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Pastor Nicholas Detweiler-Stoddard & Pastor Robert Engbrecht
Salem Mennonite Church is a member of Central Plains Mennonite Conference with 48 congregations across eight states across the Midwest. Central Plains, in turn, is a member of Mennonite Church USA, composed of 18 conferences and over 600 congregations across the United States. Our congregation accepts the 1995 Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective as our statement of faith. We welcome and include persons with a wide range of theological perspectives into our church while proclaiming, teaching, and practicing an Anabaptist understanding of the Christian faith. Unique aspects of our identity include a voluntary community of faith and our belief that the church is composed of persons who have freely chosen to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord and are baptized on their confession of faith. Another is our belief that in Jesus Christ, God redeems us from the powers of evil in which we have been bound so that we are free to fulfill God's purpose for our lives as we follow Christ's example. Lastly, our belief that since God has chosen to reconcile the world to God's self through Christ's love on the cross, Christians are also called to love their enemies, seek to overcome evil with good and refrain from exercising revenge or retaliation.
Salem Mennonite Church endeavors to minister to needs within our congregation and in our community. We have a message of salvation, hope, and love which applies to people in all situations of life. Some our main goals are: To promote the spirit of the New Testament evangelism, to worship God publicly, and to encourage growth in Christian discipleship To promote active participation in our various church programs To promote the kingdom through Christian witness and service We support the Vision Statement of our denomination, Mennonite Church USA, which says, "God calls us to be followers of Jesus Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that God's healing and hope flow through us to the world."
Our church has its spiritual roots in the Anabaptist movement of the 16th century. Our congregation was established by Swiss Volhynian Mennonite immigrants who came to South Dakota in 1874 from the Ukraine. Originally part of one congregation known as the Salem Zion Church, our church was established as a separate congregation in 1908 with a building on the present location 2.5 miles south of the original church. These two congregations, known locally as the "North" and "South" churches have enjoyed close fraternal relations through the years. The first building was enlarged in 1917 as the rural community around the church grew larger. Beginning with 129 charter members in 1908, the church grew rapidly in the first half century of its life, reaching a peak membership of over 570 in the 1960's. A new brick sanctuary and educational wing was built and dedicated in 1965. When that building was destroyed by arson in 1985, the present church building was erected on the same foundations and dedicated in 1987. Being a rural church, our congregational life has been closely tied to the health of the rural community in which we live. We believe our Christian faith can help renew life as we seek to build a sustainable community even while we look for our eternal home within God's care.
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Sharing God's Good News of Grace and Love