St. Paul's Lutheran-Burkittsville

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

The first Lutheran preacher of whom there is any record, who served in Burkittsville, was the Rev. Martin Sackman, who came over occasionally from Virginia and officiated in the German language. That was in the year l815. The services were held in the upstairs of a building owned by Mr. E. L. Korn, and after used as a furniture room.

The Rev. Abraham Reck, who was pastor at Middletown. 1829-1836 preached here occasionally in a building used as a wagonmaker's shop. It is said he also preached once in a barn owned by Mr. O. Harley.

In the year 1829 the Lutheran and Reformed congregations united their efforts and undertook the erection of a church building. At the completion of this building Rev. A. Reck, of the Lutheran congregation, and Rev. Bucher, of the Reformed congregation, each preached here regularly every four weeks.

The Rev. Michael Wachter succeeded Rev. Reck in the pastorate' of Middletown, and also preached at Burkittsville every four weeks from June 1836 to September. 1843. He is spoken of in an old record as an "Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile." He was generally much beloved and was instrumental in the conversion of many souls.

Rev. Charles Hay came next into the Middletown pastorate and preached here also. His stay was short. He was called to a professorship in the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. He served here from January 11, 1844 to November 3, 1844. At the close of Rev. Hay's pastorate a change was made and the Burkittsville congregation became connected with the Jefferson charge. Rev. Harpel is said to have served at this period for a short time.

Rev. Daniel Hauer became the pastor of this charge in 1845 and served until 1853. He was very diligent and untiring in his labors and much beloved by his people [D.H. Hauer also appears as the pastor for St. Paul’s Jefferson, for this period]. Following Rev. Hauer, Rev. George S. Collins was pastor for about a year. He was compelled to give up the work on account of a disease of the lungs which shortly afterwards resulted in his death. He is spoken of as a man of fine intellect and great general as well as theological information and possessed one of the largest and best selected private libraries.

Rev. B. Appleby, of Baltimore, came next into the Jefferson charge and served here faithfully for about two years. He then resigned and returned to Baltimore. Rev. Edwin Dorsey, M.U., served the charge for about one year but finding the work too laborious he received and accepted a call to the Martinsburg charge in West Virginia.

After the departure of Rev. Dorsey the Burkittsville congregation withdrew from the Jefferson charge and determined to support a pastor for themselves. After some time Rev. G. A. Nixdorff was called and entered upon his duties November 1, 1858. At this time the Burkittsville congregation sold their interest in the union church for $600 and immediately proceeded to plan for a new church building. The corner stone of the new edifice was laid on August 20. 1859. The old church building being too small for the congregation assembled, the preaching service was held in the grove in the rear of the church. Rev. William F. Eyster, of Jefferson, addressed the people in a very happy manner. Revs. Klink and Smeltzer also participated. It was during this pastorate, after the battle of South Mountain at Crompton's Gap, September 14, 1862, that the church building was used as a hospital. Rev. Nixdorff served the congregation until the spring of 1865.

Pastors Continued:

Rev. W.C. Wire August 1865 to July 1, 1869 (sexton house, female seminary established)

Rev. L.A. Mann September 17, 1869 to April 1876 (lot secured, brick parsonage built)

Rev. J.H. Tunrer July 20, 1876 to June 1, 1880

Rev. M. C. Heisler 1880-1881

Rev. M. L. Beard 1881-1888

Rev. T. W. Dosh D.D. 1888-1889

Rev. S. E. Slater 1891-1896

Rev.C. L. Ritter. 1896-1903

Rev. P. B. Fasold 1908-1909

Rev. J. W. D. Scherer January. 1910 to May 1910- died of pneumonia.

Rev. Charles J. Hines December 1. 1910. to December 1. 1914 ( the church edifice was improved by installation of steam heating and acetylene lighting plants, new carpet and new pews for main auditorium, entire interior repainted, bath room and other improvements in parsonage and new cement walks in front of church and parsonage. The church was reopened April 20, 1913)

Rev. Harry C. Erdman April 10. 1915 (During this pastorate a two-manual Moller pipe organ was installed in the church and a hot water heating plant placed in the parsonage).