On Sunday, Clyo United Methodist Church will celebrate homecoming with a service at 10:30 a.m. featuring guest minister, Rev. Dr. Jim Rush in the pulpit. Members along with Rev. Dr. Don Clark invite you to join them in worship and fellowship including lunch in the Family Life Center and afternoon activities highlighted by special music and a short history of the church. Although homecoming began to be celebrated in 1996, the church has a long history.
The church formerly known as “Clyo Methodist Episcopal Church South” began originally at historic Tuckasee King Landing, a former Uchee Indian Village on the Savannah River near the present town of Clyo. The land for the first church of four plus acres was deeded in 1819, by John King, esq. according to records in the Effingham County Courthouse. Records in the James W. and Sarah Ryall Morgan family show that in the year 1843 there were 28 members.
In March of 1852, the congregation chose another site to continue their worship. They built a short distance inland in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood and named the church “Mount Pleasant Methodist Church.” Mr. Nesbit “Neb” R. Morgan organized the first Sunday School at Mount Pleasant and was its first superintendent. They participated in a Sunday School Rally as early as 1879 and throughout the years haven taken part in Effingham County’s Sunday School Convention.
In the spring of 1902, the congregation decided to move the church to the town of Clyo which was becoming established on the Southbound Railroad (later known as the Seaboard Coastline). Some living nearer Mizpah Methodist Church moved their membership there while others established the Clyo Methodist Episcopal Church South. The land was donated by members Augustus H. Mallory and his third wife Georgia C. (Morel) Mallory. The Mount Pleasant Church was dismantled by members of the church and moved to Clyo.
One prized possession was the antique spindle chancel railing that was carefully moved. The handmade heart pine railing was hand cut from trees on the James W. Morgan land at Tuckasee King and sawed by his old water mill. It had been a gift of Sarah Ryall Morgan. This railing sits in the present church today, an example of the church’s rich history of faith and service to the Lord.
Organists were noted in the history as far back as Mount Pleasant. In 1902, funds were being raised for a new organ. Also during the early years in Clyo a Missionary Society was organized among the ladies.
In 1948, the congregation decided to build a new church because the old one required extensive repairs. An adjoining front lot facing the paved road was purchased and the new church was built by the same plan as the old church.
The site and materials were purchased through individual donations and mortgages of church property.
The original chancel railing was restored and installed in the new church that was completed in fall of 1949 and was put into use, however, dedication was not held until nearly a year later in 1950.
In 1951, the Women’s Society of Christian Service was organized within the church. The organization now operates under the name Clyo United Methodist Women. In 1956, a very active Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF) was begun under leadership of pastors and youth leader counselors in the church.
A long proposed educational hall annex was begun under management of George Gnann in 1974. The project was dedicated in 1975 and named in
honor of its member who had supervised and was called George A. Gnann Hall.
For many years the church was part of the North Effingham Charge in the South Georgia Conference. As Turkey Branch and later Mizpah became independent, the remaining congregations of Silver Hill and Clyo Methodist became sister churches sharing a pastor.
A most recent edition of the church is the Clyo Methodist Family Life Center adjacent to the church. This spacious hall is a great addition enhancing fellowship for the church and completion came in time for its first big event two years ago, homecoming 2008.
This church has supplied soldiers for our wars and peace and many valued citizens in the Clyo and Effingham County communities. Its rich history includes member names: Boston, Lewis, Cox, Hitchcok, Kennedy, Metzger, Mallory, Morgan, Mingledorff, Ryall, Scruggs, Porter, Rahn, Smith, Snooks, Davis, Dawson, Kittles, Griffin, Grovenstein, Peeples, Morel, Gnann, Edwards, Loper, Steed, Ford, Browning, Harden and Gardner. On Sunday descendants of their forefathers and others who became members along the way will proudly welcome former members and the community to worship together behind the historical chancel rail that has graced the congregation, now in its fourth church building.
This was composed by Susan Exley of Historic Effingham Society. Information came from a History of Clyo UMC by Rebah Mallory and info from current members. If you have photos, comments or information to share, contact Susan Exley at 754-6681 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org