was the pastor from 1946 - 1948. Attendance fell and some Sundays there might only be five people in Church.
In 1948 Rev. Tom Watson received Maple Avenue as a student appointment while he attended seminary. He pastored Maple Avenue from 1948 - 1950. During his pastorate the Church experienced true spiritual revival and many people came into the Church. Due to an injury caused by a fire, Rev. Watson found it necessary to have his leg amputated. The Church experienced his sorrow as he endured the surgery and the rehabilitation. Fortunately, he made a quick recovery and he became so adept at using crutches that he could outrun almost anyone.
Tom Watson realized the need for a fellowship building and he engineered the fundraising and the construction of the Gregg Annex. Committees and planning groups were organized and within a period of two years a $13,000 building was completed and paid for. Even the Kindergarten Class raised $200 under the leadership of their teachers, Lois Blair and Lucille Lee. The Annex was built in honor and in memory of John Marshall Gregg who had passed away in 1949. It was dedicated on June 10, 1951 with the Rev. Dr. Thomas Elliott officiating.
Under the guidance of Clarence Davenport, the Sunday School Superintendent, a new young adult Sunday School class was formed on January 25, 1949. Charter members of the Class included Clarence and Alice Davenport, Claude and Janet Patterson, Lola Lingerfelt and Ruth Prewett. Hazel Kemp was the first teacher and she remained the teacher for the next 45 years. Eventually the Class became known as the Fellowship Class.
Much to the dismay of Maple Avenue, Tom Watson was transferred to the South Georgia Conference in 1950.
In 1947 Maple Avenue paid the Pastor-in-Charge $1,020 per year. In 1951 the Official Board raised the Pastor's salary to $3,000. The membership at this time was 260.
The new minister was Carl Dodd . He was at Maple Avenue from 1950 - 1951. The Sunday School began to grow and Clarence Davenport began to push the Administrative Board to provide more Sunday School rooms. The second story of the Gregg Memorial Annex was then begun to provide these rooms. The roof was taken off and the rains created a huge mess. The mess was eventually cleared and a new wing of Sunday School rooms was completed.
Rev. A.J. Peters became the Pastor in 1951 and remained until 1955. He was told Maple Avenue had a membership of 400 but after he had deleted from the rolls those who had deceased and those who had "turned Baptist", there were only 200. He said, 'I’ve got 200 people and I was promised 400, but I'm going to make it 400 before I leave." The wings of the Church had been removed, but he had them replaced and filled with pews. He said, "We're going to fill this place up." And he did. A goal of 300 for attendance at Sunday School was set and attained with a record breaking attendance of 304.
Meanwhile, the Church bought the first house on Locust Street. This house was located very close to the Church with only a small space between the two. During the summer months when the windows were open the neighbors were so loud that Sunday morning services were disrupted. Fortunately, the purchase of the property eliminated this problem. The house was used as additional Sunday School space.
The Church was growing and A.J. Peters requested the employment of a secretary. One was found who happened also to be an organist. She was hired as a secretary and she agreed to play the organ on Sunday in return for housing. The Church agreed and provided her an apartment.
During Rev. Peter's pastorate, another young adult Sunday School class began. B. B. King was the first teacher and taught for 17 years. His dedication and commitment moved the Class to name themselves the B.B. King Class.
Rev. W.H. Brackman moved into the parsonage in 1955. He had four grown boys and realized the great need for a new parsonage. The Church purchased the house where the present sanctuary stands and it became the new parsonage. The Brackmans happily moved into their larger home.
In order to build the new Education Building it was necessary to dispose of the previous parsonage. Rev. Brackman was under the impression he had sold it to a gentleman for $100. The gentleman, on the other hand, understood that Rev. Brackman would pay him $100 to move it! The matter was settled and the gentleman was given the house in exchange for its removal. The Education Building was constructed at a cost of $63,000 and the dedication was held on June 19, 1960.
