Lambuth Memorial United Methodist Church
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Church History


Lambuth Memorial Church was organized as the Jackson City Mission on November 26, 1873.  Dr. A.B. Jones, one of the early presidents of M.C.F.I. (Lambuth College), was instrumental in its founding though the Rev. Thomas Taylor was the first regular pastor.  The small brick building erected on the corner of Campbell and Talbot streets was practically out in the country.  The church had only one room and the pews were without backs.

As time passed, the church experienced several small name changes and remodeling but nothing major was done until 1941 when the Rev. C.H. Rayl was appointed as pastor.  He remodeled the church now known as Lambuth Memorial, giving the interior a cruciform plan and the exterior a Spanish Gothic style.  The arrangement of the sanctuary was modeled on London’s City Road Chapel.

In 1951, disaster struck when a fire practically destroyed the building.  During the long period of reconstruction, the congregation worshiped in the mornings at West Jackson School and in the evenings at Temple B’nai Israel.  Midweek services were held in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Baptist churches, and other Methodist churches.  Eventually the church rose like a phoenix from the ashes.

The educational facilities at Lambuth Memorial were built in three units, 1934, 1948, and 1961.  The first two units were remodeled in 1970.  The beautiful Martindale Family Life Center was completed in February, 1989.  It houses a gym, an office, a meeting room, a kitchen, and a kiln room.  The Center is an expression of Lambuth Memorial’s outreach to the surrounding community.

During all these changes, Lambuth Memorial has continued to grow and to expand its ministries and programs.  The small country church has become a large urban church with a history of touching the lives of Methodists in Jackson and in the Memphis Conference.



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