The Methodist Church at Washington, Mississippi was organized in 1799 by Rev. Tobias Gibson, who came from South Carolina.This was the first Methodist church organized in Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi. It has the oldest congregation and the second oldest church building in Mississippi.
Charter members of the church were Randal Gibson and his wife, Harriet McKinley Gibson; William Foster and his wife, Rachel Smith Foster; Caleb Worley, a young man from Pennsylvania; and two servants whose identities are uncertain.
Services were held in a schoolhouse and the home of Randal Gibson until 1805. A union church was then built near the Jefferson College campus, and it was used by all denominations until it burned in 1810. In 1812, a lot of the Jefferson College campus was secured from Lorenzo Dow, and a brick church building was erected. It was used until the present Methodist Church was constructed in 1828. This building was remodeled and the balconies were removed in 1902. A Sunday School annex, built in 1946, was removed and replaced by the current fellowship building in 1995.
Events in the church history include the wedding of Jonathan Jones and Miss Phebe Griffing, performed by Rev. Tobias Gibson on October 10, 1799. A Woman’s Society was organized in the church in 1823, with Mrs. John C. Burruss, wife of the pastor, as president. Mrs. Caroline Matilda Thayer, head of Elizabeth Academy, was one of the leaders of this Society. Elizabeth Academy was established in 1818 as a Methodist school for girls. The students were an active part of this congregation until the school closed in 1845. Many of the Jefferson College students also attended this church.
A Sunday School was recorded in 1877, with Stephen L. Guice as superintendent. There was a Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society active in 1887. J. Allen Lindsey, a member of the Mississippi Conference, was licensed to preach from this church. At least eleven of the pastors of the church had sons who entered the ministry.