Methodists have been in Harrodsburg since early pioneer times, but prior to 1827, there was no organized Methodist movement. The few Methodists in and around Harrodsburg worshiped in a log house located on the south east corner of North College Street and Broadway. The cabin belonged to Rebecca Hart, and weekly prayer meetings were held there between 1802 and 1827.
In 1827, Rev. William Holman was appointed to lead the Methodists of Harrodsburg and Danville, and the spring of 1828 the Methodist Society of Harrodsburg was formed with seven members. The first meetings of the new society were held in the Court House. Between 1827 and 1837, it is not known for certain if this group had a church, however, some of the oldest records of the town mention “Old Methodist Meeting House”. Its location unknown, but some have speculated that it may have been the home of Rev. Jesse Head, the minister who presided at the wedding of Abraham Lincoln’s parents.
Property at the southeast corner of Chiles and Office Streets was donated in 1837 for the purpose of erecting a church to be used by the Methodists two Sundays a month and other denominations the other two Sundays. The church was known as the Republican Church or the Old Meeting House.
The Methodists sold their interests in The Meeting House in 1840 and purchased a lot at our present location on the corner of Poplar and Chiles. Under the direction of Rev. Richard Deering, a new brick church and parsonage were built. The parsonage is the oldest continuous use Methodist parsonage west of the Allegheny Mountains and has housed over 60 ministers and their families. On the same site, in 1889, a new church was built, which utilized materials from the previous structure, and in 1916, a Sunday School Annex was added and a pipe organ installed.
In 1940, a fire severely damaged the church. Thanks to the heroic efforts of ladies of the church, the beautiful stained glass windows were saved. Also saved was the Church Bell, which had been forged in 1840 using silver coins and silverware given by the members of the church. The church and annex were rebuilt on the same exterior lines as the building of 1889 and 1916. Because of the rapid expansion of the Sunday school in 1955, plans were made for another Sunday school wing, which was completed in 1959. In addition to class rooms, the new wing contains the pastor’s office, library, and purple parlor. In 1979, the adjacent phone company property was purchased. Expansion of the church campus continued with the purchase of the property at the corner of College and Poplar Streets in 1995 and the purchase of The Gathering Place and Fort Harrod Motel in 1996. The latest expansion was in 2001, with the purchase of 20 acres near Highway 127 and the Harrodsburg Bypass. A pavilion was completed on that site the following year.