Scott County, Indiana
Genealogy and History
This information and write-up provided courtesy Jeannie Carlisle - Steve@scottinhistory.com
The Scottsburg United Methodist Church was organized in 1863/1864. In 1865 an effort was made to raise money for the building, but being just after the Civil War, the effort failed. It wasn't until August 4, 1874 that a lot was bought for $25.00 on the corner of First and Kerton Streets. A one-room brick building with level floor, two doors on the west, pulpit and another door in the east was built for $3,000.00 and was dedication held in 1876. The congregation met prior to the church building being erected, in the Scott County Courthouse.
Only twenty-three years later the members realized they had outgrown this small structure, and plans were made for a bigger and better church building. They were to begin work on Thursday, July 27, 1899, tearing down the old building, when at midnight Wednesday, July 26, the alarm was given that the Methodist Church was on fire. By 1:00 a.m. the roof fell in and the building was destroyed. So work was begun immediately to rebuild with the cornerstone being laid the first week in September 1899, with the building being completed in February, 1900. The new building was a Gothic style, made of brick with an angular ceiling. The dedication took place on Sunday, April 22, 1900. The cost of this building was $4,600.00 with $2,000.00 needed to be raised to pay off this debt. At the dedication service this amount was pledged after only two hours of canvassing.
An eastern annex and basement were added in 1921 at a cost of $6,000.00. Various items were added to the church building over the next twenty years. In 1946 a basement annex was added. A new parsonage was built at 66 North Second Street in 1952. Major remodeling of the sanctuary took place in 1955 with additional remodeling of the basement done in 1963.
Interior pictures from the chapel are available here.
As the congregation continued to grow, the need for more space and parking, coupled with the availability of property along Interstate 65, culminated in purchasing the 8 acres at $2,000.00 an acre, for the construction of a new church building. Ground breaking took place in October 1976 for the building of the new church, at a cost of almost $344,000.00. One year later, in October 1977, Pastor Paul Hedden led a procession from the old downtown structure to the present location.
The building was sold to Scott County for a Courthouse Annex Office building and the building was remodeled extensively. The county used the building until 1997 when a new addition was made to the courthouse. The building was sold to LifeSpring Mental Health Center.
In October, 1982 land adjacent to the church, was donated by Mrs. N. K. White for the future construction of a parsonage. Plans were approved in 1984 with construction beginning shortly thereafter and was completed in 1985. The downtown parsonage was sold for $60,000.00 and was used to help with a portion of the cost of the new parsonage. A parsonage mortgage burning ceremony was held in September 1991.
The latest addition to the present church building was begun in early 1997. A ground-breaking service for the erection of an elevator-bell tower was held on February 2, 1997. Not only was the tower to have an elevator to the fellowship hall, but the old bell (from the original church), was installed at the top of the tower. On October 26, 1997, the twentieth anniversary of the church at its present location, the elevator-bell tower was dedicated.
The Scottsburg United Methodist Church, that sits on the hill overlooking the interstate, stands night and day as a beacon and light by which others are led to know Jesus Christ. It is a mansion built by man but dedicated to God and the hope of peace in the world. We give God the glory, the honor, and the praise for all we have accomplished and may accomplish in the future.