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Harold Salem Dies After Dec. 3 Hospitalization with Coronavirus and Pneumonia

On Thursday, the Christian Worship Hour posted a letter from Pastor Harold Salem, dated December 8, in which the Aberdeen TV preacher said he had been hospitalized on Thursday, December 3, with pneumonia and covid-19.

Rev. Harold Salem, open letter, 2020.12.08.
Rev. Harold Salem, open letter, 2020.12.08; posted by Christian Worship Hour, FB, 2020.12.17.

Yesterday the Christian Worship Hour announced that Salem died at home on Friday, December 18, at 5:30 a.m.

The local media, strangely, chose not to mention the salient fact that coronavirus had stricken this prominent public figure:

The Rev. Harold Salem, a longtime pastor and voice of the Christian Worship Hour, died Friday morning.

Salem had been in the hospital about 2 1/2 weeks receiving treatment for pneumonia, according to Bill Edwards, president of the Christian Worship Hour.

Salem, who turned 99 this summer, started as a pastor at 23 [Elisa Sand, “Long-Time Pastor, Rev. Harold Salem Dies,” Aberdeen American News via Hub City Radio, 2020.12.18].

As the pandemic persists, it is important that we emphasize to our community the ongoing danger coronavirus poses. Reminding the community that this disease has taken a well-known and well-loved pastor may help persuade a few more of our neighbors to mask up, or stay home, or take other precautions that would help contain the pandemic and save us from the loss of more of our friends and neighbors.


  1. chris 2020-12-19

    Yeah, the KSFY news only called it “pneumonia” last night. NO mention of “Covid”.

  2. mike from iowa 2020-12-19

    At his tender age pneumonia likely would have been his downfall, but, adding covid to the mix guaranteed his demise.

    In a healthy person pneumonia is iffy, damaging your lungs, but, not always fatal. Covid 19 destroys your lungs.

  3. Ray Tysdal 2020-12-19

    My mother, Lucia Tysdal, told this story about Harold Salem. The drought in the 1930s forced her family off the Belle Fourche Irrigation district for several years and they lived for a while in the stone house near the Wyoming border on Highway 34. She was about 10. Several of the older boys climbed onto the roof of the nearby country school and placed a board over the chimney to smoke out the teacher. According to my mother, my two aunts, Betty and Peggy, sat on Harold to keep him from warning the teacher. Mom and Harold remained friends until her passing in 2006 and talked occasionally on the telephone

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-12-19

    Fun story, Ray!

    I’m intrigued by the image of naughty children sitting on a classmate who wanted to prevent smoke inhalation. I’m just as intrigued by the image of “the stone house near the Wyoming border”. Is that house still there?

  5. Ray Tysdal 2020-12-19

    The Stone House Saloon is still there and caters to motorcyclists during Rally time.. We took Mom there when she was in her early eighties and she made a big hit with the bikers, even drank a beer.

  6. grudznick 2020-12-19

    On the day of the Hulett Jamming of the Ham, Mr. H, many of those biker fellows swill beer around the old stone house. It was the epicenter of the covid bug spreaders during the Rally this year, I am pretty sure.

    And who among you has not done a harmless prank like that to your teachers?

  7. Joe 2020-12-20

    grudz continues to labor under the premise he is witty and clever. Who is placing these notions in his head?

  8. Mr Sol 2020-12-20

    Condolences to the family, friends and community of the good pastor!

  9. Mark Carter Stevens 2021-01-04

    The best encourager to live for Jesus.

  10. Jason Trovillion 2021-01-04

    I am left in shock of Harolds passing. I have attended many Christian Churches and put up with all the Super Stars. Mr. Salems Sunday broadcast of 3 year old episodes spoke more to me than worshiping bright lights, lattice and coffee bars. Time for this Buster to get serving Jesus.

  11. Jo L 2021-01-05

    Bittersweet news.
    I discovered this incredible man of God about 4-5 yrs ago on D-Star. Loved his way of teaching a good, old fashioned Salvation message w/o all the drama & hype. Many a minister should take a lesson.
    Was so impressed at his age & how young he looked! God kept him well.
    I’m glad they will keep his ministry running. I look forward to spending some heavenly time with him.
    Many crowns for preacher Salem, I’m sure. Well done, good and Faithful servant!

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-01-05

    Can we refer to death as “sweet” when it is a victory, even if temporary, of the corruption introduced into Creation by sin?

