United Methodism traces its roots to the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, formerly Anglican priests who felt the call to take the gospel into the highways and byways during a period known as the “Great Awakening.” The Wesleys emphasized evangelism, vibrant worship, disciplined Christian living, and social reforms. In the United States, Methodism was launched by George Whitefield and given its biggest boost through the efforts of Francis Asbury. Methodists were the most numerous group of Christians in America during the 19th century.
Lovejoy United Methodist Church, Lovejoy, Georgia, was organized September 20, 1893, as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. One acre of land at the corner of Main street and Church street was purchased from Mr. T. M. Hamilton for the sum of Fifty Dollars (S50.00). The first minister of record was the Reverend J. W. Stipes. According to Mrs. Lois Wallis, one of the charter members of the church, the Lovejoy church was organized as a result of a tent meeting held on Church street. The original church building was constructed by Mr. Andrew “Sweet” Conkle. Originally, there were four (4) other churches on the charge with Lovejoy — Hampton, Mt. Pleasant (disbanded), Sunnyside, and Mt. Carmel. This was made the Lovejoy-Mt. Carmel Charge as of July 1, 1958, with a student pastor serving both churches. At that time the two churches paid the pastor an annual salary of $900.00 each. In September of 1957, needing more space, the Lovejoy congregation purchased the Lovejoy Elementary School building from the Clayton County Board of Education for the sum of $500.00. Included with the building were two acres of land. Under the leadership of Reverend H. Dan Rice, the school building was remodeled and became the present home of the Lovejoy United Methodist Church. Additional land was later purchased from Mrs. W. H. Dorsey, bringing the total acreage to 4.17 acres. The Lovejoy-Mt. Carmel parsonage was built on Mt. Carmel Road in 1964, the parsonage family (Reverend and Mrs. Edward A. Hager) moving in on August 17, 1964.
Lovejoy United Methodist Church has had the honor of sending out one preacher, the Reverend J. Clyde Callaway, who later became District Superintendent of the Griffin District.