Salem Evangelical Church History

Salem Evangelical Church was founded in 1865. It has served the Salem-Keizer area since that time.  We offer a variety of ministries, including children’s, youth, women’s and men’s ministries, as well as local outreach ministries.

Salem Evangelical Church is a member of the Pacific Conference of the Evangelical Church of North America, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Evangelical Church History

The Evangelical Church was born June 4, 1968, in Portland, Oregon, when 46 congregations and about 80 pastors met in an organizing session. Within two weeks a group of about twenty churches and thirty pastors from Montana and North Dakota became a part of the new church. These congregations and ministers had been a part of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church.

The spiritual roots of The Evangelical Church go back to the ministry of Arminius, the 17th century theologian, and to the Wesleyan revival. Certain distinctives were prominent in motivating the people who formed the new denomination, and those distinctives continue to guide the church’s life, program and devotion, which includes:

  • Interchurch relationship limited to Biblically sound spiritual fellowship.
  • Faithful, Biblical and sensible preaching and teaching of those truths proclaimed by the scholars of the Wesleyan-Arminian viewpoint.
  • An itinerant system which reckons with the rights of individuals and the desires of the congregations.
  • Local ownership of all local church properties and assets.

The former Holiness Methodist Church became a part of The Evangelical Church in 1969, bringing its local churches, ministry and membership, along with a flourishing mission field in Bolivia. The Wesleyan Covenant Church joined in 1977, along with its missionary work in Mexico and Brownsville, Texas, as well as its work among the Navajo Indians in New Mexico.

From the beginning the Evangelical Church has affiliated with the Christian Holiness Partnership and the National Association of Evangelicals and has representation on the boards of these agencies. We have official relationship, through board representation, with World Gospel Mission and OMS International. Through these two agencies and the mission in Bolivia, close to half the missionaries of the denomination have been appointed. We also have official relationships with CityTeam Ministries, Hope Teams International and Wycliffe Bible Translators.

God continues to build The Evangelical Church. This expansion is taking place as new congregations join and new churches are planted.