Presentation of the Herbert Hucks Award at the Annual Conference 2004
The 2004 South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church awarded the Herbert Hucks, Jr. Award for Historical Preservation and Interpretation to Jacksons Grove United Methodist Church of Landrum and six other local churches in the Conference. Marshall Monroe, Jacksons Grove's Annual Conference Representative, accepted this honor on the church's behalf at a special awards ceremony on June 1, 2004, during the Annual Conference meeting at Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.. The church's historical preservation and interpretation efforts, set forth below, were also featured in an article in the 2004 Annual Conference Awards Newsletter.
Jacksons Grove begins every Sunday morning worship service singing the church theme song, "The Church in the Wildwood," accompanied by a restored 1890 Carpenter Reed Organ. Very few changes have been made to the simple but dignified sanctuary, dedicated in 1875 and placed on the United Methodist Register of Historic Places in 1983. The pews, pulpit, and altar railing are the original fixtures. The church's ministry dates back to the 1830s, when it was founded by the family of Revolutionary war veteran Captain Thomas Jacksons.
Though its roots and pride in its past are deep, the members of Jacksons Grove UMC are "connected" with the present and the future. The church has recently made a copy of Blanche W. Culbreth's 1983 history of Jacksons Grove available on-line, with the gracious permission of Mrs. Culbreth's family. The church webmaster, Dr. William T. Davin, and the church historian, Dr. Jo Anne McCormick Quatannens, stand ready to assist members, visitors, and scholars in obtaining information about the history and ministry of the church.
Each year the church celebrates Homecoming on the third Sunday in September. In 2003, members and the Rev. Mike Bowers reenacted a Sunday as it would have been experienced in the nineteenth century, Worshippers dressed in period attire; some traveled to the service on horseback, and others drove mule and horse-driven carriages.
Later, the gatherers ate dinner on the grounds and sang from the Cokesbury Hymnal. The church honored its founding families, its 50+ year members, and those who had passed on in recent years. Of special note is the effort that began in 2002, in cooperation with Historical Surveyor James V. Gregory, to identify the graves of African Americans interred in the church cemetery and adjoining property. These graves, once marked by fieldstones, are being identified so that the church can treat them with dignity, respecting the graves of all who have been buried there since its founding.
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