Rock Springs Congregational Methodist Church

From the website for the Congregational Methodist denomination (founded on May 8, 1852, at Rock Springs): Congregational Methodists are conservative, evangelical Christians in the Wesleyan Arminian tradition, "[which allow] for the people of the Church to be represented in our decision making process." This faith is grounded in the infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God. "We have added no doctrines, nor have we taken any away." We believe that the scriptures are God's revelation of Himself to us, as well as the rule of faith, containing all the truth necessary for faith and Christian living. We believe that God has revealed Himself in three distinct persons ... the Father, the source of all life; the Son, the mediator of God's life, and the Spirit, the extension of God's life to us. This 3-in-1 God has made us for fellowship with Himself. We believe that Christians are meant to be an active part of the body of Christ. The Church is where encouragement, spiritual growth, and the development of spiritual gifts occur. The Church purpose is also for equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. Our community, our nation, even our world, is our responsibility. As John Wesley stated, "I consider all the world as my parish." The Church, therefore, is to be the physical manifestation of Jesus to its community and world. This is accomplished by the indwelling-Spirit, empowering the saints to continue the ministry and proclaim the message of Jesus.

Rock Springs Church -- 219 Rock Springs Road -- Milner, GA 30257
From I-75: Exit 201, West on Hwy 36 for approx. 1 mile, right on High Falls Road for approx. 2 miles, left on Rock Springs Road, Church on right approx. 1/4 mile north.

Reverend Hiram PHINAZEE: Hiram was born in Wilkes County, GA in 1802, of Irish immigrant stock who fought in the American Revolution and received land grants for their service. He married Elizabeth Bird OGLETREE (11/3/03-04/14/84) on October 06, 1825, the daughter of another Revolutionary War veteran, William (of Scottish and Welsh background and a mother with ties to the old Virginia families of Lee, Bird and Beauford. Reverend Hiram Phinazee was a delegate to the Georgia Conventions of 1850 and 1861. He was one of the founders of the Congregational Methodist Church (May 8, 1852), generally and Rock Springs, specifically. His son, Augustive Joseph Phinazee, fought for the State of Georgia in the War between the States and married Martha F. Walker, she kin to the West clan, lately of Wilkes County Georgia but before of Virginia. She was one of 18 children (including several twins) produced by the same set of parents. Hiram, his wife, Elizabeth and his mother, Sarah Phinazee (descended from the Harris, Kimbroughs, Kittrells (Catheral) and Durants of olde Virginia) are buried in Monroe County, Georgia, at the Greenwood Cemetery (Barnesville GA). Elizabeth's parents, William and Mary, are nearby in the Ogletree family cemetery near Johnstonville GA, located between the towns of Griffin and Forsyth, Georgia. One of all their descendants was born on May 8, 1985, precisely 133 years after the founding (related also to Rev Brewster, the Spiritual Leader of the Pilgrims from the other side of the family).

Rev. Hiram Phinazee (from pdf on church founding pp 11-13): Reverend Hiram Phinazee was a man among men. Descended paternally from the Irish and maternally from the Welsh, he was born November 8, 1802, three months after the great Napoleon was appointed First Consul for life-the second year of the Presidency of the world-renowned Thomas Jefferson. His birth occurred within that part of Old Jackson County which is now Hall County, Georgia. In 1822, he moved to Jasper County, Georgia, where he resided only a few months. January 8, 1828, he transferred to Monroe County and settled upon the lot of land he had there drawn and where he thenceforward lived and wrought till, having finished his course of 80 years, 2 months and 6 days, his body was laid in quiet Greenwood Cemetery (Barnsville GA), and his spirit was, in blessedness, received by God who had given it.

Brother Phinazee was born of poor parents and was reared with the enjoyment of only meager opportunities. At the time he drew his lot in Monroe, he was without fortune and without education; but he felt within the indefinable pulsing and throbbing of superior manhood and he determined to achieve success. Largely isolated for a time from men on his uncleared hills, his hands toiled by day and his mind by night until slaves were bought to do his bidding and a well-appointed farm responded generously to their toils.

At Monroe Camp Ground, below Forsyth, in 1825, the Lord forgave his sins and converted his soul. Near the same time, the Lord gave him a blessing for the remainder of his life in his wedded union with Elizabeth B. Ogletree. Fifty-seven years he was blessed in this woman's wifely love and every day he found her to be of God. It was his nature to be active and to achieve, consequently we find that he had not been in the Methodist Church long till he began a several years service as class leader. Later he was licensed to exhort. In 1839, he responded to the highest of God's call to men, and was licensed to preach.

West Family: Thomas Leighton WEST succeeded his father as Third Lord Delaware in 1602, and in 1609 was appointed Lord Governor and Captain General of Virginia. He arrived at Jamestowne on June 9, 1610, commanding a fleet of three ships, completing a voyage of three months and a half. Out of respect for his leadership and contributions to the struggling settlement, the Delaware River today bears his name. Unfortunately, Thomas West died at sea before he could do more (June 7, 1618). His death came just over two years before the Pilgrims would establish residence accidentally in New England. His brother, called Captain John WEST, immigrated to the New World and resided at West's Point, King William County, Virginia. Among other offices he held, he was acting Governor of Virginia (and Captain General ?) under the Stuart Crown from 1635-1636. He and his wife, Anne SHIRLEY, are the progenitors of many Americans alive today (see below).

John WEST, JR., their son, was variously, a Major in the Virginia Forces by 1678, Senior Justice of Virginia and Colonel in the Militia in 1680. His daughter, Anne WEST (born 1670; died 1708), married Henry FOX (‘Huntington’ -– 1665-1720), the son of John FOX, a new resident, who arrived at Jamestown in 1625. Henry and Anne’s daughter (also named Ann) was the third wife of Captain Thomas CLAIBORNE and bore him 15 children before she too died in a manse called Puddlecoke (Thomas' forebear was William -- William CLAIBORNE made his settlement on Kent Island in Maryland, and because of this transgression, CLAIBORNE and the CALVERTS of Maryland were engaged in a Civil War for many years). Ann's great-granddaughter, Elizabeth CLAIBORNE, married John WALTON (brother of George WALTON, the Declaration signer). John WALTON became a representative from Augusta in the Georgia Provincial Council. In turn, his daughter married her first cousin, Robert WATKINS, (son of Thomas WATKINS, whose wife was the sister of the aforementioned John and George WALTON) – this line goes forward to granddaughter Eliza WATKINS who married Oliver A. LaROCHE, a son of Isaac LaROCHE, the second of that name in the Georgia Colony established by General Oglethorpe.

But wait, we are not done yet -- go back to Colonel John WEST, Jr. (father of Anne) -- he had several other children, one of which was a son named Thomas. Then go forward in this line five generations to Elizabeth West CAIN (born June 1811; died 6 August 1868 Griffin, Spalding County, GA), who married Robert WALKER on February 18, 1828 in Henry County, Georgia. Robert WALKER (born 10 October 1807 Danburg, Wilkes County, GA died 4 April 1882 Griffin, Spalding County, GA -- son of John William WALKER, SR. and Martha SMITH) and his bride lived on a southern plantation between the towns of Griffin and Forsyth, Georgia -- and as well they might, because they had 18 children who lived, including some twins. They turn out to be the grandparents of my grandmother Eloise who married the grandson of Eliza Watkins and Oliver A. LaRoche (also mentioned above) -- small world, eh. This writeup influenced by my family history and information from