New Salem Baptist Church has a very long history. Just 51 years after the Declaration of Independence it was constituted in 1827. Originally called the Church of Christ at Salem, the word Baptist was not in its name, yet its founding documents declared it to be Baptist. In the 187 years since, the Church has congregated in a number of meeting places. The first was on Hardy Lane, just one mile from our new 34 acre campus off of Hwy 92, near Bicycle road. The original church was built on land donated by Bob and Bera Hardy. In 1854, in a time leading up to the Civil War, that building was donated for use as a school. It is not known where the church met during the civil war period, but in 1866, the year after the civil war ended, its members changed the name of the church to The Baptist Church of Christ at New Salem. They met in a building along Hwy 92 that was, for a time, also used as a Union Courthouse for Fayette County. The Church relocated to Rio in 1884, where it built upon land donated by Mr. J. W. Vaughn. At this time the name of the Church was changed to New Salem Baptist Church. This building was a wooden structure, and in 1956 it succumbed to termites and was replaced by a brick building that all of us have know in recent years as New Salem Baptist Church.
Many fine Pastors have come along to shepherd the flock of New Salem over the years. In 2008 tragedy struck as Pastor Norm Daughtery went home to be with Jesus after a battle with cancer. In February 2010 New Salem called Mike Barnes as Pastor. By mid 2012 New Salem had grown and was pushing the limits of its facility. As we prayed and sought God’s direction for expansion we had no idea that he would answer with such a powerful and life changing act. On December 26th, 2012 God sent a bolt of lightening to strike our main facility and it burned to the ground. It seemed that day to be a tragic loss, but by the grace of God, He turned it into a great new beginning for NSBC. Immediately after the fire, a banner was hung that read, “The building burned down but our Church is still on fire.” It was a declaration of survival, and yet more even than that, it was a declaration that the shaking of our circumstances had not moved us from our hope in God’s sovereign power and love for us. We broke ground for our new facility on Hwy 92 in February of 2015 and moved in to our new facility in January of 2016. The Lord has continued to bless and grow New Salem and we look forward to having you come and join us for worship.