Barnes Bldg1 w logo1ourHistory


1879 – 2014

On April 23, 1968, the United Methodist Church was created when the: Evangelical United Brethren Church (represented by Bishop Reuben H. Mueller) and The Methodist Church (represented by Bishop Lloyd Christ Wicke) joined hands at the constituting General Conference in Dallas, Texas. With the words, “Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church”[17] the new denomination was given birth by the two churches that had distinguished histories and influential ministries in various parts of the world.

In 1879 the Rev. Prentiss, a member of Gorham Methodist Church, began conducting services among people of North Indianapolis. Meetings where held in the Greenleaf Hall at 28th and Radar Streets. By 1884, the congregation numbered 18 members, 9 probationers and 22 Sunday School students.

The work of Rev. Prentiss came to the attention of a good friend, and benefactor Mr. Albert Barnes. Mr. Barnes gave a substantial donation and a lot on which a new church was named “The Barnes Methodist Church” in honor of his financial and spiritual advisement.

Since it’s founding, the church has occupied three separate locations. 1st) 900 block of West 25th Street, 2nd) West 26th Street, and 3rd) 900 W. 30th Street. The Rev. Prentiss, Minister in Charge, made great sacrifices to make the transaction for the property successful.

In May of 1953, Reverend Paul L. Ayres, assumed Senior Pastoral leadership with support of First Lady Edith Ayres and his loving family, sons Paul Jr. and David. As the church numbers grew debts from the purchase of the 900 W. 30th Street location where noted. In 1959, recognizing the debts still due to the church from the purchase of the new location, location, under the leadership of Rev. Ayres, Barnes raised thru regular offerings, $132,000 and took in 649 new members. This brought the total membership to 765. In June of 1964, Rev. Ayres was appointed to Gorham Methodist Church in Chicago. He left Barnes with a large membership, money in the bank and a paid off mortgage!

In 1964, the Lexington Annual Conference merged into the North Central Jurisdiction, resulting in Reverend N. Hartsfield Holloways appointment to Barnes Methodist Church. Ironically, his First Lady was also named Edith, a daughter named Judy and a son named Houston rounded out his family. Under his leadership, the old edifice at 900 West 30th Street was torn down and a new one was built in 1965. This was accomplished through the establishment of a program entitled “The Bank of Faith”. Since inception, Barnes has purchased five additional lots for building and parking lots.

June 21, 1981, Reverend Martin McCain began serving Barnes. Reverend McCain was married to First Lady Terri with two children, Martin Jr., and Mia. Reverend McCain goals were to minister to the needs of Barnes. They were to implement outreach community programs and build a new sanctuary. A mortgage burning ceremony was held on December 4th, 1981 for the old sanctuary and fellowship hall. In 1987 the new Sanctuary was completed.

1993 – PRESENT

The Reverend Dr. Charles R. Harrison was appointed to Barnes and began serving June 21st, 1993 after completing his appointment from Wiley United Methodist Church, New Castle, Indiana. Reverend Harrison not only serves his congregation but his community and city vigorously as founder of the Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition.

Pastor Harrison met First Lady Fawn while serving at Barnes. They were married June 11, 2005. First Lady Fawn Porter Harrison, Shayla and Terrell became his loving and supporting family. A little while later the family was enlarged by the addition of Jaylyn and Jeremyon.

Under his guidance, a new addition was built for the Barnes youth, community and outreach programs. Additional programs have been developed to include all Barnes members and adults in the community as well. Barnes currently has an active feeding ministry, clothing ministry, girl scouts, scholarship ministry and sports ministry.

In 2011 the Reverend Michael D. Peoples was appointed to Barnes where he serves as the Executive Pastor. Rev. Peoples has also served as Site Pastor for Barnes Northwest and provides pastoral support to St. Paul Brightwood United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

Rev. Kevin Mallory was appointed to Barnes in 2014 where he serves as the Associate Pastor. Serving Ministers are: Minister Lydia L. Davis, Minister Deborah Mays, Minister Eric Walker.

To date, there has been a total of twenty-seven (27) Pastors of Barnes United Methodist Church. They were/are:

Rev. T.R. Prentiss 1879
Rev. S. G. Turner 1880
Rev. Levi Mitchell 1883
Rev. T. R. Prentiss 1887
Rev. Charles T. Lewis 1892
Rev. W. D. Hoston 1893
Rev. Henry Dupee 1895
Rev. T. R. Prentiss 1896
Rev. T. T. Carpenter 1899
Rev. Edward Gilliam 1901
Rev. T. R. Prentiss 1903
Rev. Joel Perkins 1913
Rev. A. R. Martin 1914
Rev. W. B. Harris 1915
Rev. T. A. Upshaw 1917
Rev. E.W.S. Hammond 1919
Rev. L. E. Jordon 1921
Rev. Charles F. Ball 1923
Rev. R. L. Dickerson 1924
Rev. J. C. Hayes 1926
Rev. Robert E. Skelton 1929
Rev. L. R. Simmons 1942
Rev. J. P. Pierce 1950
Rev. Paul L. Ayers 1953
Rev. N. H. Holloway 1964
Rev. Martin G. McCain 1981
Rev. Dr. Charles R. Harrison 1993