It is believed that Rev. Charles Giles,* of the old Genesee Conference, preached the first Methodist sermon at "Salt Point" very early in the present century. Other itinerant preachers held services there at intervals down to about 1829, when a class was formed and a chapel erected. So poor were the members of the class that even the small chapel was several years in building. Little progress was made until 1840, when Ezra C. Squires, a young man holding a preacher's license, held services a few months, awakening so much interest that the congregation petitioned the Black River Conference to send them a pastor. In response to this request, Rev. Ebenezer Arnold (a man who was to soon exercise a powerful influence upon Methodism in Syracuse) was sent to Salina, with instructions to organize a church including that place and Geddes if practicable. He looked over the ground and decided to devote his whole time to Salina. A new order of things began and at the end of a year Mr. Arnold left the charge in a prosperous condition, and steady growth has since continued. In 1864 the corner stone of the present church was laid and the building was finished in the next year; its cost was about $13,000. In 1887 extensive repairs were made on the church and parsonage.
*Mr. Giles died August 30, 1864, at the age of eighty-four years, and is buried in the Salina burying ground.
Submitted 12 July 1998