Alexandria United Methodist Episcopal Church

8286 West Main Street, Alexandria


This is a condensed version of the article compiled by Michael L Fisk and William L Stratton

The Western Conference of Methodists saw the appointment of Benjamin Lakin to the Limestone Circuit which extended from Limestone (Maysville) to the Licking River. Benjamin Edge is the first preacher assigned to the village of Newport.  Abraham Ames is listed for the Licking Circuit in 1806 and Milton Ladd in 1807.

The first Methodist Episcopal Congregation was probably organized at Alexandria between 1820 and 1825.  In the 1840s a rather crudely constructed meeting house made of logs was erected on the William Reiley farm.  The benches were split logs with peg like legs.  The pulpit was constructed of clapboard.  Some of the first pastors of the Methodist Episcopal Church were Josiah Whitaker, who according to Kentucky Conference Journal records, entered the Conference in 1818 and died in 1850; William Gun who died in 1853 and Samuel Kelley who died in 1864.

There is no deed of conveyance for the log cabin property so we conclude that it was left to the congregation through a will or the deed was not properly recorded.   The earliest reference to this parcel of property known as a part of the William Reiley Farm is deed book G page 258 (1826) when the Frank Spilman executors deed the property to John Stroube who is later listed as a Methodist trustee on a transaction for another piece of property.  The property is listed in deed book N page 95 transferred from Frank Spilman Heirs to Jabey McDonnold on Oct 5, 1835; then in deed book N page 372 from Jabey McDonnold to Henry H Mayo.

On Sep 8, 1857, the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased a parcel of land on Washington, now known as 104 Washington.  Trustees were Samuel Wright, John Stroube, David May, Nicholas Stroube and Thomas W Parish purchased the lot from Frank Spilman and the executors of Henry E Spilman.  The church finally were able to build a building on this lot in 1867.

The Kentucky Annual Conference was held March 5-10, 1862 at the Asbury Chapel in the Highlands.  George W Johnson was one of the Trustees along with Richard Taylor in the log cabin property in 1856 and was appointed to serve the Asbury-Alexandria Circuit.  Johnson was ordained an elder at the Conference presided over by Bishop Levi Scott.  John Sharp, a local preacher from the Asbury-Alexandria Circuit, was ordained a deacon.  Alexandria continued to be yoked with Asbury Chapel until 1884. 

The first funeral held in the new ME Church was that of Dr. Edward Orr sometime during the 1860s.  At this time a cyclone passed through the town and moved this building two inches from its original position on the foundation.  The hearse and buggies were blown over and it was generally believed that the building would have blown over had the large crowd not been in it at that time.  This information was relayed by Douglas Nelson, whose father, Robert Nelson, was in attendance at the funeral.

Bertha Thatcher; member June 26, 1926 and died in September 1954 "During the 1870s a revival was in session at the Campbellite Church, located on the lot at 120 West Main door to our present parsonage.  One night after services the Campbellite Christian Church minister, Rev Berney and the Methodist minister, Rev Miller were escorting two young ladies home, namely Elizabeth Truesdel (afterwards Mrs. Daniel Thatcher) and Miss Lucy Orr.  During the walk the subject of baptism was being discussed pro and con.  This discussion became so heated that the ministers challenged each other to a debate on the subject.   This debate lasted for three weeks and attracted people from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.  It was reported that after all the chickens, turkeys and wild geese were devoured, the debate closed in a draw."

On November 2, 1889, the Trustees of the MD Church in Alexandria, Thomas C White, D F North and B T Reilery, were directed by the Quarterly Conference of the Asbury-Alexandria Circuit of the Covington District to sell the church property to Peter Hess for the sum of $251, deed book 50, page 514.  Thus the ME Church ceased to maintain a congregation in Alexandria.

The Washington Street property was sold by Peter and Mary Hess to the Alexandria Town Hall Association on Nov 10, 1890, deed book 51, page 224.  The Association in turn sold it to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows on July 14, 1905, deed book 59, page 578.  The old church building was razed in 1935 and the lot sold to Alexandria Baptist Church.  First Baptist Church Parsonage now stands on this lot at 104 Washington.

