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Selvin United Methodist Church
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Selvin United Methodist Church
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>> Who Are We?
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Who We Are & Our  History
Founded in 1841, Selvin United Methodist Church serves as a community church. It has throughout it's history been a gathering place for believers and continues to serve the community with weekly services and numerous other activities.

Read some of our history  |
                                       \/

This information is a term paper prepared by our former pastor, Marianne Hawkins, when she was preparing for the ministry. We have received permission from Marianne to reprint this in our newsletter. As you will notice, some of the interviews were with local people in our community and church.
Selvin United Methodist Church Selvin, Indiana
After pioneers settled in Taylorsville (the name was changed to Selvin in 1881 because there was another town named Taylorsville), they had been meeting in homes to share the love of God. They decided to establish a community church. A parcel of land was given by George Taylor and the first building of Selvin Methodist Church was built in 1841. Traveling preachers conducted the services. They would come into the community and stay for a few days, hold their meetings, and then move on to the next church. Due to the need for many repairs, they decided to build a new church in the middle of Selvin around 1880. This is the present site. It was heated by a stove in the center of the building that burned coal. It had coal oil lamps on the walls and hard benches. There was a parsonage which has since been destroyed. In 1916 the church was torn down and another one was built. It was a modern frame building with the basement in which a large stove-like furnace was housed to heat the church. This building is still in use today. The church had one of the first concrete walks hi Selvin. The church had a raised, wooden altar, and hand made seats. A new pump organ was a welcome addition.1 It now has an electronic organ.
An important part of all the churches was its Ladies' Aid. This organization was to help the church in all ways, but one important job they took on was to help raise funds in support of the church's expenses. They had socials, picnics, ice cream socials and quilting bees. Once a year at the Fourth of July Picnic in the Locust Grove, they would set up a stand and sell spaces on a quilt for people's names. They would embroider your name on a patchwork quilt for a fee of from ten cents to five dollars. After the quilt was made, they auctioned it off, making a profit from the sale. Roy and Arline Springston have a quilt made by the Selvin Methodist Ladies' Aid in 1922. His father's name is on it along with many other family members.2
1 Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989"
2 Ibid
Most of the early churches were gathering places for the communities in which they were located. There was very little else to do, so church was always well attended. If they had a special service or social, the other churches came and helped them out.
Revivals were important functions, as the services were held every night for five or six nights, or as long as there were converts, and this gave the settlers something to do that was out of the ordinary. Every church had a revival once a year, usually having a guest preacher officiating, sometimes it would be a real "fire and brimstone" speaker and crowds would be quite large, just to hear his speeches. Sometimes tents were set up in the locust groves and "camp meeting" would be held, with food and drinks served at noontime.3
Preacher McWilliams of the Selvin Methodist Church always had successful revivals. He was an evangelist of the old school and his meetings were attended by many people in the township, even if they didn't attend his church, just to hear him preach. In the summer of 1914, all the churches on his charge had revivals with many converts and it was decided to have a joint baptism in Selvin at the Mill Pond behind the creamery. It was said that this was one of the largest crowds ever to come to Selvin for a church function. There were 60 to 70 people to be baptized and all their families and friends came. Everyone brought dinner and the food was spread on tables in the parsonage and outside near the pond. People came in wagons, surreys and buggies and many walked.4
1 Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989
2 ibid
Days of Old
"It was a memorable occasion when the first silent movie was shown in Selvin. It was at the Methodist Church by a missionary on leave. It was filmed in the Holy Land. It depicted scenes from the Bible, showing how people,working oxen and camels, tilled the land and raised crops. It was plain, and the characters moved by jerks, as the movie industry was only in its infancy then. It was exciting for the young people, especially. Hilbert Gavins attended and said it was hard to watch the movie andread the words that were being flashed across the screen at the same time."5
"The church basement served us well. With the addition of a kitchen area, complete with serving tables and a bathroom, conveniences were in place. Long wooden tables and benches were ideal for both study and crafts. In another corner, a huge table and chairs were added for pre-schoolers."6
Two classes met regularly downstairs. In Vacation Bible School, while the smaller children went outdoors for play and refreshments at the picnic tables, older youngsters worked on their crafts at the long tables.
"I remember distinctly the year that we made the 'Ten Commandments' grapevine wreaths. Several people saved cuttings from their grapevines in order that we could fashion our wreaths without big expenditures. This craft became quite a topic of conversation when it was learned that Lazarus Department Store in Evansville had just begun selling plain grapevine wreaths for $200.00!"
5 Ibid.
Selvin United Methodist Church Selvin, Indiana

