Families of Salem settlement first held services in Francis McCormick's log home. When he gave land in 1817 for a church and public school, they built a log church on this site, later replacing it with a brick building. In 1863 the existing church was built, the bricks from the second church being used for the educational building next door.
Francis McCormick (1764-1836), who fought under Lafayette at the siege of Yorktown, founded Methodism in the Northwest Territory. His evangelical and pioneer spirit led him from his Virginia birthplace to establish churches in the wilderness, first at Milford, Ohio, then here, at his village of Salem. He rests with his family and followers in the nearby churchyard.