Boulevard United Methodist Church

Our history

The first service held in our church building, was on Sunday December 21st, 1924, but the name, "Boulevard Methodist Church" was not proposed until the following year, and did not become a reality for another 16 years.

There was a growing community of faith in the West End from 1916, linked with the Broad Street Methodist Church and then with Clay Street Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and called Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, South. This was the forerunner of our church.

Our longest serving member is Mrs. Margaret (Peggy) Foy, who became a full member on April 16th, 1922, although another of our current members, William M. Mayo, Jr. holds the life-long membership honors. He was baptized into our community of faith, on May 2nd, 1920.

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In 1960, in keeping with changes across the country, Boulevard opened its doors to all races and instructed its ushers to seat any black visitors near the front of the church, a bold statement of faith in progress.

The Sanctuary was vacated in 1966 for 19 weeks, for a major renovation and remodeling scheme, at a cost of almost $56, 000. A further $20,000 was spent in 1980, on repainting and new chandeliers. This gave us our current "look". The debt was paid off within two years. Then in 1968, the national Methodist Church joined with the United Brethren Church and we became "Boulevard United Methodist Church", our current name.

Boulevard celebrated its 90th anniversay in 2006. Bishop Charlene Kammerer preached to the congregation on December 10, 2006. That service functioned as a reunion for members of all generations. Needless to say, the sanctuary was packed that morning!

In 2007 Boulevard continues to grow and strengthen its efforts to serve the community through activities like Caritas and Habitat for Humanity.


Music has played a central part in worship and fellowship at Boulevard. Choirs included the Sanctuary Choir, the Youth Choir and the Junior Choir. In 1977, a set of 25 handbells were purchased and have been used to add sparkle and beauty to our music since then.

The organ was replaced in the Spring of 1989 and continues to serve well. The Sanctuary Choir is modest in size but quite capable of stirring the spirit.

Our current music director is Dr. Marianne Kessler, whose imaginative choice of music includes spirituals, classic and modern music from all over the world.

Acknowledgements to "Boulevard United Methodist Church 1915 - 1989", pub. Tapestry Press MA, 1989