Livingston Manor Methodist Church

    The Methodist Church is possibly the oldest existing building in our town, or at least the oldest existing building whose erection date was documented. And though much of the Purvis community was involved in this project, through donations and/or labor, two individuals are singled out by past historians for their important roles in the establishment of this church in 1857. 

    Edward Livingston not only donated the land for the church site, but also donated $500, a fund to be matched by the community. This fundraising chore was taken on by Jane Purvis, the local school teacher. Jane's parents worked for Mr. Livingston. Her father, Samuel, was the caretaker for the Livingston farm and her mother, named Samantha in Jack Sliter's biography of the Livingstons but is named what looks like on her weathered headstone as Sattilla, worked as Livingston's housekeeper. Some historians have the Purvis family living on the premises. If so, Jane certainly would have had the opportunity to express her thoughts on the need for a church to Mr. Livingston.

    Young, energetic, and persistent, Jane not only signed on subscribers in Purvis, but also many people from our neighboring communities. Her efforts were rewarded when she was able to double the matching fund stipulated by Mr. Livingston. Past town historian, Herb Mussman, puts Jane's age during this time as "barely 20 years of age", but her headstone cites her death in 1908 at the age of 77. This would have her being around 25 years young during this period. By the way, Jane, her parents, and Edward Livingston are all buried in the Rock Avenue Cemetery, right behind the church that they helped create.