Salem Strict and Particular Baptist Church
This church was formed on 21st March 1813 when seven members of the Particular Baptist Church at Meeting House Alley, Portsea, together with eight others were joined together as a gospel church by Mr. Thomas Tilly of Forton, Gosport.
A chapel was built and opened on 26th January, 1814. It stood in what was then known as the White Swan Fields and took the name Salem. One of the members, Mr. Richard Young, was chosen as pastor.
In January 1941 this time-worn building was destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War. A very small congregation managed to continue in the city and the present meeting house was opened in a different area of Portsmouth on 24th April, 1959.
When in 1835 the Gospel Standard Magazine was commenced by William and John Gadsby, it was not long before Salem identified with its stand for truth. In 1841 Mr J C Philpot preached four sermons in the Salem pulpit, all of which were later printed. Mr John McKenzie, Mr William Tiptaft and Mr John Warburton were among those who also preached, and during the pastorate of Mr George Murrell (1843-1861) the Articles of Faith of the Gospel Standard Societies were adopted.
These were re-affirmed with the additional Articles 32-35 in 1888. After 1959 they seem to have been set aside. In the pastorate of Mr. K. F. T. Matrunola, they were again affirmed by unanimous decision of the chuch in January 1991.
Articles of Faith drawn up in 1967 are retained as a more concise statement of the church's faith and practice. These must be upheld by every member of the church and understood in the light of the 35 Gospel Standard Articles.
By affirming these truths, and desiring to know the power of them in the heart, the church at Salem Chapel seeks to uphold its original purpose as stated in the chapel's Trust Deed of 1824:
"For promoting the Christian religion as it is professed by Protestant Dissenters of the Denomination of Particular Baptists."
The old Salem Chapel which was destroyed by enemy action in 1941.
Picture reproduced from The Strict Baptist Chapels of England by Ralph F. Chambers.
Richard Young 1814 - 1842
George Murrell 1843 - 1861
T. S. Swonnell 1862 - 1866
George Wickham 1867 - 1868
William Ferris 1871 - 1887
W. S. Ford 1890 - 1898
Charles Thew 1928 - 1940
Edward G. T. Baldwin 1966 - 1969
K. F. T. Matrunola 1971 - 1994
Henry Sant 1996 - Present