Church History

 

Fort Payne First United Methodist Church, founded in 1885, has a rich history.

 

In 1885 we began as First Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Founded by the Rev. John W. Norton and the Rev. Joe I. Williams, meetings were held in an old frame school building on the southeast corner of Alabama Avenue and Second Street, North.

 

First Church Building Website Photo

The first church, a thirty by forty foot building with a belfry and bell located on the left side, was erected in 1887 for a cost of $546.00. The membership at this time was twenty-seven.  In 1921 this building was sold for $300.00 and moved to the north side of the Presbyterian Church in order to clear the property for the current sanctuary. Construction began the following year at a cost of about $30,000. Although completed several years earlier, the new building was dedicated on July 1, 1928, when the debt had been paid in full. The building was described at the time as being one of the "most beautiful and commodious" church buildings in Alabama. By this time, membership had grown to almost four hundred.

 

Second Church Building Website Photo

 The three story education building was added in 1956.With membership over nine hundred at this time, additional space for classrooms and activities was needed. This building also offered a large dining hall named "Cobble Hall" in honor of W.H. "Henry" Cobble, Sr. with an ample kitchen plus a beautiful chapel name "Betty Crow Chapel" in honor of Betty Crow. The "split chancel" was also created in the sanctuary about this time.   A major renovation of the sanctuary was undertaken in 1958 with the addition of wall-to-wall carpeting, the creation of a center aisle, and new front doors.

 

Recent improvements to the sanctuary include the addition of the beautiful cross above the altar (aprx. 2004), the addition of the copper-topped canopies over the lower church entrances, and the rugged coating covering the front steps (2012), provided by the Sanctuary Beautification Fund.

 

CLC Website Photo.jpgPlanning for the Christian Life Center began in 1998 with the hope of providing not only a place for contemporary worship, fellowship, and recreation but also a great expansion of the youth and children areas and an outstanding facility to offer for community use. The first worship service was held in August of 2000.

 

 

 

 

The first parsonage, a two-story frame building on Grand Avenue adjacent to the church, was erected in 1912 for a cost of $80.00. This was replaced in 1937 with the large brick structure now used as the administration building. Another parsonage was built facing Alabama Avenue in 1949 and served until the current residence on North Forrest Avenue was purchased in 1979.

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