It was officially organized in 1886, and grew from a group that met in the old Moccasin School. The Moccasin community lay along the old Golconda road and 1 ½ mile east of the Goshen road. These were very important roads as they were two main roads for the early settlers of southern Illinois as well as those traveling west. The school was moved ½ mile west and became known as Olga school.
A big revival was held, and from that revival, New Salem Church was organized, it is not known who held this very successful revival. The church met for a time in the old Moccasin school building. It was constructed of logs, had a dirt floor, split log seats, and was heated by a large fireplace. It stood across the road north of the present New Salem Church site.
County records show the first deed to the church property was on August 1, 1887. Martin Mann and Sarah J. Mann sold to members of New Salem Church and to the trustees of the same in district 5, T.6-R.6 Twigg, one acre in the north east corner of NE ¼ of NW ¼ Sec. 20. The acre was to be one half acre wide and two acres long, the length to be east to west. The land and church house when built were to be used exclusively for church and sabbath school purposes. If used for anything else the land and all improvements should br reinstated to said grantor.
The first New Salem Church Building stood west of the present one, and faced north. It was listed in the statistical table of the Fairfield Association minutes for 1893. It was stated the building seated three hundred people and was valued at $399.00. After the present building was constructed in 1913, the old building was moved farther south and used as a farm building.
Probably the first pastor was Elder Welcome B Russell, and first clerk was James Mezo, undoubtably the most famous New Salem Minister was Elder Thomas Benton Hunt, known by multitudes of people as Uncle Tom Hunt. He served the church almost continuously as pastor from 1898-1936. Uncle Tom was well known for his sincerity of purpose, homely wit, humor and godly life. He officiated at 1,335 weddings, 2,800 baptisms and 1,325 funerals. New Salem Church was known as “Uncle Tom’s “ Church.
PASTORS OF NEW SALEM CHURCH
Welcome B Russell
G. J. Mathis
W. B. Rhodes
T. B. Norman
T. B. Hunt
W. A. Weigent
P. D. Tittle
John Lee Jr.
Irvin Braden - Feb.1965 to July 1971
Joe Gholson - Sept. 1971 to June 1974
Alfred Haile - Aug 1978 to 1980
David Malser - March 1983 to June 1984
Steve Hamson - Nov 1984 to June 1988
Charles Metcalf - April 1986 to 1987
Sam Clark - 1989 to 1990
Roger Hobbs - 1990 to 1999
Harl Cockrum - 2002 to Present
Deacons Of New Salem Church have included J.W. Oglesly, D. W. Reed, Samuel Miller, Sron Russell, Orville Johnson, G. W. Miller, Lathe Musgrave, James Mezo, Eli Ssreal, Arthur Smith, Everett Harrison, Russ Mcgill, Edd Cotter, Kemp Endicott, Eugene Johnson, Leon Vaughan, Deon Allardin, Max Hunt.
In 1977 the church was modernized with addition of new Sunday school classrooms, kitchen, bathrooms and fellowship area.
New Salem Church has been continually active for over one hundred years, services are held every Sunday morning and evening, bible study is held each Wednesday night.