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Edenton Street United Methodist Church, or ESUMC, is a church in downtown Raleigh on the corner of Edenton and Dawson streets that has a rich history in its home city and across the world. Given its position in the southern United States, ESUMC has been a progressive church for centuries dating all the way back to its founding in 1811. ESUMC, being a Methodist church, has made most of its influence through missionaries to countless areas around the globe. Through its long, tragic, and interesting history, ESUMC has been a staple of downtown Raleigh for a very long time and is a well-known building among Raleigh residents.

ESUMC Sanctuary

View of current sanctuary from balcony

The Garden Gallery

Sky, Plant, Window, Building

ESUMC Steeple

Sky, Building, Tree, Building material

View of the front of the building

Plant, Sky, Building, Window

Edenton Street United Methodist Church was opened in 1811 after a conference of Methodist ministers in Raleigh decided to create a Methodist church in the middle of downtown Raleigh. The leader of this group was a man by name of Bishop Francis Asbury, who is a well-known figure in the Methodist community for being one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Asbury epitomized the Methodist church and thus the future of ESUMC by using ministry to spread the word of God across the United States. Taking after Asbury on an international level was Melville B. Cox, a minister at ESUMC who led a brief but effective ministry to Liberia in 1833. Cox, who was scolded for even considering the missionary, refused to give up on the development of Africa and the spread of Methodism. ESUMC has continued this through its 200+ years in existence with mission trips to areas such as Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Mexico among others.

ESUMC's buildings have had quite an enduring history. The main building started off as a single sanctuary which has since grown tremendously. The aforementioned sanctuary has gone through four versions. Its original design was upgraded to its second version only to catch fire and burn down. This led to the building of the third sanctuary, which also caught on fire in July of 1956, burning it down completely in the process. After the second fire, a two-year-long rebuilding of the sanctuary began. This construction project, which was completed in 1958, resulted in the current ESUMC sanctuary. The current sanctuary is a massive open room with a large stage, pipe organ, many rows of seating, and a balcony in the back of the room for extra seating. Other services in the main building include a more contemporary church service called "The Gathering," and "Sunday school" for children. Other buildings opened by the church are a youth building across Dawson street to the west for middle and high school ministries along with a separate setting called "Church on Morgan" which opened a few blocks to the east in 2015.

ESUMC has been a staple of downtown Raleigh for generations. The church is situated on the corner of Dawson and Edenton streets which happens to be the highest point in downtown Raleigh. Being the city's oldest operating church, ESUMC's extensive history in the area has been a bringing people to Raleigh and spreading the word of God for ages, and if fires could not stop it from doing so it will continue doing so for even longer.,and%20edited%20a%20weekly%20newspaper.

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