Broadway United Methodist Church is Paducah's oldest institution. Founded in 1832, the first edifice was erected in 1842 on the northwest corner of 4th. and Broadway. In 1875, it was relocated to the southeast corner of Broadway at 7th. and moved to the present site in 1896. The church was destroyed by fire in 1929 and rebuilt in 1930. During the flood of 1937, flood waters filled the basement and stood approximately six inches deep in the sanctuary.
Broadway Church has always been a vital part of the Paducah community, hosting many community services and events in the sanctuary. Baccalaureate and Commencement services for the former Paducah High School and later Augusta Tilghman High were held here. In 1945, under the leadership of the Paducah Ministerial Association, a Memorial Service was held for President Franklin Roosevelt at the same hour of his funeral in the White House. V-E Day and V-Day Services were also held here that year.
Judge William Sutton Bishop, the Old Judge Priest of Irvin S. Cobb's stories, and Alben W. Barkley, Vice-President of the United States under Harry Truman, held membership here. Vice-President Barkley died while in office, and his funeral service was held here in 1956. The church was filled to overflowing long before the service was to begin. People from all over the country and abroad, including President Harry S. Truman were in attendance.
Broadway's History Department serves as the depository of Broadway's rich documentary history, covering most of our 175 years of minutes and correspondence, membership records, photos, documents, benevolence endeavors, etc.
However rich our history may be, time and space would not permit us to speak even briefly of the men, women, and families who have been and are today, part of this church. Without their loyalty and devotion to the Kingdom of God and their long and faithful service, Broadway would never have been and could not continue. While we embrace our history, we imagine a bright and blessed future with come at this place called Broadway.