Community History – Covington – Fourth Street Christian Church

Community History - Covington - Fourth Street Christian Church

The Fourth Street Christian Church was established in 1874, when 60 members of the First Christian Church on 5th Street withdrew to form a new congregation. The new church initially met at Cooper’s Hall at the northwest corner of 6th and Madison Avenue. On June 5, 1875, the congregation purchased the old Presbyterian Church on 4th Street at the head of Court Street. The building was dedicated as the home of Fourth Street Christian Church on June 6, 1875. The building was purchased at the price of $7,000.

By 1893, the members of Fourth Street Christian began making plans for a new church building. Newspapers of the era suggested that a new building was eminent and that it would likely being located in a more central city location. Representatives from the Ninth Street AME Church showed interest in purchasing the church on 4th Street. The proposal, however, fell through when the members of the AME Church were only able to raise $40 toward the $7,000 purchase price.

The members of Fourth Street Christian never abandoned their dream of building a new church in a more residential section of the city. In the meantime, a third Christian Church had been established in the city under the name Central Christian Church. The Central Christian congregation was established in 1909 and was meeting in a private residence at the corner of Greenup and 15th Streets. Representatives from Fourth Street and Central Christian Churches began meeting in 1912 to discuss a possible merger. In February of that year, the members of each congregation voted to merge.

The new church formed through the merger of Fourth Street and Central Christian Churches was named Madison Avenue Christian. The congregation built an Italian Renaissance Revival Style church on the east side of Madison Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets. The new edifice was dedicated on November 30, 1913. The new congregation was led by Reverend Joseph Willis Hagin, the former Pastor of Fourth Street Christian.

When the new Madison Avenue Christian Church was completed, the old Fourth Street Christian building was sold to the Myrtle Lodge No. 5 Knights of Pythias. The Pythians used the building for many years as a lodge hall. The building, one of the oldest church structures in the city, still stands today as a reminder of the rich religious heritage of Covington.

Madison Avenue Christian Church, Covington, Kentucky, Golden Anniversary 1963; Ticket, June 8, 1875, p. 3; Kentucky Post, March 7, 1893, p. 1, March 11, 1893, p. 1, September 23, 1893, p. 4, December 9, 1893, p. 1, February 8, 1912, p. 3, March 19, 1912, p. 7, March 27, 1912, p. 7, April 12, 1912, p. 5 and May 5, 1912, p. 3; 

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