lawrence history

Short History of the Founding of Lawrence Chapel Methodist Church and Cemetery

Note: The Cemetery is all that remains.
Updated 01-29-98
Go to Lawrence Cemetery Records




According to early records in the l850's a prayer meeting, called by the Lawrence girls, led to the organization of the Lawrence Chapel Church which was the first Methodist Church in this community. It was known as the Methodist Episcopal Church North. Some ladies from the North, perhaps missionaries, were responsible for helping to organize the church. Land on which this church stood was donated by Mr. Willis Lawrence. This building was a small one- room log building, and it served for both a church and a schoolhouse. There were no windows and only one door. Boards were placed along the sides to fill the cracks between the logs. Benches of split logs were used for seats. The exact time this building was built is unknown, but it was prior to the Civil War. Among the names of the members of Lawrence Chapel Church are Willis and Sarah Lawrence, Steven and Eliza Box, Darling and Rebecca Gardner, Wesley and Cathryn Puckett, Squire Isaac and Lucy Oaks, "Doc" and Alabama Butler, A. E. and Mary Lawrence, William and Malinda Martin, William Cosby and wife, John and Amanda Gardner, Irene Puckett, and Lucinda Lawrence. Another very interesting and influential member of this church was Captain A. Donaldson who served in General Joe Wheeler's Cavalry. He was not only active in the church, but the school and community as well. He was a teacher in the school and he established the first post office in this area. It was known as the Etha Post office. At his death in 1900, his daughter operated the post office for about fifteen years. The Captain's son, Robert Donaldson, was the first person to be buried in the Lawrence Chapel Cemetery which is still maintained because so many of the early settlers are buried there.    

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