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
at the corner of Hwy 52 and
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
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
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,
For more information contact Leslie Thomas at