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Washington Church

Washington Church is the oldest Methodist church in Mississippi.  Located in Washington, just north of Natchez, in what for a time was the Territorial Capital of the Mississippi Territory, the church was organized by Tobias Gibson, first circuit rider and missionary to the territory.  Washington was initially the only Methodist congregation in the southwest.   Annual conferences in Alabama, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida may also consider it the birthplace of their conferences. Earliest members included Randall and Harriet McKinley Gibson who were later to move to the Vicksburg area and who are buried in Asbuy cemetery. Others in the first congregation were: Mrs. Edna Bullen, Celeb Worley, William Foster and Rachel Foster, and a slaveman and wife whose names are not known.  The earliest facility was a schoolhouse across the highway from the current location.  A second was on the campus of Jefferson College, adjacent.  The present church was built in 1829 and later remodeled.  The Civil War wrecked Methodism in the area but during Reconstruction a revival took place.  With the exception of the church building in Woodville, Washington is the oldest Methodist building in Mississippi.

Source; Jenkins, William L. Mississippi Methodist Churches: Two Hundred Years of Heritage and Hope. Franklin, Tennessee: Providence House. 1998. (Copies of this title are available in the J. B. Cain Archives.)