2015 Patton Avenue

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Built 1950-51 by the Presbyterian Church as residence for ministers, it housed two key pastors of Amay James Presbyterian Church on the city’s west side. Mecklenburg Presbytery took out the building permit on January 13, 1950.

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The initial occupant was Rev. Leon Anderson, leader of Amay James Presbyterian Church. It had begun as the first Charlotte “mission” of the Presbytery in the 1920s, named for beloved grassroots social worker and teacher Amay James. Anderson stepped into its pulpit in 1947 soon after he finished his theological degree at JCSU. While in college, his commitment to social work had showed in his decision to live among the poor in the new Fairview Homes, Charlotte’s first public housing project for African Americans, and to work in the nearby Oaklawn Community Center. Even then he had his sights set on the Amay James mission: his thesis “A History of Mission Work Among Negroes in the Charlotte, North Carolina, Area of Mecklenburg Presbytery” chronicled the efforts of Amay James and her allies. He led Amay James Presbyterian Church for six years.

In 1953 Rev. Anderson departed to become Regional Director for Christian Education at Presbyterian headquarters in Atlanta. Little is known about the next residents at 2015 Patton Avenue, Rev. Andrew A. Allen and wife Marie, who appeared in the 1955 city directory.

Beginning in the late 1950s, Rev. McKinley Alphonso Cochrane was listed, long-time pastor at Amay James Presbyterian. Born a minister’s son in Charlotte in 1919, he earned undergraduate and theological degrees at Johnson C. Smith, doing some of his early preaching at Calvary Presbyterian in Kannapolis and Ben Salem Presbyterian in Charlotte. The Catawba Presbytery installed Rev. Cochrane as pastor at Amay James in 1956. He launched a weekday kindergarten — a rarity in this era when no public schools offered kindergarten classes — and he set to work on the construction of a brick sanctuary. Opened in 1959, it still stands at 2400 West Boulevard, now used by a different congregation.

Rev. Cochrane likely played a role in winning the construction of Amay James School, a CMS facility opened in 1959 that remains in use today off West Boulevard. There is also a street named for Amay James that crosses West Boulevard near the church building.

Rev. Cochrane continued to reside at 2015 Patton Avenue into the 1970s.

Patton-2015-b-web

Architecture

Cape Cod Cottage in dark red brick, one-and-half story with a second floor tucked under its steep gable roof. Two gabled dormers pierce the front roof. There is a small gable-roofed front porch and also a gable-roofed west side porch. On the west end of the house is a prominent exterior chimney. Two unusually large windows — three-part “picture” windows — flank the central front entrance. The dwelling has been renovated with aluminum window units and aluminum siding in the gables, plus square porch columns that likely replaced more complex original items.

Building permits

Patton-2015-permit
Date issued: January 13, 1950
Owner: Mecklenburg Presbytery
Contractor: Frank H. Conner

Building permit files, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.

First appeared in city directory

1952 – Rev. Leon Anderson

Resources

 

M.A. Cochrane, “A History of Amay James Presbyterian Church, from Its Mission State, 1922, Up to the present, 1959,” undated mimeographed pamphlet in the Inez Moore Parker Archives, Johnson C. Smith University. On-line at: http://cdm16324.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15170coll10/id/24

“Minutes of Mecklenburg Presbytery,” June 15, 1956. On-line at: https://archive.org/stream/minutesofmecklen08pres/minutesofmecklen08pres_djvu.txt