The spiritual nurturing of Israel Metropolitan CME evolved under the guidance of Mt. Olive CME Church in the Fishtrap Community of Easley, SC. Israel CME will celebrate her 128th anniversary on November 21, 2021.
A few members of Mt. Olive CME Church migrated to Greenville in search of jobs. Imbued with the spirit of Christ and a deep faith, they were committed to establishing a house of worship. They began fellowshipping in one another’s home. In 1893, with God’s blessing of $490, James Miller, Peter Miller, Charles Smith, and Sam Nixon purchased a tract of land on Birnie Street which later became Israel Chapel Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
Twenty-three years later the mortgage was liquidated and, with an increase in membership, our forebears purchased a tract of land on the north side of Calhoun Street between Ware and McCall Streets on September 9, 1916, for $2500. This new sanctuary was named Israel Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
As time passed the word “Colored” was deleted and replaced with “Christian” in keeping with the resolution presented to the General Conference on May 12, 1954, by Dr. Channing H. Tobias. His premise was “…the Church of Jesus Christ is a fellowship of all believers who know the Lord and Master and worship Him in spirit and truth, and that no exclusion of any follower from participation in the organized work of His kingdom on account of race, color or national origin is justifiable.”
In the 1960’s, “Chapel” was deleted from our church’s name, replaced by “Metropolitan,” to reflect an increase in membership. Ministries and outreach programs were expanded to meet the needs of the church’s members and the surrounding community. As Israel responded to the needs of the greater community, she became known as “The Friendly Church” with an open door policy.
Through the years, Israel Metropolitan CME has nurtured her own sons and daughters who preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior. We are ever mindful that each of us is a planter of the harvest and a builder of the faith.