Church History
Original Pews

Early Hymnal

Sunday School Bell

Picture from late 1800s

Church Bell

Bell Tower

Lutherans in the vicinity of Lititz found an opportunity for worship and fellowship in the establishment of Salem Lutheran Church of Kissel Hill. It was also sometimes known as the New Haven Lutheran Church, since the area we now call Kissel Hill was also formerly known by the name "New Haven".

A one acre lot was bought and the corner stone was laid June 1, 1823. Lutherans and Reforms shared the ministry in the newly built church. The German language was used for about 40 years and the earliest membership record shows 62 members.

The lot for the church and cemetery was bought for $60. The brick building built in 1823 could seat approximately 300 with the main floor and the large galleries on three sides. In 1848, a spire and bell were added.

Originally, Salem Church had a high pulpit of wine-glass shape, which was reached by a corkscrew stairway and from that pulpit the Gospel was preached for almost 50 years. The present pulpit stands in the place of the wine-glass pulpit. When first built, it was several feet higher than it presently is; but in 1910, it was lowered because the congregation was only using the main floor for worship.

In October 1880, 30 members of the congregation were dismissed to form St. Peter Lutheran Church, Neffsville. In August 1885, 52 members were dismissed to organize St. Paul Lutheran Church, Lititz.
In 1912, the pews in the lower part of the church were removed, and the pews of the old St. Paul Lutheran Church on Spruce Street in Lititz were installed. In 1915, a larger organ was purchased to take the place of the old one, which was sold. This organ was replaced in 1947 by a two-manual Reed Organ, a gift to the congregation from the Luther League. In September 1980, a two-manual Rodger's Organ was purchased and installed by Buch Organ Company. It was decided in 2009 to purchase a new organ. In January 2010, a Rodgers Trillium Masterpiece three manual organ was installed by Buch Church Organ Company and was first used for worship services on January 31, 2010. An organ dedicatory recital was held on May 2, 2010 with Rodney L. Barbour, Concert Organist, as the guest organist.

In 1922, electric lights were installed in the church and used for the first time on Christmas evening. In May 1926, the Missionary Society was organized, and in 1932 the Luther League was organized.
The congregation celebrated its hundredth anniversary with special services from May 27 to June 3, 1923. The 125th anniversary was celebrated from June 20 to June 27, 1948. In the Spring of 1848, The Common Service Book was adopted and the choir adopted the cap and gown for the worship services. The Lutheran Book of Worship was introduced in 1979.

In preparation for the 160th anniversary, new carpet was installed in the santuary, walls painted, and wood surfaces refinished. The anniversary was observed June 5, 1983, with a morning and afternoon service.

In 1960, the cornerstone was laid for an educational building. This was the first substantial addition to the original building. In 1992, the Educational Building was expanded to include additional classroom space and office space. Major renovations to the sanctuary were completed in 2002.

In 1923, the membership of the congregation was 67, and the Sunday School enrollment was 98. By 1948, the congregation had grown to 111 and Sunday School had increased to 114. Today Salem has 320 baptized members.

We invite you to click on the "Pastors Serving Salem" link below to see a list of all the pastors who have faithfully served Salem Lutheran Church.

In 2008, Salem celebrated 185 years of serving the Lord. "What will Salem Lutheran Church of Kissel Hill Become in the next 25, 50, 100 years? Jesus is coming! He is returning for His own...and each of us can be about our Father's business for there is much to do before Jesus comes."


Original Communion Set

Pastor's Pay Box


Church Interior

Parsonage under construction