Salem Mennonite Church (Elida, Allen County, Ohio, USA)
Salem Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church), a member of the Ohio and Eastern Mennonite Conference, located 2 ½ miles northeast of Elida, Allen County, Ohio, was organized in 1841 with 48 charter members. The first families came in part from near Harrisonburg, Virginia, and in part from Fairfield County, Ohio, near Columbus. The first meetinghouse, according to tradition, was erected in 1843, but the lot was purchased in 1847.
It was first called Sherrick's (Sherk's) church because of the numerous families by that name, but after the Civil War it was renamed Salem, because peace had been secured, Shalom being the Hebrew word for peace. In 1857 a frame building was erected, replaced by a larger building (40 x 60 ft.) in 1883. In 1860-94 a part of the congregation which had moved westward began worshiping near Gomer, and in 1874 erected a meetinghouse and formed the Pike congregation. The two congregations worked closely together and for many years held services alternately in the two meetinghouses. In 1925 a group expelled from the Salem-Pike congregation organized the Central Church in Elida.
The first minister and bishop at Salem was George Stemen, who had been ordained bishop shortly before in Fairfield County (1846-1895). An outstanding leader was Bishop John M. Brenneman who had been ordained bishop in Franklin County before (1849) moving to Allen County in 1855. J. M. Shenk (1848-1935) was a long-time leader, ordained minister in 1874 and bishop in 1884. In 1957 Richard E. Martin was a pastor at Salem, with 92 members.
Yoder, Elmer S. The Beachy Amish Mennonite Fellowship Churches. Hartville, OH: Diakonia Ministries, 1987: 369.
Glenn Zehr to Sam Steiner, 23 November 2002.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 406. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
©1996-2013 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.
To cite this page:
MLA style: Bender, Harold S. "Salem Mennonite Church (Elida, Allen County, Ohio, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 18 June 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S2444.html.
APA style: Bender, Harold S. (1959). Salem Mennonite Church (Elida, Allen County, Ohio, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/S2444.html.