Lebanon First United Methodist Church
603 W. St. Louis St., Lebanon, IL 62254
New August 2012: Document from 1965 that mentions the history of Lebanon First UMC & its connection to McKendree (College) University.
The cornerstone of the Lebanon First United Methodist Church, reads ”M.E. Church” for Methodist Episcopal Church. The inscription acknowledges that construction of the first building at 603 W. St. Louis St. was begun in 1867-8. The church was dedicated in 1872.
Methodism in Lebanon pre-dates 1868 by at least 45 years. According to the McKendree College Centennial History, 1828, an old quarterly conference record shows that a Methodist preaching place was established in Lebanon in 1823.
In 1852 the Methodists built their first building in Lebanon, a brick structure costing $7,500. A fire in Dec. 1860 left the congregation without a home of its own, and meetings were held for the most part in McKendree College's chapel until the new building was constructed in 1867. Membership at that time was about 200.
This tall-spired church building also burned on Sunday morning, April 3, 1898. Plans were made immediately for a new building which was quickly constructed at a cost of $10,000 and was dedicated, debt free, on Sunday, Dec. 4, 1898.
The Methodist congregation in Lebanon continues to worship in a building that is now over 100 years old. The perseverance and faith of our forefathers has made this church a "Family of God" looking forward to an everlasting presence in our city of Lebanon.
A more comprehensive church history can be found in the Centennial book published in 1998 which is available for review in the church office.
Copyright 2011, Lebanon First UMC, Lebanon IL