The congregation and friends of Braden Memorial United Methodist Church, at 803 Main Street, are celebrating 137 years of making disciples of Christ in the East Nashville Community. On Sunday, October 14, a special service will be held at 3 pm, with Rev. Dr. Harold Moses Love, Jr., pastor of Lee Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church and state representative of the 58th District as the guest speaker.
Braden Memorial United Methodist Church was founded and organized by Dr. John Braden in 1881. Before that time, there were no churches of the denomination in East Nashville. The majority of Black people attended First Baptist Church and Payne Chapel AME churches.
In the year 1884, the first Braden Memorial Church was completed by Dr. John Braden, the founder, preaching the first sermon. The assigned pastor was Rev. Daniel C.S. Cook, who served for two years, and later was made presiding elder.
The church was destroyed by fire in the year 1893 and was rebuilt soon thereafter, and again destroyed by fire. Through a long struggle, the church was rebuilt. In the year 1933, the church was destroyed by a tornado, and under the leadership of Dr. H.H. Jones, it was relocated, and the building was started and later completed in 1942 under the wise leadership of Rev. L. Mosley.
With the theme ‘Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future,’ the church has maintained a rich history from 1881-2018.
Looking over the past 137 years is an opportunity to learn about the principles on which the congregation was founded and the genesis of the church. Those principles are the old paths of our spiritual foundation.
According to church officials: “This church must be preserved for the generations of the future. We are able to stand firmly on a spiritual foundation today because the previous generations followed old paths. Faithful leaders of the previous eras provided information and guidance to emerging leaders, allowing them to evade familiar faults.
Still today, we lead collaboratively, to assure that our planned actions do not run counter to the wisdom of bygone experiences. Given our extraordinary history, our future is incredible. We are called to transform the world, in Jesus’ name.”