Barnes Methodist Church

In the fall of 1896, Rev. Daniel W. Ellison, a circuit riding minister who was preaching at a revival in Florence, Kentucky, visited in the town of Erlanger.  During his visit, he envisioned the possibilities of a Methodist Church in Erlanger.  The seeds of the organization of an AME Church were sown in the winter of 1896, just after Christmas.  The Rev. Ellison and his followers started going from house to house for prayer service.  After doing this for several weeks, they began to hold service in the old railroad station in Woodside.  A revival was held and after that revival, the first AME church in Erlanger was founded and organized by Rev. Ellison.  The first candidates for baptism were baptized, all by immersion, except one, in a public pond alongside the Southern Railroad at the end of Vine and Wells Streets.  The church served its first communion at the old railroad station where the service was being held.

 The church began to grow steadily and prosper, and moved many times.  It moved from the railroad station to a dwelling house on Fox Street.  Services were also held in dwellings on Spring Street, Shaw Street, and Palace Ave. until the Fox Street property was donated to the church.

 There have been three buildings on the present Fox Street site.  The first church was built around 1905 or 1906.  It was a small, wooden frame building.  Membership grew and expansion was necessary.  The frame building was enlarged, remodeled and named Hanns Chapel.  This building was destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1934.

 A stone structure was erected in October 1934. The men of the church and community furnished most of the labor.  The church was named Barnes Temple, after Rev. H. L. Barnes.  The cornerstone for the building was laid in 1936.  The building was completed during the pastorate of Rev. O. H. Huggins, who served for 11 years.

 After worshipping in this stone structure for many years, it was condiered unsafe and it was decided that a new building needed to be erected.  The foundation was laid while Rev. Robert E. Mitchell was pastor.  Under the pastorate of Rev. Mitchell, the shell of the present church was erected.  During the pastorate of Rev. Edgar L. Mack, an architect was hired and construction of the prsent building was completed in 1965.

 Church members Mrs. Mary Carneal, Mrs. Annie Walls, and Mrs. Bunt Hopkins compiled the information here.