Centenary United Methodist Church

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

Centenary United Methodist Church

The Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Richmond was dedicated in June, 1843. This was a replacement building to the Methodist Meeting House on Shockoe Hill which had been built in 1810. The new church was built to celebrate Methodism’s Centennial, hence the name.

The brick church was originally constructed in Tuscan Style. It was amended in 1874. The revisions included the addition of the tower and brought the building into the Gothic Revival style.

In 1877 the Lady’s Aid and Circle of Industry purchased the first pipe organ. The organ and choir were situated in a balcony at the front of the Nave, over the main door from Grace Street.

In 1882, twelve chime bells were hung in the tower. The largest weighed 4,000 pounds. It was pulled into position by members of the congregation. As they pulled the hoisting rope, they marched down Grace Street singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”. The bells were chimed for the first time on Easter Sunday, April 23, 1882 and are still used daily.

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

The pews with their hand carved ends were also installed in 1882. In 1896 a brick addition at the rear of the Nave, behind the pulpit would eventually provide a new space for the organ and choir.

The present organ seen in these images was installed in 1965.

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

Centenary United Methodist Church, 411 East Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia

– Click on the image to enlarge or purchase –

It was on a Sunday morning I was making these images of the Centenary United Methodist Church. I needed to hurry in order to beat the arrival of the congregation for the upcoming service as I did not want too many people in my shots. Suddenly, the man you see in the first image in the blue shirt started to frantically wave at me. Being both polite and inquisitive I walked over to see what he wanted. I explained to him that I was making some images of the outside of the church. His simple answer was: “I know. Would you like to take a look inside as well.” It is such a rarity to find a church where you can go inside that I quickly accepted his offer. There was about 20 minutes to go before the service began and as long as I did not disturb anyone, I had open access to any part of the church. As you can see from these images, the interior was by far the best part of this historic building.

Summary
Centenary United Methodist Church
Article Name
Centenary United Methodist Church
Description
The Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown Richmond was dedicated in June, 1843. It built to celebrate Methodism's Centennial, hence the name.
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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