Lakeview History

ChurchThe roots of Lakeview go back to the 1880’s when a group of people began worshiping in the Rutherford High School Building which was in the area of the present police and court building, on the north side of Highway 52 near US 31. The Pelham Group shared a minister with the Helena Methodist Church.

On October 25, 1898, construction started on the first house of worship ever built in Pelham. Baptists and Methodists worked together. The church was built on property across Highway 52 from the school. The single room church faced the “road to Helena”, Highway 52. The road that is now US 31 ran parallel to the side of the church.

On November 19, 1898, the new Methodist Episcopal Church South was dedicated. The Church was constructed in only 25 days. There were 85 charter members. The Methodist Episcopal Church, Methodist Protestant Church, and Methodist Episcopal Church South were unified in 1939 and the church was renamed Pelham Methodist Church to reflect the change.

The church building was remodeled for the first time in the early 1940’s. The first services in the remodeled building were held on Easter Sunday, 1943 and the dedication was held on July 30, 1944. The church was a single room. There were two outhouses in the back, among the large oak trees. The second remodeling was in 1952. The church was turned to face US 31 and a basement was added for Sunday School.

In 1956, Gene Davenport became the first full-time pastor of the Pelham Methodist Church.

In 1967, work started on a new brick building. The sanctuary was extended and an education wing was added. Members donated the time and labor. Only materials for construction were purchased. The work on the new sanctuary was completed in 1971 and the new two story education wing was dedicated on October 1, 1972.

The Evangelical United Brethren Church merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 and the church was renamed First United Methodist Church of Pelham.

On November 20, 1988, dedication services were held for the Doc Martin Family Life Center next to the sanctuary. The family life center provided expanded classroom and office space and included a gym, kitchen, stage, garage, and equipment storage area.

An electrical fire occurred in the sanctuary building in 2002. Although the building was not completely destroyed, it was no longer possible to use the sanctuary or education wing due to the fire hazard. Services were held in the family life center.

In 2003, the church acquired 36 acres of property at the current site. In addition to the land for a new sanctuary and education rooms, the property included a lake, parsonage, and barn. Construction was started on a new building in 2004.

The dedication for the current church building was held on October 8, 2006. A final brief service was held at the old building by candle light. There was a cake with 108 candles representing the 108 year history of the church. A procession then travelled to the new building where the service was concluded. The name of the church was changed to Lakeview, Pelham’s First United Methodist Church to reflect both the history and the prominent lake at the new location.

At Lakeview, we are proud of our heritage. At the same time, we are open to change so we can provide a worship style and setting that is meaningful for our time.

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