Canterbury United Methodist Church

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Canterbury United Methodist Church is a large Methodist church located at 350 Overbrook Road in Mountain Brook. As of 2023 the church has 4,480 members. Its weekly services are broadcast on WAPI-AM.

Changes in location and denominational mergers have meant the church has had several names: Irondale Methodist Episcopal Church (1867-1874), Union Hill Methodist Episcopal Church (1874-1928), Canterbury Methodist Episcopal Church (1928-1939), Canterbury Methodist Church (1939-1948), Canterbury-Mountain Brook Methodist Church (1948-1968), Canterbury United Methodist Church (1968-present).

Irondale Methodist Episcopal Church was chartered in 1867 as a congregation of the Alabama Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was located near the Irondale Furnace. The congregation relocated to a new building on land donated by Pleasant Watkins on present-day Hollywood Boulevard in 1873. The Union Hill Cemetery adjoined the church. The building wood-framed building, which also served as the Union Hill School, was remodeled during the development of Mountain Brook as a suburban community, and was renamed "Canterbury" for the seat of the Church of England as part of the overall English Tudor theme of the development. In 1930 the church commissioned an English Gothic design for a new church complex from Denham & Denham architects, but the project was set aside during the Great Depression.

The congregation of Union Hill Methodist merged with Mountain Brook Methodist Church in Crestline on October 10, 1948. The former Union Hill building was sold to the newly organized Shades Valley Lutheran Church in 1951 but was demolished later the 1950s for construction of U.S. Highway 280. The combined congregation began meeting on the site of the former Bearden Dairy on Overbrook Road on October 12, 1952 and the current sanctuary building, designed by Fred Renneker of Shaw & Renneker, was completed in 1961 for a budget of around $800,000.

In 2008, the church undertook a major renovation and expansion which included the construction of an auditorium known as the Canterbury Center for its contemporary worship services.

In 2023 Canterubury's church council voted 87-21 to continue its affiliation with the United Methodist General Conference and not to hold a churchwide vote on the possibility of leaving over the possibility that the national group would someday accept same-sex marriages.

Canterbury United Methodist Church is the sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 82.



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