Visitors to East Nashville are drawn to its historic neighborhoods, where massive magnolias in pocket parks loom over restored Victorian homes and broad, sidewalk-lined streets. From the Five Points area, they stroll a couple of blocks over to Holly Street and find themselves staring up a wide flight of stairs at the warm red brick of East End United Methodist Church. “That’s been here a long time,” they think, staring up at black-iron lampposts and stained glass windows.
In Nashville, “a long time” means a lot of different things. In East End’s case, it means 125 years. The church was founded in the home of Mrs. Carrie Binkley on Nov. 10, 1889. Mrs. Binkley lived on Magnolia Street, now Boscobel. There were 16 charter members that night, and they wasted no time wrapping bricks and mortar around their vision.
-In 1890, a wood-frame building went up at 1100 Fatherland St. It was used until 1905
-In 1905, a parcel of land at 13th and Holly was purchased for $2,500. At the same time, an additional $14,000 was raised to build the walls, roof and tower.
-On Oct 15, 1905, the congregation held its first service at the new site — on the lawn, as only the basement had been completed.
-On Oct. 27, 1907, a cornerstone was laid. It holds a copper box containing 14 items from the congregation.
-Around the same time, the large, stained-glass window facing Holly Street was installed. It cost $375.
-In 1921, a $21,000 addition for Sunday School was built behind the sanctuary building.
-The parsonage was built in 1923.
-In the 1950s, the education wing was built off the parking lot.
East End was busy from its earliest days, hosting revivals and more. It also was called into service right away, acting as a central gathering place and staging area to fight the East Nashville Fire in March 1916. In March 1933, a tornado blew through East Nashville, and East End once again sheltered its neighbors while providing support for rescue workers. It would do the same again in 1998, when another tornado followed almost the exact same path through the neighborhood. In 2020, the church building took a direct hit from a tornado that severely damaged the building. The church is currently planning a major rebuilding effort that will keep the church serving the community from Holly St for another 100 years and more.
Providing shelter from the storm is a specialty at East End, as is celebrating weddings, births and so much more within our walls and with our surrounding community. We are working to make sure our church building remains a well-loved landmark for many years to come and invite you to join us.