In the early 1900's, many members of the of the Victor Congregation were moving to Mt. Vernon, SD. Because of the long distances to travel by horse and buggy to the country church services, it was decided to build a church in Mt. Vernon, but still be one congregation. The church was built for about $6,000 during the pastorate of R.U. Evjenth and dedicated in 1908.
A.M. Mannes served as the first pastor of Salem Lutheran Church from 1910-1917. In 1916 a new constitution was drawn up and Mt. Vernon became a separate congregation-Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church. Pastor Klungvedt was the first pastor ordained in the new church and served from 1919 to 1923. The Norwegian constitution of 1908 was translated into the English language by Pastor E.T. Lundy while he served the congregation from 1930 to 1944.
The church building was extensively remodeled by O.G. Sorvaag and the congregation while E.H. Lyso was the pastor. It was dedicated July 3, 1949. More remodeling was done in 1965. In the mid '70's several families from the Victor and Immanuel churches transferred to Salem when their rural churches closed. In 1977 a motion to become a one-point parish was passed. L.S. Jerde was the pastor at that time. The parsonage was moved from the lot west of the church to the N. East lot of the block.
A New basement was put under the church in 1981 and in the mid '80's room dividers were added. In 1987 the congregation voted to join the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and our church's constitution was changed under the direction of Pastor David Hagstrom.
The parsonage and N. East lot was sold in 1998, a storage shed was purchased, and new siding was put on the church. In 1999 we purchased the new parsonage and built on on a double garage. A lighted cross for the front of the church was donated in memory of Wendell and Viola Sorvaag. A piano was given in memory of Ida Stork.
A new baptismal font and celebration candle holder were donated in Harvard Hetland's memory in 2000. The basement was re-carpeted and half the pews were finished in 2002. The rest of the pews were refinished in 2003 and the church roof was shingled with new soffits.