Buena Vista UMC, The Friendly Church, is staffed by the following:
Ministers: The Entire Congregation
Pastor: Rev. Linda-Gail Thompson
Lay Leader: Mrs. Evelyn Hart
Secretary: Mrs. Carolyn Moye
Music Leader: Mr. Mulkey McMichael
Pianist: Mrs. Patty S. Wade
Organist: Mrs. Brenda Humber
Gordon and Maria Tereza Greathouse
(3 Star Giving)
Glenn and Sarah Stalsmith
Lee and Dori Williams
(Mary Alice Williams Mission Fund)
According to a History of Buena Vista United Methodist Church written by a former member of this church and a valiant educator to many of us, Mrs. Pearl Garrett:
“Rev. David Newsome Burkhalter, an eloquent preacher,plantation owner, businessman and politician, moved into Marion County, Georgia, in 1831. By the 1840’s Rev. Burkhalter owned plantations at Tazewell and a much larger plantation at Pea Ridge which is now BUENA VISTA.
In 1844, Rev. Burkhalter donated a beautiful plot of land adjoining the city limits of Tazewell, near his home, to the Methodist congregation. He built the Methodist a one-room church house and became its first preacher. It was natural for him to have a great deal to say in the affairs of the Methodist Church. However, his high temper and the determination to have his own way kept him in a constant state of controversy with his stewards. No one remembers what the quarrel was about that brought about Rev. Burkhalter’s final separation from his Tazewell brothers, but they all agree it must have been a “hearty dispute.”
One day, after church, Rev. Burkhalter stalked off home in a huff. Not until the next afternoon did the Methodists of the village discover that the church house was gone. The people were stunned and filled with fear. One fellow said, “There ain’t no one in Marion County who would steal a church lessen it was ol’, man Burkhalter.” Others said, “Rev. Burkhalter was sorely mad enough yesterday to steal a church” But what would he do with it? Where is the church?” And another, “I’ll wager he’s took it over to his place on Pea Ridge!” And still another, “Pea Ridge! That’s just what it is! Let’s go!” In a flurry of excitement, horses were saddled and people ran hither and yon telling the news. “Burkhalter has done stole our church house and carted it away!”
Soon a posse gathered and took off for Pea Ridge, seven miles away, across the rolling hills. Now the trail was easy to follow, for the traces of something huge having passed that way was plain to be seen. The trail was so wide and so well cleared that no other road, it is said, has ever been built from Tazewell to the present site of Buena Vista. State Highway 137 today overlies the “Church House Trail” made in one night by Rev. Burkhalter!
…In 1854, a remarkable revival was held which caused the members to realize the need for a larger church. Four years later, in 1858, after another stirring revival and after more money could be raised, the renovation was completed bringing the church house to the PRESENT SIZE OF THE SANCTUARY.
During the 1870-1880 decade, the building was repainted and furnished with a new organ, nice kerosene lamps and a heating stove.”
Our church has been serving this community for over a century. We strive to spiritually uplift our community and work towards a greater good. We believe in the policy of "Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors".
We welcome you with open arms. Please inquire today about how you can become a cherished part of our faith based family.