Grape Capital of the World: Learn more about the early churches of Selma | Lifestyles
In my last article, I shared the story of the early days of the Presbyterian Church and the development of the Methodist Church in Selma. So today I want to continue adding to this story by sharing the story of other churches in Selma.
The services led by Reverend Martin Miller in October 1880 formed the basis of the November 1881 Selma organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Lots were purchased and a 150-seat church was built in 1886 at Whitson and Branch, the facility served the congregation until the completion of a new brick building completed in 1908. In July 1938 it was demolished. In July 1939, a new church was opened in Selma and Cross streets.
The Catholic Church of St. Joseph was preceded by several years of Masses in private homes and shops. The first took place in 1881, probably in the old house of the railway section where a priest from Visalia served the congregation. The first register of the church dates from June 18, 1887, in the original two-storey wooden building of A. Barieau located on the eastern front. Nicolas Lang was the first server. The need for a church building grows to accommodate the growing congregation. The property was acquired at 1464 Grove St. just south of the C&K Canal and a simple but beautiful church was built in 1888. The first resident priest was the Rev. Joseph Keosseyan, who arrived on May 21, 1913. He was originally from ‘Armenia who came to the United States after his ordination in Turkey. He was pastor of the Church of Selma until his death in 1941. The parish was formed and named St. Joseph on November 28, 1913. Over the years large murals depicting nationalities in Selma have been created. painted. The building and paintings were all lost in a fire on May 29, 1959. The previous year 11 acres in Rose and Dockery were purchased, and on this property a new 700-seat church was completed and dedicated on Sunday. Easter, April 2. , 1961. The Church continues to serve the Selma region today.
We will continue our story of Selma Church next week. Until then – Buy local, buy Selma
Thanks again to Randy McFarland for his “Book of Selma History”. He continues to remind us of the rich history we have here in Selma.
Religion has been a focal point for Hanford as a community. Most of the organizations currently present in the city have been around as long as Hanford itself. The first mention of the city dates from around 1876 and within a year the city saw the foundation of one of its first churches.
Bob Allen is the executive director of the Selma Chamber of Commerce.