History of Salem Church


The hundredth anniversary of the founding of the Salem Methodist Church, located 6 miles west of Williamstown, was celebrated last Sunday.  The history of the church was furnished The News by C. L. Harrison and is published herewith:

 Francis Gaugh, a Godley man, had the circuit riders to preach and hold services in his home.  Soon a few members formed a little board.  They organized and decided to build a church in 1841.  the first church was built of logs at the beautiful present site.  In 1875, this log church began to need repair, so it was torn down, and the first frame church building was soon erected and dedicated in 1876.

 In the year 1917, this church building needed repair and the members voted for a new church.  In July, 1917, this first frame church was sold and removed, and the present church building was built by Rev. A. P. Jones, pastor and contractor.  It was dedicated on June 18, 1918, by the Rev. H. C. Morrison.

 On the present church register we find: in 1851 Mary Gaugh; in 1842 her husband, P. J. Harrison under Josiah Whittaker, pastor.  From 1841 to 1871 were Josiah Gaugh, Susan Gaugh, the Gaugh descendents, and other names, Evans, Vances, Sheriffs, Clarks, McGowens, Chipmans, Searcys and Dietzs.

 From 1871 to 1941, members are Fleges, Blaines, Browns Boles, Stewarts, Odors, Harrisons, Cooks, Franks, Chipmans, Lamns, Childers, Conyers, Dunlaps and others.

 Sunday School Superintendents were: J. M. Flege, a superintendent for 45 or more years; Roy Childers, W. H. Lamn, Mrs. Sally Odor, a superintendent for 10 years, and the present Supt., John Sullivan.

 About thirty-five pastors have served the charge between 1871 and 1941.  The reverends Overstreet, Longs, Redds, Brock, Barker, Wright, Young, Ditzler, Turner, Penn, Speer, Hoffman, Bedinger, Simpson, Eckler, Strother, Clark, Sadler, Campbell, Johnson, Jones, Fawns, Lewis, Sharer, Cowan, Moore, Farmer, Long, Tanner, Howard, Cardwell, Mosley, and the present pastor, Rev. C. H. Rule.

One Hundred Year Anniversary of Salem M. E. Church

 There were one-hundred and seventy-five in the audience who enjoyed the all-day service at the Salem M. E. Church, as taken by the registrar, Miss Marietta Chipman. 

 Services began with Sunday School and a morning service program of appropriate songs – The Church in the Wildwood and The Church’s One Foundation,  Ms. Logan Blaine, pianist.

 The District Superintendent, Dr. Edelmaier, gave the principal address in the morning, “Christ Pre-eminence.”

 At noon a three-tiered angel food cake with candles was displayed.  The cake was baked and the candles lighted by Mrs. Edith Chipman.  J. M. Flege, the oldest member present, extinguished the candles.

 A host of members and friends enjoyed the bountiful dinner, in charge of Mesdames Browns and Sheriff.

 Highlights of the afternoon were addresses by Dr. O. W. Robinson on “Christ, the same Yesterday, Today, and Forever;” Rev. E. E. Mosley, Rev. Joyce Moore, Rev. Roberts, and Rev. D. E. Bedinger.

 A piano solo was rendered by Marvin Ray Stewart, a descendant, and a history of the church in rhyme by C. L. Harrison.

 The Wesleyan Quartette favored the audience with three numbers.  Miss Elizabeth Flege read the church history.  J. M. Flege was awarded a token for his services of a half a century.

 Rev. Joyce Moore, a former pastor, led the singing, sang a solo, and led in the grand-finale of old favorite hymns.  All wished the church another 100 years of active service.


From the Grant County News, October 24, 1941.