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Bethany Lutheran

Bethany English Lutheran Church

The history of this church is varied and the congregation saw many struggles.  Prior to the Civil War on Bond Street near Eastern Avenue there stood a German congregational church.  The congregation known as St. Peter’s German Lutheran Church was established there.  It was founded by Rev. Hertzberg and he was succeeded by Revs. Brown and Schwartz.  In 1861 Rev. Schloegel became the pastor and he remained there until his death in 1892.

The congregation was received into receiver membership in 1862.  The Rev. George Albrecht was sent to administer to the core congregation of about 30 members.  On February 5, 1892, the German Congregation was organized and named the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peace with Rev. Albrecht as their leader.  He was succeeded in about six months by Rev. Richard Schmidt. The congregation worshipped at Shaeffer’s Chapel on Gough Street.  In April they purchased a chapel and repaired it and Rev. Schmidt was installed as their pastor. 

In November, 1894, a parsonage adjoining the church building was purchased for $1,875. Rev. Schmidt severed his connection with the congregation December 1. 1898. and was succeeded by Rev. Hugo Braun on December 8. who served the congregation until May 5. 1901. His installation was held February 12, 1899, by Revs. F. Ph. Hennighausen. D.D..and U. S. G. Rupp. During all these years the congregation was slowly acquiring strength.

On June 1,1901  Rev. C. E. Raymond. D.D. became pastor and was installed by Revs. E. C. Ide and W. C. Staudemire on September 22.

In 1903 a movement took place looking towards changing the services from German to English. For a while half the services were English and half were in German, but soon they were changed to all English services. There was some ill feeling and misunderstandings and in October, 1904, the name was changed to "Bethany English Lutheran Church of Baltimore City” and the congregation withdrew from the Maryland Synod, becoming an independent congregation.  It again joined the Synod in October 1905.

On October 1. 1905, Rev. Raymond severed his connection with the congregation and on January 1. 1906. Rev. Luther F. Miller took up the work.  His installation took place March 18. 1906. The building was repainted and papered, however, in August of 1909 the building was condemned by the city.  That part of the city was on a downward spiral and it wasn’t favorable to rebuild so the building was sold at a loss and ground purchased at the corner of Lakewood and Madison Street.  During the next year, they worshiped in a home on Lakewood Avenue. On the lot a small chapel was erected and was dedicated on May 21, 1911.

In February 1917. the twenty-fifth anniversary was observed with sermon by Rev. Richard Schmidt, a former pastor. In the same year the interior of the church was remodeled.

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