Young Meadows Presbyterian Church History
Young Meadows Presbyterian Church began in 1991 as a dream in the hearts of Dr. Cortez Alonzo Cooper and his congregation at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, when a member, Miss Ida Belle Young donated forty-one acres of her family’s meadowland on Vaughn Road for the purpose of planting a daughter church.
A search committee was formed in June of 1992 to find a pastor to organize the new church. Dr. George Leavel Coxhead, a pastor in Greenwood, Mississippi and his family were called in January of 1993. Home Bible studies were held from March until May, at which time commitment letters were signed by fifty people. This core group met weekly all summer for prayer, planning and Bible study.
The first worship service was held August 29, 1993 in the cafeteria of Trinity Presbyterian School. In September small home fellowship groups began meeting weekly for prayer, Bible study, encouragement, and outreach. We met with the goal of growing closer to other believers in the church family as well as growing in our relationship with the Lord. We wanted to share our struggles and victories so that we might be better motivated to persevere with faithfulness in our Christian lives.
In November of 1993 the church moved its services to Goodwyn Hall on the campus of Auburn University at Montgomery, where we worshipped for the next twenty months. Seventy-eight people became charter members of Young Meadows and our growth progressed steadily.
In August of 1994 our first elders and deacons were elected and ordained. Our mother church then launched us into particularization, moving us from daughter mission status to being an organized church.
Spring of 1995 brought our building fund drive to a close. Sunday March 12th we held a meeting on our property to announce our pledge total. God moved our peoples’ hearts to give seriously and sacrificially 1.5 million over the next three years. He drew our hearts together in prayer, praise, and song as we thanked Him for His goodness and mercy.
In July of 1995 the church moved its worship services to Catholic High School on Vaughn Road next to the church property. An immediate increase in attendance and membership was seen due to the more visible and convenient location. Worship services averaged around 150 people by late summer of 1995. April 7, 1996 our groundbreaking ceremony took place on a beautiful Easter Sunday afternoon.
Jan 1995 Eleven ministry teams in place
7/22-7/29/95 YM sends 19-person first short-term mission team to Jamaica
9/1/95 Mr. Bill Lamkin joins staff to work with students
10/1/95 Mr. Brannon Bowman joins staff to lead music ministry
3/6/96 F-2 killer tornado passes over building site; severely damages St. James School facilities
4/7/96 Groundbreaking for sanctuary and rest of phase I facilities
Spring 1996 Mission India multiplication project
5/19/96 Steve Marusich comes under care of the Session to pursue a calling to the ministry
8/11/96 Rev. Bill Lamkin’s ordination service
6/22/97 First service in new building
9/6-9/7/97 First World Bowl missions conference
9/14-9/17/97 Conference with Dr. Peter Marshall
11/1/97 Mr. Sam Smith joins staff to work with students
12/21/97 First children’s Christmas program
12/24/97 First candlelight carol service
3/8/98 Announcement to congregation about Dr. Coxhead’s resignation
4/18/98 WIC coffee with Denise Richardson
6/14/98 Bart Garrett comes under care of Session to pursue a calling to ministry
8/30/98 Celebration of church’s fifth anniversary
9/26-9/27/98 Second World Bowl missions conference: Rev. Tom Cheely keynote speaker
11/15/98 Rev. Harding installed as second pastor
1/18/99 Purchase of portable classrooms approved
2/14/99 Mission India Rice Bag project begins
5/16/99 Global Outreach Team presentation describing new focused strategy
June 99 Mr. Chris Carver joins staff as a summer youth intern
Aug 99 Leslie & Dot Samuel give carillon bells to church
8/17/99 Major earthquake in Turkey confirms missions focus; official death toll of 17,322
9/28/99 Drs. Steve Samelson and Larry Wallin go to Turkey for short-term medical relief trip
1/8-1/16/00 Nine-man construction team goes to Turkey for post-earthquake relief
2/2-2/20/00 Photos for pictorial directory
2/3-2/6/00 World Bowl III: Matt Heard, keynote speaker
April 00 Mrs. Leigh Kincer joins staff as Children’s Ministry Coordinator
5/20-5/21/00 James Ward concert and ministry Sunday AM
8/13/00 Sam Smith’s last Sunday before returning to seminary in Jackson
10/8/00 Vision 2010 presentation
11/5/00 Brannon Bowman’s last Sunday before starting as pastor in Monroeville, AL
11/10-11/12/00 Sonship conference with Ron Clegg
5/31/01 Rev. David Harding resigns, effective
6/10/01 6/3/01 Rev. Alex Montgomery joins staff to work with students
9/20-9/22/01 Christian Manhood Conference with Dr. Harry Reeder
1/6/02 Rev. John Kinser’s first service as stated supply
1/18-1/20/02 Churches Vitalized interview weekend
1/25-1/27/02 Missions conference with focus on Turkey
6/30/02 Mission India rice bag project deadline
10/3-10/6/02 Weekend of ministry by Rev. Cortez Cooper
12/1/02 Dr. Jim Simoneau’s first Sunday as pastor
1/9-1/12/03 Officers attend Embers to a Flame conference at Briarwood
7/3-7/12/03 Twenty-three person team from YM goes to Bulgaria for a week of ministry
8/24/03 Tenth anniversary celebration
Now finally completed, our sanctuary will seat approximately 200 people with an educational wing that houses Sunday school rooms, nurseries, and a fellowship hall. Our congregation has grown to 239 members with 116 families.