In October of 1955 the Wesleyan Bible Class was formed with 38 members. Mrs. Lois Brackman was the first teacher and she taught for six years. Red Kemp took over the class at that time and taught it for 21 years and in 1983 the class was renamed The Red Kemp Bible Class.
The Women's Society continued to grow and the Gleam Followers Circle was formed for daughters of the main local unit and anyone else interested. The main local unit was renamed the Belle Hampton Circle. The Gleam Followers met in the evening. The Maggie Cunningham Circle was formed as a morning circle for women who were not employed outside the home. The name was later changed to the Lois Brackman Circle. The Dell Kerr Circle began for the younger women in the 1960's. In the early 1970's the name of the W.S.C.S. changed to the United Methodist Women. Mrs. Jean Hardin served as the first president. All circles of the local unit came together once a month for the General Meeting and special programs. The Friendship Circle was formed in 1992 for the younger women of the Church and Carolyn Anderson served as its first president.
During the pastorate of Rev. Brackrnan, a third house on Locust Street was purchased leaving the one house in the middle. The owner realized how valuable this remaining property was to the Church because it owned the two houses on each side. Therefore the asking price for the house was twice as much as was paid for the other houses. Even so, the price was paid and the Church was able to purchase the house.
In 1960 Bob Kerr became the new minister. He and his wife Dell moved into the parsonage with their baby, Betsy. Before Bob left in 1966 he and Dell had two more children. Rev. Kerr was very popular and "the little Church on the Comer" was overflowing. Two services were held at 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. It became evident a new sanctuary had to be constructed. The Church decided to place the new building on the location of the then present parsonage. The parsonage was placed on rollers and moved across the street where it now stands. Rev. Kerr and his family were required to move into another house.
The sanctuary was completed after five years. The cost was $201,000 and was able to seat 700 people. A new organ and grand piano were given by members of the Church in memory and honor of their loved ones. The consecration service for the new sanctuary was held Sunday, June 13, 1965.
The Leadership Class was formed in 1960. Charter members included Donald A Hipps,
Tommy and Yvonne Bell, Dickie and Bobbie Hartness, Richard and Margaret Law, Gene and
Sylvia Davenport, Linda Davenport (Moore), Robert Elrod, Joyce and Billy Reece, Neil Barimore. Dell Kerr was the first teacher and the first officers were Joyce Reece - President, Sylvia Davenport - Vice President, Margaret Law - Secretary and Tommy Bell as Treasurer.
Wesley Thomas became the minister in 1966. He and his wife Sarah had four children. Rev. Shelton Eubanks served as pastor from 1967 - 1971.
James and Sue Griffin came to Maple Avenue in 1971. The Church was in need of a new parsonage and in 1974 the Keeler Woods parsonage was purchased. In May 1971 Ronnie Carter was employed to direct the youth choir. The youth program experienced a great time of growth and the estimated number of youth was 50. The choir traveled to neighboring churches to present its musicals. Meanwhile the Church realized the talent and value of Ronnie Carter and he was asked to direct the Chancel Choir and eventually became the Organist.
Two new Sunday School classes were started during the pastorate of James Griffin.
The Good News Sunday School class was formed in July of 1974. Lee Tucker was the first teacher and Jim Hardin was the assistant teacher. The banquet to found the Class was held on July 23 with 19 members present. In the fall of 1976 the Discovery Sunday School Class was founded with approximately 12 members. Leon Martin became the teacher and remained so for a number of years. He was succeeded by David Darden.
Don Jordan was the pastor of Maple Avenue from 1977 - 1981. The Willing Workers Class, under the leadership of B.B. King, realized the need to renovate the original Church building into a Chapel. They took on this project with the support of the entire Church and were able to complete it in a few years at a cost of $6,356. The Chapel was dedicated on Nov. 22, 1978 with Rev. Jordan officiating.
