Fishing Creek Salem United Methodist Church is the oldest church building in Fairview Township that has been continuously used by one denomination. In 1842, Rev. John Fohl of the United Brethren Church in Shiremanstown was invited to preach at Prowell's School House. The congregation of about 20 people continued to meet and decided to construct a church building. The church building was completed in 1844. The church was often referred to as the "Stone Church" because of the brown sandstone used for the walls of the building. There were two front doors - one for men and one for women. The sanctuary had a partition in the middle, which divided the men from the women. In the 1800s, it was considered improper for men and women to sit together for church services.
In 1908, the double doors were replaced with two windows and one center door. The partition in the sanctuary was removed and a bell and belfry were added. Due to overcrowding, the first major expansion project occurred in April 1953, which tripled the useable space of the building. In 1960, the church purchased 16 acres of adjoining ground and built a parsonage. Until 1960, the church did not have a full-time pastor, but rather shared a pastor with other congregations. The congregation then added a Christian Education wing to the church building in 1971. A new sanctuary was constructed in 1989 that was able to accommodate 350 parishioners, close to doubling the seating capacity. The congregation constructed another major addition in 2002 that doubled the square footage of all previous construction, adding a new Fellowship Hall that can seat 400, new offices, classrooms and a Welcome Center. After almost 170 years, the congregation remains a vibrant religious presence in the Fishing Creek Valley.
If you have any Salem history you'd like to share, contact the church office at or 717-938-1928.