Each of the five municipalities in Newton County is steeped in history, evidenced by the many historical markers, buildings and homes in the area. Amongst these landmarks is the appropriately named Old Church, located on Wesley Street at Fletcher Street in Oxford, GA – just north of Covington. Old Church has stood sentinel since 1841 and is now over 170 years old.
Old Church was the first chapel of Emory College and served as a center for Methodists in the south until the Church split due to differing views of slavery. This split of the Church contributed to the secession of southern states. Old Church served as an infirmary during the Civil War, and continued as a regular place of worship until 1910. Between 1932-36 Old Church was recognized as a historical landmark, and it has gained more historic merit as the years have progressed. In 1949, the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Church held a formal rededication ceremony and the church was designated a Heritage Landmark by the United Methodist Church in 1972. Two years later, in 1974, the Oxford Historical Shrine Society, Inc., assumed responsibility of the property and had Old Church listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To further emphasize Old Church’s historical significance, the Landmark Committee of Newton County Historical Sites placed a marker to solidify the amazing history of the church.
(The marker placed by the Landmark Committee of Newton County Historical Site.)
While it’s easy to just drive by a building or landmark and see it as a part of one’s everyday life, the significance that these places hold in our communities are what make us who we are today.