Church History

OUR CHURCH HISTORY
 
In 1826, our congregation started with the purchase of a small lot on Fairfax Street in Winchester, Kentucky.  A small wooden structure was built in 1827.  For the next 21 years, services were held in this building.  In 1848 the small congregation decided to tear down the little wooden church and build a new one.
 
In 1849, the new and larger building of brick was completed and dedicated.  This new brick church was located on the corner of Lexington Avenue and Wall Street and served the congregation for the next 36 years.  However, time proved that the little church was not large enough for the growing congregation and the decision was made to relocate.
 
Construction on a third building was started in 1885 on the corner of Main Street and Hickman Street, the newly purchased site. For the next two years, construction continued on the brick building featuring a large steeple atop a large tower on the left front of the building with two entrances facing Main Street.  This building was dedicated on May 24, 1887.
 
When Rev. G. W. Banks became minister in 1916, a decision was made by the congregation to raze the 29-year old brick building and construct a larger, stone church.  The Building Committee, under the chairmanship of George E. Tomlinson, took great pains to choose the best architecture they could.  The new church was to be an example of modernized English Gothic architecture.  In plan and style, it followed in a general way that the Cathedral at Winchester, England.  Rev. Banks served during the construction of the new church, 1916-1922.  He was succeeded by the Rev. Ulysses G. Foote in 1922, who served until 1924.  The First Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was dedicated on October 21, 1923, with the Rev. Ulysses Foote presiding.  
 
The present structure has served the congregation and community since that time, but not without modifications.  The greatest modification has been the addition of the education building, started on April 18, 1961 and completed on March 11, 1962.  
 
In June of 2007, under Rev. James A. Williams, IV, a second, contemporary service, First Fire, was started in the old Movies 9 building in Winchester Plaza.  The service quickly outgrew the small, movie theater space and in the fall of 2008, relocated to the old Dawahare’s Department Store building in Winchester Plaza, becoming a second campus of Winchester First. In April of 2016, First Fire moved to a new location, and began a partnership with Emmanuel Episcopal Church, to hold services in its Parish Life Center located at 2410 W. Lexington Road.