Date Founded: 1875
For years, the community of Jefferson (located west of New Orleans along the river) had been served by the Jefferson City Church (also known as the Cadiz Street Church). In 1875, a new church was built on St. Charles Ave. by Robert Rayne. Mr. Rayne was a local preacher and New Orleans merchant. He bought the site and paid for much of the construction in memory of his son William. When the Cadiz church was closed in 1876, the roll was transferred to the new St. Charles Ave. M. E. Church, South. Other members came from the Felicity and Carondelet churches. The first service was held on January 2, 1876 with Dr. W.E. Munsey as the pastor.
When Mr. Rayne passed away in 1879, the church was transferred to the M.E. Church, South. In 1887, the name of the church was changed to Rayne Memorial M. E. Church, South to honor Mr. Rayne
The first Sunday School building was constructed in 1885. It was remodeled 3 times over the next 40 years. In 1925, an new educational building was built behind the sanctuary. A new children's educational building (the Bynum Building) was constructed in 1962. A new organ was purchased that same year. In 1968, the Hannah Chapel was built. The Chapel is being used today as the sanctuary for the Korean United Methodist Church. The chapel is named for the wife of Mr. Pendleton Lehde, who was responsible for building the chapel.
In 1908, the church bought its first parsonage at the corner of Pitt and Constantinople Streets. It has been remodeled several times (1942, 1962, 1974) over the years.
The church itself was remodeled after a storm in 1915. A pastor's study and modern church office were built in 1972. The Fellowship Hall was remodeled in 1974.
Source: One Hundred Years of Rayne Memorial by Ms. Fannie Rayne Ross & Ms. Ashley S. Ross