Historic Markers Across Alabama

Original Site of Lakeside United Methodist Church 1866-1968

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: at the intersection of Jefferson Street N and Meridan Street NW, Huntsville, AL
County: Madison
Coordinates: N 34° 43.987    W 086° 35.286
  34.73311666    -86.5881
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased this property in 1866, and the congregation erected a frame building with a brick basement in 1867. The Rev. Howell Echols was the first pastor. In 1886, a brick building, constructed from dismantled materials from the original Episcopal Church of the Nativity, was dedicated. The property was sold during urban renewal in the 1960's, and the congregation moved to 3738 Meridian Street in 1968. The building on this site was destroyed by fire, and many items, including church records, stained glass windows, cornerstones, and a chandelier, were lost.

For more than a century at this site, Lakeside provided educational, political, and cultural leaders for Huntsville. The first city-supported school for blacks was located in the basement (1867-1890), with Henry C. Binford, Charles Hendley, Jr., and Thomas Cooper as principals. Six of the nine black Aldermen in Huntsville from 1880-1905 were members of the church: Thomas Townsend, Nelson Hendley, David and Daniel Brandon, Dr. Burgess E. Scruggs, and Henry C. Binford. Mary Binford Johnson began the Annual Harvest Cultural Festival in 1901 in the basement and the first public library for blacks was opened there in 1940 by Dulcina DeBerry.

Erected 1997 by Alabama Historical Association

End of Original Site of Lakeside United Methodist Church 1866-1968