Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church has a
58-year history of ministry in southwest Houston. The congregation first met
in 1954 as a cottage church in the home of Pastor-Developer M. 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.
Pastor Blackman served
the congregation until 1981; Pastor David A. Roschke began his ministry at Salem in 1982.
The current 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."
When 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. Dr. Mark S. Hanson 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.