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Centenary United Methodist Church | Brief history of the congregation

> | Centenary Methodist Church records, 1871-1969 | Main page

Centenary Methodist Church was founded in 1839 as a mission congregation of Fourth Street Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as First Methodist Episcopal Church South). The name "Centenary" was adopted to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Methodism by John Wesley. The congregation worshipped in a rented chapel at 5th and Pine before building a church at the same intersection. Its present building at 16th and Pine (now 55 Plaza Square) dates from 1869 and was given landmark status in 1971.

When the Methodist Episcopal Church divided over the issue of slavery in 1844, the congregation became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The northern and southern branches of Methodism reunited and merged with the Methodist Protest Church in 1939 to become the Methodist Church. A merger with the Church of the United Brethren in 1968 led to the formation of the present-day United Methodist Church (UMC). Centenary is a member of the UMC Missouri Conference.

Ministers

1839 George C. Light & William M. Daily (from Fourth Street Church)
1840 Wesley Browning
1841 William Patton
1842 - 1844 John H. Linn
1844 - 1846 Joseph Boyle
1846 - 1848 Thomas H. Capers
1848 - 1850 William H. Lewis
1850 - 1851 William M. Prottsman
1851 - 1852 Jerome C. Berryman
1852 - 1853 David R. McAnally & J.P. Nolan
1853 - 1854 James F. Truslow
1854 - 1855 Enoch M. Marvin
1855 James Sewell (served one month)
1855 - 1857 Enoch M. Marvin
1857 - 1858 Charles B. Parsons
1859 Evan Stevenson (served two months)
1859 - 1862 Enoch M. marvin
1862 - 1864 Joseph Boyle
1864 - 1866 Francis A. Morris
1866 - 1868 William A. Smith
1868 - 1870 C.D.N. Campbell
1870 - 1874 John H. Linn
1874 - 1878 William V. tudor
1886 - 1890 John Mathews
1890 - 1891 B. Carradine
1891 - 1893 S.H. Werlein
1893 - 1898 John Mathews
1897 - 1898 A.E. Nelson
1898 - 1902 J.H. Young
1902 - 1906 William F. Andrews
1909 - 1913 Luther E. Todd
1913 - 1917 Charles W. Tadlock
1917 - 1919 Alfred F. Smith
1937 - 1938 Dawson c. Bryan
1938 - 1946 Charles M. Crowe
1946 - 1954 Frank C. Tucker
1954 - 1957 Forrest L. Standard
1957 - 1964 John H. Crowe
1964 - 1976 J. Lester McGee
1976 - 1978 Nicholas K. Kiriakos
1978 - 1988 James Raber

Cemeteries

Centenary Methodist Church established Wesleyan Cemetery at the southwest and southeast corners of Grand and Laclede Avenues in 1847. The grounds comprised 12-3/4 acres and extended to Market Street on the east side of what is now Grand Avenue. The cemetery included more than 2400 African American burials. The Wesleyan Cemetery Association was formed in 1851.

Encroachment of the city led the Association to establish New Wesleyan Cemetery at the southeast corner of Olive Street Rd. and Hanley Ave. in 1874. Most graves were moved to this new location, although some were transferred to other burial grounds. New Wesleyan cemetery closed in 1952, and graves were moved to Memorial Park Cemetery and other locations.

Cemetery records are available for Wesleyan and New Wesleyan Cemeteries from 1847 through 1952 and include removal records from Wesleyan Cemetery to New Wesleyan Cemetery and from New Wesleyan Cemetery to Memorial Park Cemetery. Microfilm copies are available on film no. CMC-1 (FHL film no. 1405557) in the Special Collections Department.

Wesleyan Cemetery burials are included on Vol. 4 of "St. Louis Burials," a CD-ROM publication that can be used in the Special Collections Department. Indexes to African American burials, 1847-1869 and certificates to all burials, 1891-1899 are available on the library website.

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