Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church
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Church History
The church that is now Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church grew out of the Towns County Mission of the 1830's. Circuit Riders served the congregation during the next 50 years and became part of the local history. When the North Georgia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in Georgia established a school for the children in the North Georgia Mountains (McTyeire Institute, later Young Harris College) a new Methodist congregation was organized under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.
  The first permanent home for this congregation was the Susan B. Harris Chapel, built in 1892. This chapel was built as a memorial to the late wife of Judge Young L. G. Harris, a prominent Methodist layman from Athens, Georgia. The Susan B. Harris Chapel housed the Methodist congregation until January 29,1949, when Sharp Memorial Methodist Church was established in honor of the late Dr. Joseph Astor Sharp. The Susan B. Harris Chapel continues to serve the Young Harris College campus today. Dr. Joseph A. Sharp was born in 1864 and graduated from Emory at Oxford in 1892. He served as president of Young Harris College over 25 years and was active in ministering to the members of the congregation during his tenure at Young Harris College. He was a dedicated and attentive man who inspired many generations of students at the college and left a lasting impression on the church congregation and the community. Dr. Sharp died in 1930 and is buried in the Old Union Cemetery in his beloved Young Harris.

On May 29, 1949 Sharp Memorial Methodist Church was dedicated by Bishop Arthur J. Moore with over 750 people in attendance, including Dr. Sharp's widow and granddaughter. Today, Sharp Memorial stands at the entrance to Young Harris College. The current Pastor of Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church is Rev. Stephen Soulen, who joins a long list of proud servants who ministered to the Methodist congregation in Young Harris. Rev. Stephen Soulon is the 44th pastor of Sharp Memorial- a complete list of Pastoral Leadership includes:
1892- Towns County Mission - J.N. Snow
1893- Towns County Mission- H.B. Mays
1894- Young Harris - Loy Warwick
1895 - Young Harris - A.F. Nunn
1896 - Young Harris- C. C. Spence
1897 - Young Harris - W.F. Robinson
1898- Young Harris Mission - W.S. Robinson
1899- Young Harris - J.A. Sharp, supply
1900- Young Harris - C.C. Jarrell
1901- Young Harris- T.C. Hughes, supply
1904- Young Harris Mission- J.L. Algood
1905- Young Harris & Blairsville Mission- T. J. Branson, supply
1906- Young Harris - W.H. Clark
1908- Young Harris - J.A. Sharp, E.L. Adams, supply
1909- Young Harris- G.W. Hamilton, W.J. Culpepper, supply
1912- Young Harris - W.A. Woodruff
1914- Young Harris- B.H. Greene
1916- Young Harris- V.L. Bray
1917- Young Harris - W.E. Purcell
1918- Young Harris- J.L. Hall
1919- Young Harris- C.F. Hughes
1920- Young Harris- J.L. Hall
1922- Young Harris- Nath Thompson
1926- Young Harris- C.M. Haynes
1930- Young Harris- R.B. Hawkins
1932- Young Harris- A.B. Elizer
1934- Young Harris- C.D. Read
1940- Young Harris- J.W. Chidsey
1943- Young Harris- H.L. Mitcham
1945- Young Harris- R.L. Whitehead
1947- Young Harris- Dow Kirkpatrick
1949- Sharp Memorial - Dow Kirkpatrick
1951- Sharp Memorial- L.F. Huckaby
1953- Sharp Memorial - W. Thomas Smith
1957- Sharp Memorial - John M. Minter
1960- Sharp Memorial- Herchel H. Sheets
1964- Sharp Memorial- Jesse Warwick, Jr.
1967- Sharp Memorial - John W. Kay
1980- Sharp Memorial - Fred Whitley
1982- Sharp Memorial- Dan T. Brown
1984- Sharp Memorial- Frank B. Orr
1991- Sharp Memorial- Mack W. Riley
1996- Sharp Memorial- Patty Ryle Clay
2005- Sharp Memorial- Darris Baker
2011- Sharp Memorial- David Tinsley
2019- Sharp Memorial- Stephen Soulen
Note - Compiled from information made available by Sharp Memorial United Methodist Church,
Young Harris College Library, Young Harris Alumni Foundation, E.L.
Adams and S.B.Tolar