Sunday, November 20, 2016, was a celebratory day at Decatur First United Methodist Church. Rev. Dr. Hughey Reynolds and congregation welcomed community churches and elected officials to the dedication of the Church’s historic marker from the Alabama Historical Commission.
Rev. Reynolds was the celebrant for the dedication of the marker. The dedication ceremony included an anthem by the Choir; greeting by Rev. J. Charles Boling; historical background information by Rev. Wylheme H. Ragland; presentation of the marker by William Dennis; and response by John Underwood, Chair of the Administrative Board. Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling and Decatur Director for Historic Resource Judge David Breland extended greetings on behalf of the city. Rev. Roderick Stallworth, pastor for King’s Memorial United Methodist Church, also extended greetings to the congregation and guests. After the service of dedication, Laura Norman and ladies of the congregation hosted a reception in the Archives Room.
Decatur First UMC’s history is included in the following: Tennessee State and Alabama State History; Tennessee and Alabama Methodist History; Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama History; African American History; and the American Civil War History. The congregation provided early leaders of government, education, and civic life in Decatur and Morgan County.
Members of the Church’s Historical Marker Committee included: Peggy Black, Rev. J. Charles Boling, John Coon, John Copeland, William Dennis, Tom Earley, Gay Maloney, Rev. Wylheme H. Ragland, Jim Surber, Fred Underwood, and Dr. Hughey Reynolds. The marker was erected by John Copeland, Tom Earley, Bill Finley, and Jim Surber.
Jesus has trusted the congregation with 189 years of service to the community and world. In preparation for the coming years, Rev. Reynolds, servant leaders and the congregation adopted a new purpose and mission to help guide their future ministries. The new purpose is “Discipling our church to cultivate a legacy of Gospel – inspired servant leadership." The mission is “Making disciples of Jesus Christ who become servant leaders for the transformation of our church, our homes, our city, state, nation, and the world."