Salem’s roots extend all the way back to Germany.
The founders of Salem met together as early as 1855 in the home of a German settler. A circuit riding preacher would minister to the spiritual needs of the people. The attendance increased so rapidly that the need of a church became apparent. The new church was founded as the German Evangelical Salem Church on December 25, 1856.
The founding constitution set forth the doctrinal perspective of the congregation as follows. “She is and remains a part of the Evangelical, that is, the united Lutheran-Reformed Church, as it exists in Germany and has spread to this location.”
Joining a denomination
In 1943 Salem became a member of the Evangelical and Reformed denomination (E & R). (Prior to that Salem was an independent congregation.) The E & R denomination would go on to merge with the Congregational Christian Churches in 1957 to form the United Church of Christ (UCC).
Returning to an independent congregation
Concerns about the direction of the UCC were raised as early as 1977 when that year a member attended the national meeting of the denomination. In 2005, after years of increasing tension over the direction of the denomination, Salem’s members voted to return to being an independent congregation.
Keeping the faith
Throughout our history we’ve remained the same, committed to the historic Christian faith. Our congregation continues to respond to changing times not by changing its message, but by making sure everything we do is based on what we believe is true in Christ.