After pioneers settled in Taylorsville (the name was changed to Selvin in 1881 because there was another town named Taylorsville), they had been meeting in homes to share the love of God. They decided to establish a community church. A parcel of land was given by George Taylor and the first building of Selvin Methodist Church was built in 1841. Traveling preachers conducted the services. They would come into the community and stay for a few days, hold their meetings, and then move on to the next church. Due to the need for many repairs, they decided to build a new church in the middle of Selvin around 1880. This is the present site. It was heated by a stove in the center of the building that burned coal. It had coal oil lamps on the walls and hard benches. There was a parsonage which has since been destroyed. In 1916 the church was torn down and another one was built. It was a modern frame building with the basement in which a large stove-like furnace was housed to heat the church. This building is still in use today. The church had one of the first concrete walks hi Selvin. The church had a raised, wooden altar, and hand made seats.
A new pump organ was a welcome addition.1 It now has an electronic organ.
An important part of all the churches was its Ladies' Aid. This organization was to help the church in all ways, but one important job they took on was to help raise funds in support of the church's expenses. They had socials, picnics, ice cream socials and quilting bees. Once a year at the Fourth of July Picnic in the Locust Grove, they would set up a stand and sell spaces on a quilt for people's names. They would embroider your name on a patchwork quilt for a fee of from ten cents to five dollars. After the quilt was made, they auctioned it off, making a profit from the sale. Roy and Arline Springston have a quilt made by the Selvin Methodist Ladies' Aid in 1922. His father's name is on it along with many other family members.2
1
Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989"

2
Ibid

Most of the early churches were gathering places for the communities in which they were located. There was very little else to do, so church was always well attended. If they had a special service or social, the other churches came and helped them out.

Revivals were important functions, as the services were held every night for five or six nights, or as long as there were converts, and this gave the settlers something to do that was out of the ordinary. Every church had a revival once a year, usually having a guest preacher officiating, sometimes it would be a real "fire and brimstone" speaker and crowds would be quite large, just to hear his speeches. Sometimes tents were set up in the locust groves and "camp meeting" would be held, with food and drinks served at noontime.3
Preacher McWilliams of the Selvin Methodist Church always had successful revivals. He was an evangelist of the old school and his meetings were attended by many people in the township, even if they didn't attend his church, just to hear him preach. In the summer of 1914, all the churches on his charge had revivals with many converts
and it was decided to have a joint baptism in Selvin at the Mill Pond behind the creamery. It was said that this was one of the largest crowds ever to come to Selvin for a church function. There were 60 to 70 people to be baptized and all their families and friends came. Everyone brought dinner and the food was spread on tables in the parsonage and outside near the pond. People came in wagons, surreys and buggies and many walked.4
1 Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989
2 ibid

