In 1865, Joseph Kershaw and his wife Sarah began what was known as the Gate City Mission. Meetings were held in the Kershaws’ home while worship services were held in their yard under a bush arbor. From this humble beginning, Cumberland United Methodist Church was formed.
In May 1866, a 75 x 275-foot parcel of land was purchased on Coit Street for $195. That August, the first building to be known as Cumberland was built.
By 1869, membership had grown to 429 and continued to grow at a rapid pace. Within four years, membership nearly doubled to 825. Because of the rapid growth, additional land had to be purchased. The additional 75 x 300-foot parcel cost the church $100.
Around 1908, a decision was made to build a new church. Funds were raised and work on the new church began. The building was completed in 1911.
In 1924, a stately Moeller pipe organ was installed.
In 1954, an additional building (The Hut) was erected to provide a place for members to meet and dine. Later, the church added an education building with many classrooms and a bigger dining hall.
The last building to be constructed was the Outreach Center, located at 408 Kemp Street. It was completed in 1994.
Remodeling/reconstruction of the church began in 2000 and was completed in 2010.