616 Jackson Street SE


Central United Methodist Church was organized in 1898 by the consolidation of the Southside and Eastside Methodist Churches under the leadership of Reverend Ira F. Hawkins, who was pastor of both churches at the time. The building lot on the corner of 6th Avenue and Jackson Street was purchased for $400 and the first sanctuary building was completed before the end of 1898. The Sunday School Building, which is still in use today, was under construction when a boiler fire destroyed the sanctuary building in 1928. Sunday School classes met at the Princess Theatre and the Masonic Temple for 12 years until the current sanctuary was completed.

In 1938 Reverend Lambuth Archibald was appointed the new pastor of Central and the rebuilding of the sanctuary began. The present sanctuary was completed at a cost of $50,000 and was dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1941. On the second Sunday after Easter, two very generous gifts were dedicated. The beautiful stained glass window on the west end of the sanctuary was dedicated by Mrs. J.D. Ligon, in loving memory of her husband, John David Ligon. The majestic pipe organ in the choir loft was given by Mrs. L. R. Nash and her two daughters.

In 1960, the newer Education Building was started and completed in 1961. It houses the nursery area and the children’s Sunday School Classes.

Many more improvements have been made to Central in the last few years. The lovely east entry saw an elevator built that made access easier to the sanctuary and lower Fellowship Hall in 1989. The front courtyard (6th Avenue) with the cross and flame as the centerpiece was dedicated on April 30th.

In 1999 a long-range, “Building in Faith” program began planning for a new entrance. On March 11, 2001, Central broke ground on the fountain entrance that faces Jackson Street. The beautiful fountain was given in loving memory of Mary Shaw Ozier by family and friends. At this time a chapel was added on the second floor and includes a stained glass window donated in memory of Holmes A. Turner by Abby Lou S. Turner.

This year Central celebrated our 125th anniversary on October 1st, with a special service and other events. The cornerstone from 1898 was placed outside of the Grant St entrance to commemorate this

Our current pastor is Reverend Wayne Hicks and he and the members of Central United Methodist welcome you to our church and hope you enjoy touring CUMC on the Historic Decatur Christmas Tour.