First United Methodist Church
600 State Street
Salem, Marion County, Oregon, 97301
Photo: License: Public Domain
Salem First United Methodist Church is a Methodist congregation and historic church in Salem, Oregon. First United is the oldest Methodist church west of the Rocky Mountains, and is a designated United Methodist Heritage Landmark.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Salem was established in 1841 when the Methodist Mission moved its headquarters to Salem.
Initially the church met in a room at the Oregon Institute. After about 10 years, the congregation grew, and in 1853 they were able to build a small wooden frame building at the southeast corner of Church and State streets. By 1870, the congregation had outgrown this building and they began construction of the current sanctuary building at the same location.
The brick Gothic Revival-style church was completed in 1878, despite a national depression and other difficulties.
Additions to the building in 1935 and 1967 were designed to harmonize with the original building's Gothic style. The original 185-foot wooden spire, which makes the church the tallest building in Salem, was replaced in 1984.
The sanctuary was remodeled in 1953 to add an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, a chancel rose window, new altar, pulpit, and pews. Additional renovations to the interior occurred in 1981 and in 2000, the organ acquired its full rank of pipes.
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