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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
Beth's Weekly Moultrie Observer Column - Week 8
(This appears here courtesy of The Moultrie Observer)

There’s been so much positive comment about our “newspaper browsing” amongst the old Moultrie Observer’s that I have permission to continue for a few weeks!

Today, I have a copy of the Bicentennial Edition published in 1976 that tells the story of “Oldest Colquitt merchant died in 1905 at age 96.” George S. Faison, who died at his Moultrie home in north Moultrie on June 18, 1905 at the age of 96 was described at the time as the “oldest man in Moultrie or Colquitt County.” “Uncle George” Faison, as he was affectionately called here, reportedly deserved the title of “The Father of His Town,” having “not only been the oldest citizen of Moultrie but the very first to embark on business here.”

Mr. Faison, who was given credit for being instrumental in the establishment of the local Methodist church and one of its most loyal and honored members, was buried in Pleasant Grove cemetery, 2 miles east of Moultrie. He had observed his 96th birthday on March 3, 1906. Mr. Faison was a native of Virginia, but moved to Georgia in 1835 – the year the “stars fell.” He first located near Columbus, but in the early 1850s, moved down into what was then Thomas County, opening a store at a point just above Moultrie. In those days, the news report related, there were no markets in this section and Mr. Faison hauled his goods from Columbus on a four-mule wagon, taking several days for the trip. Later, the Central Railroad was extended to Americus and this became his market.

When Colquitt County was formed out of Thomas County and Moultrie was laid off for the county site, he was the first to move here and conduct a mercantile business. He has since that time been connected with the development of both town and county, being highly esteemed as a most valuable citizen of both. In his obituary, his closet survivors were listed as his two sons: R.W. Faison, Waycross and John Faison, Henry County. He was also survived by a daughter, Mrs. Clara Maulden of Cairo, Georgia. He was said to be living in Moultrie with a daughter-in-law at the time of his death.

Did you know that a log building was the first Berlin United Methodist Church? It was!
What is now known as the Berlin United Methodist Church was formerly named New Hope and was a log structure located three miles southeast of Berlin, erected sometime in the 1800s. In 1890, this building was replaced by a frame one and in 1910 it was moved to Berlin, remodeled and made into a larger frame structure. The refurbished building included a sanctuary, and four large Sunday School rooms. This church served the needs of the congregation until 1952 when under the leadership of the pastor, the Rev. W.A. Sedgwick, it was decided that a more adequate place of worship was needed.

A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the building site for the new Berlin United Methodist Church on September 18, 1952, and on April 5, 1953, the structure was dedicated by Bishop Arthur J. Moore. The exact date when the original church was established is unknown and there is no list of charter members. The earliest records known indicated a Mr. Tip Burney was received into membership by the Rev. J. W. Wells in 1881.

I don’t keep copies of all of these columns. Come by my office either at work or at home sometimes and you’ll understand why. However, you can read and print many, if not most of the columns done in the past few years by visiting and then clicking on The Family Tree. You’ll find an extensive archive of these Tuesday columns there!

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