"LaGrange first appears as an appointment this year (1828), under the charge of John Hunter." LaGrange was the county site of Troup County, and was laid out in 1827. The county is on the western border of the state, and at that time was one of the most fertile and healthy in it. The circuit included a part of the present county of Harris, all of Meriwether, and a part of Heard in addition to all of Troup. . . .

Troup, Harris, and Meriwether presented great inducement to settlers and they were soon settled by a most admirable body of people, a very large part of whom were from Greene County.94

James Stockdale at this conference (1828) was appointed to the Columbus Mission. He was to explore and organize the Church in the new country west of Flint, which was just opened to settlers. His mission embraced Muscogee, Talbot, and a part of Harris. He left his home in South Carolina and reached the eastern part of his circuit early in 1828. 95

The salaries of the preachers were very small, and there was little system in collecting them. Many of the people interpreted the term "quarterage" as 25 cents per quarter, to be a full payment for all demands. There were no foreign missions in the church except among the Indians., and the missionary collection was applied to supporting missionaries to the negroes. Such is a bird's eye view of the first Georgia Conference of the M.E. Church, South. 96

Work of "Leaders"

The Methodist Church was young when Harris County was young. Active at first as Methodist Societies, the Methodist movement worked in small groups of about twelve

. "Leaders were appointed for these groups. But the groups were called on to meet together each week, and it became the business of the leaders to conduct a public examination into the manner of life of each member of the class, to praise those who were living well, to admonish those who were falling before temptation, and to exhort all to go on in the way of holiness. . . .

"There they sat, twelve persons, `having the form and seeking the power of godliness'; in the center, on the plain table, the leader's Bible; around it, the circle of chairs, each with its occupant. . . .

"It was the rule that three consecutive absences from the class meeting meant the loss of the `ticket.' And without the ticket-a small card given every quarter by the leader to all in good standing-admission into the meetings of members could not be secured."97



94. George D. Smith, D.D., History of Georgia Methodism, p 180
95. Ibid., p 181.
96. Ibid., p 265
97. H.E. Luccock and P. Hutchinson, Goodloe The Story of Methodism, pp. 168, 172, 173.

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