Freeman Memorial celebrates 100th


Jim Hearn, left, pastor at Freeman Memorial for more than 32 years, chats with Winston Skinner, who brought the message for the church’s 100th birthday celebration. 

Freeman Memorial United Methodist Church celebrated its 100th anniversary on Sept. 15.

The church was organized in 1913 as East Newnan Methodist Church. The name was changed to honor R.W. Freeman, president of Newnan Cotton Mills and a benefactor of the church, in 1961.

Jim Hearn, who has been pastor of the church for 32 years, welcomed guests and led memorials for Linda Long and Edna Neill. Several floral arrangements were given in honor and memory of people who have meant much to the church. Mallory Neill provided special music, accompanying herself on the guitar.

Winston Skinner, a minister who is also assistant news editor at The Times-Herald, brought the message for the centennial service. He noted that his father was working at the East Newnan Mill when he was born in 1959.

Skinner also said the mill began with 150 employees and had 1,100 workers by 1950. He said that, “God's unseen hand” created community as the mill flourished, and that Freeman Memorial continues as a legacy to that sense of community.

“This morning, we celebrate a century -- a century of worship, a century of fellowship, a century of working for the Lord,” Skinner said. “The mill is no more. The mill village no longer is the center of gravity it once was.”

Freeman Memorial continues to be “a place of love and hope, ... an outpost of the gospel, offering God's unmatchable grace,” Skinner said. “Freeman Memorial is God's people in this place doing God's work in God's way in this, God's time.”

A covered dish meal followed the service. A slideshow of historic photographs prepared by Jeffrey Hearn was shown in the fellowship hall during the meal.

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