St. John's Concordia Evangelical Lutheran

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded on October 4, 1846 and Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church held their first service on April 9, 1893.  

In February 1920, the congregation of St. John’s Lutheran at Biddle Street near Pennsylvania Avenue abandoned their church building and united with the congregation of the Concordia Church, officially named German Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Church.  This church was established in 1893 when a church was erected at Walbrook Avenue, near Payson Street. There were over 200 families associated to this church, but information is slim. The 1903 Polk Directory lists the address as 2145 Walbrook Avenue.

Pastor Rev. Ernest Dettbarn (1891 to 8-5-1969) was chosen as the pastor of the affiliated churches.   The then pastor of Concordia, Rev. Frederick Giese accepted a call from Friedens Church at Chester and Orleans Streets.  

A new building was built at the corner of Reisterstown Rd. and Elgin Ave. in 1921 (still standing).

On October 5, 1946, the church celebrated is one hundredth anniversary.  They had a special collection which was used to fund a home for a native pastor in a remote section of India.  Other events at the Anniversary celebration included a sermon by the Rev. Dr. F.A. Goetsch and an evening speaker, Rev. William Kochheim.  There was also a banquet on Wednesday night and other sermons during the week by several guest speakers such as the Rev. Willis Ford, executive secretary of the Maryland-Delaware Council of Churches and Christian Education.

The church merged again with the Messiah Church of Woodlawn in the early 50s. 

A subsequent merger took place, the church then becoming Bethany United Church of Christ at the corner of Gwynn Oak Avenue and Kriel Street, now Bethany Church of Christ.

Some information updated by past Council President of the church, Dave Mayer.  Thank you Mr. Mayer.

Anyone with information on the church, the mergers or the pastors, please send them to

Pastors St. John’s Concordia:

Pastors of German Evangelical Lutheran Concordia:


(Includes the names of the confirmation class and other information for family research).

Courtesy of   Jim & Marie Lambert