SETTLE MEMORIAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
IT'S EARLY DAYS
In 1836, the "Methodist Society" was organized in the home of Mr. J. J. Bowlds.
These forefathers laid the ground work for what is now Settle Memorial United
Methodist Church. As their numbers grew, they could no longer meet in this
parlor setting and held their meetings in the court house which was built of
logs, had saw dust floors and plank seats.
Later the Methodists realized the necessity of having a house of worship of
their own, but could not agree on a location. Some of them favored building on
the site of the present City Hall at the corner of Fourth and St. Ann Streets.
Others opposed this, giving as their reason that it was too far out of town.
However, they finally agreed on a location at the north side of Main Street
between Lewis Street and Daviess Street. In 1851, this small group numbering
35-40, ten of whom were men, built a small gray brick church. There the
Methodists worshipped for about thirty years.
By the year l878, the members now numbered over 300, and they once again began
to feel the need for a more spacious house of worship. After much prayer, the
property at the corner of Fourth and Daviess Streets was purchased for $2,550
and a new building was erected. The old church and lot were sold for $3,000.
Settle Chapel was built on this lot in 1880 during the second pastorate of H.D.
Settle, for whom the church was named. The total cost was $13,900. Dr. G. C.
Kelly pastored Settle Chapel from 1891-1895 and it was during that time that the
lecture room was built at the rear of the church. The Sunday School Classes had
always met in the Sanctuary, and now there were individual classrooms and an
auditorium for general assembly. The large stained glass window has in it a
reproduction of Munkacsy's "Christ Before Pilate" and was prized by this small
In 1904, Dr. Frank M. Thomas came to serve Settle Chapel and it was during that
time that the congregation again felt the need to expand their worship
facilities. Settle Chapel was razed and replaced by the present magnificent
structure. The church building was completed and formally opened Sunday.
November 17, 1907 at a cost of about $75,000.
If we could place that small gray brick church on Main Street beside the
beautiful stately structure that we enjoy today, it might seem small and
insignificant. But, we should remember that what we are and have today, has been
made possible only by the loyalty, spirituality, devotion and integrity of those
early Methodists. They have lighted the torch that stands high on our steeple.
Today we carry that torch to generations to come.
From: "OUR CHURCH"
By: Cora Lee Webb, 1935