Salem UCC 1992, from “History of Salem’s Reformed and Lutheran Church.”

Salem United Church of Christ is celebrating their 250th anniversary this year. The historic church was organized during the Colonial Era before there was a United States of America. Commonly called Big Moore, it is located in serene, rural Moore Township.

In 1732 there was a migration of Germans from the Palatinate in Germany.

They left a land of turmoil and persecution for a new beginning. Many were guided into Pennsylvania by Conrad Weiser. The Germans who came and started Salem were frugal, hard working and valued family and faith. They built homes, raised families and cultivated the soil, becoming very successful farmers.

Moore Township was formed in 1745 with lands from Allen, Lehigh and Plainfield Township. Moore was incorporated in 1765 and named in honor of John Moore, provincial assemblyman.

During the French & Indian War, 1756-63, a system of forts was constructed to protect the settlers, the most notable was the Doll Blockhouse. 

Early churches had no regular ministers. Thus union churches were shared by Lutheran and Reformed congregations. These hardy settlers founded Salem in 1772. The church was constructed of logs and faith. The first Reformed pastor was Rev. Conrad Steiner; Rev. Christian Streit was the Lutheran pastor, a chaplain during the Revolutionary War and former prisoner of war.

When visiting the church, tour the old and new cemeteries maintained by the Fairview Cemetery board, who do an excellent job. The cemetery is a chronicle of United States history. There resting in eternal peace are: 17 veterans of the Revolutionary War who served in the Northampton Militia, veterans of the War of 1812 who saw our capital burned, men of the 153 PA Regiment who fought at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg in the Civil War, veterans of the Spanish American War, World War I soldiers who fought at Chateau Thierry, World War II veterans who fought in Germany and their service continued in Korea, in Saigon, Vietnam and the Gulf wars. The men and women served in all the branches of the military. 

Over the years Salem has grown in membership, and continued to improve the solid church constructed in 1826, which replaced their first house of worship. In 1970 after a cordial 198 year relationship, the union with the Lutheran congregation ended, and Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed.

Salem UCC today. Photo by Larry Oberly.

The church has many generous members who have made numerous financial and material donations to the church. This support enabled the congregation to construct a beautiful addition on Sept. 18, 1994. 

The church calendar is filled with activities for all members: dinners, festivals, choirs, the ladies guild, youth fellowship, men’s fellowship, Sunday School, dart league, and the Sentinel Newsletter. The church governing body is a dedicated church Consistory. The friendly pastor is Rev. Kaye Lentz. Salem UCC has a caring family atmosphere and always extends a warm, welcoming environment to everyone.


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