ST. PAUL'S AND ZION LUTHERAN
Source: Centennial History of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz
Church Website: http://www.stpaulscordova.org/information/timeline.html
In 1899 the first German came to Talbot County, Maryland. Several German
Families followed from Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. There were, at that time, about twenty
In 1900 the first German services were held. These were conducted by
pastors of the Missouri Synod and then by pastors of the Evangelical Synod of
North America. These services were held at Longwood, Maryland at Zion
Lutheran Church (Later Grace Lutheran Church of Easton). In 1906 Rev. Reiss took charge of the
In 1908 a disagreement concerning the location of the church building
caused a split in the congregation. Many members lived in the Cordova area
and found that travel to Longwoods was a hardship. The Cordova people organized a new
congregation and built a church of their own the St. Paul's Church. The congregation of German
immigrants formally organized and chose the name of St Paul's. They built a
Church 26'x36'x18' and a Sunday School room 14'x19'x10'. It cost $814. The
church was which dedicated on May 23, 1909.
Services were held in both German and English.
In 1909 both congregations decided to join the General Synod and
identified themselves with the Maryland Synod. They acted as a joint congregation until
the early 1960s.
In 1911 St. Paul’s purchased their bells.
In 1934, the celebrated their 25th Anniversary with the
services in both English and German.
Many upgrades were made throughout the years, including installing
electric lights in 1946 and removing the woodstove to replace it with a hot
air system in 1953. There have been
additions, new doors, new roof and steeple, parking lots and new organs (4). Air conditioning was added in 1991.
the former American Lutheran Church (ALC) and Lutheran Church
of America (LCA) merged to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
(ELCA) of which St. Paul’s congregation became a member.
On October 28, 1979, Pastor Penner from Zion in Baltimore visited and led a German Service. Click here to see the program from that service.
The stained glass windows were all added after the turn of the
century..this one. The first being
installed in 2002- The Manger, inscribed "She laid him
in a manger" Luke 2: 17, was dedicated; The second stained glass window, The Holy
Scripture, inscribed "Let the word of Christ dwell in your richly"
Colossians 3:16, was dedicated. In 2003, the
third stained glass window, A Miracle, inscribed "He blessed the loaves
and fish and gave them to the crowd" Matthew 15:36, was dedicated and in
2004 the fourth stained glass
window, Worship, inscribed "O come, let us worship and bow down, let us
kneel before the Lord our Maker" Psalm 95:6, was dedicated. The fifth
stained glass window, The Passion, inscribed "And they crucified him"
Mark 15:24, was dedicated in 2004. In
2005, Good Works, inscribed "Let your light shine before others, that
they may see your good works" Matthew 5:16, was dedicated. The seventh stained glass window, The
Eucharist, inscribed "Do this in remembrance of me" Luke 22:19, was
dedicated in 2007, as was the eighth, The Baptism, inscribed "The one
who believes and is baptized will be saved" Mark 16:16.
The original cornerstone was unearthed during expansion under the front
narthex of the church. The inscription on the cornerstone is "L. Behrens
Plasterer Aug. 12 1908.
The church celebrated their centennial with a traditional German language
service was led by Rev. Otfried O. Arndt from Baltimore.
While services are now held only
in English, the German heritage is still celebrated. The words Vertrau
auf Gott (Trust in God) are painted above the altar, and an
Oktoberfest is held each fall.
To accommodate the growth of the
congregation the church was renovated and expanded in 2008.
There is also a cemetery that belongs to the church. We visited the cemetery in July 2014 and photographed the stones and transcribed the stones. The cemetery is very quaint and well maintained. We were surprised to see the number of German names. For the cemetery photo album and transcriptions, click here.