Salem Lutheran school was organized soon after Salem Evangelical Lutheran church was established, with the pastor serving as the teacher of the school in the early years. Because travel was difficult and roads were not well developed, students lived at the pastor’s house. The first regular teacher, Mr. G. A. Just, was called in 1868, and school has been conducted without interruption to this day.
In 1895, a brick one-room schoolhouse was built on property across the street from the church and was used as a classroom until 1950. The building, often called the Old White House, still stands today and is used for youth group functions, for Bible classes, and for applebutter canning in the fall. In 1970, the building received official designation as a Historic Building of St. Louis County.
Salem Lutheran Church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1949. The congregation was growing rapidly, so in 1950 built a new school next to the church. During the years after World War II, metropolitan St. Louis expanded into the region around Salem. As apartments, subdivisions, and shopping districts replaced truck and dairy farms, Salem gradually changed from a rural to a suburban church. The school enrollment kept growing, requiring additions in 1956 and 1968. A new parsonage was also built.
We are thankful that there have been a church and school on the Parker Road hill in Black Jack since 1851, and we pray that we will continue to spread the Good News through their ministries for many more decades.