Brick Church

Photo By Jim Delark

Photo By Jim Delark

One of the more distinctive buildings in Historic Mooresville is the Old Brick Church built in 1839 on Lauderdale Street. The property on which the church stands was donated by Governor Thomas Bibb and his wife, Parmelia, to be used for a community church. The Cumberland Presbyterian denomination owned the building until the Methodists bought it in 1898. It has also served as a Baptist mission. Regular worship services have not been held in the church since the 1960′s. In October 1994, the United Methodist Church conducted a deconsecration service and passed ownership to the town.

The bricks of the church are unusually symmetrical for handmade bricks. The bricks on the gallery level on the front were replaced after the support log deteriorated and the original brick fell out. The steeple’s original large wooden hand pointing to heaven fell in the early 1990′s. A replacement was carved by the late Frank T. “Bubba” Richardson of Mooresville and Dr. Dyrc Sibrans of Decatur and was placed on the steeple at a ceremony in May 2005.

Built during the Greek Revival period, elaborate pilasters stand on the east side of the church facing the street. They were omitted on the less public west side of the building, due no doubt to frugality. The columns are covered with stucco, a common practice to this area. The gallery once used by slaves, was removed after emancipation. The floor joists of the balcony have been raised and are now used for the ceiling.


The church originally had five chandeliers, one of which ws donated by Mary “Mollie” Walton. When the Cumberland Presbyterians split among themselves in 1880, everything was removed from the church except the Walton chandelier. The Methodists refurnished the church with altar rails, the pews, the podium and the organ that are still present today. The 1905 reed, or pipe, organ was restored to full working order by Mr. Coleman Kimbrell of Florence, Alabama.


In the 1870′s, Constantine Blackman Sanders, called the “X+Y=Z Preacher, ” was minister at the church. He was credited with the ability to make predictions, help the ill, assist in locating lost objects and relate happenings in other locations while in a sleep or trance. “X+Y=Z” was the signature he signed to his writings during “sleep” sessions.

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