Camden First United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors


Our History
First United Methodist Church
Camden, Tennessee
The first society of Methodists in the town of Camden was organized in 1838.  It was part of a large circuit until about 1898 – 1899, when it became a double station with Cowell’s Chapel.  In 1900, Camden was made a station church and received as its first full time pastor, at the annual conference in November, the Rev. J. M. Pickens.
Throughout their long and distinguished history in Camden, the Methodist have worshipped in several buildings.  The organizing groups held services in the county courthouse until about 1848 when their first meeting house was erected on a lot which today, is at the corner of Poplar and Rowland Streets.  In 1883, a second building was erected on the present Church Street north of town.  Before the frame building was finished, a storm demolished it and it had to be rebuilt.  In 1901, a one-room brick church was built from bricks made on the grounds of its Church Street site.  This building is still standing, having been used, most recently as a residence by Mrs. W. R. Champion.  (See picture above.) 
In 1926, a northeast corner lot just off the court square was purchased from G. B. Holladay where a new building was completed in August, 1929.  Its debt was retired on and dedication services held on November 7, 1934.  It was used for worship through the Easter service on March 30, 1975.  Groundbreaking for the fifth and present sanctuary was held on August 10, 1975. 
During the months of construction, the congregation worshipped in the fellowship hall of the education building, a two story building which had been added to the previous church between 1960 and 1962.  The laying of the church’s cornerstone and a service of consecration was held on September 4, 1977.  The dedication of the building, signifying the payment of all indebtedness, was celebrated on August 30, 1981.
It would be impossible to name all of the men and women whose Christian spirit and commitment have made the First United Methodist Church and its predecessor Churches a guiding light in the community.  Exemplary lives have been led, courageous witnesses have been given, talents have been shared, and a spirit of harmony has prevailed. 
1988 marked the sesquicentennial of this church.  These people called Methodists give thanks for their 150 year heritage and look forward to the future with faith in God and a renewed commitment to serve and witness in His name.
                                                                                                        Written by Virginia Whitworth
P. O. Box 277
Camden, TN 38320
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