First United Methodist Church of Bessemer
The church celebrated the completion of a new $60,000 auditorium building on May 3, 1914. Pastor George Stoves turned the pulpit over to L. C. Branscomb for the honor of preaching the first sermon in the new building. That building burned to the ground on November 24, 1928 and was rebuilt the following year. A pipe organ was added in 1930. An education wing, designed by R. H. Hunt and Company of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was designed to blend with the original structure.
During the 1950s the church averaged attendance of more than 1,000 per week and became known for its annual performances of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" oratorio. The church also hosted many graduation ceremonies for Bessemer High School.
- "Methods of Bessemer Open Their New 60,000 House of Worship" (May 3, 1914) The Birmingham News, p. 14
- Garrison, Greg (February 27, 2010) "123-year-old First United Methodist Church of Bessemer will close." The Birmingham News
- Photographs of 1st UMC Bessemer on closing day