Methodist Church

Methodism first came to Alabama as early as 1803. In 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church split into the Methodist Episcopal Church, South over the issue of slavery. In 1878, a small study group gathered in Birmingham to worship together with the aim of establishing the community’s first church. The church would be named Methodist Episcopal Church, South. By the end of the 1800s, there were at least 11 churches established in Birmingham. The congregation was able to move into their new church in 1904.

Methodist ChurchMethodist ChurchMethodist Church

In 1939, the separate Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and the Methodist Protestant Church joined to form what was then known as the Methodist Church. The “Episcopal” and “South” were removed from the name. The Methodist Church was then subdivided into jurisdictions that were further subdivided into conferences. Known officially as Annual Conferences, they were simply the annual gathering of all the congregations within their respective geographical area.

Methodist ChurchMethodist Church

Methodist ChurchMethodist Church

By the 1970s, the Methodist Church had been through a name change, as the Methodist Churches of America became The United Methodist Church when they united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUBC) in 1968. The merger had the practical effect of ending segregation nationally within the denomination, as Alabama faced the challenge of merging historically black congregations with historically white ones. In 1974, the North Birmingham congregation merged with another Methodist congregation about 10 miles north. The following year, the church property was shuttered and sold. The Methodist Church has been left vacant since 1975.

Methodist ChurchMethodist ChurchMethodist Church

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9 Replies to “Methodist Church”

  1. This is a facinating history. In your research did you learn where the AME church began? I grew up in Birmingham and was always perplexed when I would see that as part of the name. I think I was told that it stood for African Methodist Episcopal. I could not figure out how that mix ever came into being; it just seemed so odd to me.

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  2. The inside of this churvh is very similiar to the First United Methodist church on Arlington Avenue and 19th street in Bessemer. The congregation merged in with another church probably about 10 yrs ago. Old buildings are sad when they are left alone.

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