Main Street UMC~An Historical Landmark

Main Street United Methodist Church, Reidsville, NC, was honored to receive from the city of Reidsville Historic Landmark Status for the original 1890 Sanctuary Building on June 9,2009. On Sunday, March 21, 2010, following the morning worship service, the church had the dedication of the official street side sign indicating this honor. This Romanesque Rival style sanctuary has welcomed worshipers for one hundred and nineteen years.

Historical Discussion of Property

Main Street Methodist Church opened its doors for worship in July, 1891. Worshipers enter the same sanctuary for services today, one hundred and nineteen years later. In 1872 – before there was a Methodist church building in Reidsville and one year before the official incorporation of the City of Reidsville, there was a group of Methodists meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Lindsey for the purpose of founding a congregation. The congregation did not have its own house of worship until 1878 when it completed the first church on the west side of the 200 block of South Scales Street on land donated by Mr. William Lindsey. The congregation grew so rapidly that, in 1890, ground was broken and the cornerstone laid for a new building on a site just west of the earlier church, facing South Main Street. Although work continued on the church and rear Sunday School building for several years, the first services were held in the new building in July, 1891. Main Street Methodist Church has a special history that reflects the growth and development of the community of Reidsville itself. Its property includes the site of the store built by Reuben Reid whose family “founded” Reidsville 1815. The first post office was located in that store and David Reid, young son of Reuben and Elizabeth Settle Reid, was the first postmaster at age 16. David Settle Reid would serve as Governor of North Carolina and United States Senator during the turbulent period leading up to the Civil War. Members of the Reid family have been faithful members of Main Street Methodist Church for over 100 years. Miss Henrietta Reid, granddaughter of David Settle Reid, attended church at Main Street Methodist until physically unable to do so. In the years following the Civil War, Reidsville’s industrial growth was closely tied to tobacco. A leading tobacconist was William Lindsey Tobacco Factory produced plug tobacco. Mr. & Mrs. Lindsey were in the founding of the Methodist congregation in 1870s, in the providing of land for construction of the first church building, and for continual support of the church. Members of the William Lindsey family (Watt, Stokes, and Bagwell) have been a part of Main Street Methodist Church since its inception, and fourth and fifth generations continue to serve the church.

Among the distinguished members of Main Street Methodist Church was Susie Sharp, who was the first woman Superior Court Judge in North Carolina. She was appointed by Governor Kerr Scott. She then became the first woman on the North Carolina Supreme Court, and later was the first woman Chief Justice of a Supreme Court in the United States.

Perhaps its most important historical connection to the Reidsville community is the location of the church itself. Since 1890, the church has been in the downtown ….. close to the heart of Reidsville. There is an on-going connection to the community that surrounds the church.