History of Salem Christian Fellowship
In 1854, our forefathers gathered to form a church for the German speaking, Protestant families of this region. They soon became associated with the Evangelical Association. The church building was erected in 1857 with a cornerstone lettered by Adam Schorge. The steeple spires represent the Four Gospels. Those spires are to remind us that, the Word is to be fundamental here at Salem as we strive to live in obedience to scripture.
In 1876, the church was named Salem Church of the Evangelical Association. “Salem” is found in Hebrews 7:1-2 “the name of his city Salem means peace” and in Psalms 76:2 “His tent is in Salem”.
An English-speaking group broke away from Salem in 1889 and affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Association. This sister church soon erected a building nearby. By 1917, all our services were held in English as well.
In 1910, God provided the inspiration and blessed Salem with the means to excavate the basement under the whole church building and partition it into needed rooms.
In 1897, and again in 1930, we were honored to host the NY Conference of the Evangelical Assn. at Salem. As we passed through the tragic periods of the 1st and 2nd World Wars Divine Power willed that all our service boys be returned to us. In 1954, a grand Centennial Anniversary celebration was held at Salem Church. At this time there were approximately 220 members.
Initiative was again taken to renovate God’s house. A new Sunday school room with basement was attached to the rear of the church in 1943. In 1961, a new entrance and Sunday School rooms at the rear of our Church were constructed. The sanctuary was reversed with a new chancel located where the entrance had been. During construction, the cornerstone was opened.
The Evangelical United Brethren and the Methodist denominations merged nation-wide in 1968. Two years later, it was decided to merge with our sister church, and the Salem building was closed. In the spring of 1974, twelve families from our former Salem E.U.B. congregation met at the Main St. church. “Their purpose was to form a new Christian fellowship devoted to love, equality, and concern for all God’s children.”
Our first service as Salem Christian Fellowship was held at Gospel Hall in Belfort, in June. God soon led us to find a full time pastor. The Salem Church property was sold back to us for the price of $1.00 and was dedicated in the fall of ‘74. Membership was to be open to “all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, been baptized, and are willing to work with and serve the Church”.
In 1974, our Lord led us to sponsor a Laotian refugee family. The Kounlamiths, arrived by plane in 1980, after spending five years in Thailand. They soon adjusted to life in America and made their home here with us for the next five years.
These days, we hold regular Holy Communion Services, Sunday school for all ages, Bible studies, “Daytimers”, Youth Group, and covered dish dinners. Annual special events include, Easter Sunrise Service & Breakfast, Mother/Daughter Banquet, Children's Day, Daily Vacation Bible School, Summer Picnic with river baptism, visits from the missionaries we help support, baby and bridal showers, Harvest Hayride Party, Children's Christmas Pageant, caroling and Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.
Membership in this Bible based church is open to all who accept and follow Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and who have been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Salem Christian Fellowship Church celebrated its 150th year of ministry to the Beaver Falls community July 31st and August 1st, 2004. with former pastors, Rev. Bruce Chapman, Rev. Ronald Gates, and Rev. Stewart McCleary. Salem’s cornerstone was opened and the anniversary booklet, coins of the day, a letter, and photos were added for future generations to discover. It was awesome to rejoice in God’s blessings to us from the distant past to the present.
To better serve His people, building renovations were made in the spring of 2004, featuring a library, handicapped accessible restroom, a combination Pastor’s Study/Conference Room, and an upgraded heating system.
With the future in mind, we are praying about men’s fellowship, more outreach and local evangelism, renovations such as, a handicapped entrance to the basement, an elevator, and enlarging our fellowship hall.