Days of Old
"It was a memorable occasion when the first silent movie was shown in Selvin. It was at the Methodist Church by a missionary on leave. It was filmed in the Holy Land. It depicted scenes from the Bible, showing how people,working oxen and camels, tilled the land and raised crops. It was plain, and the characters moved by jerks, as the movie industry was only in its infancy then. It was exciting for the young people, especially. Hilbert Gavins attended and said it was hard to watch the movie and read the words that were being flashed across the screen at the same time."5
"The church basement served us well. With the addition of a kitchen area, complete with serving tables and a bathroom, conveniences were in place. Long wooden tables and benches were ideal for both study and crafts. In another corner, a huge table and chairs were added for pre-schoolers."6
Two classes met regularly downstairs. In Vacation Bible School, while the smaller children went outdoors for play and refreshments at the picnic tables, older youngsters worked on their crafts at the long tables.
"I remember distinctly the year that we made the 'Ten Commandments' grapevine wreaths. Several people saved cuttings from their grapevines in order that we could fashion our wreaths without big expenditures. This craft became quite a topic of conversation when it was learned that Lazarus Department Store in Evansville had just begun selling plain grapevine wreaths for $200.00!"

5 Ibid
6 Raber, Valada, Interview
7 Raber, Valada 


     Selvin United Methodist Church
                 Selvin, Indiana

   People in the community work in surrounding cities and towns. They are teachers, beauty operators, farmers, miners, drivers, housewives, factory workers, and retired persons. The children have grown up. Some have gone to other cities to raise their families and work: teachers, doctors, computer operators, etc. Some are still in the community and busy with family and community events and attend church on special occasions. 11
   We have a new young family that is attending regularly which includes two children. A “Children’s Chat” was added to our worship service so that the children would know they are included in worship. We offer a Bible School for the community during the summer.
   Because of being a United Methodist Church, we understand our heritage (Great Tradition) of the faith in the Wesleyan tradition of the United Methodist denomination. Our “operational theology” is that we believe that all people are loved by God and are offered forgiveness. It is important to us to welcome all and help those in need. Meaningful and relevant worship is very important to the congregation. They want to be challenged and nurtured.
The people seem to be satisfied with the worship the way it is, but are also open to new ideas, structure, and songs. This is extraordinarily helpful, because it enables creativity, thereby preventing the boredom of having services exactly the same every week.
   World mission doesn’t seem to be a priority, although they support missions through Conference Apportionments and special offerings. They first want to help the needy in their community when they know of a specific need.
 11 Pre
sent congregation
6 Raber, Valada, Interview
7 Raber, Valada

     Selvin United Methodist Church
                 Selvin, Indiana
   People in the community work in surrounding cities and towns. They are teachers, beauty operators, farmers, miners, drivers, housewives, factory workers, and retired persons. The children have grown up. Some have gone to other cities to raise their families and work: teachers, doctors, computer operators, etc. Some are still in the community and busy with family and community events and attend church on special occasions. 11
   We have a new young family that is attending regularly which includes two children. A “Children’s Chat” was added to our worship service so that the children would know they are included in worship. We offer a Bible School.
Selvin United Methodist Church Selvin, Indiana

After pioneers settled in Taylorsville (the name was changed to Selvin in 1881 because there was another town named Taylorsville), they had been meeting in homes to share the love of God. They decided to establish a community church. A parcel of land was given by George Taylor and the first building of Selvin Methodist Church was built in 1841. Traveling preachers conducted the services. They would come into the community and stay for a few days, hold their meetings, and then move on to the next church. Due to the need for many repairs, they decided to build a new church in the middle of Selvin around 1880. This is the present site. It was heated by a stove in the center of the building that burned coal. It had coal oil lamps on the walls and hard benches. There was a parsonage which has since been destroyed. In 1916 the church was torn down and another one was built. It was a modern frame building with the basement in which a large stove-like furnace was housed to heat the church. This building is still in use today. The church had one of the first concrete walks hi Selvin. The church had a raised, wooden altar, and hand made seats. A new pump organ was a welcome addition.1 It now has an electronic organ.
An important part of all the churches was its Ladies' Aid. This organization was to help the church in all ways, but one important job they took on was to help raise funds in support of the church's expenses. They had socials, picnics, ice cream socials and quilting bees. Once a year at the Fourth of July Picnic in the Locust Grove, they would set up a stand and sell spaces on a quilt for people's names. They would embroider your name on a patchwork quilt for a fee of from ten cents to five dollars. After the quilt was made, they auctioned it off, making a profit from the sale. Roy and Arline Springston have a quilt made by the Selvin Methodist Ladies' Aid in 1922. His father's name is on it along with many other family members.2
1
Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989"

