Downing Methodist Church
No record has been located related to the founding of the Downing Methodist Church. The earliest record reflects that during the pastorate of Rev. James Baker in 1902 additions were made to the church and that the first church building was damaged beyond repair in a windstorm. The second building was located along State Highway 16 and is probably the building on the upper left. The old Downing school house can be seen in the distance to the right of the church.
The last church building was constructed in 1934. It had a large sanctuary and foyer. The building which has since been converted into a residence is located on SH 16.
Downing was one of five rural Methodist Churches on the De Leon Methodist circuit. The other churches included Morton Chapel, Ross Chapel, Beattie, and New Hope. For many years they were pastored by a curcuit minister apart from the De Leon church. In 1963, the two remaining churches on the circuit, Morton Chapel and Downing, came under the pastorship of the De Leon church minister becoming the De Leon Parish. Downing Methodist disbanded in 1984. Morton Chapel is the only remaining curcuit church today.
No list of the pastors has been located. Those listed below have been mentioned in various articles. The circuit pastors listed as having served Morton Chapel should be very similar to Downing. You can click here to see that list and a history of Morton Chapel.
1934–George G. Smith