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Tom Leatherwood
 
Historical Markers of Shelby County

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Collierville United Methodist Church Sanctuary on the Square

One of two sanctuaries of Collierville United Methodist Church, the Sanctuary on the Square was built in 1900 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South congregation. The Methodists were the first to erect a church in the community and from 1869-99 had a building at N. Main St. & Highway 57. In 1900 members purchased a lot on N. Rowlett for $250 for a new facility. Construction cost, including the stained glass windows ordered from France, was $5,000. The building fronted on N. Rowlett featured bead board wainscoting and ceiling with the gas light fixtures. The first service was held January 15, 1901 and at the September dedication that year the offering was more than enough to pay off the mortgage of $1,800. In 1950, an educational annex was added on the south and the front entrance was moved to Center Street. In 1964, the congregation bought 15 acres on Poplar Avenue and built a fellowship hall. More room was needed and classrooms at the back (north side) of the original Sanctuary were removed and more pews added. More activities had to be moved to Poplar and after several more building phases a new 1400 seat sanctuary was completed in 1997. The Methodists resolved to retain the Sanctuary on the Square and to preserve their presence in the heart of the town. The Sanctuary is lovingly maintained and is used for weddings, funerals, special events and regular Sunday services.