On Aug 15, 1895 the Church bought the lot on which the present parsonage now stands at 118 West Main, for a sum of $125.  Trustees were W W Neal, John W Gilbert and Robert Nelson purchased the property from Mrs. Anna M Pfender and her husband, Christopher F, deed book 54, page 477.

Mrs. Harry L Smith "In October 1901 my parents moved to Alexandria from Ohio and transferred their memberships to what was then known as the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  Communion was unleavened unsalted bread made by one of the member and home made wine made by John Thomas, better known as Uncle Tommy.  He would have been highly offended if anyone else were permitted to make it.  Communion was served only by the Presiding Elder at whatever time convenient for his visit.  Once a year we had a revival meeting with a guest minister as speaker.  Our minister in 1901 was W L Selby.  He was later followed by T B Cook in 1903.

The Ladies Aid Society met at their homes.  Home made quilts were pieced and quilted.  Every autumn they had an oyster supper at the Town Hall at what is no 104 Washington Street.  The meal consisted of a large bowl of oyster stew with crackers.  The tables were laden with every kind of pickles and relishes one could think of, as well as all the cake and pie you wished.  Price for an adult was 25 cents; children under 12, 15 cents.

I started to Sunday School as soon as we moved to Alexandria.  Miss Alice Reiley was my first teacher.  Miss Ethel Wright my second.  Miss Ethel later became Mrs. N G Zinn.  At the age of eleven I became a member of the church."

Ministers Methodist Episcopal Church
1786-Benjamin Ogden & James Haw
1787-James Haw
1788-Francis Poythress
1797-John Kobler
1800-Benjamin Lakin
1802-Henry Smith & Lewis Hung
1803-Louther Taylor
1804 George Askins
1805 Adjet McGuire
1806-Abraham Amos
1807-Milton Ladd
1813-Jonathan Stamper
1815-Othniel Talbot
1820-James Simmons
1820-40 Josiah Whitaker, Joseph Rand, William Gun and Samuel Kelley
1862-George W Johnson
1863-65 S S Belleville
1867-69 George W Johnson
1869-70 F T Johns
1870-73 Jed Foster
1873-75 S S Belleville
1875-76 Ewell
1876-78 T Cundy
1878-79 ---
1879-80 H W Bailey
1880-82 B F Whiteman
1882-82 G W Moore
1883-84 M L Centers
1884 H J Ramey

Methodist Episcopal Church, South
1860s W B Godbey
1870s D W Robertson & C W Miller
1881 George Froh
1884 S A Day & J C Minor
1885 J C Minor
1886 Charles M Cooper & J C Minor
1887-Charles M Cooper & J C Minor
1888-Charles M Cooper & J C Minor
1889-D E Bedinger
1890-J R Kendall & J C Minor
1891-93 Kendall & Minor
1894-W J Doran
1895-97 J W Gardiner, R M Lee & J C Minor
1898-T W Barker & J C Minor
1899- T W Barker & J C Minnor
1900-03 W L Selby
1903-07 A B Cook
1907-08 W H Newkirk
1908-12 J R Nelson
1912-15 S J Bradley
1915-17 R B Baird
1917-19 S W Dean
1919-22 C M Whitaker
1923-25 Floyd D Rose
1925-26 Wade H Cardwell
1926-29 Treavor W Beeler
1929-33 G M Rainey
1933-37 G W Boswell
1937-47 W S Mitchell; died Feb 20, 1963
1947-50 William Weiler
1950-55 B L Allen
1955-58 J L Layne
1958-63 Walter R Piper
1963-67 W Howard Coop
1967-70 John P Carr
1970-77 William L Stratton
1977-81 Wayne A Sparks
1981-84 Lowell Ogden
1984-89 Robert Pugh
1989- Benjamin Hahn


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