In 1978 a Mom's Day Out Program was founded as a recommendation of Carol Cowart, the Director of Christian Education. The program was started to fill the need of a Christian outreach into the community. Jean Hardin was asked to be the Director. On Wednesday, February 15 the doors opened for one day a week from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The charge was $1.00 per hour for this drop-in service. Volunteers were used the first few months until the program grew and the workers were able to be paid. After Jean retired, Joyce Hardin became the Director and she was succeeded by Christy Langston.
Clayton Gilmer became the Pastor in 1981. He and his wife Emma remained at Maple
Avenue until 1986. While Clayton was the Pastor, Helen Lowe wanted to renovate the Gregg Annex into a garden room. She was the granddaughter of Mr. Gregg and at the time she had become gravely ill. Helen made plans and left funds for this project. At her death in 1983, the Gleam Followers Circle carried out her wishes. The room was then named The Helen Lowe Garden Room. Because of Helen's vision the Church now has a beautiful room which the members have used on many occasions.
In 1986 Tom Pilgrim was appointed pastor of Maple Ave. He and his wife Shirley, and their daughter Christy remained until 1990. Rev. Pilgrim was instrumental in organizing several new programs at the Church. He was responsible for starting Family Night Suppers on Wednesday evenings, partly in response to a survey completed by the congregation. He also began a Pastor's Bible Study following the dinner. He began a committee entitled The Committee of 100 where each member was encouraged to bring one person into the Church. In addition, Rev. Pilgrim saw the need for renovations at the Keeler Woods parsonage and among other things, a new kitchen was installed.
Renovations at the Church included completing the Mills Youth Center. The Center was created for the use of the young people and it was dedicated in honor of Jim and Mary Jo Mills for over 20 years of service as youth counselors. The nursery floor was renovated with new carpet and paint. Eventually the remaining two floors of the Education Building were also renovated.
It was during Tom's pastorate that the mortgage note was completely paid and the Church became debt free.
Elton Lawson became the Pastor in 1990. He and his wife, Vergie stayed one year. In 1991 Dr. Dan Rice received Maple Avenue as an appointment. He remained until 1994.
In 1994 it became evident the Church was in disrepair. Under the leadership of Rev. Rice, a Building Improvement Program was begun. The amount proposed to be raised was $185,000. The amount pledged after the drive was $164,236. This money was used to repair various areas in the Church including the addition of a covered walkway between the Education Building and the Sanctuary.
Seventy-five years have passed since the beginning of the "little Church on the Comer". The Church body has witnessed Maple Avenue change in many ways. There have been times of membership growth and spiritual awakening. There have also been times of questioning and searching. Through it all God has had his eye on Maple? Avenue and His hand on its future. In 1994 Sanford Willard became the Pastor and under his leadership the Church is grm4hng stronger steadily. The membership stands at 555 and the budget for 1994 is $258,022.
The members are excited to discover what God has waiting for Maple Avenue in the next seventy-five years and the Church has placed its dreams and goals in God's hands, trusting Him for the future.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God". Revelation 2: 7
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and song from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:15, 16
Rev. Sanford Willard served as pastor from 1994-1996. He and his wife Betty had a very successful ministry at Maple Avenue. During his tenure we gained 40 members in a six-month period, 23 on profession of faith. We had 19 Sunday School classes. Trey Holm was hired as Youth Director in 1992 while Rev. Dan Rice was pastor and remained until 1995. He married Molly Fouts during his time here.
Tom McElroy was hired as Associate Pastor/Youth Director. He and his wife Sheri welcomed a daughter Mary Madison while here.
The church was informed that we were among the beneficiaries of the Keeler Estate. Church offices were moved from the main Sanctuary building to the lower level of the Education building.
Rev. Willard retired in August of 1996 due to health issues.
The next month Rev. Wayne Monroe was assigned as our Senior Pastor. He and his wife Nancy who was an author, speaker and teacher served our congregation from 1996-2000. During his tenure, we had a Pie Ministry for visitors, the Samaritan Purse Shoe Box Ministry, Nancy resumed and edited publication of the monthly newsletter, MANNA. The previous church offices were converted to a music/choir room. Sunday evening services were discontinued due to low attendance.
