On the frontier, a settlement was not a town until a circuit rider began regularly stopping by to hold services. One of the first Methodist Episcopal ministers in the area was Rev. Stanford Ing who rode the Cuba circuit as early as 1861. The first Cuba Circuit extended into three or four of the surrounding counties.
The first Methodist Classes were organized in November of 1864 in the home of one of the families, ½ mile east of Cuba. One of the first pastors was Rev. J. S. Harris and the class had 14 members. The year 1872 saw the first Methodist congregation organized as a church. The first services were held in a grove. During inclement weather, they met in the homes of members or in the Presbyterian Church. The first Methodist Episcopal Church in Cuba was built on the corner of Washington and Green Streets in 1883 and was dedicated in 1885 by Bishop Thomas Bowman and a Sunday School was organized.
The church was remodeled in 1914 and a basement was added. In 1928 with the congregation outgrowing the existing church, the Wallace House was purchased on the corner of Washington (Highway 66) and Smith Streets. The church sanctuary was constructed on the west side of the property and joined to the original building. The first floor of the original building was used for Sunday School rooms and the 2nd floor as the parsonage.
About the same time the John Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church, a southern church organization, wanted to locate in Cuba on the current site of the Cuba Public Library. This church was never established because of a lack of clear title on the property.
The Methodist church in Cuba has had many ups and downs since its first meetings in the 1860’s. The year 1913 saw a great revival in Cuba under Evangelists Tetley and Stover with over 200 conversions. The membership of the Methodist Episcopal church grew by about 100 members during this time.
The depression was a difficult time in Cuba and in its churches. Church history records offerings on June 20, 1937 of $1.61 and June 27th of $1.62. January 1938 began with $.37 in the treasury. At one point a District Superintendent encouraged the church to close, however, the people of the church refused to let it die. A portion of the church property was sold so that the church could continue.
In 1973 Mrs. Elizabeth Nau, a lay pastor living in Rolla, was appointed to serve the church and she began a building fund with a personal gift of $100. Ground was broken on the present church building at 903 W. Washington on November 15, 1979. The cornerstone was laid in 1980, and the first services were held in the church in June 1980.
In April 1991 a special Charge Conference was held for the purpose of purchasing the property west of the Church. Due to growth, expansion of the church was greatly needed and to be completed in three phases: #1 A new fellowship hall and new Sunday school rooms, #2 A new Sanctuary, and #3 Remodeling of the old sanctuary.
Groundbreaking took place on March 31, 1996. The fellowship hall was completed in September 1996. In October 1997 work began on the new kitchen and was completed shortly thereafter. Work next began on the new sanctuary, phase 2, which was completed in December 1998. In January 1999, the remodeling of the old sanctuary, the 3rd and final phase of the building program, began.
The Cuba United Methodist Church (CUMC) is located at 903 W. Washington. We would like to invite you to join us on Sundays to our Worship Service at 10:00 AM. Coffee and a light snack are offered at 9:00 AM followed by Sunday School classes for all ages at 9:00 AM. The Children’s Sermon at the 10:00 AM service is followed by Children’s Church in their own Sanctuary off the Fellowship Hall. For those with small children, a nursery is available while you attend our services.
Pastor Joseph Frana began serving and enjoying Cuba UMC in July 2012 bringing a thoughtful, authentic, and enthusiastic style of preaching and leadership. Besides the usual Sunday worship schedule, we have numerous organizations including United Methodist Men, United Methodist Women, Susannah’s, Men’s Prayer Breakfast, Quilters, TOPS, Scouts, and Children’s Corner Pre-School. For information regarding these organizations, please, contact us.
The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM. For assistance, you can call the office manager, Cheryl Wilkerson, at 573-885-7347, stop by the office, or email the church at [email protected]. Or check out our website www.umccuba.org.
We would love to have you join us this Sunday. (Cookies and Coffee almost always follows.)