UNION Rayville Louisiana

Rayville, LA

Date Founded: 1879

On June 27, 1879, about five and a half acres of property were donated for a Union Church (to serve Methodists, Baptists, and Presbyterians). The donors were the heirs of John P. McIntosh … Leonidas McIntosh, Margaret McIntosh, and Cornelia McIntosh Hatch. The first appointed Methodist pastor was Rev. N.C. Connell, appointed to the charge in December 1880.

The first structure was built sometime between 1887 and 1890 under the leadership of Rev. J.F. Patterson. The outside was white with a steeple. The inside had two aisles. The original railing around the pulpit is still used in the present church. When the presiding elder would visit, dinner was held out under the oak trees in the yard.

In an 1895 document, the same donation was mentioned but the church was called the Union Methodist Church. A note in the diary of Mr. C.M. Noble mentioned that the pastor Rev. J.T. Reames had begun taking subscriptions for a new church which was to be a Methodist Episcopal Church, South congregation.

In 1916, a tornado destroyed the church, though some of the pews were salvaged. They had to chop a hole in the church floor to release a herd of hogs that had been trapped. Rev. Patterson was called from Rayville to design and build a new church. Improvements were made later in 1947, 1953, and 1958.

On March 27, 1918, a house was purchased from Leo McConnell for $2,800. It was used as a parsonage for the pastor serving Union, Little Creek, and Mangham. After it was burned down in a 1933 fire, a new home was built. In 1959, Mangham paid for the Union-Little Creek share of that parsonage and Union-Little Creek built a new parsonage near Alto in 1962 on land donated by Stanley Thomason. The first pastor in the parsonage was Rev. J.D. Strozier.

Source: History of Union United Methodist Church, Jimmie Kenton