Trinity Evangelical Lutheran-Boonsboro
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church-Boonsboro
Centennial History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Maryland 1820-1920, Wentz
German Lutherans were among the first settlers of the Boonsboro area.
I. Ringer's Church. This church, which was exclusively Lutheran and in which the services were all German, was located on "Ringgold's Manor." near "Fountain Rock," six miles from Hagerstown and three miles from Boonsboro. The place is now called "Monroe."
The congregation was organized as a preaching point as early as 1750. Its first building was of logs. In 1774, when Rev. John George Young, of St. John's Church in Hagerstown supplied the congregation with preaching, the lower part of the building was occupied as a schoolhouse and dwelling for the teacher. The upper part was used for worship.
The congregation in 1775 consisted of twenty families. For many years there were no stoves in the room occupied for worship by the congregation. "When the children of these sturdy old Germans in later days grew up and their parents had passed away, they introduced stoves, which at first created a sensation. Many thought Satan had gotten into the church by the introduction of heat.
The known pastors were Rev. Jacob Goering, who came in 1792, and Rev. John George Schmucker, who came in 1793. The former was the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Middletown, Frederick County, and the latter was pastor of St. John's Church, Hagerstown, Washington County.
II. The Church in Boonsboro. The Lutheran Church in Boonsboro is the offspring of Ringer's Church. The town of Boonsboro, was laid out in 1778. There was no preaching in the town in 1800. The Lutherans worshiped at Ringer's. In 1802 the Lutherans joined with the Reformed congregation, which had a church at Schwang's, half a mile away, and formed a Union church in Boonsboro, and named the organization. "The Salem Lutheran and Reformed Church." This was during the ministry of Rev. George Schmucker. whose pastorate included the congregations of Hagerstown and Middletown. The Lutheran and Reformed congregations at first held their services in the school house of the town. The money for a church building was raised in part by a lottery, which was one of the common methods at that time. The church was built in 1810 and called "Salem Church." It was the first church built in Boonsboro.
It was built during the ministry of Rev. J. G. Graeber of the Lutheran, and Rev. Jonathan Rauhauser of the Reformed Church. Rev. Grabber was also pastor of the Lutheran Church at Middletown where he lived.
The site upon which "Salem Church" was built was a gift from the Boon family, descendants of William Boon, the founder of the town. It was built of stone. The total cost was $3.200.
From 1802 to 1832 Salem Church of Boonsboro was attached to the Middletown pastorate. The pastors in that time were Revs. J. G. Graeber, J. Kaehler, Jacob Schnee. Abram Reck and Peter Riser. From 1829 to 1830 Rev. Henry Lewis Baugher served the Salem Lutheran Church. In 1832 he became professor in Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, and afterwards president of the college.
In 1835 a new pastorate was formed by the union of Ringer's, Bakersville and Boonsboro Lutheran congregations, called the "Boonsboro Charge." The first pastor of the charge was Rev. Solomon Oswald. he became pastor in 1835 and resigned in 1840.
In 1840 the Rev. George Diehl became the second pastor of the Boonsboro charge. During Rev. Diehl's pastorate a Lutheran congregation was organized by him at Locust Grove, five miles south of Boonsboro. Rev. Mr. Diehl resigned the charge September 1, 1843 to accept a call to Easton. Pa.
In 1843 Rev. William Hunt was called to the Boonsboro pastorate. He was a noted revivalist. During his pastorate in 1844 he built a church at Locust Grove. The charge was now composed of Boonsboro, Bakersville, Sharpsburg and Locust Grove, Ringer's congregation was absorbed by Boonsboro and preaching at Ringer's was discontinued. Through some disagreement with the Boonsboro congregation Rev. Mr. Hunt resigned the Boonsboro congregation in 1848 and removed from Boonsboro to Locust Grove and continued to preach to the remainder of the congregations in the charge.
On March 1, 1848, Rev. C. C. Culler received a call to Boonsboro and attached Funkstown and Beaver Creek to Boonsboro, thus forming a charge consisting of Boonsboro, Funkstown and Beaver Creek, and called the Boonsboro charge. While Mr. Hunt was holding revival meetings in Sharpsburg in January, 1849, Rev. Mr. Culler was holding the same at Boonsboro. In 1851 Rev. Mr. Culler resigned and Rev. John M. Unruh became the pastor of the Boonsboro charge.
