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St. Luke's Baltimore

Source:  Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz


St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Baltimore was organized as a resolution at the Maryland Synod Convention in Emmitsburg on October 4, 1882.  The Rev. John G. Morris presented the following in honor of Martin Luther’s 400th birthday, ‘"The 10th of November, 1883, will be the 400th anniversary of the birth of Martin Luther, and as this event will be commemorated in every Protestant country of continental Europe and by hundreds of thousands of Lutherans in our own land, it is eminently P roper that we, as the Synod  of Maryland, should also properly celebrate this great historic event. The name of the great Reformer is at the present time more frequently mentioned by all Protestant Churches than ever before, his transcendent services are more highly valued, and his character more thoroughly studied and understood than during any period since his death."

On Friday evening, September 14, 1883, in Benson's Hall, which used to be on Carroll Street near Cross, St. Luke's was organized as a "Luther Memorial.'' Mr. H. H. Weber, who organized the church, was present. Rev. J. A. Clutz, Secretary of the Board of Home Missions, presided. Mr. Henry Cramer was appointed chairman of the meeting, and Mr. C. A. Beyer, secretary.

On the following Sunday morning the first regular church council was chosen and consisted of, Elders: C. A. Miller, President; Henry Cramer, Treasurer; Daniel Yeagle. Deacons: C. A. Beyer, Secretary; Luther Cramer, Jacob R. Schamer.

The Maryland Synod met on October 3, 1883, in the First Lutheran Church, Baltimore, and the president, Rev. Henry W. Kuhns, D.D., wrote in his report: "September 28, Rev. J. A. Clutz wrote the pleasing news that St. Luke's English Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Woodberry, was organized on Friday evening, September 24, with 52 charter members. On Sunday, September 16, the Lord's Supper was administered to the congregation by Dr. Hamma and Revs. Albert, Scholl and Clutz, at which time 25 additional members were received by confirmation and two by baptism, making a total membership of 79 to begin with."

On September 23, 1883, at Mr. C. A. Miller's house, L. Cramer and J. R. Schamer were appointed by the council as a committee on church property. The question of pastor's support was also discussed. After several preliminary discussions it was decided to call a pastor, and, after the morning service on December 2, Rev. William Kelly, of Stewartsville, N. J., was unanimously elected to be the first regular pastor of St. Luke's. Rev. Kelly assumed charge on February 28, 1884, and moved into a house on Elm Avenue. [Rev. Kelly was born on December 17, 1852 at Liverpool, England.  His earliest training was Catholic schools in Baltimore and was a member of the First Lutheran Church of Baltimore.  He assumed charge of St. Luke’s on February 28, 1884.

The first order of business was to erect a house in which to worship.  The vote was unanimous and a building was to be built at the corner of Chestnut Avenue and Third Street (now 36th Street) in Hampden, which was then Baltimore County.  The estimated cost of the church at the time was $6,000.

The dedication was held on May 17, 1885.  A German service was held that evening with the sermon by Rev. F. Ph. Hennighausen.

Pastors:
Rev. William Kelly 1884-1892
Rev. C.E. Keller 1892-1894
Rev. J.L. Frantz 1894
Rev. C.E. Hepsley 1900-1908
Rev. Henry Manken, Jr. 1908-1918
Rev. Frederick W. Barry 1918-

Anyone having additional information on the church, the pastors of the church or the congregation, please send it to germanmarylanders@gmail.com. 

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