April 1903, the Woman's Missionary Society of the Louisville Conference,
Methodist Episcopal Church South, founded the Louisville Settlement Home.
Five months later, the agency began activities in a ten-room brick
building on East Jefferson Street under the direction of a Methodist
deaconess, Miss Ogilvie.
Early activities included a kindergarten, a Sunday school, and the
Barclay Chorus Club, "made up of thirty-five boys, who, although at first
very unruly and defiant of workers and ministers, later became known for
their good behavior and sweet singing." The Louisville Settlement Home
also sponsored a club for factory girls and young women, a young men's
club, prayer services, mothers' meetings, lectures, and industrial
1908, the agency found new quarters on Main Street, adjacent to Marcus
Lindsey Memorial Church and became known as Wesley House.
Seventeen years later, in 1925, Wesley House moved to its current
location at 803 East Washington St., a block north of the old location.
The physical plant grew to include a third building and a
gymnasium, both of which were connected to the older structures. A
recent physical addition was the Wesley United Community Park, dedicated in
The environment around Wesley House changed over the past century
and so did the array of programs it offered. Sewing clubs, Scout activities,
summer camps, and more have largely evolved into programs that provide
essential services to low-income families in the distressed neighborhoods
east of downtown Louisville.
What hasn't changed is Wesley House's commitment to serving its
community in a spirit of Christian love.
For more on the history of Wesley House, visit ourhistorical