Canton Bend United Methodist Church at Canton Bend, AL (built 1912-1913)

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The Canton Bend United Methodist Church congregation was organized on December 12, 1897. In 1910, Percy Smith and Irvin Smith deeded land for the church building. This land adjoined the cemetery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Canton whose organization dated from the 1830s. (The Presbyterian Church disbanded and its building was torn down.) The Canton Bend United Methodist Church building was erected beside the old cemetery during the years of 1912 and 1913. The light fixtures are original to the building. Before being converted to electricity, the nickel plated brass fixtures were lowered and filled with oil. In 1989, leaded glass windows were added to the church. The windows are patterned after the windows of the chapel at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile. The brick entrance was added in 1989. Construction of the fellowship hall that includes bathrooms and a kitchen was completed in 2005.

The cemetery beside the Canton Bend Methodist Church dates back to the early years of Old Canton. In 1823, Ann Smith, wife of Duncan C. Smith, died at the age of 23. Her husband was away on a trip to North Carolina at the time of her death. She was buried in a grove of oaks near the spot that she and Duncan had said farewell. Upon Duncan’s return to Canton, he deeded the property where Ann was buried to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for a cemetery. Percy and Irvin Smith, who deeded the land for the United Methodist Church, were descendants of Duncan Smith.

This church is located beside Highway 28 at Canton Bend in Wilcox County  (GPS coordinates:  32.056528,-87.350556).


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