Historical Sketch of St. James Christian Methodist Church
– Columbus, Georgia –
During the 1800’s a group of dedicated Christian pioneers in Chattahoochee County, GA formed a primitive bush arbor structure. This is believed to be the beginning of the congregation that is presently known as St. James CME Church in Columbus, Georgia.

The following names are indicated as founders of that first church: Polley Walker, Surrey Cobb, Floyd Benning, Sr., Bill Schley, Reed McBride, Matthew McBride, Anderson McBride Oates, Andy Kincage, Ida McBride, Jana Harris, Cynthia Schley, Annie L. Wardlaw, Alice Wardlaw, Irene Sapp, Nora Sapp, Nora Odum, Martha Thomas, Paralie McBride, Jane
Young, Hassie Bailey, Marguerite Chester, Ethel Young and Lottie Lunford.


St. James Christian Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1858 as a negro congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. It became St. James Colored Methodist Episcopal church in 1870 in Jackson, Tennessee. (the name “colored” was changed to ”Christian” at the 1954 General Conference. St James was donated property in
Chattahoochee County after its formation and remained in Chattahoochee County until 1918. The congregation then moved to Muscogee County where it has had several locations, before locating at 380 Dawson Drive, which is presently renamed Northstar Drive.


The first cornerstone at the present location was laid in 1936. The Rev I. D. Mitchell was the Pastor and The Rev. S.A. Thomas, presiding Elder. It was at this location that the newly assigned Rev. C. L. Miller initiated a building fund to begin construction of the first brick structure. This building was completed in 1959 under the Pastorate of Rev. Swelling and the cornerstone was laid under the pastorate of Rev. L. L. Napier in 1961.

The Pastors(some recorded with first names) are Rev. Williams Sapp, Dozier, Jackson, Harding, Huling, Swelling, I.D. Mitchell, Jenkins, Crumbly, Hill, Gates, Mahone, Edwards, C.L. Miller, L.L. Napier, C.L. Jones, Thomas L. Brown, Jerome B. Price, Nathaniel J. Smith, Jesse Averett, Jr., Charles Richards, Kenneth Hollingshed, Dr. James A. Hawkins, Sr., Rev. Reginald G. Barnes, Sr, Rev. Dr. Earl J. Griffin, Sr, Rev Bernard M. Jackson, Rev. Leon C. Moore, Jr. and Rev TJ Davis, Jr.
Since September 2016, St. James Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, “God’s Glowing Star On Northstar”, has been under the pastorate of Rev. Lavisha S. Williams. Our church, which started from a small band of spirited, dedicated members, continues to hold the banner high for Jesus. St. James will embrace our future with confidence that the God who has been with us down through the years will be with us forevermore and we know that THE BEST IS YET TO COME!