MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – Government Street United Methodist Church, locally known as the “Beehive”, is located on the corner of Government and Broad Street and is in the process of being restored.
It was nicknamed the “Beehive” because its congregation was the original Methodist church that spawned every episcopal and methodist church in Mobile today.
They are still working on redoing the Fellowship Hall, but have recently discovered a hidden gem… a beautiful stained glass dome. It was covered up and enclosed by a ceiling since the 1950s.
Dr. Bert Park is the pastor of this church and says that the main reason they are restoring this church is to preserve its historical value.
“You have to understand that the church is its people. It is not just a building…. but this building is of such historical import because it is one of a kind. There is nothing like it in the nation,” says Dr. Park.
The congregation of this church started way back in 1826 on Franklin Street. In 1895 they moved to a newly built Gothic building on the corner of Government and Broad Street. In 1917 an architect by the name of George Rogers wanted the church to stand out and do something different. So he re-built it and by 1917, the church now looked more like the Spanish-Colonial style it is today.
Since 1917, the outside has held up pretty well, but Dr. Park says that it had become a bit of an eyesore over the years due to the coal dust that settled on the details on the front of the building. So for the first time since 1917, the cracks were filled and the front of the church was power-washed and then painted.
Over the past four years, they have restored the 1200 pipes and the organ. The organ is the oldest two-manual pipe organ in Mobile.
The Beehive is close to being restored to its original beauty and hopefully will continue to be a large part of our local history.