June 28, 2015
EARLY METHODISTS PLANTED SEEDS FOR TODAY'S DOWNTOWN CHURCH
When the oldest existing Methodist church in Chattanooga was established in 1839, traveling Methodist pastors and Methodist missionaries to the American Indians had been in the area for the better part of two decades.
By the time the Tennessee legislature established the city of Chattanooga later that same year, what is today First-Centenary United Methodist Church had been in the Lord's business for most of a year.
The fledgling congregation first met in a log building between Lookout and High streets near Fifth Street. For a time, the Methodists apparently shared space with the Presbyterians, who'd been there slightly ahead of them but soon moved to their own place at Market and Seventh streets. That allowed the Methodists to claim the land on which the log building stood, and they were granted a deed to it.
July 5, 2015
STEEPLE ON MCCALLIE MARKS SITE OF FIRST METHODIST
First-Centenary United Methodist Church, created by the 1967 union of the two oldest Methodist congregations in the city, takes part of its history from the stew that existed in Chattanooga following Union troop occupation in 1863.
When the Union troops arrived, they were accompanied by chaplains, some of whom were northern Methodist pastors. Further, according to Dr. Steve Byrum's "First-Centenary United Methodist Church: A Sesquicentennial History," the troops were joined by members of The Christian Commission, who traveled with the northern armies and worked to serve whatever needs might arise.
To that mix were added those in the area who already held anti-secessionist sentiments and had been loyal to the Union, or at least neutral, in the war to date.