HAYNESVILLE Haynesville Louisiana

Haynesville, LA

Shady Grove M.P. Church

Date Founded: 1855

Shortly after “Old Town” was settled, J.C. Taylor donated land to the church. A log church was constructed on the site of the current Haynesville Cemetery. It was destroyed by a fire, and a new frame one-room church was built in the latter 1850s by Joseph W. Camp and a Choctaw. Mr. Camp left the church, which was forty-eight feet long, without a top when he left for the Civil War. He finished the church when he returned from the war.
After a storm destroyed the church in 1878 or 1879, John W. McEachern and “Uncle Gus” Gilmore rebuilt it in 1880 or 1881. They used some of the materials from the previous church. One of those early churches had a divider down the middle, with the males sitting on one side and females sitting on the other.

The last quarterly conference was held at “Old Town” in 1897. The building was used for other purposes until it was torn down in 1932. Sunday School was held in New Haynesville until after 1910. It served as a chapel for funerals until the 1920s.

The community moved two miles north in 1898 when it was announced that a railroad to Homer would be built through there. The congregation also moved to “New Town” or “New Haynesville.” In 1900, a new frame building was constructed for the church by Crate Moore. After the church was destroyed by a 1902 storm, it was rebuilt. That church building stood until 1922, when it was torn down to construct the current brick church under the leadership of Rev. A.J. Gearhead.

Church services and meetings were being held by the Ward’s Chapel congregation about four miles north of Haynesville by 1871. In 1872, the name was changed to New Salem. The church moved to the Military Road about 1880. When oil was discovered in the area around 1921, the church property was sold and the congregation transferred to the Haynesville church.
Shady Grove Methodist Protestant Church had been organized in 1853 by Rev. Peter McDonald. After holding services under a brush arbor, a log church was built. It had a large fireplace at one end and a pulpit at the other. It would get cold in the winter, because a log was taken out of the wall behind the pulpit to provide light. The log church was replaced by a frame building in the 1870s, and a third church was built in 1893/94. After the 1921 oil discovery, the church property was sold. Some of the members organized a Methodist Protestant church in Haynesville and built a brick church and parsonage there in 1923. In 1928, the Shady Grove and Haynesville members merged to become the Shady Grove Methodist Protestant Church.

In 1939, the Shady Grove Methodist Protestant Church and the Haynesville First Methodist Episcopal Church, South merged. Since the Shady Grove church was only two blocks away from the First Church, both buildings were used until 1957 … with morning services at one location and evening services at the other. When the Shady Grove church and parsonage were sold in 1957, the money was used towards a new parsonage. The old parsonage is used as a craft house. The cornerstone from the Shady Grove church was placed beside the Haynesville church’s cornerstone and names on its memorial windows were added to the Haynesville windows.

An $80,000 education building was built in 1950-51 under the leadership of Rev. W.D. Milton.

Source: Our Methodist Heritage: 1855-1982