Stories of the South: Cooksville United Methodist Church Part I

 Once I pulled up all my edited pictures for this entry I decided to break it up into two posts.  One of the building and interior and one of the beautiful old cemetery.  Enjoy!

Cooksville United Methodist Church was established in 1834 and the present church building was built in 1846.   To place that in history Mississippi had only been a state since December 10, 1817, James A. Polk was the 11th President, and the Civil Would would not start until 1861 twenty seven years later.  

Cooksville United Methodist Church was is located on Cooksville Road about 17 miles east of Macon, Mississippi off Highway 14 east.  it is right past Savannah Church which I covered in an earlier post HERE.  Cooksville was once a small vibrant community that had churches, a school, stores, and even a cotton gin.  The gin is still there located on Circle M Plantation and one of the stores Sparkman's Store located right past the church.  

According to the deed dated June 5, 1846 the land was deeded by Robert Neil to the "Constitutional Presbyterian Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church South in the town of Cooksville."  This document can be found at the Macon Courthouse today.  In 1876, for whatever reason, the Presbyterian congregation dissolved leaving the Methodists the sole owners of the property. 

The church was formed under the guidance of Reverend James Matthews who was appointed to the Choctaw Mission.  The Choctaw Mission at Mayhew was established by the Methodist in 1818.  Their objective was to minister to the local tribes as well as offer education to them by setting up a school.  To this  day their is still an active Choctaw Mission in Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Reverend Matthew along with his appointed junior ministers R.L. Kennon and William Weir helped established not only Cooksville Methodist but also another church at Fairfield on the Bigbee.  

The church was built by James L. Duck.  It has changed some over time with the addition of two Sunday school rooms and a vestibule but otherwise has stayed largely the same.  It is a vernacular style church like several others in the area.  The flooring and pews are original to the church as is the flooring which is 6 1/2" virgin pine.  And charmingly the pews are marked here and there with the initial of prior members.  Little delinquent charming scamps. 

Adjoining the church is the cemetery in the which some of the earliest graves are of Rosanna Prewitt 1783-1841, John Prewitt 1780-1851, and Frances Scott 1801-1885.   

More than just a beautiful building with a long and storied history it is a lovely congregation of people that love and care about each other and the community.  For an example, in a day and age of Facebook posts and email our Sunday school teacher Mrs. F runs a card writing ministry.  Each Sunday at least two if not more cards are passed around and signed by the members.  Doesn't matter if you know them or not.  We pray constantly for newly married couples along with expectant mothers.  The children's program is thriving and we are building an extension to our fellowship hall because the church has simply outgrown it.  No matter it's 17 miles from town, no matter it's location, it is thriving and continuing to grow.  I love it because it reminds me so much of the churches I grew up in - no matter I'm a girl raised, saved, and baptized in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, spent time in her grandparent's Baptist Church, went to a Baptist School, married in the Baptist Church.  I'm enjoying my current time in the Methodist Church.  It's been a warm, welcoming church, and most importantly Allie is getting the foundation she needs to build her faith upon much the same way I did and her father did, and Momma is very happy about that.  

If you'd like to see pictures of the church during Christmas, you can click HERE.  


Noxubee County Historical Trail by Gordon Hansen, edited by Debbie Butler White


  1. Oh Lana, I'm so glad this is still a thriving church and that you are a part of it, too. I grew up in a variety of protestant churches since we were military. Mama was a Baptist and Daddy a Methodist, so by the time I was a teenager we were Presbyterians. I married a Southern Baptist, but we ended up leaving for the Methodist church where I still am today. Your church is lovely and it's history is rich!

    1. I don't know if I really strongly identify with just one denomination, I enjoy things about everywhere I've worshiped but this church definitely feels more like home than any other church we've been.

  2. These photos are so lovely.
    And the stories behind places like this, it's almost hard to believe a building can exist that long, it's little pieces of time showing through. Those pews are so beautiful.

    1. Thank you for the kind words as always. The simplicity of this church makes my little heart glad. I can't handle a church with a lot of "stuff" going on. Multimedia in a church makes me itch. The pews really are lovely and I learned Sunday that those little scamps were able to get away with carving their initial in the pews because they used to have school in the church! I was tickled to finally figure out how those boys were able to get away with carving their names into those beautiful pews without a resounding smack from their mothers!


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