Second German Evangelical Lutheran

Second German Evangeical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, St. Paul

Sources: Second German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, St. Paul

by Sandy Harper, Historian

The church was established November 1, 1835, after 150 people left Zion over the firing of the Pastor, Johann Haesbeart for doctrinal differences. Zion was known as the First German church and therefore this was called the Second. The first service was held in a rented building on Saratoga and Holliday Streets in Baltimore. The church hired Pastor Haesbeart and a cantor. They wrote a constitution, bought a cemetery (on Robert Street near Madison Avenue) and evenually purchased their house of worship from Irish Presbyterians for $4,400. A school addition was completed on January 10, 1837. A teacher named Stieff and believed to be related to the Baltimore Stieff family, which made pianos and eventually silversmiths, was hired (1837) and all children of the congregation were to be sent to the school. The school moved, in 1837, to a new home on Constitution Street, which it rented for $9.00 per month. The school continued to grow and moved again in 1841, at which time the church appointed a school board. In 1843 a building was purchased from the Catholics on Saratoga Street. The building cost was $1,999 and the school remained there from 1844 to 1860.

Pastor Haesbaert resigned due to illness and worked until the end of 1844. On October 24, a call was sent and accepted by Pastor Wyneken. The congregation waited until a pastor was found for his church in Ohio. Pastor Wyneken, at that time, was also instructing two students to become Lutheran ministers, one being Carl Frincke, who became Martini's first pastor. Pastor Wyneken was installed on March 7, 1845. During the interim, Pastor Daniel Kurtz preached for the Second German Lutheran Church. He had retired from Zion so knew the people. He was 81 years old at the time.

After Wyneken's arrival, all things were not rosy. During preparation for communion, he discovered that they worshiped both as Lutheran and Reformed and he wouldn't participate in the confusion. This led to many arguments and problems within the church and eventually into eighty Reformed leaving the church to found their own church, the First German Reformed Church on Calvert Street. Wyneken also left the General Synod within three months after his arrival in Baltimore feeling that they abandoned the doctrine of the Lutheran Church. He waged a private war against the lodges and secret societies.

He was rewarded with record growth, which at one time numbered 300 voting members (keep in mind that at that time only men over the age of 21 could be a voting member). The enrollment of the school, at this time in 1845, had also grown to 143 students.

Wyneken was familiar with the Saxons in Missouri and Dr. Carl Ferdinand Wilhelm Walther's book and his Trinity Church in St. Louis. He corresponded with Walther and took interest in early deliberations which resulted in the organization of the Missouri Synod. The Synod was organized in Chicago in 1847. The Second German Evangelical Lutheran, St. Paul, joined the Missouri Synod in 1848. His church became one of the largest members of the Missouri Synod and one of its most liberal financial supporters.

Wyneken was married to Sophia and they lived on Park Avenue across from St. Alphonsus. Together they had eleven children, of which nine lived to adulthood. He preached his last sermon at St. Paul's (Second German) on February 24, 1850. He went to answer a call from Trinity Church in St. Louis. He was followed by Rev. Keyl, who was a scholar and accomplished musician and brought with him an extensive library and a Vienna grand piano. He and his wife had nine children, seven living to adulthood. The family lived on Clay Street.

It was around this time that new land was purchased for a cemetery. It was 1854 and four and one half acres was purchased for $3,000. The site is in Druid Hill Park. The deed was written in German. The bodies from the Robert Street Cemetery were moved to St. Paul's Cemetery. It was also called 'God Acres'.

The congregation disbanded into three congregations, all which were legal owners of 'Gods Acres'. At that time only members of their congregations could possess lots and have burial rights. The cost of an eight grave lot sold for $50, plus $10 for perpetual care for life. The city eventually purchased 2 1/4 acres of unused cemetery leaving 2 1/4 acres of cemetery. In 1860, Druid Hill was purchased by the city of Baltimore. St. Paul's is one of the three cemeteries in the park.

As with all immigrant churches, the matter of language became an issue. In 1854 an attempt was made to form an English speaking Lutheran church by members of the Second Evangelical German Lutheran Church. The attempt led to the organization of St. Peter's in November 1856, which disbanded less than ten years later. It was reorganized in 1875 and became the mother church of the Ohio Synod Churches in Baltimore.

Back to Second Evangelical Lutheran, St. Paul, which played an important part in the organization of the Eastern District of the Missouri Synod. There were four districts at this time in 1855 and Rev. Keyl was elected their first president and served from 1854-1869.

It was also at this time that they attempted 'branch schools'. Many members came from many parts of the city and travel was not easy during this time. It was too far for children to walk. By 1860, the central school of Second Lutheran was closed. There was a school in the East at Bethel and Orleans Streets, a school in the West at Freemont and Waesche Streets and a school in the Southern district at Leadenhall Street between Henrietta and Hamburg Streets. The South Baltimore school had two teachers and the others four. They each had their own building and their own 'Ladies Society'.

It was through this structuring that eventually the Second Evangelical German Lutheran Church, St. Paul, became the mother church and from this congregation rose:

Immanuel Lutheran-July 3, 1865 (This congregation also consisted of about forty members of 'Old Trinity' which was located on Trinity Street in East Baltimore).

Martini Lutheran-May 10, 1868

New St. Paul-January 7, 1866-Saratoga and Fremont

The church bought a pipe organ in 1846, which was later refurbished and installed in 1868 in Martini's Lutheran Church. Martini replaced that organ in 1886.


Rev. Johann Haesbeart (1835 to 1844)

Rev. F.K.D. Wyneken (1845 to 1850)

Rev. Ernst Gerhard Wilhelm Keyl (1850 to 1867)

Rev. W.G.H. Hauser (1867)

Information at the Maryland State Archives MSA S 1512-2481 (00/59/06/34)