The first church in Turkeytown was established in 1840, as tradition tells. If tradition was right, this would make this church the first organized Methodist church in the Gadsden area. Unfortunately, there are no records to confirm this.
In 1846, the first documented Methodist church was built in Turkeytown. It was a simply constructed log cabin and was located in the forks of the creek, on the road leading into Coates Bend. This location is now called the “Old Cowan Place”, and is only marked with a crumbling pile of rocks and a lonely cemetery.
In 1875 the log cabin was destroyed by fire. That same year a 2-story building was erected by the Masons on the site of the present church. It was known as the “Old Masonic Lodge”. For 30 years, this building served a triple purpose. It was a meeting place for the Masons, a place of worship for all denominations, and a school for the children.
Many people who worshipped in the “Old Masonic Lodge” achieved two great “firsts” in Alabama Methodism. The first young people’s society in rural Alabama was organized at Turkeytown in 1893. It was known then as the Epworth League. When the second charter was issued in 1903, the name changed from the Epworth League to the Methodist Youth Fellowship. The woman’s society at Turkeytown was the first to be organized in the Gadsden District. It was known as the Ladies Aid at the time, and eventually called the Woman’s Missionary Society. Today it is still active as the Woman’s Society of Christian Service.
In 1904, the ever progressive Methodists realized the need of a more modern building for their worship services. Money was donated & work was begun. The one-room frame structure was completed that same year under the direction of the Reverend E.E. Emerson. This sturdy building was to stand faithfully and serve the people of Turkeytown for the next 50 years.
In February 1954, the foundation was laid for the new church and it was completed in just over three months on June 19, 1954. This church still stands today and people continue to worship there every Sunday.
Turkeytown United Methodist Church
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