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Selma Methodist Church (Selma Baptist Church)

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1874. AR 293, just north of County Rd. 77

Its bell tower visible for some distance across the flat farmlands, this picturesque frame Gothic Revival church beckons the traveler for a closer look. The steeply pitched front gabled roof sets the tone of verticality, augmented by tall lancet arches that form the doorway and the plain glass windows. On the roof over the entrance is a cupola with a square base rising to an octagonal bell tower; the bell tower and cupola are louvered, and a slender spire tops the composition. In the front gable is a charming jigsawn wood medallion containing four trefoils arranged to form a cross shape. Organized in 1870 and unable to afford a pastor of their own, the Methodist congregation was placed on one of the many circuits operated by the Methodists in nineteenth-century rural Arkansas. Their first church of 1872 collapsed in a storm the following year, so for the next twelve years the small congregation worshiped here with the local Baptists and assumed some of the indebtedness of the building. In 1885 the Baptists deeded the church to the Methodists.

On Selma-Collins Road (AR 293) at 1.7 miles south of the church is the Selma Rosenwald School. Built in 1924, the wood, one-story school for African American students in this rural area had two classrooms and an industrial room in the gabled projecting central section. It served as a school until 1964.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors
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Data

Citation

Cyrus A. Sutherland with Gregory Herman, Claudia Shannon, Jean Sizemore Jeannie M. Whayne and Contributors, "Selma Methodist Church (Selma Baptist Church)", [Tillar, Arkansas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/AR-01-DR7.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Arkansas

Buildings of Arkansas, Cyrus A. Sutherland and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2018, 213-213.

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