Salem's history goes back to 1873 when the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sparta Township (rural Montevideo) was organized. Eventually this congregation of Swedish immigrants became Strombeck Lutheran Church.
In 1929, Strombeck Lutheran Church reached out to start a Swedish Lutheran church in nearby Montevideo, which became Salem Lutheran Church. Some years later, the members of the Strombeck congregation joined with Salem to become one congregation. The original Strombeck church building was purchased by a local family for use as a farm building.
Salem's original church building was located in the town of Montevideo, and when the new church was built in 1951, the old building was sold to the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) congregation in Montevideo. When the CRC built their new building, the old Salem building was moved to the Chippewa Village Museum in Montevideo for permanent display.
The Stombeck Cemetery is at the site of the original church. The cemetery is owned and cared for by Salem, and plots can still be purchased at this beautiful hillside location for a burial. For more information on the Strombeck Cemetery, select Member Resources and click on the link to Strombeck Cemetery.
The current building has been in use since 1951, with a new addition in 1993. A commercial kitchen was built to replace the original kitchen in 2011. Salem was originally part of the Lutheran Church in America (LCA), but became part of the ELCA when it was formed in 1988.