Salem (say'luhm) is Hebrew for peace (similar roots to the more familiar Hebrew word "shalom", Hebrew being the orginal language of the Old Testament). The Hebrew bible mentions a place called Salem in Genesis 14:8 with the king of Salem being Melchizedek (prounounced mel-kiz'uh-dek), who was the priest of God Most High. Salem geographically also can refer to the holy city of Jerusalem or city of peace. Salem is mentioned with Zion (Jersualem) in Psalm 76 as the dwelling place of God. Mechizedek and Salem are also mentioned in the Christian New Testament in the Letter to the Hebrews (7:2).
Salem United Church of Christ (earlier The Reformed Church of Salem) began using the name "Salem" sometime in the late 1800's. Today it is fitting that this congregation has the word Salem in its name as it strives to uphold the virtue of "peace" within its people and advocate for a peaceful world for all of God's children and creation through its ministry and beliefs.