According to the Methodist Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee, Cannon’s Camp Ground United Methodist Church was established in 1789. The church was established by descendants of the John Cannon family, who had moved his family to this area from Culpepper, Virginia. The church at Cannon’s Camp Ground today is the result of years of growth from a small wooden church with a door in front, one on each side, and five windows to our present 485 seat sanctuary. Court records tell us a church building was situated on one acre of land given in 1841 by Elijah Cannon, a son of Ellis Cannon, who was son of John, had given land for some kind of church building at Cannons Camp Ground even before 1841.
The remaining property on the side of Cannon’s Camp Ground Road where the church presently sits came to us from three different sources. In 1899, A.C. Cannon, a son of Elijah Cannon, gave a total of eight acres of land to the church. This is the land where part of the present church, the cemetery , and the campground are currently located. New space for parking was added along Putman Road when the church purchased property from Lewis Putman in 1972. Finally, for additional parking, the church purchased property from Bethel United Methodist Church in 2000 along Frady Road where Sam Scott’s store, barbershop, and service station stood for many years.
Across the road from the church, fifteen acres of land was purchased from Basfor Bryson in 1976, and Luther Chapman donated an additional acre of land adjacent to the Bryson property. This land has been developed into a softball field and additional parking.
The first deed for our property named the church as McKindral’s Chapel. However, for most of its history, our church has been known as Cannon’s Camp Ground because of the Cannon family that helped establish the church and the campground area where camp meetings were held for about 75 years during the 1800’s. The camp meetings at Cannon’s Camp Ground were where much of our history lies. Held during the second week in September, these meetings were both religious and social gatherings. Some accounts indicate the crowds at these meetings sometimes numbered in the thousands as people traveled here from the surrounding area, as well as from North Carolina and Georgia. There were five services a day, filled with an enthusiasm that was reminiscent of the religious fervor of meetings in the Methodist movement that had originated with John Wesley. From its humble beginnings as a small wooden church, Cannon’s Camp Ground United Methodist Church has grown into the largest church in our community, and one of the largest United Methodist Churches in the Spartanburg District.
The present church building is the result of years of additions, remodeling, and rebuilding. The sanctuary we worship in today is our fifth sanctuary, and completed in 2000, after the previous sanctuary was torn down in 1999. That sanctuary had been built in 1918 and was remodeled several times. The educational building where Sunday School classes meet was added to the church in two phases, in 1952 and 1967, and the Chapman Family Life Center was added in 1991. These facilities have undergone several renovations in order to meet the needs of the church family. We have a covered shelter and BBQ building, where the old brush arbor meetings once took place in the 1800’s. Today, we have many church functions using these facilities. We have a tennis court and outside basketball goals as well as a newly developed family park (located across the street from the main church buildings and near our softball field.) We have playground equipment, picnic tables, and a 1/3 mile walking track that is available for church and community use.
Today, we celebrate our rich history. We celebrate the lives and ministry of all who have come before us…the departed saints who gave of themselves unselfishly to bring honor and glory to God through this church. We celebrate the lives of all who enter the doors of this church today, and we praise God for providing this place of worship. We look forward to the future as we continue to serve God through the ministry of this church.