About Salem

What We Believe

We aren't perfect - we have all disappointed the perfect God who made us, and need his help in order to be right with Him again. God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to rescue ALL people from the consequences of our imperfections and make us right with Him again. Jesus did that by living a perfect life here in our world, dying in our place, and rising to life again. Forgiveness and eternal life with God are gifts from God given by grace (undeserved love) alone through faith (trust) in Jesus alone. The only true God is the God of the Bible: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible is God's Word and is completely true and relevant for our lives. We base all of our teaching on the Bible.

What follows is a summary of our beliefs.  For a full statement of beliefs click here.

Our Church Affiliation

Salem Lutheran Church and School is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).  The synod formed in 1850 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the national offices are located still today.  With over 400,000 baptized member, WELS is the third largest Lutheran church body in America, with over 1,200 congregations in North America. 

WELS operates four ministerial education schools: Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis.; Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.; Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis.; and Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, Mich.

Nearly 500 years ago, the Christian church was corrupted by many false teachings. God used a man named Martin Luther led people back to the teachings of the Bible. His work, and that of his friends, is called the Reformation. Through Luther God restored the church to purity of doctrine and a new life of faith in Christ. The doctrines of the Lutheran Church are not new. They are the teachings of the Bible. Thus the Lutheran Church is not a new church. It is not a sect or cult. It is a church whose teaching is based on the words written by the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament. The Bible tells us about Jesus Christ. The teachings of the Lutheran Church are those of the original, ancient church of the apostles and early Christians.

Salem Lutheran Church of Woodbury, MN, is pleased to be joined with Christians around the world through the worldwide ministry of the WELS.  By being a part of WELS, we celebrate our common faith in Jesus and his Word, and join our resources to do together what we cannot do as individual Christians or congregations. 

To learn more about the WELS, click here.


Salem Lutheran Church of Woodbury has been serving the community for over 150 years with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The congregation began in 1863, when a number of German-speaking families issued a call for pastoral services. The first church building was completed in 1866, but in less than ten years a larger building was necessary, which was dedicated in May of 1876. That facility served the congregation until 1990, when the congregation began worshipping in the current facility about at the current location, which is 1 1/2 miles west of the old location, where only the church cemetery remains. In May of 1990, the current worship facility was dedicated. By September, 1996, the distinctive stained glass windows were donated and installed.    

As the community continued to grow, Salem saw an opportunity to reach out with a Christian education program. A two classrooom addition was completed in 2005, and a preschool began in January of 2005. The Lord has richly blessed our Early Childhood Program, which now includes our Terrific Two's classes.  These programs and other community outreach events have enhanced awareness and engaged the membership over the past several years, as many new faces have come through Salem's doors.

Over the years, Salem has experienced two mergers with other Lutheran congregations in the area. In 1987, Mt. Zion Ev. Lutheran Church, lcoated in the Highwood area of St. Paul, joined offically closed and joined with Salem. In 2005, Risen Savior Lutheran Church, a small mission church in Woodbury, closed and joined with Salem. Through these mergers, along with the rapidly changing community over the years, Salem has been "reborn" as a new and vibrant congregation that reflects the community in which it is located. 

But while much has changed over the 140 plus years, both at Salem and the community that surrounds it, something has remained the same. The grace of a loving God, expressed perfectly and fully in Jesus our Savior, has not changed. And throughout the history of Salem, that grace will continue to sustain us and give us reason for joyful expression of our faith.