Pastor Craig Swenson was called to serve as Salem’s pastor in July 2018. He was born and raised in western Iowa where he graduated high school, was married and eventually sensed a call to parish ministry. 

He is a 1991 graduate of Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, NE where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree and a graduate of Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA receiving his Master of Divinity in 1995. Salem is his third call having first served a two point parish including Immanuel Lutheran Church in Minonk, IL and Bethany Lutheran in Wenona, IL for 14 years. He then served Saint Andrew Lutheran Church, Wausau, WI for nine years.

Pastor Craig is married to Karen and together they have two married sons, one in Franklin, Tennessee and one in Washington, Illinois.

He loves parish ministry and in particular, enjoys preaching, teaching, pastoral care and visitation and building a sense of community. Having grown up on a farm, Pastor Craig loves being outdoors working with his hands. He also enjoys cycling and snowshoeing when weather permits.

About us

Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.

In response to the recent Health Advisory issued by Peoria City/County Health Department describing rising levels of COVID cases and concerns, the planned outdoor worship service has been cancelled. Worship will still take place live at 6pm, but with worship leadership only. It will be recorded and available for viewing by 8am on Sunday, July 26.
This decision is not taken lightly but very seriously as we strive to follow health officials recommendations and cautions. We do this because we love one another and want what’s best for one another. In this time of pandemic, that means refraining from indoor as well as outdoor gatherings of larger sized groups.

The drive by farewell for Kristen will still take place on Sunday beginning at 10:30am as we will remain in our cars. Thank you for your cooperation. 

Pastor Craig
Craig Swenson, Senior Pastor