First German Baptist Church

The first movement looking toward a German Baptist congregation was made in 1855. There were then about five German Baptists in the city attending various congregations. The Rev. K. A. Fleishmann, editor of the "Sendbote," Philadelphia, was invited by one of these, Mr. John L. Rappold, a member of the Seventh Church, to come to Baltimore and investigate the field. He came and preached and baptized two persons. From this time the German Baptists began to meet regularly, but it was not until January, 1859, when their number had increased to twelve, that they organized a church in a chapel on Hill street. The Rev. J. E. Meuri. formerly a Roman Catholic priest, became their pastor. In 1860 they numbered twenty-seven; in 186 1, sixty-two. In 1860 the congregation joined the Association. The Rev. Mr. Meuri resigned in 1862 to return to Germany. For three years the congregation kept together without any pastoral oversight and then fell into dissensions and dissolved.

An attempt was made in 1865 to revive the church. The Board invited the Rev. Henry Schneider, of Rochester, N. Y., to locate here as a missionary. A new church was organized with twenty-six members. It met first in Rechabite Hall, Fayette Street, and afterwards at Wildey Hall, East Pratt Street. Mr. Schneider met with great success and erected a church at the corner of Caroline and Hampstead Streets at a cost of $4,000. He resigned in July, 1869, and was succeeded by the Rev. Henry F. Miller, who continued until June 1, 1874, when he was compelled to resign through the loss of his voice. He brought the membership up to 120. For the next two years the Rev. J. Fellman labored faithfully. There were several short pastorates, with long intervals, until May, 1881, when the Rev. J. C. Craft accepted the charge. The membership had dwindled to seventy-six. The pastor in 1895 was the Rev. George A. Sheets. The membership was, at that time, seventy-two.