Salem Lutheran Church

German Lutheran Church of Beaver Township

On September 17th, 1892, a number of German Lutheran Christians, under the guidance of the Rev. S. Siefkes, founded a congregation in Beaver township (of this county) known as the Salems Evangelical Lutheran Church of Beaver township, Grundy County, Iowa.

The particular object of this church is to teach, spread and defend divine truth as given to mankind by God in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. It accepts the whole of the Symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran church, as contained in the book of Concord in year of 1580, as the pure and genuine exposition and interpretation of the Divine Word.

On January 1st, 1893, C. E. G. Voss, who had accepted a call of this congregation, was installed as its first pastor and has been serving it uninterrupted up to this time (1911). Beginning with only seven families, it has slowly grown to its present number, which is sixty families or three hundred and ninety-three souls.

The congregation owns a church site containing three and one-half acres, with the necessary buildings and a cemetery of one acre, as its private property, which managed subject to certain rules of constitution and by-laws, and an addition to the cemetery containing five acres of land. This addition it holds with the understanding that the sum of $20.00 annually is set apart for the support of the cemetery.

In connection with this congregation, is the Evangelical Lutheran Christian in Fairfield township, Grundy County, Iowa. This congregation used to be a part of an Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Cedar Falls, Iowa, but became independent in the year 1903, and called C. E. G. Voss for its first pastor, and he is serving it yet. It owns a cemetery but has no church building, holding its services in the public school house. It comprises twelve families with sixty-four souls. Both congregations are in membership with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and other states.

by C. E. G. Voss

--Atlas of Grundy County, Iowa, 1911, pg 93

Lutheran Church, Beaver Township

Salem's Lutheran church, in Beaver township, was organized Sept. 12, 1892, by Rev. S. Siefkes. The congregation will therefore celebrate its 40th anniversary September, 1932. The first signers of the constitution were M. Janish, I. Doescher, Emil Pieper, Geo. F. Boehm, C. Schuck, Myel Haack, C. Eilts and H. Helmers. Among the founders are found many names whose descendants are still active in the work of the congregation.

The first services were held in the public school building. In 1893, a church was built and dedicated March 5, 1893.

In the same year the first pastor Rev. C. Voss was called and served the congregation until 1914 when he was succeeded by his brother, the Rev. J. Voss, whose pastorate continued until 1926, when the present pastor, Rev. W. Paulsen, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was called.

During the 39 years, many improvements have been made to the church property. A parochial school was built and donated to the congregation in 1914 by J. P. Brown, of Parkersburg. When in 1927 the old church building became too small, an addition of 24x40 was added to the church. The Ladies Aid donated the bell and new pews, also new purple plush for altar and pulpit. The interior of the church was newly decorated recently.

Within the congregation is a Young People's Society of 21 members, a Ladies Aid of 31 members, a mixed choir of 18 members and a church orchestra. The Sunday School has an enrollment of 115 with an average Sunday attendance of 102. The church property is free of debt.

The congregation was united with the former Iowa Synod and is now a member of the American Lutheran Church.

The Lutheran church is the oldest and largest and the mother of all Protestant denominations. About 50 per cent of all Protestant denominations in the world are Lutherans.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 13 November 1931