Celebrating 100 years of history in Orlando, Carter Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church hosted a Centennial Bicycle Tour, which took place on February 6, 2016. It started at 8:00 AM in the parking lot of the Orange County Human Resources Division near the corner of South and Lake Streets in downtown Orlando. The 4-stop tour highlighted the pioneers and trailblazers who impacted the history of Orlando and the growth of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Florida.
Participants of this nearly 4 mile tour had a morning of fun and exercise on this educational excursion through time, struggles, and triumphs.
Jonestown was the first community of African Americans in Orlando and was located east of the city, along the banks of Fern Creek, near South Street. Pastor Marshall and some descendants of Jonestown residents presented the history of the community and the first CME church here in Orlando – Mt. Olive Colored Methodist Episcopal Church.
LISTEN TO THE RECORDING
After the history presentation, attendees mounted up on cycles and headed for the next stop.
The second stop on the tour was around the corner from 1000 W. Washington Street, where Pleasant Hill CME Church was founded by a few families from the Mt Olive CME Church. Miss Laurie and Miss Charlotte (members of the congregation) portrayed life back in the 1920s and provided details of the church’s history from 1917 to 1928.
The third stop was at 921 Bentley Street, where, in 1924, the congregation was able to move to a new and larger house of worship, which was renamed in 1928, to Carter Tabernacle in honor of CME Bishop Randall Albert Carter. Congregants used to summoned to services by a tolling bell in the two-story tower, and they were greeted by ushers wearing black suits, white shirts and white gloves.
The final stop on the tour brought participants to Carter Tabernacle’s current worship center, located on South Cottage Hill Road.
Read more history of Carter Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in These Stones: The First 90 Years, Pleasant Hill / Carter Tabernacle by Martha Scott Lue, et al.