Druid Hills United Methodist Church records, 1900-2016

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/vmrg9

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Druid Hills United Methodist Church (Atlanta, Ga.)
Title: Druid Hills United Methodist Church records, 1900-2016
Call Number:Record Group No. 077
Extent: 53.8 cubic feet (96 boxes)
Abstract:Contains administrative files, scrapbooks, directories, reports, and other records for Druid Hills United Methodist Church (Atlanta, Ga.)
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Transfer, 2017.


[after identification of item(s)], Druid Hills United Methodist Church records, Archives and Manuscript Department, Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Shoshana Edelberg, 2019-2020.

Collection Description

Historical Note

Druid Hills Methodist Episcopal Church South held its first worship service on January 9, 1910 in a brand-new neighborhood in northeast Atlanta, known at the time as “Copenhill,” and now occupied mostly by the Carter Center. The city was poised on the verge of what would turn out to be rapid growth and change, and so was the church. The first pastor was E.G. Mackay, a theology student at what was then Emory College. The new church had only 11 members, but many were notable, including brothers Judge John S. Candler and Asa Griggs Candler, who founded the Coca-Cola Company.

It did not take long for the church to outgrow its first location on Highland Avenue. Druid Hills Methodist Episcopal Church South erected a new building on a lot at the corner of Seminole and Blue Ridge Avenues, on the border of the Druid Hills neighborhood. The doors opened there in 1912, and the first pastor was Reverend S. E. Wasson of Texas. The facilities were expanded several times, over several decades, until the church decided it had to move again.

The new, and final location at Ponce de Leon Avenue and Briarcliff Road was actually the former home of charter member Judge John S. Candler. It was purchased by private subscription and deeded to the church. Besides the sanctuary and offices, the new facilities included a school wing, a gymnasium, a meeting place for scout troops and a community center for the Druid Hills Churches Association, which operated a clothes closet, food pantry and a dental clinic for children. An informal church history (included in the collection) notes that as the Druid Hills neighborhood came to be one of the wealthiest in Atlanta, the church was known for having a highly democratic congregation, and for being a “good, sound Methodist Church.”

In the wake of the 1939 reunivication of the Methodist Episcopal Chruch, the Methodist Episcipla Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church, the church changed its name to Druid Hills Methodist Church. Then after the Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the congregation changed its name again to Druid Hill United Methodist Church. After a century in Atlanta, the church closed its doors in 2016 and merged with Epworth United Methodist Church to form Neighborhood Church in the nearby Candler Park neighborhood.

During its more than 100-year history, Druid Hills UMC saw wars, an influenza pandemic, changing cultural trends, political upheaval and sweeping technological advances. It bore witness to the civil rights movement, and the arrival of waves of refugees and immigrants, all of which brought demographic and economic changes to the surrounding neighborhoods and the greater city of Atlanta.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of administrative and financial records, church bulletins and worship service programs, membership records, educational materials and historic documents and artifacts. It includes sermons from several pastors and guest preachers, photographs and scrapbooks documenting the entire range of church life over more than a century, and a large section of documents pertaining to the activities of the United Methodist Women.

The collection therefore reflects the vast span of the church’s history. The bulletins, worship service programs, photographs, membership records, educational materials and administrative documents reflect the church’s evolution, as it sought to adapt to a changing city, country, and culture, while serving both its congregation and the needs of the surrounding community. It will be of special interest to scholars of modern Methodism and ecclesial adaptability.

Arrangement Note

Organized into 14 series: (1) Administration, (2) Charge Conference, (3) Correspondence, (4) Directories, (5) Education and Church Classes, (6) Ephemera, (7) Finances and Fundraising, (8) Guilds and Committees, (9) History, (10) Membership, (11) Newsletters, (12) Photographs, (13) Programs, and (14) United Methodist Women.

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