A Rich Heritage
  
FIRST CHURCH IN HIAWASSEE

The Hiawassee United Methodist Church can trace its origins to the first church established in Hiawassee in the early part of the last century. The Hiawassee Church, as it was known then, began as a result of a camp meeting held in 1834 and 1835 with 96 members. In 1858 land was deeded to the trustees of the church for the construction of a new building. According to records, this building was completed just before the war in 1860 and was situated on a site now covered by Lake Chatuge.

The Hiawassee Church was dissolved soon after the 1939 union of the Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal Church South and Methodist Protestant Churches. All three were represented in Towns County, and due largely to political differences among the various members, the congregations were not able to unite.
   
A NEW NEED

It was in this time frame that TVA came into the area, bought land from the local residents, causing upheaval and forcing them to move from their homesteads. In this period, many of the local men were inducted into military service to serve during World War II. The small group of Methodists and others felt the need of meeting as a Methodist group for prayer in their homes. These prayer meetings became too large to meet in private homes. An organized church was the next step for these people with the "faith that moves mountains". Their Baptist friends came to their aid, offering the McConnell Memorial Church for vesper services, until the Methodists could meet in a church of their own.

The town of Hiawassee was predominantly Baptist and it seemed impossible for the Methodists to carry on the expenses and work connected with an organized church. It was reluctantly decided to disband and let members find their work and worship in neighboring churches.

CHURCH REORGANIZED

In 1947 while he was a ministerial student at Young Harris College, Rev. Ralph Mabry began serving the Towns Circuit and soon instigated the reorganization of a church in Hiawassee. A meeting place was needed and a congregation of 12 or 13 began holding services at the Hiawassee Court House. The Hiawassee Methodist Church was officially reorganized in 1950 with 23 charter members.
     
BUILDING IS RAISED

After several years of hard work and numerous fund raising projects, a new sanctuary was completed in August of 1955 on the church. By this time, membership had grown to over 30 members and Sunday school attendees numbered well over 40.  As the church continued to flourish over several decades, the congregation was served by a number of wonderful pastors and their families, many of whom were directly connected with the faculty of Young Harris College.

In 1984, the current parsonage was completed on generously donated land on Fodder Creek Road and the mortgage note was paid off in 1988. In 1989, a large anonymous donation initiated a campaign to renovate the existing church by adding Sunday school rooms, a larger sanctuary and a larger fellowship hall. All the church organizations set about to raise funds matching the donation so that construction of the new church could begin. These tireless efforts came to fruition when the Church was consecrated in May 1990.  This building is now the Anglican Church, Christ the King.

FULL-TIME PASTOR

At the beginning of the conference year in 1991, Hiawassee United Methodist Church became a station church and was assigned a full-time dedicated pastor. Until that time, the church had shared a pastor with Union Hill United Methodist Church.

NEW WORSHIP CENTER

The congregation purchased land on Hwy 76 in October 2000.  The land was paid off in April of 2003 and the mortgage was burned at the church service on June 1, 2003.  With much discussion and planning, a design for our new facility was approved in 2004, with Batten and Sons as architect and prime contractor.  That same year, Rev. Jim and Katie Blair were appointed to the church.  We had our Groundbreaking Ceremony on January 30, 2005.  During the construction, the “Jesus Light” stained glass window from the old sanctuary was moved to our new worship center.  The building was completed in December and we had a Watch Night Service on December 31.  Our last Sunday in our old building was January 1, 2006, and our first service in our new worship center was held January 8, 2006.  The new worship center was consecrated on February 19, 2006 and we had an Open House on April 21, 2006.
We have been blessed to be the congregation on “the hill” for the past 10 years.  God has blessed us with so many ministry opportunities through these years and we continue to serve Him.