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Our Church History

The Shawnee Methodist Church is in the historical succession of Methodism’s Westward Movement in the city of Louisville. In 1806, the First Methodist society in Louisville was formed. It met in private homes and in a log schoolhouse located where the Jefferson County Courthouse now stands. In 1809, a brick church was erected on Market Street between 7th and 8th Street. This building was sold in 1816 and a larger, more commodious church building was erected on 4th Street near Jefferson.

In 1835, the congregation at 4th Street was divided into the Upper and Lower stations. The Upper station built a church on Brook Street. The Lower station remained at the 4th St. site until 1853, when the Walnut Street Church was built at the corner of 5th St. From this church, a new congregation was formed at 14th and Jefferson in 1850. A two-story brick building was erected on 12th between Jefferson and Market and came to be known as the Bascon Memorial Church. In 1872, a new congregation was formed and a framed church built on Jefferson Street near 12th Rev. J.P. Goodson, the pastor of Portland Church, did much of the carpentry work with his own hands and served as the first pastor.

The Methodist of Louisville's West End worshiped here for more than 75 years. It was one of the strongest, most active churches in Louisville Methodism, and from its membership went a strong viral stream of leaders into all sections of the rapidly growing city. From that Sunday School and Epworth League went forth a large number of ministers, missionaries and ministers’ wives who have rendered vital services in the Master’s Kingdom. Some of the leading preachers of the conference served the congregation through the years.

With the change of the community, the life of Jefferson St. ebbed for number of years until the beginning of a new growth in the western section of the city. Under the leadership of Rev. L.R. McDonald beginning in 1946, there was a rapid increase in membership and interest in the Church's program, but the rapid change of the community life made it seem necessary to again join the movement westward and the sale of the Jefferson St. property to the R.E. Jones Temple was consummated in 1950.The Jefferson St. congregation moved to 42nd and Duncan, and the name of this church was changed to Shawnee Methodist Church. Here, under the skillful leadership of Brother McDonald, the membership was largely increased and the new church building got under way.

This church had nine pastors since being at its present location. Rev. L.R. McDonald, Rev. C.D. Owen, Rev. Charles Hulse. Rev. John L Coomer, Rev. Otis Jay Polly, Rev. John E. Ware Sr., Rev. Walter White, Rev. Ron loy and Rev. Vernon Chandler.

History of Parkland United Methodist Church

According to the most reliable information the Parkland United Methodist Church was organized at 34th and Magnolia St. It was destroyed by the flood in 1937. After the loss, Rev. George Smith donated a room for them to hold their services. After some years, they suffered the loss of their church again, this time by fire. At this time, without a church, Rev. Smith decided that with the help of God, they would rebuild the church in the West End, at that time called the Parkland area. With the help of the late sister Rickman, Rev. Smith, and Rev. J.W. Robinson and many others who labored voluntarily for many hours of service, Parkland United Methodist Church was rebuilt at 34th and Hale.

It was a long, hard struggle, but in October of 1946 they entered their church. This was a day of giving thanks, for the Lord had brought them thus far. Over the years, they had many pastors, to name a few Rev. Calvin Wilderson, Rev. Lenny Wilson, Rev. George Brown, Rev. J W Robinson, and Rev. Allen H.L. Randolph. Rev. Allen H.L. Randolph was a share pastor who came to them from R.E. Jones Church later to become the full time pastor of Parkland Methodist.

Church Makes History in 1976

Parkland began to grow and prosper, becoming one of the strongest and most active in the community. The Louisville Annual Conference made history when the Shawnee Methodist Church, a church with an all white membership, merged with Parkland Methodist Church, a church with an all black membership. At that time, Shawnee church was pastored by a white minister, the Rev. V.H. Chandler and the Parkland church was pastored by a black minister, the Rev. Allen H.L. Randolph. In June of 1976, the Parkland United Methodist Church merged, making them a reslated church. Serving the community. We became Shawnee-Parkland United Methodist Church, 300 N. 42nd St. Louisville, Ky 40212. At this time, our church is integrated, ministering to all who will accept Christ into their lives. Our church stands with its doors open, arms outstretched, hearts open to every man, woman, boy and girl to aid them in any way. Shawnee-Parkland United Methodist Church and Calvary United Methodist Church merged in October of 1990, which became Genesis United Methodist Church.

Pastors in the History of Genesis United Methodist Church

Rev. Lawrence McNeill Dowdy, 1990-1996

Rev. Ed Moore, 1996-2003

Min. Nadine Woodard, 2003-2004

Rev. Elvyn Hamilton, 2004-2009

Rev. Dr. Chris Campbell, 2009-2013

Pastor Lamont Jenkins, 2013-2017

Pastor Thomas Moore, 2017-2022

Rev. Dr. Maxine Thomas, 2022

Rev. John Allen Randolph, 2023

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