COPYRIGHT 2020 © PRESERVATION ALLIANCE OF LAFAYETTE
The Davidson Memorial Methodist Church Building was a decommissioned chapel at Louisiana’s Camp Claiborne, and it was moved to its present location in 1947. It was likely built around 1940. The historic significance of Davidson Memorial Church includes the fact that it represents a sizeable population increase in north Lafayette at the beginning of the 20th century. Between 1910 and 1940, Lafayette’s urban population had more than doubled in size, and several neighborhoods just north of the railroad tracks began to increase in density. However, waiting for trains caused considerable delays to daily travel, since there were no “underpass” or “overpass” at railroad crossings at the time. Most trains stopped at the freight and passenger depots, blocking key roadways for long intervals. For car travel, especially to church services on Sundays, trains posed a serious challenge. In 1941, First United Methodist Church members from the congregation at 703 Lee Avenue, formed a new congregation to serve the population living north of the tracks. Mr. J. J. Davidson, Sr. and his wife, Lilla May Kennedy Davidson, were an important part of the leadership for the new congregation. The church was named in their honor.