First German United Evangelical
According to the 65th Anniversary book, which may be viewed from a link below, the church organized in 1849. The decision to organize was made by a number of German men.The church took its beginning on December 1, 1849 in the Eastern Hall corner of Broadway and Eastern Ave. It was incorporated by the State Legislature on September 1, 1850.
In January 1850, it was also resolved to buy a cemetery. The initial two acres were purchased from a man named 'Money' in October of 1850 for $240. There was an additional six acres purchased in 1877. It was located at the Philadelphia Road on the South East side of Canton Lane.
The first pastor, however, was Rev. J.F. Feisel. Rev. Feisel served the congregation for less than one year. The Rev. Schwartz was at that time the Pastor of the Broadway Methodist Episcopal Church. He resigned from this church and accepted the call to First German United. He also took along 36 families from the Broadway Methodist church.
The urge to build a new church grew and on December 3, 1850, Pastor Schwartz submitted plans for a church building. The plans were developed by a carpenter named Robinson, who offered to build the church for $6000. The corner stone was laid not long after (actual date unknown).The Rev. A. Schwartz, D. D., erected a new Lutheran church in 1852 on Eastern Avenue, between Register and Bank streets. The church building is a two-story brick edifice and the congregation also owned a schoolhouse. There were 300 hundred families in this church, and its membership was at one time, over 800. The Sunday-school was also very large. [source: History of Baltimore 1729-1898, Elliott]
The church is listed on the 1860 Wood’s Directory at 234-236 Eastern Avenue (today 1725 Eastern Avenue). The Rev. Andrew (Andreas) Schwartz was the pastor at that time.
The growth of the area now known as Highlandtown allowed the church to buy additional land for the cemetery (purchased from the Kimberly estate for $3000 an additional six acreas). The cemetery is located at 6115 O'Donnell Street.
The first parsonage was built at 1737 E. Baltimore Street on February 20, 1903 from Mr. John Ross. The house was eventually sold and a newer house at 1824 E. Baltimore Street was purchased in 1906.
Portions of the original charter reads:
Die besagte Gemeinde soll unter dem Namen der Ersten Deutschen Vereinigten Evangelischen Kirche der Stadt Baltimore genannt und bekannt sein.
Google translation “Said the church is to be called by the name of the First German United Evangelical Church of the City of Baltimore and announced.”
Last page of charter from 1850 listing the original trustees-
"We the trustees of the First German United Evangelical Church of Baltimore declare herewith the former Constitution lawful, and according to regulations, was debated and accepted."..
Phillip Weber, Heinrich Pohl, G. Ph. Orth, Johan Schwartz, Adam Weber, Johan Mahr, Jacob Jacobi, John Dietz, Peter Herold, Friedrich Wiedekind, Johan Heugel, Friedrich Reinheimer.
This is the church associated with the First United Evangelical Cemetery on O’Donnell Street. Unfortunately, the church has been sold. It is my understanding that the proceeds will be used to maintain the cemetery.
Some records are available through the Maryland State Archives.
Pastors: [Source: “History of Church, 1849-1976, 125th anniversary pp. 1-8” msa_sc2887_m1549 Maryland State Archives]
Sep 1850 Rev. F.J. Feisel
Oct 1850 Rev. Andrew Schwartz.
May 1864 Rev Jacob Blass
Mar 1872 Rev. William Schaefer
Apr 1880 Rev. C.A.Conradi. Asked to resign when he became a physician and began to practice medicine.
Jun 1900 Rev. Charles M Eyster. He dies July 13, 1926, after serving the church for 26 years. He married 7, 950 couples, conducted 3,052 funerals and baptized 4,430. In this time he did not take a vacation.
Nov 1926 Rev. Carl Mollenhauer. He dies in Feb 1928.
Jun 1928 Rev A.H. Knipping. He resigns in Feb 1931
Mar 1931 Rev. Carl Schaefer
Jan 1955 Rev. Norman Horn
Jun 1955 Rev. William Wylie
Jul 1961 Rev. Norman Horn returns as Pastor
May 1962 Rev Wentling
Feb 1966 Rev. Charles Higgins
Dec 1967 Rev. Eugine Bartell
During 1971 Rev. Higgins returns to serve the church part-time
Mar 1974 Rev. Bartell returns to serve part-time
Rev Eugene Paul Bartell was pastor on the occasion of the 125thanniversary.
**Many thanks to George Garmer who has helped with obtaining information and for the photos he donated for the page.