Archive: St. Pauls
Arcadia, MD BA MSA S 1512-432
One of the earliest German churches in eastern Maryland was St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (now located in the Arcadia area). Its recorded history dates back to 1794, but by tradition its beginnings is placed about a quarter of a century earlier. This assumption is made on statements made to George Prechtel who wrote a piece on St. Paul’s for the Society for the History of Germans in Maryland. The witness was a Francis Rhinehart. It is also based on the inscriptions of several tombstones remaining in the adjoining churchyard. One goes back to 1782 for E. Poe. There was also a recorded baptism on August 31, 1793. The church wasn’t referred to as St. Paul’s until around 1882. Prior to that it was referred to as Algire’s church. This is probably from the inscription on the title page referring to location as “beim Allgeiger, Sen.”.
The cupola from the old church surmounted the building. This cupola was taken down in 1999, refurbished and reinforced to hold the 1882 bell. At this time, the Cross of Christ replaced the former weathervane that was on top of the cupola.
The church was founded by the early settlers in the northern part of the county and westward in Frederick and Washington counties. The descendents were for the most part German. Some followed the Lutheran faith and some the Reformed and neither were large enough at the time, to sustain independent churches. This was not uncommon at the time and in those circumstances, it was also not uncommon to erect a ‘union’ church. This was a building that could serve both congregations. Prior to the erection of St. Paul’s, the congregation would worship at the mother church in Manchester, Carroll County. The mother church was also a union church that served the Lutheran and Reformed. It was founded around the same time as Zion Lutheran Church in Baltimore City. This often entailed a long journey by foot or horseback. This was a fifteen mile journey.
The record’s of the Lutheran congregation was destroyed by fire. The Reformed congregation’s records still exist. The records that remain of the Lutheran congregation indicate the male members and distinguish which were married and which are not. There are no signatures of females, but their names are written. The records are in German. Births and baptisms were recorded. Deaths were rarely recorded. There is a gap between 1817 and 1826 where no records exist. When the records were resumed, they were written in English.
The first pastor of record for the Lutheran congregation was Rev. Johann Daniel Shroeter. The first pastor of record for the Reformed congregation was Rev. Christoph Kobrecht. The Reformed records also have a gap between 1811 and 1817 and end in 1842. The records of the Reformed congregation has an inscription that indicates location as “Baltimor Caunty, Peib Krück Hundert”, which refers to Pipe Creek in Carroll County, which was at this date included in Baltimore County. The only pastors named in the record of the Reformed church are Christoph Kobrecht, the first and Philip Phillips, the last, in 1842.
The church building as described from a pamplet from Rev. Jones indicates that ‘The first house of worship was built of logs. It was nearly square and large enough to hold about fifty people. This church stood until 1838, when it gave way to a stone structure. The seats were benches made from the slabs of logs with legs driven into them. However, all discomforts were forgotten in the great privilege of having preaching once a month and the Lord’s Supper once a year. This building gave way in 1882 to a brick structure. It was exclusively Lutheran.
Some of the names found in the community have disappeared or have been changed. Allegeiger has become Algire; Opferkuchen, Upperco; Armegast, Mrmacostr; Ibach, Ebaugh; Bäuerle, Byerly; Bortz, Ports; Elzroth, Elseroad; Diehl, Deal, etc. There is a cemetery on the church grounds.
St. Paul’s has been blessed to survive two near catastrophes. A damaging fire in January 1912 closed the Church and caused services to be held in the Grange Hall, Arcadia until April 1913. In October 1995, the main ceiling beam broke and endangered the stability of the building. Regular worship services were held in Arcadia Fire Hall and special services were held at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church.
Pastors of the Lutheran Church:
Rev. Johann Daniel Schroeter 1794-1797
Rev. John Herbst 1797-1825
Rev. Emanual Keller 1826-1836
Rev. Jeremiah Harpel 1837-1839
Rev. Philip Willard 1841-1844
Rev. Elias Schwartz 1845-1848
Rev. Jacob Kaempfer 1848-1849
Rev. John Winter 1850-1853
Rev. Daniel Hauer 1853-1860
Rev. J.M. Graybill 1860-1861
Rev. Jos. R. Facht 1862-1864
Rev. Jacob Martin 1864-1867
Rev. P.P. Lane 1870-1872
Rev. Christian Lepley 1873-1881
Rev. Albert Bell 1881-1884
Rev. George Beckley 1885-1897
Rev. A. Harrison Burk 1898-1900
Rev. C. Stork Jones 1900-1902
Rev. S. J. Derr 1903-1911
Rev. W.E. Hensel 1913-1918
Rev. John A. Howe 1919 - 1922
Rev. P. H. Williams 1922 - 1924
Rev. F.H. Schrader 1924 - 1940
Rev. Roland W. Renkel 1940 - 1942
Rev. George E. Whetstone 1943 - 1946
Rev. J. Leon Haines 1947 - 1953
Rev. Harold Stoudt 1954 - 1958
Rev. Barron B. Maberry 1958 - 1963 (could be Mayberry)
Rev. Nathan A. Kale 1963 - 1972
Rev. Dennis E. Schell 1973 - 1981
Rev. Matthew Schenning 1982 - 1989
Rev. Kevin Guillory 1989 - 1994
Rev. Richard Krebs 1994 - 1995
Rev. Melvina Stricklin 1995-Present
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church
15801 Trenton Road