Zion Hagerstown

Zion Reformed United Church of Christ

The German Reformed Church-The Reformed Church-Washington County

Although the Reformed-Washington County Church was founded even prior to 1776, there are no authentic records or documentation. Its first regular pastor was Rev. Jacob Weymer, who was first put in charge of the congregation in 1770, and who continued to serve it until his death, which occurred in 1790. During his pastorate the oldest church edifice was erected, in the year 1774, at 201 North Potomac Street. It was the first within town limits and the oldest church building in Washington County that has been in continuous use.

The congregation elected William Heyser, a member and deacon of the congregation, building-master, who was assisted in the construction of the church by his colleagues, Philip Osten, Peter Wagner, and Jacob Hauser, who carried the work on to the laying of the corner-stone. Work did not begin for about four years from the gifted land.

On this occasion Rev. Frederick Ludwig Henop, Reformed pastor at Frederick Town (Frederick), who had been invited to be present, preached on the words contained in Colossians iii. 17, " And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." At this service, which was held on the ground on which the church was to be built, there was likewise present Jacob Weimer, Reformed pastor in Elizabethtown, Rev. George Young, Lutheran pastor, and Rev., also Lutheran pastor of Fredericktown ; William Heyser, builder, and Philip Oster, Peter Wagner, Jacob Hauser, deacons. The following were the members of the first congregation : William Baker, Ernst Baker, Yost Wegand, Isan Guadig, Johannes Karr, Frantz Greilich, Herman Greilich, Andreas Link, Eustagines Jung, Wilhelm Couralh, Henrich Doutweller, Jacob Fischer, Johannes Steinscyfer, Frantz Wagner, Ernst Ditz, Rutholple Bley, Johannes Oster, Michael Eberhart, Matthaub Saylor, George Herdii, George Clampert, Johannes Nicholas Schister, George , Hanadam —, Valentin , Jacob Hauser, Peter Diller, George Frey, Johannes Frey, Conrad Eichelberger, Philip Klein, Ernst Kremer.

The congregation was comprised of German speaking immigrants, which were Hagerstown’s earliest inhabitants. Built by Germans upon a solid foundation, the church has endured with several modifications, for over two centuries.

The corner-stone was laid on the l0th of August, 1774. The ground occupied by the church was given by Jonathan Hager, founder of the town, and a member of the congregation who was killed on December 6, 1775, by a rolling log while engaged in cutting timber for the church edifice. There is no record of the date of consecration of the church.

The congregation worshiped there for many years with an unfinished interior. One possible reason is that William Heyser, also Captain Heyser organized a company of German volunteers and led them to support General George Washington. Captain Heyser was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine and returned home to complete the building.

The dedication probably took place about 1778.

Improvements in the church building were made from time to time, and the entire structure was remodeled and placed in its present condition in 1867-68. About the same time a chapel was erected beside the church, on the site of the old lecture-room. Two or three years afterwards the tower of the church, which had been left unchanged when the remodeling took place, was replaced by a new one. The new spire, however, was blown down by a violent tornado in June, 1878,—a heavy loss to the congregation. The bells, which were cast in 1785 in Rotterdam, were returned there in 1885, when the tower was rebuilt. The Sunday-school connected with the church numbered, in 1881, thirty odd teachers and over two hundred scholars.

It is my understanding that the sanctuary remains the original 1774 sanctuary.

The church has a Möller organ built by M.P. Moller Pipe Organ Company in Hagerstown in 1928. It has been improved and enhanced throughout the years. The church also has a large number of beautiful stained glass windows, which were added between the years 1880 and 1908.


Rev. Jacob Weymer 1770-1790

Rev. Jonathan Rahauser 1792-1817

Rev. James R. Reily 1819-1825 (introduced the occasional English sermon. The English sermon was so rare that it might almost be said that the German was the only language used in the services of the church for fifty-five years of its existence.)

