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Old Cartecay United Methodist Church Restoration Project

In 2000 a committee of concerned parishsoners was formed to investigate efforts at preserving the old church.  It was noticed that the north wall of the old church had sunk and it appeared that the sill holding the wall up had cracked.  The committee known as the COCRC – Cartecay Old Church Restoration Committee, decided to find a way to begin restoration, with what funds they had.  In 2004 the efforts came to fruition and the foundation restoration project was begun.  The committee began seeking donations, held fund raisers, and efforts to apply for private foundation grants were begun in earnest. 

It doesn’t look like much is going on outside of the Old Cartecay Methodist Church at the corner of Hwy 52 and Roy Road, but inside is a very different story.  The church restoration committee reviewed several estimates and plans for making repairs to the foundation of the old church before choosing Jon’s Home Building, a local business owned by Jon Kilburn, to begin the work. 

Church members began removing a second addition from the back of the old church that was sitting on a grave.  They salvaged much of the wood for repairs on remainder of the church.  Then they began removing the pews so that these could be repaired and refinished.  Next they tore up the center of the flooring to see if the summer beam was intact.  Learning that there was extensive termite damage, volunteers helped map out plans to begin the restoration.  Workers have removed the flooring completely and salvaged what they could.  Walls have been jacked up by hand and concrete footings have been painstakingly poured, while supports have been used to hold up the roof. 

The new footings complete, the next step is to secure the walls.  More termite damage has unfortunately been found and new studs and perhaps interior walls are in order.  Dry rot seems to be a factor as well.  Next roofing needs to be considered. 

Leslie Thomas, President of the Gilmer County Historical Society. has been looking for grant money and seeking donations for this project.  “This old church is a landmark for most residents in Gilmer County” stated Thomas “It is imperative to keep the heritage for our children and grand children.  Without a sense of heritage, we flounder for direction.  I’ve heard some say ‘just tear it down’, but you can’t look forward if there is nothing to look back on.  History is what makes the future work.”

The restoration committee is hopeful that the project can be completed in time for the October homecoming.  If you are interested in helping out, donations may be sent to the church Cartecay United Methodist, Old Church Restoration, 7629 Hwy 52 East, Ellijay, GA. 30540.  For more information contact Leslie Thomas at aeriehollow@ellijay.com