Date Founded: 1936
Though a survey of Metairie in 1936 found little evidence to support a new church formation, Susie May Munholland and others pressed the issue. A series of meetings at the Metairie High School auditorium led to the organization of the Metairie Methodist Church on October 22, 1936. There were 33 charter members, led by Rev. Jolly B. Harper (pastor at St. Mark’s).
Services were first held at the Metairie High School. With the help of a $500 donation by Mrs. Munholland, land on the corner of Metairie Road and Elmeer Place was purchased for $1500 on May 27, 1937. Mrs. Munholland also donated her home at 232 Elmeer Place to be used as a parsonage; she lived at the back of the home. She also gave sacrificially to the church. In 1938, the church was renamed Munholland Memorial Methodist Church in memory of her contributions and of her husband, Rev. C.T. Munholland. He served as a Methodist circuit rider in Louisiana from 1882 to 1907.
Construction began on September 1, 1938 on a two-story brick education building. Rev. Karl Tooke was pastor, contractor, foreman, carpenter, and laborer for the church. By 1940, a new sanctuary was under construction. Services were first held in the new auditorium on January 5, 1941. The dedication service, led by Bishop A. Frank Smith, was held on May 18, 1941.
A used pipe organ was purchased for $700 and installed in 1942. The church pews were added in early 1943. A new $75,000 education building was added to the original building in early 1949. A second floor was added to the addition in 1950.
In 1952, work began on renovating the chancel and adding a balcony, pastor’s study, and classrooms. In 1957, a new $200,000 education building was completed under the leadership of Rev. Edward W. Harris. In November 1960, the church acquired a new parsonage at 1357 Homestead Avenue. A second parsonage was acquired the following September at 1203 Metairie Road.
The church had to be repaired after being damaged by hurricane Betsy in 1965. To shorten the name, Memorial was dropped from the church’s title in 1970.
Source: “Golden Jubilee, Some Highlights of the Past”