St. Paul's Lutheran Frostburg

St. Paul's Frostburg 2015

Sources: The History of Washington County; Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz

If you have additional information or history, please share at

This church dates back to the beginning of Frostburg as a town, about 1812. It is one, if not, the first church in Frostburg. In 1812, it appears that the Rev. John George Butler was serving the English Lutheran Congregation in Cumberland. The Lutherans in Frostburg were meeting at what was called the ‘Old Neff Meeting House’ and as such in that meeting placed founded their congregation.

The Rev. Butler was popular and drew many to the church, even those not Lutheran, so the congregation grew. Rev. Butler was aging and was forced due to health reasons, to resign in 1816.

St. Paul's Frostburg 1919

The church remained part of the Cumberland charge during that time up to 1842. When Rev. Butler left services were held sporadically sometimes weeks between services. This was known as ‘circuit riding’ where the ministers would begin at Cumberland and preach along the National Road up to about ten miles past the glades. It was during the tenure of the Rev. John Kehler the place of worship was changed from the old Neff building to the "old log schoolhouse" which stood "over the hill on the National

Road." It was during the pastorate Rev. Jesse Winecoff, in 1843, that the Frostburg Church separated from the Cumberland Church. It was around this time, 1843, that the English Lutheran Church of Frostburg really began to grow and to such an extent that the church, which was owned and used by the German Evangelical Congregation was built. It was a ‘state of the art’ building at that time.The congregation moved again, this time under the direction of Rev. Frederick Benedict and the building was moved to its present location. The corner stone was laid in 1860 but the building wasn’t completed until several years later…the building being delayed by the Civil War. Rev. Benedict was not the pastor when it was completed.

Reverend Bishop’s tenure saw many new improvements including the introduction of the liturgy into the church service, the formation of a church choir, the establishment of a Sunday school library, and the organization of the Primary department in the Sunday school.

In September, 1874, the church was destroyed by fire, which also destroyed a large portion of the town in the immediate vicinity, the parsonage being saved from the flames. Work was immediately begun in rebuilding the church, and the lower room or basement was soon ready for the use of the congregation.

The congregation seemed to perk up with the pastorate of Rev. C. A. Britt in 1890. His work included renovation of both auditorium and Sunday school room, frescoing, interior painting, carpeting, steam heating, and others. Rebirth and renewal of several missions and the

organization of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society in 1897 and the Junior Mission Band in 1898 were some of the accomplishments during his tenure. The groups were joined by the additional groups developed during the tenure of Pastor Crissman, Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, and a Young Ladies' Missionary Society.

Rev. H. II. Beidleman. upon his graduation from the Gettysburg Seminary, followed a unanimous call to work at St. Paul’s in 1915. He made many updates and changes including a new pulpit, lecturn, altar, baptismal font, Bible, altar-clothes, hymn-boards, memorial windows, art glass doors, carpet, indirect lighting, pipe organ, two silk flags, frescoing, renovation of Sunday school rooms, and painting of the exterior of both church and parsonage. In all over $11.000 was expended, making the "Pioneer Church of Frostburg" one of the most beautiful and well-equipped places of worship in our Synod.

Meanwhile a bronze tablet memorial to Father Heyer was unveiled in 1917 and the clerical gown has been introduced into the services of the sanctuary.

Rev. Beidleman served as a Lutheran camp pastor during World War I and served in Washington, D. C. from April to October 1918. The congregation had twenty four within their family that served in this war.

St. Paul's Frostburg Council 1919

St. Paul's Parish Council 1919


Rev. John G. Butler 1812-1816

Rev. C.F. Heyer 1819-1825

Rev. X.B. Little 1825-1829

Rev. Henry Haverstick 1829-1832

Rev. John Kehler 1832-1841

Rev. Jesse Winecoff 1841-1843

Rev. Christian Lepley 1843-1855

Rev. Jesse Winecoff 1855-1858

Rev. Frederick Benedict 1858-1860

Rev. A. H. Aughe 1860-1866

Rev. Henry Bishop 1866-1871

Rev. D.L. MacKenzie 1871-1878

Rev. P.L. Harrison 1878-1883

Rev. W.A. Shipman 1883-1886

Rev. Charles Butler (Supply 1887)

Rev. E.C. Jessup 1888-1889

Rev. W. H. Jordy 1888-1890

Rev. C.A. Britt 1890-1899

Rev. S. G. Hefelbower 1899-1901 (resigned to continue his studies at German Universities)

Rev. Frederick R. Wagner 1901-1910

Rev. F.H. Crissman 1910-1915

Rev. H. H. Beidleman 1915-

Today’s Pastor: Richard Schoenly

Church Contact:

34 W. Main Street

Frostburg, Maryland

Phone: 301-689-9244