Concord United Methodist Church
The ministry of Methodism in the area of what is now Athens began in the homes of the early settlers, among who were the Fannings, Martins, Vermillions and others. The regular meetings were usually conducted by local-preachers or lay-preachers until an itinerant preacher, otherwise known as a “circuit rider”, could pay his occasional visit. In addition to these regular meetings, annual “camp Meetings” were conducted that lasted a week or more and these were the occasions for the itinerant evangelist to keep his appointments in this sparsely-settled area. There were no church buildings, but this was Methodism being ministered in this wilderness area.
It has been said that at one of these annual “camp meetings”, a decision was made to build three churches, one of which would be located in what is now Athens. By Deed dated July 25, 1858, a lot was conveyed by William H. French to trustees Adam Martin, James Vermillion, William H. French, William E. Martin, David Martin, John Garretson, George Martin and Benjamin Fanning, upon which lot a house of worship shall be built for members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and in further trust that when said building shall not be occupied by the Methodist Church for preaching, that the liberty of preaching be granted to all other professing Christians in the house of worship. This lot was 83 square poles and is located at the intersection of what are now Vermillion and Church streets, the present location of the Concord United Methodist Church.
Concord United Methodist Church History (Continued)