Taylor Methodist Episcopal Church History
Information comes from The WPA Guide to Kentucky by F Kevin Simon published in 1939 and is at the Campbell County Historical & Genealogical Society in Alexandria. Book #7075-2008-0386 page 248
The Taylor Methodist Episcopal Church, 123 E 3rd St (formerly Taylor St) is a simple red brick building with plastered walls, cherry pulpit and handmade wooden pews. It was erected in 1831. In the deed to the lot appears the name of Henry Ward Beecher, then a student at Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati.* The 1937 flood destroyed this building and it was torn down.
(Henry Ward Beecher, son of Lyman and Roxanna Beecher, graduated from Lane Theological Seminary in 1837. His father was head of the school at that time. Henry was brother to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin)
*There is no reference to this information as
to where Simon got this information about the church.
There is no reference to the following information, but a sheet with this history is in the Churches files at the Campbell County Historical & Genealogical Society in Alexandria Kentucky.
In 1833 the wall of the old Taylor Street Methodist Church, South, was put up by the Presbyterians. The members of the Presbyterian Church at that time were a company of Yankees who had come to Newport to work in a bagging factory on the river front. When the business failed, the employees moved away, and the Methodists purchased the Church.
On July 27, 1840, James H McClure, for $5000 transferred by deed, the property to Isaiah T Hayman, John B Lindsey, Geo C Tarvin, James Wall and Edward Southgate, Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Newport. The upper room of the building was not then finished. "There were no public schools in those days and the basement room of the Church was rented between Sundays for a subscriptions school."
The lot deeded by McClure to the trustees was all of lot 129 and ten feet on the west side of lot 128; being "76 feet front on Taylor street, (now Third Street) and running through the same width 129 feet to market space." An old newspaper clipping tells that the church, when purchased "had a magnificent broad, open front with tall plastered columns, and was said to be the finest church in all Northern Kentucky."
In 1859 Dr. John W Cunningham, now 96 years old,(1920) living in California, was sent to Newport as pastor. He removed the columns and added the front, which gave the vestibule and four additional rooms. The church building though very old, is quite well equipped for modern church work. There is a beautiful modernized auditorium, new pews, pipe organ and is well lighted. The present auditorium will seat about 400, the balcony will seat over 200. The Sunday school and Epworth league rooms are downstairs.
Some of the greatest preachers of the nation have been pastors of the church. Its first pastor was Henry Ward Beecher under the Presbyterians. The first Methodist pastor so far as history can be obtained was Rev Jonathan Stamper, 1807, Dr. W F Taylor, Dr. Charles Taylor, Dr. S X Hall, Dr. H P Walker and a host of great men have shepherded the Old Taylor Street flock.
Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, 4 Dec 1863, page 3
OYSTER SUPPER-The ladies of Taylor street Church in Newport, will give a splendid entertainment on Wednesday evening, December 6, at Smalley's Hall. Thankful for the liberal patronage they have formerly received, they propose making the present festival equal to any heretofore given, and hope it will meet with the same hearty response from all their friends. Music by Professor J N Horns and a portion of he Newport Barrack Band, whose services on various occasions are deserving our sincere thanks.
The Cincinnati Daily Enquirer, 22 Apr 1865
The Taylor Street Methodist Church-At a meeting of the members of this church, held on Thursday evening, it was resolved to removed from above the door of the edifice the word "South". The name of the church will, therefore, hereafter be "Taylor Street M E Church" instead of Taylor Street M E Church "South". A resolution was adopted that the Kentucky Conference of the M E Church South be memorialized to withdraw from the General Conference of the M E Church and change its name by leaving out the word "South".
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