Salem Online History This site is provided by Salem Public Library (Salem, Oregon).
space space
Brief History
Natural History
Timeline Search
Salem Academy
A Lighthouse in Christian Education

Salem Academy's history spans 7 decades. In 1936 three Mennonite churches in Dallas collaborated to organize the Beacon Bible School for post-high school instruction in Bible and related subjects. This two-year Bible school met in church facilities, but in 1938 the Board purchased a North Dallas grade school where the work continued until 1945. By that time, the Kingwood Bible Church of West Salem had operated the Salem Bible Institute for about a year or so. These two merged to form the nucleus of Salem College and Academy.
The school opened in September 1945 with a principal and eight teachers. 76 students enrolled immediately, but this number increased to 90 before the end of that first school year. In the
beginning, Salem College and Academy was governed by two organizations, a society of Christian parents, students and friends; and a board of trustees, elected by the parent organization.

The school newspaper, The Green Hornet, was published and a few years later changed its name to The Horizon. Highlights of Salem Academy's early years included the laying of the corner-stone; construction of the administration building, chapel, gym and field house; construction of the Junior High; changing the school colors from kelly green and white to forest green and white; the school's accreditation and mortgage burning in 1954; and purchasing bus #4 with Green Stamps.

Changes in society, with the Bible and prayer being eliminated from public schools, caused many families to have concerns about the early years of their children's lives. There were very few interdenominational Christian schools in the Willamette Valley. This led the Salem Academy board to continue to expand by adding a sixth grade at the start of 1974 to what was then a 7-12 school. Fifth grade was added the following year and both classes filled immediately. Talk of adding grades 1-4 began shortly thereafter. However, space was at a premium.

A momentous year in the history of the Salem was 1975-76, when the East Campus, the former Serra Catholic School, was purchased by that year’s Board of Trustees. The first graduating class from the new East Campus was in 1980. Elementary was now on the West Campus and Junior and Senior High on the East Campus. In 1988, the mortgage of 1.3 million was in burned

The 1990s saw the introduction of child care and preschool, and in 1999 a third campus opened in Keizer, housing preschool and kindergarten.

About 80 local churches are represented among the 480 students enrolled. Salem Academy continues to offer quality Christian education to students and their families.


Salem Academy Building
Salem Academy Building
[ View Image ]
Home | About | History Resources | SiteMap | Historic Photographs | Salem Public Library
Brief History Commerce © 2005-2006 Salem Public Library (Salem, OR) Culture Education Maps Natural History People Places Timeline Search Transportation