Salem Evangelical Free Church began in October 1979 when Bethel Evangelical Free Church sent 17 families to plant a new congregation on the north side of Fargo. Within a few months, Salem hired its first Senior Pastor, Greg Scharf, who faithfully served the church for 19 years.
This church plant focused on shared leadership and ministry, small group Bible studies, college campus outreach, and overseas missions. The vision statement at that time was “Being disciples to make disciples.”
Over the years and through three different Senior Pastors, certain hallmarks of ministry have remained constant:
- Being and making disciples
- Commitment to the Bible
- Missionary involvement
- Ministry programs for children, students and women
- Every believer engaged in ministry
Salem has always aligned itself with God’s huge heart for the world. In 2005 they joined Bethel Evangelical Free Church and Shiloh Evangelical Free Church in adopting an unreached people group known as the Brao. Salem sent two of her members to Cambodia to work with the Brao people.
In 2013 Salem entered into a church partnership with a church in El Chonco, Nicaragua and since then has sent short term missions teams to El Chonco to work with them in their efforts to reach their community. In recent years Salem has taken steps forward in aligning with God’s heart to reach to the people in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Metro. Salem anticipates God will do great things through Life Groups and through her missionary partners in the years to come.
Salem met in the McKinley Elementary School in North Fargo for the first six years. In June of 1985 Salem purchased the vacated First Assembly of God building at 1002 South 10th street in Fargo and soon began to worship at that location.
In 1991 the building was renovated and is still a vital place of worship for Salem. About 15 years later Salem began looking at a relocation plan to accommodate growth. Eventually, in 2011, the church decided to purchase a second campus, the River Valley church building, located at 1111 30th Ave. S. in Moorhead.
In August of that year Salem began worshiping at both sites on Sunday mornings--one church with two locations. Salem has grown and has room to grow even more because we have two campuses. This allows the people of Salem to Reach more, Disciple more and Send more with the Gospel today and for years to come.
In 2019 Pastor Glen resigned, and six months later Seth Dunham was hired as the new Senior Pastor.
Today, the Salem community has joined back together at one campus, with the hopes or building a greater clarity around its mission and vision. We believe that God has given Salem a unique history, make up, and leadership passion to make a unique and specific impact in the Fargo/Moorhead area. We want to do what a thousand other churches couldn't do. Until God grants us that vision, we are continuing to build a Disciplemaking culture that is ready to launch into God's big dream for Salem.
We hope you will join us as God works through us to write the next chapter of Salem’s history.