Braddock Street Methodist Episcopal Church South was born as a result of the decision of the April 7, 1858 Quarterly Conference of the Market Street Methodist Church to reserve certain pews for students of the Valley Female Institute (a Methodist School for girls). Feeling that this decision was in violation of the Methodist discipline, some members withdrew their membership and began to organize a new Methodist church with the purchase of the property on Braddock Street for $449.00. The cornerstone for Braddock Street Church’s first sanctuary was laid on October 8, 1858. The first Christmas services were held in the new building’s basement that year. The sanctuary was dedicated in July 1859. The membership had grown from 32 to 168 members.
The church closed in 1862 when the pastor, J. Lester Shipley, joined the Confederate Army and the membership had dropped to 60 persons. In 1866, the church was repaired from damage it sustained during the war and services resumed with membership rising to 250 members. By 1890 the church membership had grown to 511 members. The year 1902 was an eventful year as the Sunday School House was built at a cost of $10,294.30 and 144 books were authorized to be purchased by the Quarterly Conference to start the church library.