OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Pastor Harold E. Salem, 99, founder of the Christian Worship Hour, died early Friday morning. An obituary release on Monday said that Salem was surrounded by his family in Aberdeen, South Dakota when he passed away.
Salem was born in 1921 near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He earned his bachelors, masters, and Doctor of Ministry degrees and pastored two churches and his television congregation for more than 76 years.
In 1979, he became an early pioneer in using television to celebrate church services through the weekly broadcast of The Christian Worship Hour, which is now one of the oldest, continuous broadcasts in America. It airs on KMTV at 6:30 a.m. Sunday mornings.
According to his obituary:
“Salem became well known for his love and concern for seniors in America, and the Christian Worship Hour has become the home church for shut-ins, the needy, folks and families around the world. His down to earth teaching style focused on the sharing of God’s word in a way that people of every age and background can understand.
The ministry’s reach has expanded greatly over the last 15 years and the broadcasts can now be seen in over 1.6 billion households around the world.
“Pastor Salem has been a part of my life for nearly 63 years. I have experienced his remarkable, unwavering dedication to bringing God’s message of forgiveness, love, and a heavenly eternity to all people . . . it is truly extraordinary! His influence will live on forever.“ Bill Edwards, President, Christian Worship Hour.
Pastor Salem and his team at the Christian Worship Hour had prepared for his promotion (to Heaven), and the weekly broadcast will continue, utilizing the many hundreds of sermons and devotionals recorded over the years spanning his amazing ministry.
The funeral service for Pastor Salem will be at 10:30am, Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at First Baptist Church, Rev. Gary Compton officiating. The service will be live streamed via Facebook and the Christian Worship Hour website so that friends and supporters will be able to attend from all over the world and will also be available through the website after the funeral date.”