Salem Reformed Church

The Salem Reformed Church, Clinton Township

(Source:  "Fifty Years of Progress"; The Odebolt Chronicle, 
Vol. 51, Number 31,    Thursday, August 25, 1938) 

Founders of Salem Church from Illinois
Others had moved to Clinton from Eastern, Central Iowa

The Salem Reformed church in Clinton township was organized under the leadership of the Rev. William Diehm of Schaller, Feb. 8, 1886.  The congregation was made up of pioneer farmers from German Reformed congregations in Illinois and central and eastern Iowa.

Among the charter members are found the names of Blass, Bieser, Hoefling, Halboth, Luft, Krahl, Weitzel and Mehlbrecht.  Those still living (1938) are A. L. Halboth, George Blass and Mrs. Ed Krahl.

Salem Reformed ChurchIn 1895, the Rev. D. Siemsen accepted the call as the first resident minister.  He labored faithfully and with much success for it was during his pastorate that the church and parsonage were completed.  Following his resignation in 1903, the Rev. A. Plappert became pastor for three years.  The Rev. Jacob Christ continued the good work until the spring of 1913.  At this time the Rev. D.E. Bosma was called.  In December, 1921, the Rev. Mr. Meininger became his successor but only remained until April, 1923.  For some time the pastors of the Immanuel congregation again served as supply.  These ministers were:  Rev. Greiman and Rev. Weidler.

In October, 1928, the Rev. S. Elliker accepted the call and was in the field until 1935.  For a short time following, the Rev. J. Kaiser of the Evangelical Synod of North America was located there but was never installed as pastor.  Upon request, the Rev. S. Elliker again took up the work for a time.  He remained from Oct. 1, 1936, until Sept. 27, 1837.  At this time he retired and now resides at Melbourne, Iowa.

During the stay of the Rev. Mr. Elliker the congregation numbered 76 members.  The Sunday school enrollment was 153 and 18 ladies made up the Aid society.  The elders were Charles Bettin and George Blass, and the deacons were L.J. Luft and Fred Bettin.  The trustees were H.E. Rasch, Conrad Hoefling, and William Bettin.  Mrs. Elizabeth Hoefling, Mrs. H.E. Rasch and Mrs. Elmer Blass were the Sunday school officers.

At the present time (1938) the Rev. Mr. Sherman, who had been elected to the charge at Schaller beginning Sept. 4, is holding meetings each Sunday at the Salem Reformed Church.  The members hope to be able to fill the pulpit permanently in the near future.

(addition from the Odebolt Centennial, 1877-1977, "As Time Goes By", p. 141-142) 

Among the highlights each year was the annual Mission fest with the Schaller Reformed Church with the ladies preparing all the food.  Since it was an all day affair, extra ministers were invited to speak morning and afternoon.

This church was located three miles east and three miles north of Odebolt.

In February, 1946, the church was purchased by the Trinity Lutheran congregation; it was moved into Odebolt to Locust and Fourth Streets, and used as their church until 1965 at which time Farber and Otteman purchased it and it is now being used as a funeral chapel.

- Frances Thayer

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