In 1842, several families organized a congregation that met at a small
meeting place located on the north side of the Federal Road, about 12 miles west
of the Chattahoochee River. This "preaching place," known as Glenn Chapel, was
near what is now the Greene home on US Highway 431. When the church was
dismantled in 1866, the congregation built
a church in Seale near the railroad, on a site that is now the cemetery. The present church building was constructed around 1876.
We have approximately 40 members, with an average Sunday worship attendance of 20,
and Sunday School, 10. The Official Board of Seale UMC also
administers the Seale Cemetery, which is adjacent to the church.
For many years, our church was part of a charge (circuit) that included
Alexandria United Methodist Church in Ft. Mitchell, Alabama, with the parsonage
in Seale. Although we have had some full-time ministers, many have been students
who were with us only a few days a week. We are proud of our church's historic
role as a real-world classroom for student ministers. These students lived in
Atlanta during the week and attended classes in the Candler School of Theology
at Emory University. On the weekends and during holidays, they lived in Seale
and ministered to us. And then they graduated, and left us for a full-time
ministry! Currently, we share a full-time minister with Summerville United
Methodist Church in Phenix City.
Seale, Alabama, is an unincorporated residential community 15 miles southwest of Phenix City and
Columbus, Georgia. Although Seale is technically in the Central Time Zone, most of the residents choose to live on Eastern, or "fast" time,
because they work in Columbus or Ft. Benning. The schools, post office, and
Seale UMC are on Eastern time. However, we vote on Central time!
In the mid 1800's, the small trading town called Silver Run (after one of the many creeks in the area) was identified with the railroad station
named for Colonel Arnold Seale--first as Seale's Station in 1856, and then simply as Seale. The county seat was moved from Crawford to Seale, the
geographical center of Russell County, in 1868, and a two-story courthouse was built in the center of town. Soon, Seale had a hotel, a
bank, a drugstore, a school, and several general mercantile stores, warehouses, mills, and churches.
In 1935, the county seat was again moved, this time to Phenix City. (Phenix City and Hurtsboro are the only incorporated towns in Russell
County.) The old courthouse building was abandoned as a branch judicial center in the 1940s. Used as a basketball court in the 1950s, the second-floor courtroom
gradually became a home for hundreds of pigeons, and the building was left to deteriorate. The hotel, bank, drugstore, mercantile stores,
warehouses, and mills also closed; most of these buildings have disappeared.
The old courthouse building was saved in 1975 by a committee of concerned citizens and was improved (new roof, electricity,
plumbing, air-conditioning, elevator) with proceeds from the annual Old Russell County Courthouse Fair on Labor Day. The courthouse is now used
as a special events center for weddings, dances, reunions, and meetings.
Today, Seale is the home of three large schools in the Russell County School System: Russell County High School, Russell
County Middle School, and Oliver Elementary School. The secondary students are bused from Ladonia, Dixie, Ft. Mitchell, Pittsview, Glenville, Uchee,
Cottonton, Hatchechubbee, and Hurtsboro. The Russell County Sports Complex and a sheriff's and ambulance station are next to the middle and high
schools. Our post office serves over 1500 mailboxes on four routes.