Clopton United Methodist Church was founded in the 1830s when a parcel of land was granted for the establishment of a Methodist Church. The land was donated by Anthony M Clopton born in Goochland County, Virginia, 1770. Mr. Clopton and his wife, Rhoda H Clopton, moved to this area from Davidson County, Tennessee. And, thereupon, settled on a plantation that included land in the present Clopton Community. The manor house was near the location of the present-day church.
Begining of Clopton Cemetery
Mrs. Clopton died on November 23, 1831 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the family cemetery which later became the Clopton Cemetery. Mrs. Clopton was the first to be buried on this site.
Sell of the Clopton Plantation
Later, 1844, Anthony Clopton sold the plantation to William L. Winston and moved to DeSoto County, Mississippi where he died on July 17, 1848. Heirs of the Winston plantation, originally, the Clopton Plantation later sold 346 acres to Robert Roane. In the mid-1850’s the Clopton family cemetery was acquired from Mr. Roane. Some sources indicate that he gave the cemeteries to the trustees of the Clopton Episcopal Methodist Church. Other sources state that all five acres were purchased for $62. Though it is not clear when the Clopton Methodist Church was formally organized, records show Methodism had reached the area as early as 1830.
At that time, Clopton was part of the Wolf Circuit. Summer camp meetings held at the church in 1836 were directed by James McFerrin. He was the first minister on record, and he held regular services in the Clopton family home.
The second quarterly conference, of the Wesley Circuit, held at Clopton on April 23, 1836, where Rev. McFerrin was present. Clopton paid $2.75 for the quarter. The Wesley circuit also held its fourth quarterly conference at the Clopton campground on September 7, 1839. Clopton paid $4.75 for the quarter. Several years later, 1841, Clopton held the second quarterly meeting. However, Clopton made no payment at this meeting.
Eventually, shelters were built on the campgrounds. And, in the years before the war between the states, these grounds were covered with huge, lush trees. Tipton Creek, also known as Tipton Branch, snaked its way across the land. The camp meetings held at Clopton usually lasted between ten days to two weeks. They were a refreshing social and spiritual event.
- James McFerrin 1836
- C McLeod and Jeremiah Williams 1837
- James McFerrin and A.G. Hunter 1838
- Russel H. Jones and Adam Goodin 1839
You can read more about Clopton United Methodist Church here.