With Sue Sloan as Director, a Preschool began with 35 children and eight staff. In the second year it grew to 80 children and 16 staff members. The Men’s Fellowship became involved in The Extension, an addiction rehabilitation center which later became a church-wide mission. The church began a Spirit and Truth Contemporary Worship with Praise Band and vocalists. The kitchen renovation was completed and Brackman Hall was renamed Fellowship Hall.
Tom McElroy resigned as Associate Pastor/Youth Director. Marcy Hardy was hired with the same title. In July of 1998, 15 youth were taken on a trip to the Holy Land under her leadership. When Marcy left, Michael Creighton was hired as Youth Director. His wife was very talented and supportive.
Rev. Randy Kanipe was appointed to Maple Avenue from 2000-2002. He and his wife Marika had two children, Rebekah and James. He was a gifted writer, designing and writing bulletins and newsletters. He conducted painting classes, made crosses for several members and built a ramp at the home of a wheelchair-bound member.
The Leadership Sunday School Class installed a handicap ramp outside the Chapel entrance.
When Michael Creighton left, Curtis Marks was hired as his replacement. He and his wife Jill had two children while serving here, Abigail and Gabriel. Curtis also worked as a paramedic.
Rev. Kelly Brisendine was appointed as Senior Pastor from 2002-2006. He previously served as Associate Pastor/Youth Director under the late Clayton Gilmer in the early 1980s. His wife Chris Lowe Brisendine grew up at Maple Avenue. They have three daughters Carleigh, Kyleigh and Kellyn.
The Trustees voted to sell the parsonage on Keeler Woods Drive. It was recommended that pastors receive a housing allowance instead of furnished housing.
Under Rev. Brisendine’s leadership, the Halloween Trunk or Treat began in our parking lot. The Love Lights Tree outside our Sanctuary was a Christmas event. We celebrated All Saints Day with recognition of deceased members and families and donations given to the Youth Ministry. Breakfast with Santa included a Santa Workshop where children could buy gifts. There was church-wide participation in Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” series. Thanksgiving Dinners for Special Friends was and continues as a Missions Committee project. The “Special Friends” were the Cobb Street Ministries, The Extension and several foster families.
Worship service times were changed: Traditional Service at 9:00 a.m., Contemporary Service at 11:15 a.m. Sunday School remained the same.
Rev. Mark Nugent was assigned to Maple Avenue Church in 2006 and served until 2012. His wife Jane was Senior Pastor at Powers Ferry UMC. Their children are Tim and Hannah. Renovations were done in various places, including the Sanctuary, Choir Loft, Narthex, and Balcony. The former bride’s room off the Narthex was changed into a cry room for young mothers with babies. A glass window was added between the Narthex and Sanctuary.
Curtis Marks resigned as Youth Director and Jonathan Brown, a seminary student, was hired as Youth Minister. He served for a year. Pam McCurdy was hired as Associate Minister to Children and Youth. Tom and Marla Dexter served as youth counselors.
Following Pam McCurdy’s resignation, John and Julie Carter became youth leaders.
Ron Carter, who had served as music director and organist since 1971, left and James Thrower resigned as pianist. Barry Lancaster began serving as Music Director and Associate Minister. Lamar Newton was hired as organist and his wife Vicki as pianist.
The smaller parsonage across the street from the church had been used for various things, i.e. Sunday School, youth, housing for youth directors, etc. It was decided that the house could be used as a rental unit to generate income. A contemporary service was reinstated and named “The Intersection” and held in Fellowship Hall.
Lamar Newton accepted a position at another church, but Vicki remained as pianist. Barry Lancaster resigned.
Rev. Jim Moore was appointed to Maple Avenue in 2012. His wife is Carol and are parents to adult children, Andy, David and Susan. Their first born Joseph died at age 2. They have three grandchildren, Chloe, Elizabeth and Henry.
