Jasper First Methodist Church

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The Jasper First Methodist Church is the oldest church in Jasper, having been organized on June 14, 1833.

The church met in a donated log cabin until Amanda Savage provided funds to support the construction of a frame church building in 1858-59. At the end of the Civil War a detachment of Michigan infantry under the command of James Wilson burned the church, along with the Walker County Courthouse and the Jasper Masonic Hall, on March 27, 1865.

The church's fifth and present building, in the Beaux-Arts style, was completed on November 3, 1921. The campaign for the 1921 building began in 1912 when banker Lycurgus Musgrove pledged to match all other donations two to one. He also donated the Georgia marble used in the building and the church's pipe organ.

The design is considered one of the best of its type in the state, though the architect is unknown. Some sources have credited William Welton, while others believe it to be derived from a design by George Kramer, a New York architect, which was included in a contemporary catalog of Methodist church designs.

The two-story church building sits atop a raised basement. The principal north and east facades feature Ionic hexastyle porticoes. There is a projecting choir pavilion on the south. The building is capped by a shallow, hipped terra-cotta roof with an octagonal cupola. The interior is paneled in Hunduran mahogany and features a 34-foot stained glass dome on the ceiling.

On September 17, 1940 the funeral for U.S. Speaker of the House William Bankhead was held in the church. President Franklin Roosevelt was among those attending the service.

A tornado struck the building on April 3, 1974, causing extensive damage to the cupola and roof. It also ripped the main sanctuary doors apart, damaged or destroyed 34 of the 38 stained glass windows, and caused water damage in the interior. The damage was repaired over the next two years to designs by Henry Sprott Long & Associates. The lost stained glass was replaced with modern windows designed in a compatible style.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 14, 1985 under the name First United Methodist Church. The congregation used this name from the formation of the United Methodist Church in 1968 until the congregation disaffiliated from the United Methodist Church on December 10, 2022.



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