HISTORY OF FLAT ROCK AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Flat Rock AME Church’s 159-year history evolved from slavery, struggle, and strife. It was the vision of steadfast believers who had faith in GOD, His promise, and His Word, which propelled us to freedom, productivity, successes, and victory.
This journey actually began in Philadelphia, PA by Bishop Richard Allen in 1787. Bishop Allen, along with some other faithful ministers, organized the Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for African Americans. Bishop Allen was compelled to start a church for his people when they could no longer pray in the “white” Methodist Church. These Godly led and faithful men purchased a Black Smith shop in which they began to hold services for black people.
Flat Rock Church originated in 1854 on Spears Plantation, in Fayetteville, GA, as a worship place for slaves, and was called Rocky Mountain AME Church. After the Civil War the church relocated and was then renamed Scufflefield Church. In the early years the church also served as a school for Fayette County African American children. Our church was concerned about our children and their education, even in its early conception as well as now. The school educated over 100 African American children. The church was later renamed Flat Rock AME Church. It was destroyed by fire in 1917, and was rebuilt. It was later remodeled in 1953. The current building was erected in 1978. Other Churches that developed from Flat Rock AME Church are Edgefield Baptist Church, Little Vine Baptist Church and Piney Grove Baptist Church, which is now called Wilkes Grove Baptist Church.
Flat Rock has an adjoining historic cemetery with graves marked as early as 1898. “Nellie Mae Rowe, a Folk Artist whose works have been exhibited at the High Museum in Atlanta, was born in Fayette County. She also attended the Flat Rock School and is buried in our cemetery.”
Flat Rock A.M.E. Church is considered to be indestructible since it has endured many hardships. Its legacy includes; surviving Slavery, the Civil War, racism, poverty and a fire.
Our current pastor, Reverend Edward J. Johnson, Jr., has a passion to lead those forward who are committed to sincere Christian living and desire to experience God’s favor and blessings. Like many pastors before him, there was continuing kingdom building some of which the church was able to acquire property adjacent to the cemetery as well as the many ministries started or that are in progress; our history has always reflected the hard work and generosity of its members. We call on all members to renew their strength and resolve to Kingdom Building for God’s glory.
The church has always served as a strong influence on the community, and will continue to do so as long as we persevere on this Christian journey.