Reading Room: Merge with St. Paul's Church

The location at 16th and Madison (now Church) Streets which the Foundry Church trustees selected for a new church in 1902 was within two blocks of another Methodist church. St. Paul's, formed in 1895, largely from the membership of Metropolitan Church, was at 15th and R Streets. As plans were being developed for Foundry's proposed move, consolidation of the two churches was being considered. To join the membership of the two, about 450 for Foundry and 250 for St. Paul's, seemed the only practical thing to do.

On January 30, 1903, the members of St. Paul's Church voted at their quarterly conference in favor of consolidation. The meeting was attended by nearly all the members of the quarterly conference and the decision was unanimous. After a thorough discussion, it was decided to appoint a committee of three to meet with a similar Foundry com­mittee to make arrangements for carrying out the merger. They were instructed to report the results back to the congregation. It was gener­ally understood by the St. Paul's membership that the name would be Foundry.

The Committee from St. Paul's was Mr. A. B. Browne, Prof. A. C. True and Mr. Joseph Birch. Foundry's committee was composed of Mr. Irving O. Ball, Mr. Theodore A. Harding and Mr. T. E. Sewall.

During March a petition was circulated among the members of Foundry. It was to be presented to the Annual Conference meeting in Baltimore April 1. The petitioners opposed the consolidation of the two churches and requested that the bishop send a new pastor to Foundry Church. About 130 members had signed by March 15, and the sponsors expected to add at least thirty more names. They were in favor of admitting the members from St. Paul's as individuals but not in a body.

Meanwhile, the joint committee of the two churches had asked the Bishop to appoint Rev. Robert Moore to Foundry. The plan of this group was to effect the consolidation on April 5; St. Paul's Church was to be used pending the completion of the new Foundry Church. The Foundry quarterly conference had accepted this plan on February 10 by a vote of 17 to 4.  The vote at St. Paul's was unanimously in favor of it.

Consolidation was approved by the Annual Conference. On Good Friday, April 10, 1903, communion services were held at 15th and R Streets. Foundry services which had been held at Columbia University and the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church were moved im­mediately to this house of worship which was to be known as the Foundry Church until February 21, 1904, when the last services were held there under the direction of Dr. Moore.


This article, originally titled "St. Paul's Merges with Foundry" is provided and used with permission from Papers of Homer Calkin, University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.