Maplesville UMC
Monday, July 24, 2017

Maplesville United Methodist Church History

 
The history of the Maplesville UMC and the town of Maplesville are uniquely intertwined. Old Maplesville was originally located several miles east, at the intersection of what was Fort Jackson Road, running east-west, and Elyton Road, running north-south. Originally settled by migrants from Georgia, South Carolina, and farther north, it had water, game, timber, and rich soil. It also was on the stage coach route between Montgomery and Tuscaloosa, where the state capitol was formerly located.
 
In the 1850’s the Tennessee River Railroad was completed from Selma north to Montevallo; it quickly became a convenient method of transporting goods to markets in Selma and beyond, via the Alabama River. This resulted in an inevitable move of citizens and businesses closer to the railroad, several miles to the west. Initially called Cuba, it soon became the new Maplesville.
 
The Maplesville Methodist Church was constructed in 1850 on land where the Methodist Cemetery is now located, about ½ mile south of City Hall on Highway 22. It had previously served as a campsite for cotton farmers who were hauling bales of cotton to Selma and needed a good stop-over location. Early church records were destroyed by fire but verbal history says the first pastor was Reverend Bilbo. The church also served as a school house as well as being a place of worship for other faiths and religions, as it was the only church in town. It is an excellent example of the one-room Gothic Revival  church building prevalent in that era and one of the best preserved in the state.
 
When the railroad began operation, a decision was made to locate the church where it could be seen from the trains. In 1887 the present site was purchased, the original structure was dismantled, numbered, moved to the new site, and re-assembled. It remains there today.
 
In 1953 a Fellowship Hall was added to the church, providing Sunday School rooms, a kitchen, a recreation space, and bathrooms.
 
In recent years the congregation has done extensive restoration to the building and the grounds. It has also added a walking trail with meditation gardens, for the use of the church members as well as visitors. We hope you will share them all with us.