What is the history behind Broad Street United Church?
Methodism was brought to America in the 1700's by it's founder, John Wesley. The pioneer citizens of Bradley County planted and nourished the seeds of Methodism aided by circuit riders, traveling preachers. In 1850, the Holston Conference appointed Madison Hawk as the first circuit rider to serve the Ocoee District. The foundation of the past build on the hope of the future that is vital in doing Christ's work.
Methodism in Bradley County began in the log courthouse in 1837 along with the Baptists and Presbyterians. A frame building was constructed in 1840 on the Oak Grove Academy property, and in 1849 the congregation moved to a new brick building on Church Street. It was seriously damaged by Federal troops and demolished at the end of the Civil War.
The Methodist Episcopal Church, South moved to the present location in 1868. In 1893, the current sanctuary replaced the 1868 building. Early photographs show a remnant of the 1868 building.
In 1922 during the tenure of Dr. Clyde Lundy, an addition was built that included three floors of Sunday school classrooms, gym, pastor’s study and kitchen . The addition was called Heartsill Hall.
The 1950’s renovation created the Wesley Chapel, now known as Lundy Chapel.
The 1968 addition included a new complex of Sunday school classrooms, Hardwick Parlor, Triplett Hall, kitchen, and Rymer garden.
The original organ was installed the late 1890’s. That organ went through several updates until it was replaced by the current Schantz organ. The Schantz organ was consecrated in February l974. It consists of 2000 pipes distributed among five divisions.
A new Central Avenue entrance, offices and narthex were added in 1995 creating the present look of the church. The church encompasses almost the entire downtown block
Historic Register Plaque
A plaque was installed by the History Committee on November 3rd that designates the 1893 building as being on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was placed on the National Register in 1984. The Plaque is located above the cornerstone at the intersection of Central Avenue and Broad Street. The Broad Street congregation began 181 years ago in the Bradley County courthouse along with Baptists and Presbyterians.