Newbern First United Methodist Church
Friday, September 18, 2020
103 West Main Street, P.O. Box 72 Newbern, TN 38059
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Church Office Hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 
8 AM  to 1 PM
Nancy Nale  
Administrative Secretary 
Tyler Neeley
Bro. Tyler's Office Hours
By Appointment
Office Phone:  


(Please note that this section is still under construction) 


In 1874, the decision was made to build a Methodist Church in Newbern, which was being served by Church Grove United Methodist Church. The present lot was bought from John R. and Martha C. Westbrook for $416.00 and the building was erected. The original church was a rectangular brick building, setting north and south. This is now the main part of the Sanctuary. There were two entrances, each having double doors and facing Main Street. Two aisles extended southward from these doors to the chancel rail, which was mounted on a platform about twelve inches high, with the choir on the right side and the pulpit left of the center. In the extreme southwest corner, on the floor level, were three benches running north and south. This area was variously known as the "A-men corner" and the "mourners bench." The section east of the left hand aisle was referred to as the "men’s side" and the corresponding space on the west-side was known as the "women’s side." In the winter two large stoves located about the middle of the church heated the church. In the beginning wood was used as fuel, but coal was later substituted. The church was lighted for night services with coal oil lamps, most of which were the bracket type, but there was an ornate chandelier suspended from the ceiling by a block and tackle arrangement. This allowed the fixture to be lowered to light and extinguish and also to refill and to clean the chimneys. The church was among the first to use electricity when it became available in Newbern. A wooden bell tower was situated in the churchyard, northeast of the church, and the bell was rung for every service, even between the Sunday School and morning worship service, and it had to be tolled for funerals. The bell now hangs in the present tower.

The church caught fire and was badly damaged. It was decided to remodel the building. The choir and pulpit was moved into an addition on the west side and the Sunday school room was erected on the west-side and the bell tower was built. The two doors on the front were closed, and the present stain glass windows were installed. A part of the basement became Sunday school rooms for Primary age classes.


The church was reworked, enlarged and modernized.


This was followed by another major building program in 1949.


A remodeling project was approved for First United Methodist Church. A building committee was elected to oversee the project. The Sanctuary walls (because of moisture damage) were covered with waterproofing material and then covered with sheet rock. The ceiling was replaced and new lighting was installed. Some of the old Sanctuary lights were used elsewhere in the Church. The old ceiling fans were removed and new pews were put in place. The Altar was renovated with a new communion rail, pulpit and lectern. The height of the choir loft was lowered and the cross was put in place behind the choir pews. The back section of the Sanctuary was enclosed to form the cry room. The door from the classroom into the Sanctuary was closed permanently.      

In later years, the Men’s Bible classroom was moved to the end of the Fellowship Hall.   A wall was constructed dividing the classroom and fellowship hall area. A new kitchen was built in the Fellowship Hall. A new Children's Dept was built in the space that was occupied by the old kitchen and a new hallway was built to access the west door. The classrooms included a nursery, infant nursery, and other classrooms for children. The concrete floors were covered with vinyl floor tiles.  


The wall between the Men's Bible classroom and fellowship hall was removed, restoring the fellowship hall to back to it's original size.  The kitchen also received a major renovation including new countertops, a second stove top, and added a second refrigerator.