Perry (Pap) Hamer’s family church where Fannie Lou would often sing when they visited his family members in Kilmichael.
The original Shady Grove Methodist Church in Kilmichael, Ms. was torn down and rebuilt about 5 miles away to its new location, near what is now known as Minerva Road. The move was necessary because the roads were so bad, congregants, most of which did not have transportation, were unable to attend services in the winter. Only a few members had cars, but the roads were so wet and muddy, attending church was still difficult. In November 1956, church members had a vision to move the church and they purchased the land from Mr. Levander Eiland. Lumber from the original structure was used in the new building that was constructed where the roads were better taken care of. In April 1957, the doors to the new church were opened and the first church service was held.
The original Shady Grove congregation consisted mostly of “kinfolks”, the Hamers, including Pap’s father, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. “It was all Hamers,” said Cornelia (Yvonne) Hamer, who was married to Pap and Fannie Lou’s nephew, Robert. “There were very few members who weren’t Hamers or at least related to them. And they buried there dead up there in what they called, The Marshall’s Cemetery because there was a family that lived on down the road and their name was Marshall.”
Pap’s father, stepmother, three brothers and other family members are buried in the new Shady Grove United Methodist Church cemetery.