Historic Markers Across Alabama

The First United Methodist Church of Tallassee Founded 1853

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: 1 Jordan Ave, Tallassee, AL
County: Elmore
Coordinates: N 32° 32.186    W 085° 53.908
  32.53643333    -85.89846666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMHTD7


Side 1:
The history of this church encompasses the span of worldwide Methodism from the time of John Wesley to the present. A Methodist Society was organized in Tallassee in1853 by 15 charter members who gathered in the "White Store," a mill company store located on Barnett Boulevard. They erected the first church building at the northwest end of King Street in 1854. The church, built by Archibald Patterson, seated 450 and had a balcony for black members. The first minister was Harris Stearns. Another early preacher at this church was Anson West, author of Methodism in Alabama. He was followed by a long line of distinguished, scholarly pastors. The earliest reported marriage was that of W.A. Atkins to Matilda Jane Wilson on May 2, 1866. In 1898, an Upjohn-style church was built on King Street. Bishop Asa Candler dedicated this building, which was later used by Tallassee schools and burned in 1940. On June 26, 1926, members voted to construct the congregation's current brick church at 1 Jordan Avenue. On February 29, 1929, Bishop Hoyt M. Dobbs presided over Opening Day.

Side 2:
The first funeral held in this church was that of Kate Burton Herren on January 14, 1929. The first wedding was that of W. Silas Mulder and Sarah Sasser. The church then had an Exhorter, L. M. Lackey and a Lay Leader, Meron Robinson. In 1936, Bishop John Lloyd Decell presided over the burning of the church mortgage. Rev. James E. Tate organized the 1953 Centennial Homecoming. The two-story Annex was built under the pastorate of Rev. Joe Ed Hastings, whose father, F.G. Hastings, had guided the construction of this church. The church bell is inscribed "Jones and Company, Troy, New York, 1855." What began as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, is now the First United Methodist Church of Tallassee. From 2004-2005, this church underwent a restoration under Shook Whorton of Montgomery, AL. In 2004, the Heritage Committee of the Alabama-West Florida Conference awarded the FUMC of Tallassee the Church Heritage Award. It was listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 2003.

This information compiled by Olivia Pienezza Solomon
Author of Our Bethel, a history of this church

End of The First United Methodist Church of Tallassee Founded 1853