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2201 Bull Street

Savannah, GA 31401

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Copied from records kept by Royce A. Hoyle, Sr.

 

In the year 1883 the seed of Epworth United Methodist Church was planted in the organization of a Sunday School Class in the home of Mr. C. W. Winningham on Wilson Street in a section of the city known as Robertsville.                

 

From this grew a mission church and given the name of Marvin after Bishop Marvin. This church was sponsored by a group of men from Trinity United Methodist Church and was located on Roberts Street. Organized in 1889 with a membership of 73.

 

In 1890, the congregation built a new church and parsonage on West Broad and Charles Streets and the Conference appointed Rev. J. M. Mather city missionary and pastor of Marvin Church. They remained at this site for seven years. Becoming dissatisfied with the location they sold it to a African American congregation. While waiting for building to be completed, the congregation met in a room on Whitaker and 35th Streets and in Second Presbyterian Church at Barnard and Anderson Streets.

 

On October 10, 1897, the name of Marvin Church was changed to Seventh Street Methodist Church. Later the name of the street was changed to Thirty­ Seventh Street. At this site, the congregation decided to change the name to Epworth after the birthplace of John Wesley in England. In this location, the membership grew to 372. This site was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists in 1912.

 

In January 1912, Rev. W. M. Blitch chose the site at Bull and 38th Streets. While waiting for building to start on rear of lot, the congregation met in a tent on Bull Street side for about a year. Excavation for the permanent building began July 9, 1912. The cornerstone was set at ceremonies on February 14,1913. Sunday School was occupied Easter Sunday 1913 and the church October 18,1914.

 

A home at 2205 Bull Street, beside the church, was bought for the parsonage March 13, 1918, but due to growth in membership, space was needed for Sunday School rooms. On August 21,1919, the congregation bought the home at 2117 Bull Street, for the parsonage, and the old parsonage turned over to the Children's Department. 

 

Ground breaking on the site of the old parsonage for the Educational Building was held in a ceremony August 20, 1949.  A reception in the new building was held on June 16,1950, when it was opened for use.

 

The parsonage was sold at 2117 Bull Street on October 5, 1956, and bought the present one for the minister at 334 East 53rd Street. The church sanctuary was completely reconstructed on the inside and additional educational facilities and church office suite added, starting December 1959.

 

For more than a year, the congregation met in the Educational Building for worship services. Palm Sunday, 1961, was the first day we worshipped and rejoiced in the beautiful new auditorium as it is now.