Old Methodist Church

Methodist Church
This abandoned Methodist church dates back to 1905.

Methodism first came to Alabama as early as 1803. In 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church divided over the issue of slavery. In 1878, a small study group gathered in Birmingham to worship together to establish 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 Methodist churches established in Birmingham.

Methodist Church
Dozens of wooden pews remain in the abandoned church.
Methodist Church
A Wurlitzer organ rests on its side in the old church.
Methodist Church
The church has sat empty for decades.

In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church joined together to form what was then known as the Methodist Church, dropping the “Episcopal” and “South” from the name.

Methodist Church
Some windows were removed after the church closed, others fell out over time.
Methodist Church
Looking out over the massive sanctuary from the pulpit.
Methodist Church
Portions of the sanctuary floor have fallen into the basement.
Methodist Church
The balcony has partially collapsed over time.

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. Alabama faced the challenge of merging historically black congregations with traditionally white ones. In 1974, the Methodist church congregation joined with another Methodist church in a newer building. The following year, the church was shuttered and sold. The property has sat abandoned since 1975.

Methodist Church

Methodist Church
The church daycare was located in the basement.
Methodist Church
The wall falling down around the window.
Methodist Church
View from the balcony of the sanctuary.

15 Replies to “Old Methodist Church”

      1. Is this for sale, do you know?
        My fiance and I are looking to buy an old structure for our studios and gallery, also a home.

        Like

      2. Do you have any info on who owns it? I know someone very interested in it as a gothic wedding venue. As is.

        Like

  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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