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Opelika in Lee County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

First United Methodist Church

 
 
First United Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
1. First United Methodist Church Marker
Inscription.
Established as the first religious organization in the area in 1837 with 22 members as Lebanon Methodist Episcopal Church, around which the village of Opelika developed. Moved to present location in 1879 as Opelika Station, Montgomery District, Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Red brick steepled building completed in 1881. Renamed “First Methodist Episcopal Church, South of Opelika” by Quarterly Conference in 1905. Remodeled in 1909 to present Classical Revival style characterized by fluted columns, Corinthian capitals, and sanctuary dome.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Opelika First United Methodist Church 1987

 
Erected 1987 by Historic Chattahoochee Commission.
 
Location. 32° 38.883′ N, 85° 22.658′ W. Marker is in Opelika, Alabama, in Lee County. Marker is at the intersection of Avenue A and South 7th Street, on the right when traveling west on Avenue A. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 702 Avenue A, Opelika AL 36801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rosseau's Raid to East Alabama (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Railroad Avenue Historic District
First United Methodist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
2. First United Methodist Church Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Lee County Courthouse / Lee County Probate Judges (approx. 0.2 miles away); South Railroad Avenue (approx. 0.2 miles away); Emmanuel Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Killgore Scholarships / Some Terms of Scholarships (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thompson Chapel (approx. half a mile away); Lieutenant Colonel Dallas B. Smith (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Opelika.
 
Also see . . .  History of First United Methodist Church, Opelika. (Submitted on August 25, 2013, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.)
 
Additional comments.
1. Serving Ministers of First United Methodist Church, Opelika
Lebanon: 1837-1857, The First 10

Rev. James Capps, Rev. Isaac Falkenberry, Rev. Luke Mizell, Rev. Francis LaFayette Cherry, Daniel Bullard, Young Edwards, William Barnett, William Williams, Rev. David Lockhart and Rev. William Burney Neal.

Opelika, church first location 1858-1879

Rev. Mark S. Andrews;; 1863,
First United Methodist Church, Opelika image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
3. First United Methodist Church, Opelika
Rev. John E. Treadwell; 1864, Rev. Epaminondas D. Pitts; 1865, Rev. Edward Joseph Hamell; 1866, Rev. James W. Glenn; 1867-70, Rev. Josiah Barker; 1871-72, Rev. William M. Motley; 1873-75, Rev. R. B. Crawford; 1876-78, Rev. Allen S. Andrews; 1879-82.

Current location 1879 to date.

Rev. J. S. Rencher; 1883-86, Rev. Josiah Bancroff; 1887-88, Rev. William M. Motley; 1889, Rev. Theophilies Fields Mangum; 1890-92, Rev. J. M. Mason; 1893-96, Dr. Oliver Clark McGehee; 1897-1900, Dr. Henry D. Moore; 1901 Rev. J. W. Shoaff; 1902-03, Dr. W. P. Dickinson; 1904-06, Dr. J. M. Dannelly; 1907, Rev. A. P. McFerrin; 1907-10, Dr. Hannibal H. McNeil; 1911-1914, Rev. E. C. Moore; 1914, Rev. A. P. McFerrin; 1915-17, Dr. W. M Cox; 1918-19, Rev. C. W. Northcutt; 1920, Rev. M. E. Lazenby; 1921-22 Rev. Jonathan C. James; 1923-25, Rev. Jonathan W. Budd; 1926, Rev. W. F. Cann; 1927-29, Rev. Percy Spencer Hudson; 1930-30, Rev. Jonathan C. James; 1933-35, Rev. Norman McLeod; 1936-39, Rev. W. M. Curtis; 1940-42, Rev. J. W. Frazier; 1943-44, Rev. D. H. McNeal; 1945-47, Rev. T. S. Harris 1947-50, Rev. M. C. "Si" Mathison; 1950-62, Rev. C. Everett Barnes; 1962-68, Rev. Torrence Holder Maxey; 1968-72, Rev. Floyd Carson Enfinger; 1972-76, Rev. J. Walter Ellisor; 1976-81, Rev. William Earl Calhoun; 1981-84, Rev. Frank A. Arnold, Jr. 1984-89, Rev. David Chunn; 1989-93, Rev. Donald K. Fuller;
First United Methodist Church, Opelika prior to the 1909 remodeling. image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
4. First United Methodist Church, Opelika prior to the 1909 remodeling.
1993-97, Rev. Timothy H. Thompson; 1997-03, Rev. James Sanders; 2003-07, Rev. William E. Elwell; 2007-08, Rev. David Chunn; Interim, Rev. Timothy H. Thompson; 2008-10, Rev. Randal M. Woodham; 2010- Current.
    — Submitted August 25, 2013, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama.

 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
Outside view of the dome that was added during the 1909 remodeling. image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
5. Outside view of the dome that was added during the 1909 remodeling.
Inside view of the dome that was added during the 1909 remodeling. image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
6. Inside view of the dome that was added during the 1909 remodeling.
The Church Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
7. The Church Sanctuary
The Church Sanctuary image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
8. The Church Sanctuary
The site of the original founding church in the former Lebanon Community of Russell County, Alabama image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
9. The site of the original founding church in the former Lebanon Community of Russell County, Alabama
The 22 founding church members built their first meeting house on this site in 1837 on what is now Old Columbus Road 2 miles south of today' church. The members spent $220 constructing the hand-hewn 22 by 24 foot log church. The church was then known as Lebanon. The church's early ministers came from the founding families of Barnett, Bullard, Capps, Edwards, Falkenberry, Mizell and Williams. By the mid 1850's, Lebanon was straining at the seems, and the congregation looked northward toward the emerging and fast-growing community of Opelika. The Lebanon congregation split off, one group of members organized another church several miles further south of the original church. The other group built their first new church home on a lot north of the railroad in Opelika in 1857.
Daughter of the American Revolution Marker placed at the site of the founding church in 1937. image. Click for full size.
By Timothy Carr, August 24, 2013
10. Daughter of the American Revolution Marker placed at the site of the founding church in 1937.
Here In 1837 was Lebanon A Methodist Meeting House Around Which Grew up Opelika. Placed by Martha Wales Jefferson Chapter D. A. R.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 25, 2013, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. This page has been viewed 509 times since then and 67 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on August 25, 2013, by Timothy Carr of Birmingham, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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