Travis Cottle was hired as Music Director. He and his wife Erin welcomed their daughter Lucy Carol in 2012.
Rev. Moore was a man of prayer. We were blessed by his dedication to his congregation. He regularly visited the sick and shut-ins and was always at the hospital to pray for the members. He constantly had a positive attitude and happy, enthusiastic personality. He conducted Wednesday Night Bible studies and formed a Pastor’s Sunday School class. There were several volunteers who helped with the youth program during this time as our youth population declined. A seminary student Erich Wills served for several months.
Rev. Moore was instrumental in opening our church facility to various groups as an outreach to the community. The Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts meet in our Youth Center. Feed My Lambs, a Christian preschool for underprivileged children, met each weekday until May of 2019. Proactive Ministries rented offices in our Education Building. He made our Fellowship Hall available for the New Horizons Orchestra to practice. Narcotics Anonymous meets weekly in the Garden Room. A Bluegrass Band practices in our Chapel. The Greater Atlanta Girls’ Choir met in our Choir Room and Sanctuary for several months. A member of our church, Gloria Miller holds Strength Training classes each Monday in our Fellowship Hall.
Our pianist Vicki Newton resigned due to upcoming surgery that prohibited her from playing the piano. We were very fortunate to hire Pam Lundgren, an accomplished Cobb County pianist. She served from 2014-2019. Travis Cottle resigned and Erin Collins, an elementary school music teacher, was hired as Choir Director. Following Travis’ leaving Pam’s husband Steve, a choir member, volunteered as the sound technician.
Upon Rev. Moore’s retirement in 2019, Pam and Steve left because they had built a home in Ellijay, Georgia, and the distance was prohibitive to continue traveling to Marietta. Erin resigned because she was working on an advanced degree and didn’t have the time to devote to the music ministry. God provided, however. Travis Cottle was able to return to us as Music Director, and Annie Cook was hired as our pianist.
In June of 2019, the Rev. Josh Roberts was appointed to Maple Avenue UMC. Josh and his wife Loren have two small children, James and Elizabeth. Rev. Roberts immediately began our children’s sermon again. Our congregation is blessed to have him as he is bringing fresh new ideas. We immediately and enthusiastically welcomed this young pastor and his family. He is working on our website and updating various publications. We have faith as we close out 100 years of serving Christ at Maple Avenue – 1919-2019 - that our future in the years ahead with Rev. Roberts as our Senior Pastor, we will see great things happen and many who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and spiritual growth among the entire congregation.
The Thanksgiving meal is still ongoing though changes have been made since its beginning in 2004. We now serve only Cobb Street Ministries, which is run solely by Carol Paschal. Sandy, Keith and Kathy Lynn completely provided the food for this meal in 2012, then they asked for assistance from the church in 2013-2016. In 2017 the dinner was held at Piccadilly Restaurant instead of Fellowship Hall, and it continues to be at Piccadilly to feed the many people that Carol houses.
The Sunday School Classes in existence are: The King Class was founded as a young adult class in 1951; the Leadership Class began in October of 1960; New Beginnings started in June 2013; and The Pastor’s Class began shortly after Jim’s arrival at Maple Avenue. Founded in 1960, the Gleam Followers is the only circle left.
The PEP Club was organized December 1957 and disbanded in August 2010, due the inability to get someone to take over the offices of President and Finance and low attendance. We met once a month.
Maple Avenue had many Bible studies through the years and under various pastors – Disciple, Beth Moore Studies, Precept classes, etc. These classes were led by Lisa Darden, Melanie Prillaman, Helen Chatham, Sue Sloane and others.
Our dear Lord, bless Maple Avenue United Methodist Church as it moves forward and bless all members of the congregation. Bless the many pastors and the ministries that will be established here. In the coming years, do bless this church and all that it stands for – The Holy Trinity. In your Son’s most precious name we pray. Amen.