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Salem Lutheran-Bakersville

Salem Lutheran Bakersville 1920

                                                                     Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church 1920 and today (2016)
:  Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz; History of Western Maryland, Scharf; Deed information:  Land Records of Washington County Book T page 825, provided by Joe Davis. 

At the close of the eighteenth century the need for a house of worship was strongly felt in the region now known as Bakersville.  There were only a few families and they were of different faiths, but the majority Methodists, German Reformed and Lutherans.

They came together, and at a point in the edge of a clearing, they built a log church around 1800.

George Garrick (Garey) (Carey) deeded land for the “Union Meeting house and burying ground” on February 1, 1810 to the trustees of the Meeting house (Michael Stonebraker, Ralph Armstrong, Samuel Avery, Jacob Middlekauff, Christian Middlekauff, and Jonas Hogmire).  The group was incorporated in the November session of 1802 and they entered into a verbal agreement with George on the 6th of June 1805 that George would deed the land only after the building was complete. The deed states that “the house was now built and in complete order". 

George had moved into the area in 1773 and owned 286 acres at the intersection which would become Bakersville.  George died in May 8, 1813 and was one of the first to be buried in the “burying ground”. Incidentally, at the time the deed was recorded the crossroads was not Bakersville but was known as Carey’s Cross roads.

Later, in 1823 finding this house too small, they tore it down and replaced it with a very large stone structure, that was also used as a school house. Among the early contributors were Peter Palmer, Henry Poffenberger. Martin Newman, John Brantner. John Knode. Henry Zook. William Reynolds, Joseph Roberts, Henry and Jacob Dovenberger. Watkins James, and Otho Baker.

These three congregations worshipped in this house for a quarter of a century, when the Methodists either died out, or merged with the Lutherans and Reformed. These two congregations grew very rapidly, and finally, in 1853, they mutually and willingly agreed to separate, the Reformed people moving two miles west and building for themselves a church at Mount Moriah.

The Lutherans built a new meeting house known as Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, in 1854. This building was remodeled in 1888 at a cost of one thousand dollars and with a seating capacity of three hundred.  The land where this church, with adjacent cemetery, now is, was donated by John and William Reynolds.

The first Lutherans were Germans and therefore conducted the services in German.

The English ministers of whom we have record were:

Rev. George Diehl, from 1840 to 1852
Rev. Unruh 1852-1854
Rev. Marts. 1854-1857
Rev. Lunger 1857-1804
Rev. Wiles 1864-1868
Rev. Fair 1868-1872
Rev. Levi Keller 1872-1882
Rev. Lentz 1882-1885
Rev. Ellis II. Jones 1885-1892
Rev. J. W. Lingle 1892-1896
Rev. A. A. Kerlin, 1896-1902
Rev. M. S. Sharp, 1905-1907
Rev. W. L. Remsberg 1908- -

Mrs. Alice Reynolds, who died in 1912, bequeathed the church $3,000. Just before her death she had donated an additional acre of ground to the cemetery. Miss Savilla Welty, who died in 1916, bequeathed the church $500. Out of these bequests the congregation in 1913 purchased new pews and a new carpet costing $1,200.  We made two visits to photograph the cemetery, click here.

In 1918 a pipe organ and a new lighting system were installed at a cost of $1,976. For thirty-two years Mr. Cornelius Snively was been treasurer of the church.

The communicant membership in 1920 was one hundred thirty. The Sunday school of which Mr. J. H. Brill was superintendent numbers one hundred twenty-seven. The Women's Missionary Society had a membership of twenty-one; the Young People's Missionary Society nineteen, the Mission Band twenty-nine and the Christian Endeavor thirty.

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Church Location:

Salem Evangelical Church's Address:
17626 Bakersville Rd
Bakersville, MD 21713

Phone:  (301) 432-2155