Mount Nebo Methodist Episcopal Church, South was founded under a brush arbor in the growing community of Nebo, located in Paulding County. The church founders moved quickly to build a permanent Lord’s House on what was to become known as Nebo Road near its intersection with Dallas Nebo Road.
The first church cemetery was located across the road on land owned by R. N. Little, now known as the Ingles Grocery Store property; it contains a total of thirteen graves, including the infant daughter (buried in December 1878) of Robert and Mary Meek, which were 2 of the charter members of the church. This building was destroyed by a storm in 1879; Unfortunately, all church records from the previous nineteen years were destroyed with the structure and there are no known images of this facility.
Mount Nebo MECS obtained property across from the current cemetery from Robert & Mary Meek and John J. Wood — another charter member of the church – to construct a building to house the church, as well as a Masonic Lodge and school.
Eight Paulding County communities rated a place in the 1881-1882 directory of the Georgia State Gazetteer and Business Directory. At the time, Nebo was the largest community in the county with a population of 250 residents and boasted a steam sawmill, general store, grocery store, grist mill and cotton gin. Chief exports of the community were cotton and lumber.
The community was also known for its “good school” and having 3 churches — namely the Christian Church (Rev. James N. Cooper, Minister), the Baptist Church (Revs. John S. Reynolds & Duncan Worthan, Ministers) and Mount Nebo Methodist Episcopal Church, South (Rev. John Grist, Minister). W.R. Owen, ancestor of W.R. Owen, who bequeathed the property to the church now known as the Mount Nebo UMC
Owen’s Farm Campus, was the community’s chief Magistrate. In 1881 the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroads (now known as the Norfolk Southern Railway) was completed through Paulding County yet missed Nebo by 5 miles. On October 6, 1891, the City of Hiram was created on the rail line by act of the Georgia General Assembly; As a result, the economic base of the Nebo community moved to Hiram for easy access to global transportation and the community began to decline with major population losses.
A dispute in the community arose about the Methodist Church meeting in the school so once again the congregation began meeting under a brush arbor. On October 16, 1889, the Meek’s deeded an additional 1 1 /4 acres to the church for a new sanctuary. The Mount Nebo MECS trustees voted to construct the new church sanctuary on the property — approximately located in the present-day parking lot.
The new facility had clear glass windows, slat pews and two front doors. In the fullness of time, the building housing the school and Masonic Lodge was abandoned due to the declining population in the community, and later with great sadness the building burned down.
1 1/2 acres of land deeded to Mount Nebo Methodist Episcopal Church, South by Robert & Mary Meek and John J. Wood in the shape of a parallelogram for the creation of a new church cemetery.
An additional one acre of land deeded to the church by Robert and Mary Meek.
The population of the Nebo community declined dramatically; the onlybusinesses left were the grocery store and the cotton gin. The Baptist church and the Christian church disbanded leaving Mount Nebo MECS as the only church in the community. At this time baptisms were conducted at Roy Austin’s Lake on Dallas-Nebo Road.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church – South and The Methodist Protestant Church re-unified after a 95-year division to form The Methodist Church At that time our name changed to Mount Nebo Methodist Church.
The 1890 Sanctuary was in dire need of restoration and renovation, so the small congregation began the task of fund raising for the project. Through hard work and determination, more than enough money was raised for the project and it was decided to build a new Sanctuary instead (located behind the 1890 facility). Church member Paul Austin, now buried in the church cemetery, oversaw the construction.
The congregation at Mount Nebo Methodist Church consecrated its new brick Sanctuary with the Rev. Ralph Broome presiding. The offerings on the day of consecration were enough to pay off the debt on the new building.
On May 22, 1960, the church celebrated its 100 th Anniversary with a homecoming and dinner on the grounds.
The Methodist Church and the United Evangelical Brethren Church united, forming The United Methodist Church. At that time the new symbol of the UMC became the “Cross and Flame” signifying the Cross of Christianity along with the flame of the Holy Spirit; the two branches of the flame were in honor of the two branches of the church uniting. At that time, our name changed to Mount Nebo United Methodist Church.
For the first time in its 120-year history, Mount Nebo United Methodist Church was appointed a pastor that it did not have to share with another local Methodist congregation. Heretofore, the pastor would preside over worship the last Sunday of the month; other times, the Lay Leader would preside over the ministry.
During the years of community decline and a small congregation, the church met for worship only once per month. With the appointment of the Rev. Larry Woodall in 1980, the DWUMC began having weekly Worship services and thus began to grow, albeit slightly, again.
Under the leadership of the Rev. Jim Williams, the church determined a need for new educational space and a Fellowship Hall. Thus, construction began on a new addition to the facilities that would provide enough room for the church to grow into the future.
Mount Nebo United Methodist Church began a yearlong celebration of its 150th-year anniversary by planting its Vision Tree and a special recognition from the Georgia General Assembly: A Resolution from the House of Representatives that honors the church’s rich history and bright future.
The Reuter Opus 1466 pipe organ was installed in the church sanctuary thanks to the hard work and diligence of many members of the congregation. Mount Nebo United Methodist Church is the only Protestant church in Paulding County with musical worship led by a pipe organ.