  13. Edwina Alden-Perez 2021-01-14

    This is so sad. I’m Native American from the Crow Reservation and have watched him for over 15 years, and look forward to seeing him on Sundays.. after the Chris Wallace program. I will miss you pastor Harold, you have taught me so much about the Lord and Savior. You fought the good fight, rest in peace, until we meet in Haven someday.. Condolences to Pastor Salem and his Family… God Bless America

  14. Carolyn Ator 2021-01-23

    I love you, Pastor Salem, hope to meet you in Heaven. Bless your heart and thanks for teaching us so much! Your preaching was outstanding! Praise the Lord for your life. Sending condolences to your family.

  15. Linda Smith 2021-01-27

    Linda Smith, Idaho

    I discovered Pastor Salem a few years ago while flipping the channels one Sunday morning. I really do believe the Lord wanted me to listen in on what Pastor Salem had to say. He spoke the truth from God’s Holy Word. Thank you Pastor Salem. You are missed by many. Rest in peace good and faithful servant. My condolences to the family.

  16. Cheryl Gerbes 2021-01-30

    My Dad loved Pastor Salem. When he moved in with me in 2013, it was one of the first things he said to me – “Pastor Salem is on Saturday. Watch with me.” So I did, and I love the way he preached – just like Jesus did – simple, to the point, and easily understood. Perfect! My Dad passed away December 2016, and I know he is talking that man’s ear off in heaven! Prayers & peace for Pastor Salem’s family and friends. Much love to all of you.

  17. Cory Allen Gresh 2021-01-31

    I just heard the Pastor for the first time today saying that some of us may not ever die when Christ returns then come to find out after the program he’s gone to be with the Lord Jesus. I was surprised that he was 99, he looked much younger. See you later in the new Jerusalem on the new earth pastor!

  18. Cyndi Johnson 2021-02-06

    I just discovered Pastor Salem TODAY! I loved his teaching and was searching to see what I could learn of him, and sadly this is what I found. My condolences to all who knew and loved him and/or followed his teachings.

  19. Andrea Becker 2021-02-07

    My husband and I have watched Pastor Salem for a couple years now. We just love him and his sweet way of delivering the Good News. I just realized, today, that Pastor Salem had passed. Was watching his Sunday sermon and he was talking about being 96 years old. Knowing this was an old sermon, I went to the internet and realized he died on December 18, 2020 – my birthday none the less:) Found it incredible that his own mother had also lived to be 99 1/2 years old.

    What a great man – we will miss you.

  20. Becky Jo 2021-04-18

    God will use Covid… it’s because of Covid that my husband I were compelled to stay home for a time, for our worship of God. As we searched online and on our local tv channels, we were led to the CWH, along with several other pastors who preach the truth from God’s word. We praise God for Pastor Harold and the ministry he was called to. Our condolences to the family and congregation.

  21. Dennis A. Hooker 2021-04-25

    I, also, just this morning found out that the sermon I just heard from Pastor Salem was recorded – and that he had “passed over” a few months ago.

    I love his message and the (sometimes) halting way he talks. He seems “real”! I look forward to getting up from bed early just to hear him on Sunday morning.

    I am almost 85 and each day I look forward to meeting my loved ones (and pastor Salem) when I go Home to be with Jesus.


    Dennis A. Hooker

  22. Bryan Turner 2021-06-20

    Condolances to a great man and Pastor.I love watching and listening to him.RIP with the lord.

  23. Kim Brown 2021-06-21

    I just found out yesterday that Pastor Salem passed away. I only caught it because of a letter he was reading that said “have a happy 2018” I immediately looked on line to see what had happened. I m glad that he ended his labor well, but I will miss his msgs and common sense approach to the gospel. He will rest well, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ should.. I’ve been watching CWH for over 6 yrs and have always enjoyed listening as I prepared to go to my local church.

  24. Deborah Thomas 2021-06-27

    Today was the first sermon I heard from Pastor Salem and was curious to see what literature he had out. Unfortunately, this is when I found out that he had passed. I will continue to listen to his sermons on Sunday. I understood everything he spoke on. Hopefully his messages will continue into the future.

  25. DS 2021-06-27

    So sorry to hear this. He was a much loved minister. May Gods comfort his family.

  26. Pam Krabill 2021-08-15

    On days we cannot make it to our own church we so enjoy watching Dr. Salem. I noticed todays was from 2017 so decided to look him up online and noticed his passing this past December. I am so sorry for the loss of this dear man. God Bless his family. I thought it funny when he said he was 97 and should be a year older but was sick one year. My mother (96 years old) also had a chuckle.

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