In 1859 another charge was formed out of Boonsboro, Sharpsburg and Locust Grove. Funkstown and Beaver Creek joined Bakersville to form the Funkstown charge. Locust Grove and Sharpsburg joined Boonsboro to form a new Boonsboro charge.
To this new Boonsboro charge the Rev. Amos Copenhaver was called in 1859. He resigned in 1867. In 1867 Rev. G. "W. Weills was called to the charge, and he resigned in 1868. Rev. George H. Beckley was called to the charge in 1868. Rev. Mr. Beckley now organized St. Peter's of Keedysville and St. Mark's of Rohrersville and built two churches. When these two new congregations were admitted to the charge, the Locust Grove congregation withdrew and joined the Harper's Ferry charge. During the pastorate of Rev. Beckley, the separation of the joint interest of the Lutheran and Reformed congregation of the Salem Church took place. The division occurred in 1870.
The Lutherans sold their interest to the Reformed and bought a lot on Main Street and built a church with the name of "Trinity Lutheran Church of Boonsboro." Rev. Mr. Beckley was the church builder of the Boonsboro charge. During his ministry he erected three churches in the charge, one in Boonsboro, one in Keedysville and one in Rohrersville. He resigned in 1882.
Rev. David B. Floyd was called to the Boonsboro charge April 1, 1882. The charge was composed of four congregations: Trinity in Boonsboro, St. Peter's at Keedysville, Mt. Calvary at Sharpsburg, and St. Mark's at Rohrersville. On October 1, 1882, the Sharpsburg and Keedysville congregations withdrew and united with the Bakersville congregation to form a new charge.
Boonsboro and Rohrersville congregations constituted the Boonsboro charge. During Rev. Floyd's pastorate a parsonage was built and Albert Mullen and William G. Slifer were started on their way to enter the Lutheran ministry. Other sons of the congregation who entered the ministry were William J. Smith and Luther L. Smith.
Prior to 1870 the choir sang without an organ. The first pipe organ, a small one purchased in Philadelphia for $400, was pumped by hand. The second, a Moller, installed in 1907, was also pumped by hand until electricity was introduced in 1914. A new Moller pipe organ was purchased in 1954 and is still in use.
During the period from 1954 to 1956, the congregation renovated the church building, at a total cost of about $65,000. Included in the project was the new organ, new heating plant, new lighting, a new chancel, an amplifying system, conversion of the balcony into a room for parents with babies, and renovation of the present social room. The Rededication Service took place October 28, 1956.
In 1961, the congregation completed payments on the renovation of the church building and purchased a lot adjoining the parsonage.
The congregation renovated the church school building 1963. The work, completed at a cost of more than $35,000, included flooring the balcony level as a separate floor, new heat, light, plumbing, ventilation, extension of the amplifier to serve the church school, carpeting and sound-proofing. Also, changes were made in the social hall to provide space for the South County Food Bank and a handicap access ramp was constructed in 1987.
The following are the names of the pastors of the Ringer's and Boonsboro congregations, with the date of the years of their service:
Rev. Jacob Goering 1792
Rev. John George Sehmueker 1793-1809
At Ringer’s and Boonsboro:
Rev. J. G. Graeber, 1809-19
Rev. J. Kaehler. 1819-21
Rev. Jacob Schnee 1822-26
Rev.Abram Reck, 1829-32
Rev. Peter Riser, 1832-35
Rev. Henry Lewis Baugher 1829-30
Rev.Solomon Oswald 1835-40
Rev. George Diehl 1840-43
Rev. William Hunt 1843-48
Rev. Christopher O. Culler 1848-51
Rev. John M. Unruh 1851-59
Rev. Amos Copenhaver, 1859-67
Rev. G. W. Weills 1867-68
Rev. George II. Beckley. 1868-82
Rev. David B. Floyd 1882-85
Rev. Martin L. Beard. 1885-93
Rev. John E. Bushnell 1894-95
Rev. J. E. Maurer, 1895-1903
Rev. L. A. Bush 1903-15
Rev. John B. Rupley 1916-18
Rev. Frederick L. Will, 1918 -1921
Rev. Martin A. Ashby 1921-1946
Rev. Donald Stonesifer 1946-1953
Rev. Richard Manning 1954-1958
Rev. Richard F. Batman 1959-1964
Rev. Neil E. Newton 1965-1970
Rev. Frank E. Helsel 1970-1977
Rev. Joseph Donovan, III 1978-2008
64 South Main Street
Boonsboro, Maryland 21713