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A Short Historical Sketch of Salem National Lutheran Church 1921-1951

Wayne Kallio & Arthur Salminen

Ewald Circle and Kendall - Pastor F. J. Pies

The history of Salem National Lutheran Church dates back to the year 1919. It was then that several families of the City of Detroit of Finnish descent began to worship their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ together. In their homes, or in rented halls or churches, they heard the word of God preached to them. At first, services were held only occasionally. They were conducted by National Church pastors who happened to be passing through the city or who made special trips here from distant places.

According to His promise, the Lord of the Church did not permit His word to return unto Him void. On October 16, 1921, six families under the direction of A. Hassel, gospel preacher of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, organized our congregation. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Simon Maki was the place of organization. The Charter shows the following organizing members: The Simon Maki family, the August Sackrison family, the Charles Nelson family, the Iver Ryanen family, the John Holmstrom family, and the Andrew Anderson family.

A. Hassel became the first pastor. The same year in which the congregation was organized it became a member of the National Lutheran Synod. Following the pastorate of A. Hassel the congregation was served by other faithful pastors of the National Lutheran Church. The present pastor, the Rev. F. J. Pies, has been with the Salem since 1943, succeeding the Rev. R. W. Heikkinen.

At the present time the Salem Church has its own church and school building. The school will accommodate 100 pupils and has a staff of two teachers and Pastor Pies.

The church also includes different societies - namely, The Ladies Aid, Senior and Junior Luther Leagues, The Men's Brotherhood, the Salem Choir, and the School Guild.

As we consider all the blessings of our heavenly Father which He has bestowed upon Salem in the past, we must confess with Samuel: "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." We should therefore give thanks unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endureth forever. As we look into the future let our prayer be: "Lord Jesus, continue to abide with us."

Published in the Finnish Album to Commemorate Detroit's 250th birthday. Detroit, Michigan 1951, p. 7.

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