A Brief History Of Centenary
By The Late Terrell D. Moseley - Former Church Historian
It all started with Samuel Mitchell, who in the 1790s lived on a farm on Daniel's Hill in Lynchburg, Virginia, near the Point of Honor. He was the first person who tried to start a gathering
of Methodists in Lynchburg. He did so by holding small worship meetings at his home. However, they were not able to start a church. Nonetheless, in 1805 Stith Mead was a
leader who inspired a group to purchase a parcel of land. In 1806, construction of a meetinghouse was completed. It was called the Third Street Methodist Meetinghouse. Mr. Mead provided most of the construction money by underwriting the loan himself.

Today Centenary is known as The Mother Church of Methodism in Lynchburg. It's early history began in January 1806 with the construction of the first Methodist Meeting House on 3rd Street ( now called Church Street). However, hasty construction and the lack of any building codes, quickly resulted in the need for new building that was built in 1815. The early church was initially on the Bedford Circuit,
but later became a station itself.

Having outgrown their building, a new larger church was constructed in 1859. It was considered one of the finest churches in the Virginia Conference. In 1860 the name was changed from the Third Street Methodist Meeting House, to Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

Centenary congregations gave rise to other churches: The Methodist Protestant Church (later known as First Methodist), Court Street Methodist Church, Danieltown Chapel, Trinity Methodist Church and Madison Heights Methodist Church. Danieltown Chapel later became known as Cabell Street
Methodist Church. Even with the new churches, Centenary again needed more room, and in 1898 a new church was built on Fitzhugh Place, near Rivermont Avenue. That church was Rivermont Avenue Methodist Church.

Ever growing, another larger church, this one designed by the noted architect Stanhope Johnson, was built. It was patterned after St. Martin in the Field Church, located in Trafalgar Square, London.

Shortly after its construction in 1926, the congregations of Centenary and Rivermont merged and the new combined church was named Centenary. That is our current building.

In 1930, Centenary having been instrumental in the formation of Danielstown Chapel, joined with that growing congregation as one united church in 1930.

During the history of Centenary, many noted preachers such as Bishop John Early, and Francis Asbury have delivered sermons from her pulpit. The Virginia Methodist Conference met at Centenary on two or more occasions. Centenary was a gathering place for early Lynchburg citizens' activities. Lorenzo Dow, an itinerant minister, and Stith Mead, a local landowner and righteous man, participated in the founding of Centenary, whichwas then known as Third Street Methodist Meeting House. In the early 19th century before 1806,

Lorenzo addressed the wickedness of Lynchburg by saying, "Lynchburg was the seat of Satan's kingdom."

Old Centenary
Rivermont Centenary Methodist Church
Reformend Methodist Church
As We Are Today