2
Ibid

Most of the early churches were gathering places for the communities in which they were located. There was very little else to do, so church was always well attended. If they had a special service or social, the other churches came and helped them out.
Revivals were important functions, as the services were held every night for five or six nights, or as long as there were converts, and this gave the settlers something to do that was out of the ordinary. Every church had a revival once a year, usually having a guest preacher officiating, sometimes it would be a real "fire and brimstone" speaker and crowds would be quite large, just to hear his speeches. Sometimes tents were set up in the locust groves and "camp meeting" would be held, with food and drinks served at noontime.3
Preacher McWilliams of the Selvin Methodist Church always had successful revivals. He was an evangelist of the old school and his meetings were attended by many people in the township, even if they didn't attend his church, just to hear him preach. In the summer of 1914, all the churches on his charge had revivals with many converts
pp5cdb47c7.pngand it was decided to have a joint baptism in Selvin at the Mill Pond behind the creamery. It was said that this was one of the largest crowds ever to come to Selvin for a church function. There were 60 to 70 people to be baptized and all their families and friends came. Everyone brought dinner and the food was spread on tables in the parsonage and outside near the pond. People came in wagons, surreys and buggies and many walked.4
1 Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989
2 ibid



Selvin United Methodist Church Selvin, Indiana
After pioneers settled in Taylorsville (the name was changed to Selvin in 1881 because there was another town named Taylorsville), they had been meeting in homes to share the love of God. They decided to establish a community church. A parcel of land was given by George Taylor and the first building of Selvin Methodist Church was built in 1841. Traveling preachers conducted the services. They would come into the community and stay for a few days, hold their meetings, and then move on to the next church. Due to the need for many repairs, they decided to build a new church in the middle of Selvin around 1880. This is the present site. It was heated by a stove in the center of the building that burned coal. It had
Selvin United Methodist Church Selvin, Indiana

After pioneers settled in Taylorsville (the name was changed to Selvin in 1881 because there was another town named Taylorsville), they had been meeting in homes to share the love of God. They decided to establish a community church. A parcel of land was given by George Taylor and the first building of Selvin Methodist Church was built in 1841. Traveling preachers conducted the services. They would come into the community and stay for a few days, hold their meetings, and then move on to the next church. Due to the need for many repairs, they decided to build a new church in the middle of Selvin around 1880. This is the present site. It was heated by a stove in the center of the building that burned coal. It had coal oil lamps on the walls and hard benches. There was a parsonage which has since been destroyed. In 1916 the church was torn down and another one was built. It was a modern frame building with the basement in which a large stove-like furnace was housed to heat the church. This building is still in use today. The church had one of the first concrete walks hi Selvin. The church had a raised, wooden altar, and hand made seats. A new pump organ was a welcome addition.1 It now has an electronic organ.
An important part of all the churches was its Ladies' Aid. This organization was to help the church in all ways, but one important job they took on was to help raise funds in support of the church's expenses. They had socials, picnics, ice cream socials and quilting bees. Once a year at the Fourth of July Picnic in the Locust Grove, they would set up a stand and sell spaces on a quilt for people's names. They would embroider your name on a patchwork quilt for a fee of from ten cents to five dollars. After the quilt was made, they auctioned it off, making a profit from the sale. Roy and Arline Springston have a quilt made by the Selvin Methodist Ladies' Aid in 1922. His father's name is on it along with many other family members.2
1
Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989"

