Milan First United Methodist Church to celebrate 150th anniversary and homecoming on Nov. 5


By Marilyn Ramsey, Milan First United Methodist Church

Milan First United Methodist Church in Milan, Tennessee, will celebrate its 150th year in ministry on Sunday, Nov. 5, with a morning service at 10:30 a.m. A celebration lunch will follow. All are invited to attend as it is Homecoming, also. The church's address is 2000 Jones Blvd.

The church was founded when Beverly Adam Williamson, a prominent Milan citizen, and “13 other members of the Methodist faith” came together in 1867 to form and build a church identified as The Methodist Episcopal Church, South. At the beginning they met in the Masonic Hall until the church building could be built. You might say the Methodist church and the city of Milan grew up together as the town was incorporated in 1866, just a year earlier.

The city architecture has changed over the years with many structures being torn down. There have been four known buildings erected as the Methodist church in Milan, but only the current one on Jones Blvd. is still serving the community.

One of the distinctions the church has is that a young single lady named Lochie Rankin was called into the mission field in 1878. She was the first single female from the Women’s Society to be sent out to the mission field.

We have had many from our church in mission, including Lee Ola Foust, who was a home missionary. Bessie Holt, mother of Dr Andy Holt, president of the University of Tennessee, and her family were prominent and important members of our church, providing many years of leadership and Christian education for our members. Bessie was a distant relation of Williamson.

Milan Mustard Seed was started when members of the church saw a need in the city for low-cost clothing. It started in a closet at the church, but quickly grew until it now occupies a new building on the corner of Short Anderson and Second Street. It today serves Milan and surrounding communities.

Milan First United Methodist Church has been a prominent and strong influence in the city with many of the city”s leadership, past and present, being part of the church.