Salem Mennonite Church

28103 443rd Avenue
Freeman, SD 57029

(The original structure was destoyed by fire in 1985 including the Reuter organ.)
Builder: Reuter Organ Co., Op. 1574, 1967.
Manuals: 2
Ranks: 20
Action: Electro-pneumatic

Notes: from Organ Historical Society as of 2014 and Mary Mannes from the church. Church was rebuilt in the same location after a fire in 1985. See additional listing for organ by Salmen in this new structure.

History: 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 fire 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.