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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cahaba in Dallas County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Methodist Church

 
 
Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
1. Methodist Church Marker
Was built in the Greek Revival Style
Inscription. These ruins were once a place of worship for members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Built in 1849, it was the first single denomination church in Cahawba. An earlier church for the common use of all denominations was erected about 1840. Previous to that date, public worship was held in Alabama's Statehouse or in the Dallas County Courthouse.

Although not a member of the church at the time, William Curtis, one of Cahawba's oldest citizens, donated this land so a Methodist Church could be built. The first minister assigned to the church, Rev. James L. Cotten, fell in love with Curtis' youngest daughter Lucy.

Mr. Curtis opposed their marriage because of Cotten's “want of education, indolence, excessive levity, transient life, and manners" - also because he had 'paid attentions to Miss Brown!" Despite her father's opinion, Lucy eventually accepted Rev. Cotten's proposal. They were married on March 7, 1853.

St. Paul's African Methodist Episcopal Church
During his first year in Cahawba, Rev. James L. Cotten's congregation was composed of eighty-three whites and one hundred and fifty African Americans. At first, he held services for the enslaved people under the floor of a cotton warehouse. Later he was able to obtain a lot nearby so the African Americans could build their own
Burned out former Methodist Church and Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
2. Burned out former Methodist Church and Marker.
log church. Always, worship was overseen by the white minister.

So when emancipation came, Cahawba's African American residents wanted a church that was truly their own. They formed an African Methodist Episcopal congregation. Cahawba's white Methodists had moved away, so the Black congregation was able to use this vacated church. From then on, this building was known as St. Paul's A.M.E. Church.

In 1954, sparks from a fire in the nearby woods ignited the wooden steeple. The brick walls toppled before the fire squad could respond. In the end, the number of worshipers had dwindled to seven.
 
Erected 2015 by the Alabama Historical Commission.
 
Location. 32° 18.995′ N, 87° 5.978′ W. Marker is in Cahaba, Alabama, in Dallas County. Marker is on Mulberry Street south of First South Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Located within the Cahawba Archaeological Park (nominal fee required). Marker is at or near this postal address: Mulberry Street, Orrville AL 36767, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Anna Gayle Fry House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alabama's First Statehouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Footprint of a Church
View of marker looking north towards the former one room school. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
3. View of marker looking north towards the former one room school.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Cahawba - circa 1500 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Who Lived Here? (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cahaba First State Capital (approx. 0.2 miles away); Vine Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Welcome to Downtown Cahawba (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cahaba.
 
Also see . . .  Old Cahawba Archaeological Park - Alabama Historical Commission. (Submitted on January 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Churches & ReligionSettlements & Settlers
 
Entrance sign to the Cahawba Archaeological Park. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, January 6, 2018
4. Entrance sign to the Cahawba Archaeological Park.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 98 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 7, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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