History of Emmitsburg's Lutheran Church
The Lutheran Church of
this community dates its origin in the year 1757, on the
banks of Tom's Creek two and
one-half miles East of Emmitsburg. This primitive
structure was built of logs. According to a historical
letter. of Rev. John G. Young written to Rev. Dr.
Helmuth, Philadelphia, and filed in the archives of
Mount Airy Lutheran Seminary the year 1757 establishes
the date of this congregation's beginning. At a later
date a new church was built on this site by the Lutheran
and the Reformed congregations.
The first pastor was
Rev. John G. Bager, who was succeeded by no less than
four ministers until in the year 1797.
In 1797, the
congregation decided to build a new church in
Emmitsburg. The present stone structure was erected
conjointly by the Lutheran and the Reformed
congregations and used by both on alternate Sundays
until the year 1869, when the Lutheran congregation
became sole owner by right of purchase.
The present stone
edifice was remodeled in the year 1835, also in 1870. In
the year 1897. the Centennial Celebration of the church
was observed with a varied and impressive program,
covering a period of four days, September 30 - October
3, 1897. A full account was furnished in the Chronicle
October 8, 1897. In the Centennial year the church was
renovated and improved by placing new circular oak pews,
art glass memorial windows of beautiful design, new
pulpit and chancel furniture.
Fourteen ministers have
served the congregation since 1797, Rev. John F.
Ruthrauff, Rev. John U. Grobp, Rev. John N. Hoffman,
Rev. Samuel Finekel, Rev. Ezra Keller. Rev. Solomon
Sentman. Rev. John Welficy, Rev. Chas. Collins, Rev. J.
Henry Bishop, Rev. Washington V. Gotwald, Rev. F. S.
Johnston, D. D., Rev. Luther DeYoe, Rev. 0. U. Klinger,
Rev. Chas. Reinewald.
Recent improvements are
a new heating plant, walls refrescoed, new carpet, new
roof, new floor, a new concrete avenue from the Main
street to the church, and other improvements within the
present pastorate of 17 years involving an expenditure
of about $3,500.
The membership numbers
340 persons. During the past year the congregation
contributed for benevolent causes $368.00 and for all
local and general work $2,170.00. The church property
has improved with age, and continues to serve the sacred
purpose of its erection through Winter's cold and
Pastors of Emmitsburg
Elias Ev. Lutheran Church. Rev. John George Buger,
1757-1759; vacant, 1759-1761; Rev. Ludwig Beck, 176
1-1767; vacant, 1767-1769; Rev. Charles F. Wildbahn,
1769-1782. Then Lutherans united with Reformed and built
a new church on the old location, and also a school
house, 1782. Rev. John U. Young of St. John's Lutheran
Church supplied the
Emmitsburg church. Rev. Guenther Wingert. 1794-1795;
Rev. John F. Enthrauff, Greencastle, 1797-1802; Rev.
John U. Grobp, Taneytown, 1802-1828; Rev. John N.
Hoffman. 1828-1833; Rev. Samuel D. Finekel, 1834-1837;
Rev. Ezra Keller, 1837-1840; Rev. Solomon Seatman,
1841-1852; Rev. John Welfley, 1852-1854; Rev. George S.
Collins, 1854-1855; Rev. Henry Bishop, 1855-1863: Rev.
Washington V. Gotwald. 1863-1866; Rev. E. S. Johnston,
1866-1888; Rev. Luther DeYoe, 1889-1891; Rev. 0. G.
Klinger. 1892-1892; Rev. Chas. Reinewald, 1892.
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