Methodists were the first denomination to organize in Selma and the only church remaining on the original plot of ground assigned to by the Selma Land Company. In 1835, the Methodists organized with 12 members in a wooden church at the corner of Dallas Avenue and Church Street. In 1853, the wooden church was torn down to make way for a larger two-story brick building. It was finished in 1856. On a stormy March night in 1899, just as choir practice was ending, a gust of wind toppled the steeple and sent it hurtling, point first into the sanctuary, where it stuck the floor near the altar rail. No one was injured, but the building was severely damaged. The congregation voted to replace the building. The first brick on the new church was laid on March 7, 1901 and the current building was completed in July 1902. It is a Romanesque Revival style structure with a four-story corner tower that’s topped with a conical copper roof. As time has passed, several buildings have been added to accommodate the growth of the church congregation.
The Church Street United Methodist Church is a contributing property to Selma’s “Old Town Historic District” that was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) on May 3, 1978. This church is located at 214 Church Street near downtown Selma (GPS coordinates 32.409212, -87.022919).
Sources: 1) ChurchStreetUMCSelma.org; 2) NRHF “Old Town Historic District” Registration Form.
Photographs courtesy of RuralSWAlabama.