A SHORT HISTORY OF SALEM CHURCH
Tradition says that Rev. Jacob Weymer, pastor of Zion German Reformed Church in Hagerstown, began holding regular services at the present site of Salem Church as early as 1773, in a log schoolhouse built on the site.
The congregation was officially organized in 1785 and records were kept from that date. The church was known by a number of names in its early history, including the Evangelical Reformed Church of Irishtown, Besore’s Church, and Zion’s Reformed Church. The name of Salem Church was officially given to it at the dedication of the present building in 1842.
The first church was erected in 1787-88, constructed of pine logs. This log church was the first house of worship in the Waynesboro vicinity. The Antietam Congregation of the Church of the Brethren was organized in 1752, but they did not erect their first house of worship until 1795 when Price’s Church was built.
The log church was replaced by the present stone building in 1842. The native limestone was quarried in the immediate neighborhood.
Salem Church is the mother church of what is today Trinity United Church of Christ in downtown Waynesboro.
We have belonged to several denominations during our long history. We were originally a German Reformed congregation, which later became the Evangelical and Reformed Church. In 1957, all churches of that denomination united with the Congregational Christian Church to become the United Church of Christ. Since October of 2003 we have been an independent evangelical church, affiliated with the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches.