Side A: Founded in 1842, Salem Lutheran Church is Toledo’s first and oldest Lutheran congregation. Located in Toledo’s oldest neighborhood, Vistula, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the church was originally composed of German immigrants and incorporated as “Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed Congregation” under the guidance of Reverend George Cronenwett. The first sanctuary was erected in 1844. Ten years later, a Lutheran constitution was accepted and the name “Salem” was chosen. The current church structure was built in 1871at a total cost of $12,000. Major renovations occurred in 1889, 1916, and the mid 1960s. A Wicks pipe organ was installed in 1967. (continued on other side)
Side B: (continued from other side) In 1860, the Salem Lutheran Church, through the leadership of Pastor Johannes Doerfler, founded a benevolent organization called the Lutheran Orphans’ Homes, which was formed to provide care for orphans. Land was purchased on Toledo’s East Side, and a church and orphan’s home were built, predecessors respectively to today’s First St. John’s Lutheran Church and Lutheran Homes Society, which provides housing for the aged. The benevolent work of the society and the church continued with the development of youth activities, adult programs, and being host to various neighborhood advocacy groups. In 2001, the church served the neighborhood with 44,163 hot meals through the AGAPE program, and it operated as a meal distribution center for the Feed Your Neighborhood program of the Metro Toledo Churches United organization.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennnial Commission, The Longaberger Company, Congregation of Salem Lutheran Church, and The Ohio Historical Society