With the early days of Selma, religious organizations have been a part of the community’s development.
In 1878, settlers in the Mendocino District organized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Most of the 14 charter members were women. In charge were the Rev. Warren Compton and Elders C.H. Robinson and C.I. Melvin. Early in 1880, the church became established in the Valley View School, which it shared with the first religious organization to be located in the soon to be Selma area, the United Brethren. The Presbyterian Church, in Selma’s beginning, became the largest church in membership. The congregation decided to build their own church and in 1888 build on the southwest corner of Selma and Mill streets. This church burned to the ground on April 7, 1894. The congregation build a $3,000 structure of wood on the same site. A third church was built of brick and costing $26,000 was on the same site after the old church was torn down in 1917. The Church was dedicated Jan. 13, 1918. The building was declared structurally unsafe in February 1965. The congregation moved their service on a temporary basis to different homes. The church gave up its First Presbyterian Church identity and on Jan. 28, 1968 it became the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church The Church moved to its new building on Rose Avenue on the east side of Selma on November 1970.
The United Brethren Church’s members in 1884, when the Valley View District build a new school, bought the pioneer school house and moved it to the northwest of Second and Young streets on property donated by charter member, J.E. Whitson.
The congregation used this building until 1959, when, on December 13, it moved as the Evangelical Unite Brethren to a new church at Barbara and McCall Avenues. Finally, as the Christ United Methodist Church, members consolidated into the First United Methodist Church on Cross Street on June 27, 1971. The Seventh-Day Adventist Church now uses the former United Brethren Church building on Barbara Street.
Thanks again to Randy McFarland for his Centennial Selma Book of Selma History. He continues to remind us of the rich history of Selma.