The Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitor's Bureau has released a new video entitled Lift Every Voice and Sing. The nine minute DVD highlights pioneer African-American individuals, families and congregations who have played significant roles in the history of Decatur, Alabama. One congregation prominently highlighted in this video is King's Memorial United Methodist Church in the Northwest District.
King's Memorial UMC is Decatur's oldest historically African-American congregation. The video explains that the church was established in the 1850s by area slaves who were attending the Methodist Church in Decatur (now Decatur First United Methodist Church). They paid for the construction of their own house of worship which was first known as St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church. The building was dismantled by Union soldiers during the Civil War. After Emancipation, the Freedman’s Aid Society, established to educate newly freed slaves, operated a school at St. Paul’s. In 1908, the church was renamed King’s Memorial in honor of Bishop Will Jefferson King.
Covering more than over 180 years of history, the video highlights important milestones and events. Dr. Wylheme H. Ragland, a retired elder of the North Alabama Conference and a member of the Lift Every Voice and Sing Video Committee, notes, "Many of the persons highlighted in the DVD were members of King's Memorial United Methodist Church."
The video can be viewed online at the Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitor's Bureau website. Click here to go to the Decatur-Morgan County Convention & Visitor's Bureau's video gallery and watch Lift Every Voice and Sing.