History of the Lexington United Methodist Church

The information contained in this album has been compiled for historical purposes.  It is a testament to our ancestors who persevered so that the United Methodist Church in Lexington, Alabama, exists today.

Sources of information

Mrs. Glenn Pender’s picture album

 

Mrs. Hildred Porter’s “History of the Lexington United Methodist Church” from 1853 through 1995

 

Fred Johnson’s manuscript titled “I’m from Lexington”, 1989





1853

As early as 1853 there was a Methodist Church in Lexington. It was a log building, and it was destroyed during the Civil War, along with a Cumberland Presbyterian and a Primitive Baptist Church. People of the area could hear the roar of the cannon fire and the fire of the gunboats on Sunday and Monday (April 6 and 7, 1862) during the Battle of Shiloh. Travel to church was on foot, horseback, or in a wagon pulled by steers. Mail was received three times a week, and a round trip to Tuscumbia to purchase wagons of supplies took ten days. After the Civil War, an old building with its partitions removed, located just east of our current building, was used by the Methodists as a meeting place. This building was blown away in a cyclone. For a while afterward, the Methodists had a church at Asbury, two miles north of Lexington in Tennessee.

 

Church buildings and meeting locations

Log Cabin – destroyed during the Civil war

Renovated abandoned building – Cyclone

Asbury – temporarily met with Asbury congregation

1916 White church facing north – burned

Two-story white structure – temporary

White church – demolished

1949 Brick church – demolished

2005 Brick church – current structure


 


 

1902

In September of 1902, Reverend G. M. Randle, pastor of the Rogersville Circuit of which the Asbury Church was a part, held a meeting in Lexington to organize a church. This church began with 18 charter members. They were:

James P. Campbell Catherine E. Belew

Mary E. Campbell John A Glover

Hannah E. McGuire Mattie D. Phillips

Robert H. McGuire Isabelle Smith

Susie E. McGuire Julia A. Malone

James W. Porter Liddy D. Green

Robert L. Moore Eliza E. Green

Cynthia J. Jackson Rev. Francis Glover

Mary Agnes Lanier Mollie M. Glover

Mrs. Mattie Phillips was the first to sign the charter, and the presiding elder at that time was S. L. Dobbs.


1916

A lot was deeded by Mr. A.L. Phillips for a building. This church faced north and had a fence around it. There were many trees on the lot. The building was furnished with benches and an organ.

This building was also used by other denominations in the neighborhood for services, and community singing schools were often held there. It served as a school in 1909.

On the fourth Sunday afternoon in May of 1916, this building was destroyed by fire. The towering smoke could be seen for miles around. It was thought that some young boys who were playing in the vestibule may have started a fire.





































1917

After the fire, the congregation held services in the schoolhouse. Reverend S. W. Brooks was pastor. They soon made plans to replace the church. A more modern building was finished a year later in 1917. This church was a white frame, one-story building with a bell tower, facing west. It was furnished with an organ and chairs were used instead of benches. We were then the Methodist Episcopal South. In the 1920’s records, the average weekly collection at one time was $1.20. People had a difficult time getting to church because of bad roads and modes of transportation especially in the winter months. 




A lot was deeded from the “Preacher Thigpen” family. The building was started ca.1917, but not completed until two years later when the Masonic Fraternity took up the project and built over the church. When finished, it was said to be “as good as any church building in Lauderdale County”. For 30 years the Lexington Church of Christ met in the first story of the building. The Masonic Fraternity used the second story of the building. The Methodist congregation met in the second story. The building continued to be used by the Masonic Fraternity and the first floor was used for voting.




to be continued