The Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church was founded July 3, 1943. The original deed was signed by Pearl Odom Seitz, Agnes Odom Christian and Elizabeth Odom Thompson. The land to build the church was actually given by John (Bud) Seitz and his wife Pearl. Additional land was later given for the cemetery by Raul Gibson, Mark Heard, and C.J. and Marell Seitz.
In the history of the Davis Community there had been a Methodist Church by the name of Davis Chapel. The church was not deeded to the Methodist Conference and when some disagreement occurred the owner of the property closed the door against further worship and church services. There had been a big attendance and the community had no church for years. The Seitz family had been part of the congregation.
Some of the congregation later built a Bush Arbor. It was located across from where Pleasant Grove stands today. There was a teacher by the name of Thomas (Tom) Roberts who taught Sunday school and adult classes at the Brush Arbor. Edna Seitz, daughter of John and Pearl walked for miles through the woods to hear the Bible taught. She always said in later years: “Old Tom Roberts really knew the word.” It was hard to have regular services often because of the weather.
The need for a new church building became a concern for the Seitz family. Edna Seitz Seabold had the vision for a new church and started asking for help from her folks and the community people. Edna’s Uncle Winslow Christian and Aunt Agnes, Uncle John and Aunt Elizabeth Thomson, and her father and mother started the project to build the building for a new church. (It was called the New Church by the community people and is still called that by some of the older folks today.
Winslow Christian gave the timber for the church. Winslow had a saw mill and prepared the pinewood for the building. Donations were recorded by Edna starting with five cents and up. Two of the boys in the neighborhood gave two dollars each. One was Johnny Seitz, brother to Edna. The other boy’s name was Junior Higgins. Both boys left for World II and never came home. Junior was a pilot and went down in France. He kept his plane from hitting some of the homes and resulted in losing his own life. He became a hero to the town. The people hid his body from the Germans. His family didn’t know until a few years ago what happened to him. He is buried in that town. Johnny was killed by a German sniper who didn’t know that the war had ended. He is buried in Holland.
The labor that was done on the church was by the local men and two brothers, Frank and Bill Gable. The Gable men were good carpenters. They were paid a little for their work. Frank was a Baptist preacher in the community and preached many times at Pleasant Grove. Later in his life, Pleasant Grove did a special afternoon service to honor him for his many years of ministry.
The building was a one room church when completed. A box supper was held at the church to raise money to buy a piano. Ed Seabolt and Hoyle Fields were given the job of selecting the piano. It was purchased from Lancaster in Gainesville, Georgia. The piano they bought wasn’t a new one, but it was in good shape and was a good sounding instrument. The church benches and the pulpit came from Davis Chapel Church. The pulpit stand has been restored and stands in the adult Bible class.
The first members of the church were transferred from the Davis Chapel Church. The first new converts were Fannie Bell Seabolt, Lamar Garrett, Boss Garrett and Monie Mooney.
A preacher named Preacher Bowman was the first minister (pastor) in the church. He was a true evangelist and was on fire for God. He held revivals and had conversions and good attendance in them. Some of the other pastors were Gene Brown, Charles Nickolson, Phil Demore, Gary Demore, Hulon Hill, Mark Sargent, Ralph Harris, Ron Ball, Steve Jackson, Lisa Derick, Sally Oakes, Joel Embry, Jim Garvin, Stephen Horne, and our present Pastor Steve Matta.
Church services in the early days were held once a month. The church was put on a charge with McKee’s Chapel and Wesley Chapel. We then were put in with Wesley Chapel. The last time we were put in the Dawsonville charge was with Dawsonville United Methodist Church.
In the past the church had some of the best homecomings and singers in the area. The county had fifth Sunday Singings and we sponsored some of these. There were times when there wasn’t enough room in the church for everyone who came and the windows would be raised to cool people and let the ones outside hear the singing. The Dude (Bill) Roberts family came to homecomings for years. They brought a man named Robert Thomas who was a great pianist in the Southeastern states. He became a friend and came back to our homecomings for years. He was so good with the southern gospel style music that everyone could really sing with him playing for the singing. The last time he came, a friend drove him. He was from Manchester, Georgia.
Sof of the families that have attended, been members, and supported the church are: Winslow and Agnes Christian, John and Elizabeth Thompson, John and Pearl Seitz; Almond and Mamie Christian; Ruth, Matt and Dan Davis; Lila Davis; Celdon and Dora Arrendale; Frankie, Monica and Hailey Arrendale; Don and Peggy Horton; Cecil and Joyce Arrendale; Tony, Marler and Marlia Arrendale; Don and LaVerne McKay; Ron and Claire Prior; Norma and Bud Adams; Alicia and Bailey Bingham; Bob and Fran Knox and boys; Bonnie and Morris Freeland; Edward and Edna Seabolt; Sonny and Brenda Seabolt; Mack and Christy Myers; Lisa and Eric Dickman; Jamie Seabolt; Johnnie Seabolt Castro, Irene Seabolt Waters; Randolph Seabolt; Betty Seabolt; Tom and Marilyn Miller; Linda Phillips; Libby and James Phillips; Marion Anderson family; Jessie and Janice Anderson; and friends and family members of the above.
A lady by the name of Grace Woody was a member of the Dahlonega Baptist Church. She ran Bible schools at Pleasant Grove and did parties for the neighborhood children. She had a great influence on the young people in our church and community. She would go around picking up the children in her large car and would carry them to Bible school to have fun and learn about Jesus.
The spirit of the church has and still is one of community with all faiths welcome. We feel the Holy Spirit dwells in our church building because of its history and the sacrifices which were made to build it. Its members have a love and respect of caring for each other and for others who join us in worship.
Our present pastor is Stephen Matta. Detailed information on Stephen and his family is located on the Pastor’s Page of this web site.
Submitted by: Betty Jean Seabolt, granddaughter of John and Pearl Seitz, daughter of Edward and Edna Earl Seitz Seabolt, January 25, 2007 and amended 2017.