Central United Methodist Church – The Church Journey

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August 20, 2020 – http://mynetzone.com/

I had the privilege to visit Central United Methodist Church formed in 1924 when the congregations of Broad Street Church and Centenary Church decided to merge. Broad Street Church opened in 1870. Fire damaged the Broad Street building in 1924, and the congregation met in other locations while repairs were being made. Centenary Church opened in 1883 and located within a mile of the Broad Street Church. Central Methodist Episcopal Church, South, as it was known, met in the Centenary Building at the corner of Broad and Silver, while a new building was constructed. [1]

On March 20, 1927, the first service took place in the new building. Almost 2,000 members filled the sanctuary for three services that day. Located in the population center of the city, the new building was hailed for its classic beauty, acoustics, and facilities. The church building included a gymnasium, handball courts, showers, and places for scout troops and other community organizations to meet.[1]

The church members’ loss of jobs and income in the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing “Great Depression” threatened the financial survival of the new church. The members pulled together and made personal sacrifices to overcome the financial crisis. The members and leadership dedicated in the building in 1945. [1]

In recent history, the neighborhoods around the church building suffered from interstate construction, neglect, and the migration of families to the developing suburbs. Many of Central’s families continued to worship here, even if they lived further away. Revitalization is bringing new life to inner city neighborhood, but the community needs are still there. [1]

Central United Methodist Church is located at 201 East Third Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee. On November 9, 2005, was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and is listed as a contributing property within the Fourth and Gill Historic District. A listing in the National Register honors a historic place by recognizing its importance to its community, state or the nation. [2]

The present structure was completed in 1927 in the Gothic Revival style. Baumann & Baumann of Knoxville were the architects. The exterior of the church is primarily brick, but also includes stone, limestone and marble. At the time of its completion, the sanctuary was Knoxville’s largest church auditorium, seating 1,600. The organ was purchased from the Riviera Theater in 1935. [2]

MY JOURNEY:

During my research I was able to find a summary of the history on the church website; as well as Wikipedia providing details on the church listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  

During my visit I walked around taking pictures of the large glorious red brick building accented with limestone and marble. The Gothic Revival style is the focal point of the front of the building leading to the main entrance.  The church is located in the middle of the bustling city of Knoxville. The front of the building has a large concrete stairway that leads to three beautiful wooden doors that provide entry to the church.  

I felt small setting on the steps of such a large building. I as I looked up, I could see the blue sky gently accented with white puffy clouds. At that point I no longer felt small as I realized God is with me no matter where I go. I reflected on the vast universe and how the Earth has the perfect atmosphere to support life.   I gave thanks for being able to experience another church on this journey.  I finished my time in prayer and gratitude for my many blessings.

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 FINAL THOUGHTS:

The church members’ loss of jobs and income in the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing “Great Depression” threatened the financial survival of the new church. The members pulled together and made personal sacrifices to overcome the financial crisis.

Problems in your life can make you hungry for God. Spiritual hunger is a good thing for the believer. If you get next to someone full of the spirit it can rub off on others. That is a good thing , because It takes a team of fellowship to support a church. We see today just like in the past many churches going through tough times with all the pandemic restrictions limiting what churches can do. Many churches are struggling with their financial commitments. Just like during the Great Depression members of many churches across the country are pulling together to provide financial survival. Praise the Lord for showing us His glorious works in our times of need.

FELLOWSHIP:

With the National emergency for the COVID-19 virus many churches are remaining closed during the week only providing limited capacity openings on Sundays.  At the time of my visit the church was closed, so I spent time outside the church in meditation and prayer.

DETAILS:   

Church Website: http://knoxcentralumc.org/

Date Visited: 2020 July 22. 

Location: 201 East Third Ave

If you would like to learn more about this church, upcoming events, or listen to a sermon I encourage you to visit the church website listed above.

May our Lord continue to bless this church in Jesus name.

“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” – (Matthew 5:6)

Please Pray for all our churches as they continue to face challenges in the year 2020.

May this find you well and happy, God Bless.

PICTURE GALLERY:

 

REFERENCES:

  1. Central United Methodist Church website, “History” (2020, August 14, 2020) Retrieved from http://knoxcentralumc.org/who-we-are/history/
  2. Wikipedia (2020, August 14, 2020) Central United Methodist Church, Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_United_Methodist_Church_(Knoxville,_Tennessee)

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