2
Ibid

Most of the early churches were gathering places for the communities in which they were located. There was very little else to do, so church was always well attended. If they had a special service or social, the other churches came and helped them out.
Revivals were important functions, as the services were held every night for five or six nights, or as long as there were converts, and this gave the settlers something to do that was out of the ordinary. Every church had a revival once a year, usually having a guest preacher officiating, sometimes it would be a real "fire and brimstone" speaker and crowds would be quite large, just to hear his speeches. Sometimes tents were set up in the locust groves and "camp meeting" would be held, with food and drinks served at noontime.3
Preacher McWilliams of the Selvin Methodist Church always had successful revivals. He was an evangelist of the old school and his meetings were attended by many people in the township, even if they didn't attend his church, just to hear him preach. In the summer of 1914, all the churches on his charge had revivals with many converts
pp5cdb47c7.pngand it was decided to have a joint baptism in Selvin at the Mill Pond behind the creamery. It was said that this was one of the largest crowds ever to come to Selvin for a church function. There were 60 to 70 people to be baptized and all their families and friends came. Everyone brought dinner and the food was spread on tables in the parsonage and outside near the pond. People came in wagons, surreys and buggies and many walked.4
1 Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989
2 ibid



     Selvin United Methodist Church
                 Selvin, Indiana

   People in the community work in surrounding cities and towns. They are teachers, beauty operators, farmers, miners, drivers, housewives, factory workers, and retired persons. The children have grown up. Some have gone to other cities to raise their families and work: teachers, doctors, computer operators, etc. Some are still in the community and busy with family and community events and attend church on special occasions. 11
   We have a new young family that is attending regularly which includes two children. A “Children’s Chat” was added to our worship service so that the children would know they are included in worship. We offer a Bible School for the community during the summer.
   Because of being a United Methodist Church, we understand our heritage (Great Tradition) of the faith in the Wesleyan tradition of the United Methodist denomination. Our “operational theology” is that we believe that all people are loved by God and are offered forgiveness. It is important to us to welcome all and help those in need. Meaningful and relevant worship is very important to the congregation. They want to be challenged and nurtured.
The people seem to be satisfied with the worship the way it is, but are also open to new ideas, structure, and songs. This is extraordinarily helpful, because it enables creativity, thereby preventing the boredom of having services exactly the same every week.
   World mission doesn’t seem to be a priority, although they support missions through Conference Apportionments and special offerings. They first want to help the needy in their community when they know of a specific need.
 11 Pre
sent congregationcoal oil lamps on the walls and hard benches. There was a parsonage which has since been destroyed. In 1916 the church was torn down and another one was built. It was a modern frame building with the basement in which a large stove-like furnace was housed to heat the church. This building is still in use today. The church had one of the first concrete walks hi Selvin. The church had a raised, wooden altar, and hand made seats. A new pump organ was a welcome addition.1 It now has an electronic organ.
An important part of all the churches was its Ladies' Aid. This organization was to help the church in all ways, but one important job they took on was to help raise funds in support of the church's expenses. They had socials, picnics, ice cream socials and quilting bees. Once a year at the Fourth of July Picnic in the Locust Grove, they would set up a stand and sell spaces on a quilt for people's names. They would embroider your name on a patchwork quilt for a fee of from ten cents to five dollars. After the quilt was made, they auctioned it off, making a profit from the sale. Roy and Arline Springston have a quilt made by the Selvin Methodist Ladies' Aid in 1922. His father's name is on it along with many other family members.2
1
Marshall, Patsy, "Selvin: 1839-1989"

2
Ibid

   Because of being a United Methodist Church, we understand our heritage (Great Tradition) of the faith in the Wesleyan tradition of the United Methodist denomination. Our “operational theology” is that we believe that all people are loved by God and are offered forgiveness. It is important to us to welcome all and help those in need. Meaningful and relevant worship is very important to the congregation. They want to be challenged and nurtured. The people seem to be satisfied with the worship the way it is, but are also open to new ideas, structure, and songs. This is extraordinarily helpful, because it enables creativity, thereby preventing the boredom of having services exactly the same every week.
   World mission doesn’t seem to be a priority, although they support missions through Conference Apportionments and special offerings. They first want to help the needy in their community when they know of a specific need.
 11 Present congregation