The present congregation of Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church had its start in 1888 when members of the Walnut Street Methodist Episcopal Church South joined members of the Chestnut Street Church to form the church as it is now. First buying a lot at the corner of Third and St. Catherine, they soon sold it and purchased the lot at Fourth and St. Catherine Street for $10,000. Upon this site was built a $40,000 church building that is now the social parlor area of the present church. One hundred and eleven charter members were present at the opening service on December 16, 1888, with Dr. J. H. Young as pastor.
By January, 1902, under the pastorate of Dr. H. D. Moore, the congregation had grown to 472 members and the present sanctuary was built. The sanctuary is on the National Register of Historic Places and is still known throughout Methodism as one of its most beautiful places of worship. The Sunday School Annex was built in 1922, and the entire church complex was renovated following Louisville’s 1937 flood. The present Sallie Smyser Chapel dates from 1957.
A Fourth Avenue Sunday School class fostered the development of the HELP Office, a neighborhood ministry which continues serving the community until this day. Implementing its concern for God’s people, the church is host to meetings of The Healing Place and Alcoholics Anonymous, and provides weekday and Saturday free lunches to those in need of this service. Sunday School classes, small group meetings, and active United Methodist Women’s and Men’s groups are also part of its on-going commitment to Christian discipleship.
Fourth Avenue United Methodist Church considers itself called to be a metropolitan, intercultural, diverse, Christian community of grace and faith as it continues on its mission to share the love of God in the heart of the city!