Church History

On November 11th, 1884, F.M. Walters deeded to the Methodist Church, two acres of land, the consideration being twenty-five dollars. The trustees were Peter Linder, R.J. Hendrix, Allen Harrington, and William Bonner. On this land, which lay East of the Southern R.R., was built the first Methodist Church of Laurel, and the street on which it was located became "Church Street." At that time Laurel was a mere village in the great pine woods. There was no Presbyterian, or Episcopal Church in the village, so the Presbyterians and Episcopalians worshipped and worked in the Methodist Church.

From a little village in a great pine forest, Laurel grew to become a town of considerable business and residential proportions. Methodism kept pace, and a larger church building became a necessity. A new location was secured in 1896. The former church and its extensive grounds were sold to the late Hon. L. Stainton, who transformed the building into a residence. A site was purchased and a new church was erected where the old post office now stands. The congregation soon had a fine parsonage built on Seventh Avenue. 

In 1912 the First Methodist Church again moved to a new location. Growth of its membership, increased activities in the Sunday School, Epworth League, and Missionary Society made it necessary to have enlarged facilities. The United States Govenment  purchased the previous site. A new church was erected on the present day site, which served the ever expanding congregation until the educational building was added in 1928.

In 1954 the church conducted a canvass for a building fund with the purpose in mind to replace the church sanctuary with a new one. Another canvass was conducted in 1957. Pledges and money collected from two canvasses made the new building possible. It was on October 12, 1958 we joyfully entered our new sanctuary for the first worship service. A new parsonage was purchased, and the old one was converted into Sunday School classrooms. In 1966 the youth room, children's wing, nursery, and steeple were added. The pipe organ was installed in 1976. The adjacent Morris property was bought and a children's playground was put in it's place.

Laurel First United Methodist Church is not a building, it's her people. Our people have been ministering to the community of Laurel, MS since 1884. For more than 125 years we have offered opportunities for worship, service, and fellowship in Christ's love and grace. Come join us as we journey into passionate and purposeful living for Christ in the next 125 years, and beyond.



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