History

315991_575610415794225_1570930125_nSalem Evangelical Lutheran Church has a six-decade history of ministry in southwest Houston.  The congregation first met in 1954 as a cottage group in the home of Pastor-Developer Myron K. Blackman.

The first worship service as an organized congregation was on February 20, 1955 at Shearn Elementary School on Stella Link. Later the congregation built a house-chapel in Willow Meadows at Cliffwood and McDermed (Mrs. Wagner’s School for many years and now Trafton Academy).  The first unit on the West Bellfort campus (the A-frame which is now our Parish Hall) was dedicated December 13, 1959.  The current worship space was dedicated on August 24, 2008.  There have been many milestone events in Salem’s history.  Seven sons and daughters of the congregation have gone on to Lutheran seminaries and become pastors.

Pastor Blackman served the congregation until 1981; Pastor David A. Roschke served the congregation from 1982 until May 15, 2016.

Our Congregation Council has identified four “pillars” to describe the core principals of Salem’s mission — Worship & Music, Discipleship & Stewardship, Engagement & Assimilation and Inclusiveness & Diversity.  Salem’s motto is:  “Open Hearts. Serving Hands. Honest Theology.”

elcalogov2tWhen first organized, Salem was a congregation of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA).  In 1962, the church body merged to form the Lutheran Church in America (LCA). In 1988, more than two-thirds of the Lutherans in the United States, including the LCA, merged to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), now the fourth largest Protestant denomination in North America.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton is the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA; headquarters are in Chicago.  Salem is part of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod (commonly referred to as the Gulf Coast Synod) of the ELCA.  The Rev. Michael W. Rinehart is our synod bishop; our synod office is in Houston.