History of Western Maryland, J. Thomas Scharf
In the latter part of the 18th century German immigrants came to our region. It was a natural part of their settling here that they built homes, started farms and businesses, and established schools and churches. Many of those German-speaking people shared a similar faith heritage in Germany as Protestant Christians. Those who were rooted in the Reformed and Lutheran traditions often joined together in building a church. Each would secure the services of an itinerant pastor to provide the essential services of preaching, Baptisms, Holy Communion, and the rites of the church. In the early years, one of our pastors might provide (not all on the same Sunday) services to five or six different congregations.
“Baust” Church derives its name, familiar to many of the local residents, from Valentine and Maria Baust, who donated the land for the church. This was a common practice in this region. German Reformed and Lutheran folks jointly built and maintained a church facility while providing services for those who wanted to worship in their respective traditions.
The congregations were originally organized prior to the year 1794, and worshiped in an old log school house that stood on the site of today's church. The two congregations were incorporated by an act of the General Assembly of Maryland on January 12, 1835. The incorporators were John Fleagle, Sr., John Derr, Michael Morelock and Peter Haifley. The officers of the church at this time were
German Reformed: Elders, John Fleagle, Peter Golle; Deacons, Peter Dayhoff, John Fleagle; Trustees, George Maxwell, John Derr
Lutheran Congregation: Elders, M. Morelock, Andrew Babylon; Deacons, Henry Hahn, Jacob Valentine; Trustees, Valentine Wentz, Peter Haileigh.
At the turn of the last century, the officers were:
German Reformed: Elders, Jesse Linger, Joshua Crawford; Deacon, Josiah Erb; Trustees, Jacob Sell, Farmwalt; Joint Board President, William Nusbaum; Secretary, Dr. J.E. Rinehart; Jacob Myers, Joint Treasurer, Treasurer Lutheran Congregation; Jesse Unger, Treasurer Reformed Congregation.
Lutheran: Elders, William Nusbaum and Jacob Myers; Deacons, Dr. J.E. Rinehart, Lewis Myers; Trustees, Jeremiah Rinehart, Ephraim Winter.
Congregations of Reformed (now UCC) and Lutheran heritage shared worship space at out location for well over 200 years. An Emmanuel (Baust) Lutheran congregation held its last service of worship at this location on September 25, 2005. The Emmanuel (Baust) United Church of Christ congregation continues its ministry here and intends to do so for generations to come.
Emmanuel (Baust) is one of several UCC congregations in Carroll County: Grace (Taneytown), St. Paul’s (Westminster), Krider’s (Westminster), St. Mary’s (Silver Run/ north of Westminster), Grace (Keysville), St. Matthew’s (Pleasant Valley/ Westminster), Trinity (Manchester), St. Marks (Hampstead), and Lazarus (Lineboro).
It was also at this time that the name was changed to Emmanuel.
There have been three different church buildings on their site. There was a complete remodel of one of the older churches in 1868. The present church was built 1908. The lovely stained glass windows date from that era and are a meaningful part of their worship setting. Large theme windows depict Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus knocking at the door, and Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”. A variety of smaller windows contain various symbols of our Christian faith and heritage.
Emmanuel (Baust) United Church of Christ, as stated, has its roots in the German Reformed Church. The United Church of Christ is the result of mergers for what were once four separate denominations: Reformed, Evangelical, Christian, and Congregational.
Located in a serene pastoral setting in rural Carroll County, complete with hillside cemetery and roadside pond, Emmanuel (Baust) Church serves individuals and families of diverse ages, lifestyles, and vocations. Some of our families are still engaged in work that is centered around agriculture, true to the history of this area. Many others, reflecting Carroll’s changing population and character, are suburban commuters, some of whom work in the Baltimore or the Greater Washington, D.C. area.
"The congregation called its first female pastor, Susan Yatta, in 1997." Then in 2002, Elias was led by interim pastor, David Knodel.
In October of 2003, The Rev. Jon R. Greenstone was called as pastor of the Elias Congregation. Reverend Greenstone continues to serve as Pastor to the present. Over the past 12 years, Elias has continued reaching out to the Emmitsburg Community in a myriad of differing ministries and involvements such as: Hosting AA and OA meetings; being an advocate for the poor. Elias hosted the Food Bank for two years and helped to serve a free meal to low income residents on a monthly basis. Elias, in partnership with the Emmitsburg Council of Churches, joined in a unified effort to raise awareness of the regional heroin epidemic, and has ministered with many families in and outside of the congregation affected by drug addiction and overdose. Elias has been very active in reaching area teenagers through music and performing at Elias Coffee House program for 11 years. Ongoing ministry to teach the faith with youngsters through summer Vacation Bible School programs. Elias continues to play an active part with the Emmitsburg Council of Churches and many other ecumenical partnerships. Elias continues to provide two wonderful Church Suppers--featuring old fashion recipes handed down over the generations--the Spring Supper happens on the first Saturday of March and Christmas Supper is always the first Saturday of December. Elias sponsored three international mission/service trips to western Kenya--Rev. Greenstone led the teams in 2009, 2011, and 2014-- Elias member, Sam Valentine went in 2009 when a solar well pump system was provided to a village that previously had no safe water--in 2011 a solar power system was provided for Pathfinder Academy, making the school completely sustainable! Elias always opens its doors to help people near and far, and the care of the congregation truly witnesses to the love of Christ for all people.
You are invited to worship with Elias on Sunday mornings during the school year at 10:30 a.m. -- followed by Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. OR during the summer months--beginning at the second Sunday of June--9 a.m. Summer Worship schedule - followed by Sunday School at 10:15 a.m.
Please join us at Elias -- where our strong German heritage lives on as we seek to uphold what Martin Luther held dear:
We are saved by Grace Alone, believed by Faith Alone, in Christ Alone and supported by Scripture Alone .
Catch the Grace at Elias Lutheran Church!
There is also a cemetery associated with the church. We have not photographed the cemetery. For a transcription of those burials found in the 'History of Western Maryland', click here.
- John Grupp
- Henry Graver
- Rev. John N. Hoffman
- Samuel Finckle
- Ezra Keller
- Solomon Sentman
- Rev. Philip Willard
- Cornelius Reimensnider
- John Winters
- Samuel Henry
- Rev. G. W. Anderson
- Rev. David Floyd
- Rev. Susan Yatta (1997-2002)
- Rev. David Knoedel (Interim)
- Rev. Jon R. Greenstone (2003-
2950 Old Taneytown Road
Westminster, MD 21158