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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

King's Memorial United Methodist Church

 
 
King's Memorial United Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
1. King's Memorial United Methodist Church Marker
Inscription.  King's Memorial United Methodist Church, formerly St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, evolved out of the Decatur First Methodist Episcopal Church. founded in 1827. In 1854, Richard Rather, Charity Barnes Rather, and Robert Murphy led the church's black congregants in hiring Sawney Price to build a separate sanctuary for them at Lafayette and Bank Street. After the Civil War, Northern Methodists returned to Alabama and, in 1867 at Talladega, the congregation was received into the Alabama Conference. During this Reconstruction era, the Methodist Freedmen's Aid Society used the church building, then located on Market and Oak Street, as a school. In 1881, the congregation moved to this site, soon after which the City of Decatur leased the church building as the first city-supported facility for black education. Lightning destroyed the church building and parsonage in 1907. The congregation worshipped in railroad cars until famed architect Wallace A. Rayfield was employed to design a raised cottage-style brick sanctuary. The Rev. Willis Jefferson King, later elected Bishop, was invited to lead a revival which proved so successful that the congregation
King's Memorial United Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
2. King's Memorial United Methodist Church Marker
changed the church's name to honor the preacher's father in 1908. In 1978, King's Memorial and Jones Chapel Congregations united to strengthen the Methodist presence in the area. Church buildings built in 1986 and 2014 are currently located on this McCartney Street site.
 
Erected 2014 by Alabama Historical Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & Religion.
 
Location. 34° 36.955′ N, 86° 59.405′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is on Vine Street Northeast south of McCartney Street Northwest, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 702 McCartney Street Northwest, Decatur AL 35601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Missionary Baptist Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Town Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); African American Heritage in Old Town Decatur, Alabama (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Decatur Historic District / Historic Depot (approx. ¼ mile away); First Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); Schaudies - Banks Cottage (approx. 0.3 miles away); “An Affair Most Important to Us” - The Federal Right, October 27-28, 1864
King's Memorial United Methodist Church sign image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, August 2, 2020
3. King's Memorial United Methodist Church sign
The sign features the cornerstones from the church's previous buildings. Etched on the left stone: "Kings Memorial ME Church 1908 L.H. Hunley Pastor". Etched on the right stone: "St Paul's ME Church [missing text]xon, Pastor [missing text]1892".
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Dancy-Polk House (circa 1829) (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 57 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 26, 2021