Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
First United Methodist Church
“Growing in Christ, Sharing Godís Love”
The historic First United Methodist Church is the oldest continually meeting congregation in Decatur and the only downtown church still worshiping in its nineteenth century sanctuary.
Circuit riders served local Methodists from 1827 until the 1840ís. In 1834 this congregation of approximately 67 white and black members built the Methodist Episcopal Church, the first house of worship in Decatur, at the corner of Railroad Street and Church Street. In 1854 black members began meeting separately, forming what later became historic Kingís Memorial United Methodist Church.
The Methodist Episcopal congregation worshiped in the 1834 building until the War Between the States when Confederates used it as a hospital. Union troops later camped in and around the building. Near warís end, Federal forces dismantled the church building along with all but four Decatur structures.
The Methodist Church, known then as The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, relocated and built a frame structure on the present site in 1868.
The tower bell was donated to the church by a former Union officer who moved to Decatur. The bell still calls people to worship, alerts the community to disaster and celebrates major events.
Thirty years later the congregation moved the 1868
Using mostly local talent and labor, plus donated material and funds, the total cost of the building and furnishing was $14,460.
The congregation dedicated the building on Easter Sunday, 1890. Growth of the church membership resulted in expanded fellowship and classroom facilities in 1927, 1955, 1991 and 2008.
Despite warís destruction, two yellow fever epidemics in Decatur, several name changes and the cityís economic struggles, Decaturís First United Methodist Church continues to share the faith and serve the community and world.
Erected 2016 by Alabama Historical Association.
Location. 34° 36.74′ N, 86° 59.022′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of Canal Street Northeast and Lafayette Street Northeast, on the right when traveling south on Canal Street Northeast. Touch for map. Marker
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To Commemorate the Passage of The Olympic Torch (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Decatur Historic District/Old State Bank (about 500 feet away); Historic Downtown/Founders Park (about 500 feet away); “A Hard Nut To Crack” - Federal Defenses at Decatur (about 500 feet away); Battle of Decatur (about 600 feet away); Rising Sun Lodge No. 29 (about 600 feet away); Old State Bank Building (about 700 feet away); Hoodís Middle Tennessee Campaign and The Battle for Decatur (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
Also see . . . Decatur First United Methodist Church. (Submitted on April 16, 2017.)
Categories. • Churches & Religion • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page was last revised on April 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 15, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 15, 2017, by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.