Our purpose at Young Meadows Church continues to be to glorify God by worshiping, learning and living God’s word, and sharing the love of Christ with others. Our logo, a vine branch across God’s opened Word, reminds us that we are living branches joined to Christ the Vine and that the Word of God is central to our lives.
Our church is blessed with a vital and active congregation. Upon joining our members begin working with one or more of our ministry teams. They include women’s activities, worship and music, nursing homes, singles, Christian education, outreach to the community, mercy and children’s ministry. We provide well rounded programs for children, youth and adults. Our well equipped and staffed nursery program is a source of much pride. At present we support a number of missionaries and mission programs around the world.
The Lord’s hand has been evident to us throughout all of our history in all that we have done. It is our prayer and desire that we honor and exalt Him in all that we do and that He will continue to provide for us and use us for His service.
Young Meadows Presbyterian Church Building
The exterior of Young Meadows Presbyterian Church is in the Gothic renewal style executed in contemporary materials and was the basis from which the edifice grew. The silhouette of the building is reflected in the Gothic roof slopes. The windows are framed by Roman arches above which batterments extend through the edge of the roof. The windows themselves are typical Romanesque style. The tower was a borrow from Christopher done in scale of the Gothic revival period. The dentals are of a Georgian motif. The building as it stands in a meadow is most reminiscent of the early rural English countryside.
A pair of elongated stained glass windows frame the entry of the church. The window to the left depicts the Lamb of God. John 1:29 – The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” The window to the right depicts the tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Exodus 20:12-17. The circular rose window portrays the open Bible with praying hands. Psalm 119:105 – Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I Timothy 2:8a – I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands. The windows are executed in beautiful dark vivid classical colors.
The narthex with its extra high ceilings continues the gothic style. Each side aisle of the narthex has its own narthex typical of English churches.
A swan table, placed in the center of the narthex was made by the Robinson Foundry in Alex City, Alabama. This company has been creating for more than 140 years. Three royal birds touched back-to-back form an exquisite golden base for a massive glass top with ogee edge. The heavy cast brass lantern with beveled glass hanging in the narthex is topped by an elegant crown. This narthex lantern was crafted by some of Europe’s finest lantern artisans, and is finished in a nice rich verde patina.
The solid oak pews in the sanctuary were crafted by the Overholtyen family. From Overholtyen Switzerland in 1540, to Lancaster County Pennsylvania in 1710 to central California in 1864, they brought a heritage of faith and a tradition of fine workmanship.
The carved wood screens at the back of the chancel area have the tri-foil design representing the Trinity. This is a typical Gothic detail usually done in stone tracery. The choir screen, which separates the choir from the pulpit area, also contains the tri-foil design.
The center nave is separated from the side aisles by massive columns that rise twenty-five feet to the ceiling. The side aisles are unusually wide and reflect a contemporary feeling of fellowship space to be used before and after services. The columns are accentuated with sconces matching the design of the brass chantileers that were inspired by the chantileers in Canterbury Cathedral and were made in Europe
The comparatively small windows in the side aisles at ground level are repeated in the upper walls of the sanctuary to allow additional natural light. Plantation shutters exist on the windows presently as an intermediary solution in order that stained glass might be added in the future.
Pairs of Sheraton chairs flank the pulpit in the Chancel area. They are made of solid mahogany with a Carpathian burl inlay.
The central axis of the sanctuary is created by an elongated stained glass window centered by a Calvary Cross. - Galatians 2:20a “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Also represented on the window are: the Alpha and Omega symbols - Revelation 21:6a –and He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.” The descending dove - John 12:32 – “And John bore witness saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.” The wine and bread of the communion – I Corinthians 11:23b-25 “The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said “Take, eat; this is My body which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same manner, after supper He took the cup, saying “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” The intertwining grapevine – John 15:1a “I am the true vine.” The words He is Risen grace the bottom of this beautiful window.
The broken pediment and recessed skyline in the sanctuary are indicative of the rending of the veil in the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus died – Matthew 27:50 & 51a “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
We are very grateful to our architect, Gene Malone Parsons, for his many hours of research and diligence in helping us reach our goal of a building worthy of being the place in which we worship our God.