Back in the mid-1800s there were issues between the German Reformed and the Dutch Reformed. The German Reformed were primarily immigrants coming principally from the Palantinate, in Germany. The Reformed Church was known as the German Reformed to distinguish it from the Dutch Reformed. Early on the Reformed members in Western Maryland attended services in Hagerstown. As they grew, they held services at Beard’s church where their first minister, Rev. James R. Riley preached. It wasn’t uncommon for congregants to walk for miles to attend services. The question of building their own church was asked and it was decided that to satisfy the members a building would be built in Cavetown in Washington County. It was selected because at that time, it was the most central point.
The first notice of building a house of worship is found in the minutes ‘meeting of the subscribers for the building of a Reformed church in Cavetown, held on Saturday, November 11, 1826 when five trustees were elected: William Kreps, George Colliflower, Daniel Huyett, Henry Lyday and Jacob Lambert.
The building was made of brick and was fifty feet long by forty-five feet wide. At the time of building, Rev. Henry Kroh was the pastor. The cornerstone was laid on August 8, 1827 and has inscribed ‘Christ’s Church’. There was another stone in the front above the pulpit window that read ‘German Ref. Church’. The church was consecrated October 1828.
Rev. Bucher organized the first ‘temperance society’ in Washington County..actually all of Western Maryland. His ministry came to a close in February 1830.
The Sunday School was established on July 30, 1828. On November 24, 1828 a consistory was formed. Up to that time, a vestry seems to have been in charge. The first communion was held November 23, 1828 and presided over by Rev. J. Casper Bucher. Fifty-nine people communed.
On June 26, 1934, the Evangelical Synod of North America and the Reformed Church of the United States merged to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
The parish hall was built in 1947 and dedicated on October 17, 1948. During a special service on September 30, 1951, the notes of indebtedness were burned.
In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church united with the Congregational Christian Church and became the United Church of Christ. In 1964, Christ Reformed UCC became part of the Central Atlantic Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Rev. James Riley
Rev. Henry Kroh 1827-1828
Rev. J.C. Bucher 1828-1830
Rev. G.W. Glessner 1831-1840
Rev. J.H.A. Bomberger 1840-1845
Rev. Theodore Appel 1845-1850 (Began as a student from seminary)
Rev. J.W. Santee 1851-1881 (Began as a student from seminary)
Rev. Kenneth Fuller
There is also a church cemetery. We visited the cemetery and photographed many of the stones for a transcription and link to the photos, click here.
Christ Reformed United Church of Christ
22514 Cavetown Church Road
Cavetown, MD 21720
Pastor Kenneth D. Fuller, 202-321-0628, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 301-824-2971 Carolyn Smith, Consistory President