Community History – Covington – Lane Chapel C.M.E.

Community History - Covington - Lane Chapel C.M.E.

The Lane Chapel CME Church traces its history to the year 1894. That year a group of African American Methodists acquired the old Welsh Mission Church building at 125 Lynn Street in Covington. This building was a basement level structure that had been roofed over. The first trustees of the congregation were Mr. J.P. Watkins, Mrs. Garrett Coleman and Mr. Jerry West.

Lane Chapel was affiliated with the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. This denomination was established in 1870 by a group of African Americans who split from the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The Covington chapel was named for Isaac Lane, a former Kentucky slave who became a CME bishop in 1873.

By the 1920s, the congregation had grown to a sufficient number that a new building became a necessity. An upper church was eventually constructed above the old basement building. This upper church was completed in 1945 under the leadership of Pastor J.V. Noel.

In 1954, the Colored Methodist Church officially changed the name of their denomination to the Christian Methodist Church – a name that is still used today. At this time, the Lane Chapel congregation boasted a membership of 125. The sanctuary of Lane Chapel underwent a complete renovation in 1976 under the direction of Reverend Guy Robinson.

Like many other urban congregations, Lane Chapel experienced a declining membership in the 1980s and 1990s. By 1996, membership stood at 58. Despite these declining numbers, the congregation was able to make a number of improvements to their property in the late 1990s. The exterior of the church was painted, a utility building constructed a new windows installed in the sanctuary.

Kentucky Post, March 4, 1996, p. 4k and 108th Church Anniversary – 2002 – Lane Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (KCPL collection).

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