Jerusalem Lutheran Church Westminster

Source: Church website:

In 1797, two religious denominations of people called the German Lutheran and Presbyterian Congregation purchased 52 perches of land, known as Halls Range, from Joseph Mathias for the purpose of establishing a church, a house of worship.

Religious services were celebrated in an adjoining schoolhouse for several years until the church structure could be built.

The original church building was a log structure and bore the inscription "Jerusalem's Gemeinschaeftliche Kirch-Gebaurt in yahr 1797, und verfertigh in 1811" (translated to "Jerusalem's Community Church" and dates of start and completion of construction).

At a later date, the Presbyterian Congregation became the Reformed Congregation. The two congregations jointly shared the building and maintenance of the property.

Religious services were conducted by the two groups on alternate Sundays. However, the Sunday School was a joint endeavor. The earliest records were handwritten in German. The circuit-rider pastors were the only source of clergy for the small county churches, and communion was celebrated only two or three times a year at the convenience of these circuit pastors. Jerusalem (also known as Bowers of Bachmans Valley), Lazarus of Linboro and Immanuel of Manchester composed the Manchester Charge. In 1919, Immanuel Congregation commissioned a pastor of its own. Jerusalem and Lazarus Churches joined for the newly formed North Carroll Charge of the Maryland Synod and the Lutheran and Reformed Congregation continued their partnership.

In 1969, the members of the Reformed Congregation moved to join St. Benjamins Kriders Congregation and the Lutheran Congregation assumed full responsibility.

In 1996, the Jerusalem Lutheran Church Congregation voted to become a single church unit and is no longer a member of the North Carroll Charge.

William and A.C. Bachman purchased the mill after which the valley acquired its name. The land was donated by Christian Bauer. He is buried in the Jerusalem Lutheran Cemetery.

The original church was a log building and served as a ‘union’ church serving the Lutheran and Reformed congregations. The log cabin decayed and had to be rebuilt, which it was in 1863 and it was completely restored in 1975. Further repairs were made after the church was struck by lightning in 1983.

There is a cemetery on the premises with the earliest burial was 1786.

Church Location:

1372 Bachmans Valley Road at Bixler’s Road

P.O. Box 69

Westminster, MD 21158