A Brief History of First United Methodist Church

The first Methodist congregation of Monroeville was organized in 1821 in a log building at Double Branches, and they established the First Methodist Church within Monroeville city limits in 1835.  Shortly thereafter, the congregation build a wooden frame building at the corner of Claiborne and Sumter Avenue (next to the old cemetery).  This building was extensively remodeled in 1880., including the addition of a steeple and bell.  In 1916, a handsome brick church with beautiful stained glass windows was constructed on the southeast corner of the square (now Alabama Avenue and East Claiborne Street).  Fire destroyed this structure in 1929, but the pews, pulpit appointments and stained glass windows were saved  Soon thereafter, our current site was purchased at what is now 324 Pineville Road.  A new sanctuary was constructed here using the original stained glass windows rescued from the burnt structure.  It featured Georgian architecture with a columned portico protecting a dignified entranceway.  Along with the 250-seat sanctuary, the building included educational rooms, a fellowship hall, and kitchen.  The initial service in this sanctuary was held on Sunday, August 2, 1931.  In 1951, a steeple was added along with more educational space.  A brick parsonage was also erected directly across the street.  In 1983, the nursery was moved, the kitchen was enlarged, and the sanctuary was totally renovated.  In 1994, offices were consolidated into a refurbished west wing.  In 1997, the east wing was remodeled, a bride’s room was added, and the Alice Lee Conference Room was created and furnished in honor of Ms. Alice Finch Lee.  In 1999, Wesley Wing, a large two-story educational building, was consecrated.  This newest addition includes a commercial-type kitchen, a 300-seat fellowship hall with theatrical-quality stage, classrooms for children and youth and a choir suite consisting of robing rooms, choral and handbell rehearsal rooms, and the music director’s office.  Our parking lot was also reworked with additional parking added in front and in back of Wesley Wing.