History – 5

This information is taken from the book entitled Wheels of Faith and

Courage written by Mary Green Matthews and M. Jewell Sink who are

Authorized Historians for the Thomasville Centennial by action of the Mayor

and City Council January 8, 1951, – A History of Thomasville, North Carolina.


Starting on Page 82 – Churches in Thomasville:


Many younger churches serve other congregations in Thomasville.  Methodist

churches inside or near the city include Trinity on Blair Street, which was

organized in 1922 with 8 members and now has 250 with almost as many in

Sunday School, and Bethel on Fisher Ferry which has a new $50,000 building

almost complete.  This was promoted in the 1920’s by Main Street

Methodist Church, F. S. Lambeth giving land and R. L. Pope the bell for the

Church.  Its present membership is 130.  In Johnsontown just west of

Mills Home is the third Methodist church making up the charge held by Rev.

McRae Crawford.  This church as 158 church members and a Sunday School

of like numbers.  West End Methodist Church began in 1921.  It has grown

rapidly and has filled a large religious place in its section.  Rev. J. R. Sills is

pastor of this church of 265 members which has built and paid for its

brick church, its parsonage and its church hut.  Unity Methodist Church is

just at the city limits on the High Point Road.  This year it has a full-time

pastor, Rev. D. B. Bridger, a new parsonage, and a new Sunday School wing.



July – August 1992 – In the early years of our Church, the young women organized a group called “The Haulk Club”.  This organization was named in honor of our first pastor, Rev. T. J. Haulk.  Beginning in 1934, there were but a very few members in the Church with a very few in our Club.  As time passed we grew to about fifteen members.  We met once a month.  We didn’t have any program books.  A different member would prepare a program and we had a social hour and little business.  We were growing in membership all the time.


In the early 50’s, Rev. C. O. Plyler became interested in our society and asked if we would like to join the W. N. C. Conference.  We agreed and soon we were W. S. C. S. (Woman’s Society of Christian Service).  We began to grow in membership.  We sent pledge money to the Conference for foreign mission.  Locally, we sent things to Bethlehem Center and bought a piano for our Church.  To raise money for our projects we sold cards at Christmas, had hot dog suppers, ice cream suppers, etc.


The Lord has helped us in all our projects.  Without, we couldn’t have done all we did.


In 1972, we became Johnsontown United Methodist Church.  In this year we became United Methodist Women.  So we are still growing, working, loving, and caring.  All of this helps us to grow spiritually.  We can do great things if we try the right way.


May the Lord be with us and keep us in His care is my prayer.  (This history was contributed by Donalene Boggs.)…copied from the July – August 1992 Johnsontown United Methodist Church Newsletter.


A Story Published in the Newspaper September 30, 2002,

 about Sadie Starrett by Bob Burchette (Staff Writer)


THOMASVILLE – Hobos hopping off the train just west of downtown Thomasville knew the

right place to get a warm meal and a smile – at Sadie Starrett’s back door.


Her generosity in the Johnsontown community wasn’t confined to the men traveling in

boxcars, Starrett was always cooking for people in the neighborhood, “She was a real

people person,” said Colon Starrett.


Starrett, 96, died September 21, 2002?, at Liberty Woods Nursing Home.  Her funeral was

held Tuesday at Johnsontown United Methodist Church, and burial was in Holly Hill

Memorial Park Cemetery.


“She was the best cook in the world” said son Colon Starrett.


She cooked for people too poor to put regular meals on the table – and for many who could

get a meal at home but preferred Starrett’s delightful meals to their own.


She also served many meals to her minority friends on nearby King Row.


“People would come in off the street to eat,” said Colon.  “She never turned anybody down.”


A lot of those meals were during the years of the Great Depression when people were

struggling financially.  Colon Starrett, 64, born after the Depression, leaves details of those

days up to brother Don Starrett, 77, who remembers his mother laboring over a hot stove

fueled by wood.


Everything was cooked on that wood stove, brown-topped biscuits, potatoes fixed in more

ways that a professional chef could muster, pinto beans, corn bread, gravy, country ham

and fatback meat.


The list of delicacies goes on and on…”But don’t forget that she canned the best pickles you

have ever eaten” said Colon Starrett who said his mother’s notoriety for cooking continued

while he was growing up.


