Salem United Church of Christ

Sunday Services

Worship – 9 a.m.
Nursery Available

Sunday School – 10 a.m.

Wednesday Night

Bible Study -  6:30 p.m.

13135 N. Salem

Westphalia, IN 47596

Ph: 812-694-7438

History


By Carolyn Smith, Church Historian

Salem Church’s rich heritage spans back to the mid-19th century when several German families settled in this area.
 

Our first home was a crude log structure located approximately one mile north of Westphalia in an area known then as Judea.  (Westphalia did not become a town until 1881.)  This first church most likely was called St. Peter’s Church.

In 1857, the church was pastored by both a Lutheran and a Reformed minister.  One conducted the Sunday morning service and the other led the afternoon/evening service.  While these pastors were here, our name was changed to the German Community, Evangelical, Lutheran & Reformed Church in Judea, Vigo Township, Knox County, Indiana.

In 1862, the members purchased an acre of land for a cemetery for $25 on property located one mile south of the first church.  (This is still part of our cemetery today.)

Expansion continued in 1864 when the congregation, then call the Evangelical Salem Church at Judea, purchased about 40 acres, which included the cemetery property previously purchased.  The small congregation then built a brick building, 30x45 feet, and it was dedicated in 1866.  This church sat where our parsonage sits today.

In 1919, the congregation decided to build another new building.  It was constructed quickly and dedicated on Thanksgiving Day in 1920.  It remains as the building we use today.  A new parsonage was built and dedicated in 1926, and it also remains.

As we moved into 1934, the Evangelical Synod of North America was involved in a historic meeting with the Reformed Church in the U.S., and the Evangelical and Reformed Church was formed out of that meeting.  It was then that we became Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church.

In 1957, another union of denominations took place when the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Churches came together to for the United Church of Christ.  The UCC Statement of Faith was adopted in 1959, and the Constitution and Bylaws of the UCC were adopted in 1961.  We than became called Salem United Church of Christ.