The First United Methodist Church
By Ashley Reitz
One of the Jefferson Counties very early places to worship was in an old log church. This cabin was built in Jefferson County in 1828. The Methodist Episcopal Church loaned out for this building, although it wasn't where they had their services.
The very early Methodist Church was built in 1850 on the corner of Jefferson Street and Diamond Alley where the Municipal Building is now located. This building was destroyed in a disastrous fire that swept Brookville in 1856.
Later in 1857 the congregation completed a new church. This building was later sold in 1885 because the church needed more room to hold a growing congregation. Then a new brick church was used for the services, it was on the East side of Pickering Street, across from the present church.
The church experienced phenomenal growth between 1886 and 1911. This growth lead to a new Gothic church constructed of Bedford Limestone at the present building. In October 21, 1921, this building was also destroyed by fire. Irreplaceable church records were also destroyed in this fire. Afterwards the services were held in the Pickering Street Church. Although it had been sold, it was made available by the owner. The building remained unchanged. Plans to rebuild were started at once. The new plan called for additional space and a number of changes.
The United Methodist Church located on the corner of Jefferson and Pickering Street, directly behind the Jefferson County Courthouse, is like the one they replaced, Gothic in Architecture and built with Bedford Limestone.
In 1965 major renovation of the church school area was undertaken to provide needed classrooms and to add a firesafe stairway tower. The First United Church remains like this. today.
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