Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indianapolis, Indiana

As old as Indianapolis itself, Meridian Street United Methodist Church was the first Methodist church in a town of log cabins and rutted roads. That first church in the city of Indianapolis in 1821 was known as Wesley Chapel. The congregation first met in Isaac Wilson’s log cabin on the Capitol Square grounds and was served by itinerant preachers. In 1825, a log cabin on Maryland at Meridian Street was purchased and enlarged to seat 200 people. It continued to be served by circuit riders. From 1829 to 1846, the congregation met in a small brick building on the Circle at Meridian Street. In 1846 the Wesley Chapel was torn down and a new church was built on the same site at a cost of $10,000; it housed the congregation during the Civil War and until 1869.

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indiana Architecture | Indianapolis Indiana | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indianapolis, Indiana

I've created a new architectural category, Cathedrals & Churches, that you can view by selecting from the drop down menu under Architecture. Click the provided link to view my gallery of another incredible Indiana cathedral, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Carmel, Indiana, or choose from others under the Architecture menu.

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indiana Architecture | Indianapolis Indiana | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indianapolis, Indiana

After the war, the congregation decided to build “the most beautiful church in the city.” They moved to New York and Meridian Streets and built an ornate Gothic structure with tall, slender spires for $100,000. This building served as their church home until a fire burned the church beyond repair in 1904. It was during this time that Wesley Chapel was renamed Meridian Street Episcopal Church.

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indiana Architecture | Indianapolis Indiana | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indianapolis, Indiana

On the national level, the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1784. In 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to become The Methodist Church. When The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church formally united in 1968, the currently used name was adopted: The United Methodist Church.  For two years, from 1904 to 1906, the congregation met at the Propyleum on University Park while they built another Gothic building at St. Clair and Meridian Street. This structure cost $165,000 and housed the congregation for 40 years until 1946.

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indiana Architecture | Indianapolis Indiana | Image By Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

Meridian Street Methodist Church | Indianapolis, Indiana

In 1946, Meridian Street Methodist merged with the 51st Street Methodist Church and met in the 51st Street building until the $525,000 necessary to build the present home at 5500 North Meridian Street was raised. The first service in the Colonial-Georgian style building was June 29, 1952. (source)

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