Suzassippi’s Mississippi: Leland M. E. Church, South

The Leland Methodist Church was constructed 1923-24 in a Mission, Spanish Revival style. The MDAH HRI database references similarity of the design of the Fayette, Alabama Methodist Church in crediting the architect (T. L. Brodie, conjectured) and builder (L. Vance, conjectured).  The cornerstone identifies L. Vance as the contractor, however.

The History of the Organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church South (1845) details the development of this part of the Methodist Church.  In 1844, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South separated from the Methodist Episcopal Church over slavery.  In a nutshell, the Methodist Episcopal Church conference ruled owning slaves was contrary to civil and religion law, and that pastors owning slaves must manumit them.  The split reveals the answer of the southerners.

After the Civil War ended, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South met in 1866 in New Orleans, and discussed what to do to address the spiritual needs of “colored parishioners” (Phillips, 1925).  The result was the first conference for black MEC, S members held in 1870, when they established the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of America, known as CME.  In 1954, the name Colored Methodist Episcopal was changed to Christian Methodist Episcopal.

In 1939 the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to form the Methodist Church.  In 1968, the Methodist Church merged with the United Brethren to form the United Methodist Church, the current name of the Leland Methodist Church. Neither the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) or CME have merged with UMC, though talks at various times have been conducted.  Like most things in life, there is more to the history of an organization than just the building.

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Categories: African American History, Churches, Civil War, Delta, Leland

4 replies

  1. This brings to mind the Alamo Plaza that once stood at the corner of Highways 80 and 51 in Jackson, Mississippi!

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    • It’s the curvilinear roof gable that the Mission style buildings have that makes them so similar. There was an Alamo Plaza in between Biloxi and Gulfport by DeBuys Road and hwy 90 too

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  1. First Methodist Episcopal Church South, currently First United Methodist Church, Pontotoc « suzassippi: red shutters
  2. Suzassippi's Mississippi: Leland M. E. Church, South | Belinda Stewart Architects

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