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OLD SALEM CHURCH

     In the year 1839, settlers north of Ebensburg met at the home of Thomas Davis for worship. The families who were represented included, besides the Thomas Davises, Richard Hughes, Simon Davis, Griffith Owens, Hugh Edwards and Daniel Jones. This group continued to meet at the Davis home for five years, until 1844.

     In September, 1840, the first Minister came to serve the congregation. He was the Reverend David T. Lewis, who came from Wales in August 1837.

     From 1844 to 1854 the congregation met at the home of Griffith Owens. By that time, the members felt encouraged by the place they were making for themselves in the community, and secured a plot of ground for a church building. They built a church on the site that is still used today for worship. The present building was erected in 1881, the contract being made for the sum of $750.

     Thirteen ministers served the congregation while regular services were being held there. Rev. David T. Lewis was followed by Rev. John L. Jeffries, Rev. John R. Williams, Rev. Thomas R. Jones, Rev. Morgan Ellis, Rev. William Harrison, Rev. John I. Hughes, Rev. John R. Jones, Rev. Robert Jones, Rev. William Henry Williams, Rev. W. Bryn Jones, Rev. Moris S. Jones and Rev. Hugh Rowland.

     Among the church records are listings of officials to 1911, and Sunday School records show that in the year 1920, there were only two classes - one for children and one for adults.

     In 1921, former members and their families wanted to feel some tie to the old church, and came together for a reunion. There were English and Welsh sermons, hymns, prayers, and fellowship among old-time friends. With this success to spur on the interest, the Salem Home-coming Association secured the necessary permission, title, etc. from the Welsh Presbyterian Churches of Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. The property must be maintained and used at least once a year for worship services, or be given to the Blairsville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church.

     Worship services are held at Salem Church the first Sunday in August each year. Morning and afternoon services are held, People come from Ohio, West Virginia, and various parts of Pennsylvania to renew old ties.

     The present officers of the Salem Home-coming Association are: Honorary President, Mrs. Thomas Jose; President, T. Lawrence Edwards; Vice-President, Hugh Morris; Recording Secretary, Mrs. Jesse Evans Morris; Treasurer, D. Sherman Griffith; Financial Secretaries, Miss Rowena Owens, Bert Hughes, and Mrs Minerva Hughes; Historian, Mrs. Clarence L. Ostheim; Leader of the Singing, Norbert H. Owens; Registrar, Miss E. May Davis; Program Chairman, Miss Mattie Jones, and Directors, Miss Martha Jones, Mrs. Edna Jones, Mrs. Thomas Jose, Elmer Rowland, and T. Lawrence Edwards.

As reported in the Mountaineer Herald, Aug 16, 1954