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Monte Sano United Methodist Church Collection

Identifier: MC-155

Scope and Contents

This collection is arranged in two series. One for the Lunar Communion and the other for Boy Scouts of America.


  • Creation: 1960 - 2019


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research in the Archives & Special Collections reading room. Handling guidelines and use restrictions will be communicated and enforced by archives staff members.

Conditions Governing Use

This material may be protected under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code) which governs the making of photocopies or reproductions of copyrighted materials. You may use the digitized material for private study, scholarship, or research. Though the University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives and Special Collections has physical ownership of the material in its collections, in some cases we may not own the copyright to the material. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in our collections.

Biographical / Historical

The Monte Sano United Methodist Church is located at 601 Monte Sano Boulevard atop Monte Sano Mountain in Huntsville, Alabama. MSUMC was founded in 1896 as the Monte Sano Union Chapel. Apparently non-denominational, the church met in a small white frame building located at what is now the corner of Monte Sano Boulevard and Old Chimney Road. The chapel closed sometime in the 1920s, until Rev. T.J. Williams, a Methodist minister, reopened it in the early 1930s. In 1943, Monte Sano Union Chapel became a Methodist church and joined the Huntsville District of the North Alabama Conference. The church merged with the Evangelical United Brethen in 1968 and became Monte Sano United Methodist Church. Having opened a new church building in 1962, MSUMC leased the original 1896 chapel to Monte Sano Baptist Church until 1966. The chapel was demolished in 1968.

This collection contains materials related to the church's annual Lunar Communion, which MSUMC celebrates each July in recognition of Huntsville's contributions to space exploration. MSUMC has also been the church home of many scientists and engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and its contractors. According to MSUMC, Lunar Communion is a "remembrance of the brave astronauts who first stepped foot on the moon" and "shared in Holy Communion as one of their very first acts upon landing on the lunar surface." The collection also includes materials from the local Boy Scouts of America troop, which met at the church for decades.

Sources: Monte Sano United Methodist Church website; James Hill, "History of the Development of Monte Sano," Huntsville Historical Review, vol. 34, iss. 1


3 Linear feet (3 boxes + 5 objects)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Christel McCanless, 2019.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, and competing priorities. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections as they are acquired and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Rahabu Mugeta
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama in Huntsville Archives & Special Collections Repository

M. Louis Salmon Library
301 Sparkman Drive
Huntsville, AL 35899 Alabama 35899 United States of America