Trinity UMC — Madison

Madison Trinity U.M. Church (pictured above, right) is located on Broadway between Main and Third Streets. The congregation is descended from the earliest M.E. organization in the city, a class established in 1811 by Rev. Walter Griffith on the Lawrenceburg circuit, then of the Ohio Conference.

By the 1860s, Methodists in Madison worshiped in three congregations, Wesley Chapel, St. John's, and Roberts Chapel.

In 1866, Wesley Chapel and St. John's M.E. churches were united, and the merger was called Trinity. This arrangement, however, lasted just one year, and the two congregations resumed their earlier identities in 1867.

In 1868, William T. Saunders was appointed to St. John's MEC. According to a history of Methodism in Madison, "Within this year Brother Saunders managed, by a quirk of circumstances, to take St. John's congregation, furniture and organ, bodily into the Roberts Chapel building — discarding both names, and taking the name of Trinity, which had been the name of the failed merger." (See the note below.) Dr. Saunders continued to pastor Trinity until his death in July 1870.

In September, 1872, the cornerstone for the new building of the Trinity congregation was laid on Broadway between Main Cross and Third Streets. The first floor was ready for occupancy by the winter of 1873, and the whole building was in use by the summer of 1874.

Impressive dedicatory services were held for the church. That fall, the Southeast Indiana Annual Conference met in Trinity with Bishop Foster presiding.

In 1882, the two remaining M.E. congregations of Madison – Wesley Chapel and Trinity agreed to merge, creating just one church under the name Trinity.

In 1925, the Grace M.E. Church was merged with Trinity. Grace was a former German Methodist Episcopal church which had been a part of the Central German Conference until 1900. Once again, all of the Methodist Episcopal members in Madison was united in Trinity.

Trinity GPS: 38 44 13.20, -85 22 59.97

Also of considerable interest is the fact that the former St. John's MEC building still stands (pictured on the left, above) and may be seen at 501 E. Main St. The Methodist congregation began construction of this building in 1848 at the northeast corner of Main and East Street. One history says that this was the site of the original church of Methodism in Madison. Then, in 1872, the Methodists, by now known as Trinity, sold this building to the Evangelical Congregational Christian Church. Today it is the home of St. John's United Church of Christ. Hurricane Ike damaged it in 2008, but it has been extensively repaired and largely restored to its 1872 appearance.

St. John's GPS: 38 44 11.11, -85 22 26.80

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