Source: Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz
The Church of the Reformation was organized September 28, 1890, with twenty-five charter members. The actual beginning however, dates from April 14, 1800, when the local Church Extension Society decided upon Northeast Baltimore as its next mission enterprise, and in May the Board of Home Missions commissioned Rev. C. T. McDaniel as pastor.
On June 9 a dwelling at 1742 East North Avenue was rented as a temporary place of worship. Here a Sunday school was organized on June 22, and by July 12 the attendance had increased from thirty-two to one hundred, with fifty to sixty persons attending preaching services.
The need of a permanent place of worship was met in December 1890, when the Church Council authorized the leasing of a lot on the corner of Caroline and Lanvale Streets, where a temporary chapel was erected.
McDaniel resigned on June 1, 1891. On July 1, 1891, Rev. D. Frank Garland became pastor. On May 2, 1893, a stone chapel, costing $16,000 was dedicated. A donation of $1,000 from the local Church Extension Society and a contribution from the Second Lutheran Church of $100 annually for five years toward the erection of the building, gave valuable aid. During Rev. Garland's pastorate the debt was reduced to$6,000 and the congregation acquired a substantial membership,
Rev. Garland resigned October1, 1896. On November 5, 1896. Rev. S. G. Rupp became the third pastor of Reformation. Though still a mission, owning only the stone chapel, and encumbered with an indebtedness of $6,000, Rev. Rupp's pastorate of fourteen years was marked by success.
Untiring labor was rewarded by increased membership. The change from a mission to a self-sustaining church occurred on November 1, 1900. The lot was purchased on July 10, 1901by the payment of $4,666.67. The parsonage, at 1716 North Caroline Street, was purchased on July 1, 1902, at a cost of $3,625.
Rev. Rupp's resigned in June 1910. Rev. William E. Brown became pastor of Reformation on October 1, 1910, when the congregation had just passed its twentieth anniversary, and the problem of adequate accommodations were again made forefront. The construction of a new church was not considered until $10,000 could be raised. Subscriptions were secured and the new church construction began in Spring 1914. The chapel was destroyed during a violent snow storm in 1914, but the congregation rallied and the church was built and dedicated May 16, 1915.
On January 1, 1917, Rev. Brown closed a successful pastorate. Rev. J. Luther Hoffman, took charge April 15, 1917.
The Lutheran Church of the Reformation 50th Anniversary (Courtesy Gary Dowell)
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