All of the children remember their favorite dishes with a smile.


Except for flour, sugar, and salt and pepper, most of their vittles were grown right there,

said Don Starrett.  “You didn’t have much reason to go to the grocery store.  Of course,

there weren’t many grocery stores back then.”


“We killed our own hogs – Thanksgiving was always the best time to kill hogs,” he said.

Around that annual event also would be one of Sadie Starrett’s famous meals, with so

much food you couldn’t get it all on the table.


Other than a short stint at Pickwick Hosiery Mill, Sadie Starrett spent her years as a

housewife, nurturing four children and helping people in her neighborhood.  Son Houston,

born three years after Don, is deceased.


The portrait of her life is typical of what built strong families in years past, said her

children. She had a strong sense of right and wrong, and expected the same from her

children, they said.  Starrett also insisted that her children go to school and to church,

always tell the truth and respect others, said daughter Lucille Hill, 72, of Thomasville.


She never turned away anybody who needed help – even the hobos, said Colon Starrett.


“The hobos would come to the backdoor and she would give them full plates of food,” said

Don Starrett.  “But they would never go inside the house.”


The railroad tracks were not far from where Robert Dewey Starrett and the former Sadie

Williams bought their first house in 1926 on Johnsontown Road, down the road from the

Mills Home Orphanage.  Charlie Finch, part of the famous family that helped develop

Thomasville, built the house, and helped get it financed, said Colon Starrett.  His son, Harry

Brown Finch, also would later be involved in real estate and be Mayor of Thomasville.


Some of Charlie Finch’s family also owned the plant where Robert Starrett worked,

Thomasville Chair Company, commonly known as “Finches”.


Robert Starrett and Sadie Williams met in Randolph County, and were married in 1925.

They celebrated their birthdays on the same day, August 13, but he was three years her

senior.  He died September 8, 1976.


In Randolph County young Sadie Williams was known as the spelling bee champion every year

in the one-room Pierce’s Chapel School where she finished eight grades.


Her husband, more prone to hard work on the farm than going to school, moved to

Thomasville where he worked for Standard Chair Company for a while before moving over to



That spanking new house was a dream come true for them.  Never mind that it didn’t have

indoor plumbing, and that water had to be carried from a well.


In those five rooms, Sadie Starrett gathered her family for prayer – a practice she had

started many years earlier when her parents entrusted her with looking after her three

brothers and three sisters.


Her prayer with her siblings was:  “If I’ve done anything today that you didn’t like or that

upset you, I want you to forgive me.”


“It worried her if she thought she had offended someone.  She never did anything to hurt

anybody,” said Colon Starrett.


Her children also remember one idiosyncrasy that was well known:  “She loved to iron and

she ironed everything in sight , even our socks and our underwear,” said Colon Starrett.


Contact Bob Burchette at 883-4422, Extension 234, or bburchette@news-record.com.



October 2006…We have two certified lay speakers, Ken Shaw and Linda Basher

Boyce Ray.  They have completed extensive training in how to speak and how to

Engage the scripture text.  They are given several opportunities to lead worship as well as

to preach for this sharpens both their public speaking skills as well as their proficiency in



Recently established an open assembly which meets before the Sunday School hour.  This

enables us to give special attention to any class that may need a substitute teacher or

perhaps restructuring.




BY Jamie Rivers

It’s a time of joy, a time of peace

A time when hearts are then set free

A time to heal the wounds of division

It’s a time of grace, a time of hope

A time of sharing the gifts we have

A time to build the world that is one.

It’s the time to give thanks to the Father, Son, and Spirit

And as we sing this song

Open your hearts to the Lord and begin to see the mystery

That we are all together as one family.

No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness and closed doors

For we are in the fullness of God’s time

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee!

It’s a time of prayer, a time of praise

A time to lift our hands to God

A time to recall all our graces

It’s a time to touch, time to reach

Those hearts that often wonder

A time to bring them back to God’s embrace.

Open your hearts to the Lord and begin to see the mystery

That we are all together as one family

No more walls, no more chains, no more selfishness and closed doors

For we are in the fullness of God’s time.

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee.

It’s the time of the Great Jubilee…


Lucy Berrier ran across this song – it talks about the Jubilee which she started in 2002.