Pastor Harold E. Salem, longtime Christian Worship Hour preacher, dies at 99


RAPID CITY, SD (KOTA) — For more than 40 years, world-renowned pastor Harold E. Salem has taken to the airwaves every Sunday on KOTA-TV to preach the gospel on Christian Worship Hour. Pastor Salem has died aged 99.

Pastor Harold E. Salem died Friday morning surrounded by his family in Aberdeen.

Belle Fourche-born Salem began serving Belle Fourche First Baptist Church in 1944. After more than 13 years, he answered the call to serve at Aberdeen First Baptist Church, where he served more 52 years old.

Christian Worship Hour began in January 1979 by televising worship on a single television channel, KABY-TV. Christian Worship Hour has grown from a local broadcast in Aberdeen to reach people around the world through radio and television.

“Pastor Salem has been a part of my life for nearly 63 years. I experienced his remarkable and unwavering dedication to bringing God’s message of forgiveness, love and heavenly eternity to all. . . it is really extraordinary. His influence will live on forever,” said Bill Edwards, president of Christian Worship Hour.

Salem celebrated his 99th birthday in June this year. Supporters marked the occasion with a celebration of ‘social distancing’ – by organizing a caravan to celebrate the big day. People drove past the pastor’s house with birthday signs and balloons in their cars.

Salem is predeceased by his wife, Beulah, who died on Christmas Eve 2005. Salem is survived by his four children, 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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