St. Paul's Leitersburg

St. PaLeitersburg

Source: Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz

Church Website:

Source: History of Western Maryland, J.Thomas Scharf, AM, Vol. II, 1882

The places of worship nearest to Leitersburg were Beard's and Jacob's churches, each several miles distant and in opposite directions.''Proposals will be received until April 22d, at the house of Christopher Burckhardt, in Leitersburg. for building a church forty-five by sixty feet, two stories high, with gallery on three sides, to be built with brick or stone and rough cast, and finished in a plain, substantial manner."

In August, 1826 the corner stone of a Lutheran Church in Leitersburg was laid by Revs. John and Frederick Ruthrauff, H. Kroh and Jacob Medtart. Many Lutheran families of the vicinity were members of Beard's congregation, which was served by Rev. B. Kurtz from St. John's of Hagerstown, but he was then (1825-26) in Germany soliciting aid for the Seminary at Gettysburg, and his place was temporarily filled by the Revs. Ruthrauff and Medtart. The building committee consisted of Christopher Burckhardt, Frederick Bell, Lewis Zeigler, Frederick Zeigler, and Joshua Grimes. The architect was Jacob Tanner.

Organization of a congregation had been effected before laying the corner stone in August 1826. The preamble states: "Since the congregation in the past year has greatly increased and has decided to build a house for divine worship, for the maintenance of religion, etc., we lay this stone.

The church building erected in Leitersburg in 1826 by the congregation was a large and substantial two-story stone and roughcast building, with galleries on three sides. Originally it had neither belfry nor bell, but one was secured in 1850 and placed on a tower in the rear of the church until 1853 when a belfry was built.

The church was dedicated September 2nd, the ceremonies being in both German and English. The first church council to whom the deed for the lot was given were Frederick Zeigler, John Byers, Jacob Bell, Lewis Trittle, John Bowers, and Henry H. Snider.As it was then part of St. Peter's or "Beard's" Church charge, its first pastor was probably the Rev. S. K. Hoshour. The first church book or register was prepared in 1831, by Rev. John Reek, who records 86 communicants. Rev. J. P. Cline, the next pastor, records three infant baptisms and confirmations on six different occasions, numbering 62.

The site for church and cemetery were purchased for $100 from John Lahm and deeded to Frederick Ziegler, John Byer, Jacob Bell, Lewis Tritle, John Bowers and H. H. Snyder composing the Church Council.

In 1880 a peaceful division of that charge took place and Leitersburg and St. Peter’s /Beards formed the Leitersburg charge, which in January, 1881, unanimously called Rev. V. Miller to be pastor.

The congregation erected a new church in 1878-79, the corner-stone being laid September 19th. In the corner-stone were placed interesting documents, containing important statistics, both of the Reformed Church and of the country in general and a list of all the names of all the members connected with the congregation. The church was dedicated on March 16, 1879. The sermon was preached by Rev. J. 0. Miller. D.D., York, PA. The building is brick, thirty-five by fifty feet, with a steeple built from the ground, forming the entrance.

In 1884-85 the church was remodeled at a cost of $4,100, a new front wall and tower built, side galleries removed, corresponding upper and lower windows made into one, and new pews placed. Dr. F. W. Conrad preached the dedicatory sermon February 1, 1885.The parsonage is a two-story ten-room brick dwelling, erected in 1881 at a cost of $3100 on a lot donated by Rev. V. Miller and is jointly owned by the charge.

The Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society was organized June 15, 1887. The Christian Endeavor Society was formed December 22, 1892.

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St. Paul's has a large cemetery connected to the church. We visited in 2016 and photographed many of the stones, click here.


  • Rev. John Ruthrauff, Jacob Medtart, and B. Kurtz, D.D., 1825-28

  • Rev. Samuel Hoshour, 1828-30

  • Rev. John Reck, 1831-33

  • Rev. John P. Kline, 1833-46

  • Rev. J. J. Reimensnyder, 1846-51

  • Rev. Daniel H. Bittle, D.D.,1851-52

  • Rev. J. F. Probst, 1853-56

  • Rev. J. Heck, 1857-61

  • Rev. W. F. Eyster, 1861-65

  • Rev. M. C. Horine, 1865-69

  • Rev. Samuel MeHenry 1870-72

  • Rev. X. J. Richardson 1872-81

  • Rev. V. Miller 1881-1914 (took over when St. Paul’s united with St. Peter’s or Beard’s)

  • Rev. J. S. Koser 1914-

Church Contact Information:

21513 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road

Hagerstown, MD 21742