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St. Paul's-Arcadia

Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church Arcadia


Archive: St. Pauls

Arcadia, MD  BA  MSA S 1512-432



‘St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of Arcadia,” The Report, SHGM XXIII (1929)

Pastor Mevina Stricklin





One of the earliest German churches in eastern Maryland was St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (now located in the Arcadia area).  Its recorded history dates back to 1794, but by tradition its beginnings is placed about a quarter of a century earlier.  This assumption is made on statements made to George Prechtel who wrote a piece on St. Paul’s for the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland.  The witness was a Francis Rhinehart.  It is also based on the inscriptions of several tombstones remaining in the adjoining churchyard.  One goes back to 1782 for E. Poe.  There was also a recorded baptism on August 31, 1793.  The church wasn’t referred to as St. Paul’s until around 1882.  Prior to that it was referred to as Algire’s church.  This is probably from the inscription on the title page referring to location as “beim Allgeiger, Sen.”.


The cupola from the old church surmounted the building. This cupola was taken down in 1999, refurbished and reinforced to hold the 1882 bell. At this time, the Cross of Christ replaced the former weathervane that was on top of the cupola.


The church was founded by the early settlers in the northern part of the county and westward in Frederick and Washington counties.  The descendents were for the most part German.  Some followed the Lutheran faith and some the Reformed and neither were large enough at the time, to sustain independent churches.  This was not uncommon at the time and in those circumstances, it was also not uncommon to erect a ‘union’ church.  This was a building that could serve both congregations.  Prior to the erection of St. Paul’s, the congregation would worship at the mother church in Manchester, Carroll County.  The mother church was also a union church that served the Lutheran and Reformed.  It was founded around the same time as Zion Lutheran Church in Baltimore City.  This often entailed a long journey by foot or horseback.  This was a fifteen mile journey. 


The record’s of the Lutheran congregation was destroyed by fire.  The Reformed congregation’s records still exist.  The records that remain of the Lutheran congregation indicate the male members and distinguish which were married and which are not.  There are no signatures of females, but their names are written.  The records are in German.   Births and baptisms were recorded.  Deaths were rarely recorded.  There is a gap between 1817 and 1826 where no records exist.  When the records were resumed, they were written in English. 


The first pastor of record for the Lutheran congregation was Rev. Johann Daniel Shroeter.  The first pastor of record for the Reformed congregation was Rev. Christoph Kobrecht.   The Reformed records also have a gap between 1811 and 1817 and end in 1842.   The records of the Reformed congregation has an inscription that indicates location as “Baltimor Caunty, Peib Krück Hundert”, which refers to Pipe Creek in Carroll County, which was at this date included in Baltimore County.  The only pastors named in the record of the Reformed church are Christoph Kobrecht, the first and Philip Phillips, the last, in 1842.


The church building as described from a pamplet from Rev. Jones indicates that ‘The first house of worship was built of logs.  It was nearly square and large enough to hold about fifty people.  This church stood until 1838, when it gave way to a stone structure.  The seats were benches made from the slabs of logs with legs driven into them.  However, all discomforts were forgotten in the great privilege of having preaching once a month and the Lord’s Supper once a year.  This building gave way in 1882 to a brick structure.  It was exclusively Lutheran. 


Some of the names found in the community have disappeared or have been changed.  Allegeiger has become Algire; Opferkuchen, Upperco; Armegast, Mrmacostr; Ibach, Ebaugh; Bäuerle, Byerly; Bortz, Ports; Elzroth, Elseroad; Diehl, Deal, etc.  There is a cemetery on the church grounds. 


St. Paul’s has been blessed to survive two near catastrophes. A damaging fire in January 1912 closed the Church and caused services to be held in the Grange Hall, Arcadia until April 1913. In October 1995, the main ceiling beam broke and endangered the stability of the building. Regular worship services were held in Arcadia Fire Hall and special services were held at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church.


Pastors of the Lutheran Church:

Rev. Johann Daniel Schroeter 1794-1797

Rev. John Herbst                      1797-1825

Rev. Emanual Keller                 1826-1836

Rev. Jeremiah Harpel                1837-1839

Rev. Philip Willard                    1841-1844

Rev. Elias Schwartz                  1845-1848

Rev. Jacob Kaempfer               1848-1849

Rev. John Winter                      1850-1853

Rev. Daniel Hauer                    1853-1860

Rev. J.M. Graybill                    1860-1861

Rev. Jos. R. Facht                    1862-1864

Rev. Jacob Martin                    1864-1867

Rev. P.P. Lane                         1870-1872

Rev. Christian Lepley                1873-1881

Rev. Albert Bell                        1881-1884

Rev. George Beckley                1885-1897

Rev. A. Harrison Burk              1898-1900

Rev. C. Stork Jones                 1900-1902

Rev. S. J. Derr                         1903-1911

                                                1912 ????

Rev. W.E. Hensel                     1913-1918

Rev. John A. Howe                  1919 - 1922

Rev. P. H. Williams                  1922 - 1924

Rev. F.H. Schrader                  1924 - 1940

Rev. Roland W. Renkel            1940 - 1942

Rev. George E. Whetstone       1943 - 1946

Rev. J. Leon Haines                  1947 - 1953

Rev. Harold Stoudt                   1954 - 1958

Rev. Barron B. Maberry           1958 - 1963     (could be Mayberry)

Rev. Nathan A. Kale                1963 - 1972

Rev. Dennis E. Schell                1973 - 1981

Rev. Matthew Schenning          1982 - 1989

Rev. Kevin Guillory                  1989 - 1994

Rev. Richard Krebs                  1994 - 1995

Rev. Melvina Stricklin               1995-Present



St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church

15801 Trenton Road

Arcadia, 410-239-3456