Rev. Mr. Brunner 1827-1832

Rev. W. A. Good 1833-1836

Rev. Albert Helffenstein 1837-1843

Rev. M. Kieffer 1844-1849

Rev. D. Gaus 1850-1855

Rev. S. H. Giesy 1855-1860

Rev. J. H. Wagner 1861 – 1864

Rev. J. S. Kieffer 1868- 1881

Rev. S. Wagner 1920-1952

Rev. R. W. Delp 1952-1958

Rev. Roy C. Snyder 1958-1961

Rev. A. Grove 1961-1981

Rev. W. D. Sautter 1982-1988

Rev. R. H. Winters 1989-1990

Rev. Nathan Miller 1990-1993

Rev. J. D. Cook 1994-1998

Rev. Marianne Unger 2001-2002

Rev. R.C. Royal 2003-2008

Rev. K.S. Munroe 2011 to present

Church Location:

Zion Reformed United Church of Christ

201 N. Potomac Street

Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

Telephone 301-739-7244

Church Website: https://zionhagerstown.church/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_Reformed_United_Church_of_Christ (Excellent historical overview)

Zion Cemetery

Unfortunately on the day of our visit in June 2015 to photograph the cemetery, the gates were locked and we could not gain access. The photo album below was done through the fence. Many of the stones can be read.

In the cemetery of the Reformed Church, which was provided for early members, some of those interred here:

Alexander Armstrong 9.8.1798 to 10.29.1870

John S. Barr dod: 7.6.1856

George Beall 4.10.1796 to 5.1843

Ellen Beall 7.8.1809 to 1.18.1840

Samuel Beeoher dod: 10.8.1821

Ludwig Carl Bodman 11.29.1752 to 4.1.1828

John Bragunier dod: 2.11.1879

Susan Bragunier dod: 4.24.1871

Samuel Bragunier 5.30.1788 to 1.16.1838

Elizabeth Bragunier dod: 11.22.1875

Daniel Burgesser dod: 3.14.1865

Frederick Bryan dod: 7.26.1871

Jonas Cramer 10.14.1755 to 8.14.1835

William Freaner dod: 4.12.1870

John Gruber dod: 12.29.1857

Catherine Gruber dod: 9.15.1859

Jacob Gruber dod: 9.16.1875

Michael Hammond dod: 11.13.1857

Gen. Daniel Heister, " the patriot, the soldier, and the statesman 1747 to 3.7.1804

Rosanna Heister (daughter of Jonathan Hager) 1730 to 1.11.1810

John Henneberger dod 9.11.18596

Catherine Henneberger dod: 8.11.1869

William Heyser dod: 9.10.1836

John E, Hoffman 10.23.1789 to 3.6.1870

Catherine Hoffman 8.28.1793 to 12.12.1877

Peter Humrichouse dod: 2.13.1837

Mary Ott dod: 10.7.1839

Frederick Humrichouse 7.6.1791 to 10.5.1876

Hannah Humrichouse 1.29.1791 to 4.25.1800

Philip Keller dod: 9.19.1846

Ann Keller dod: 1.7.1841

Andrew Kershner 4.12.1787 to 10.6.1857

Elizabeth Kershner 10.31.1791 to 9.10.1860

Jacob Knode 9.26.1751 to 2.2.1828

Margaret Knode 4.10.1750 to 7.15.1824

William Kreps dod: 2.28.1822

Elizabeth Hager Lawrence 8.1.1785 to 8.5.1867 (only grandchild of Jonathan Hager, founder of Hagerstown, and the wife of Upton Lawrence)

Benjamin Leight dod: 10.14.1848

Alexander McCamman dod: 4.5.1869

John McNamee dod: 8.11.1858

Margaret McNamee dod: 12.26.1873

Daniel Middlekauff 8.6.1794 to 10.23.1855

John Gottleib Mittag 3.7.1776 to 11.4.1828

Susan Mittag dod: 10.18.1853

Henry Middlekautf 10.18.1766 to 3.13.1837

Margaret Post dod: 3.7.1810 (wife of Rev. Christian F. Post)

Jonathan Rahauser, pastor 12.14.1764 to 9.23.1817

John S. Rahauser 2.23.1794 to 6.29.1818

Daniel Rench dod: 12.2.1831

Martin Rickenbaugh 4.3.1793 to 2.16.1874

Col. David Schnebly 5.8.1770 to 10.4.1842

Mary Schnebly 2.15.1773 to 11.17.1876

Jolin Seitz dod: 3.30.1831

Jacob Stahl 2.2.1762 to 9.6.1831

Sarah Thornburg 12.17.1796 to 12.9.1830

John Tice, Sr. 11.26.1770 to 7.27.1833

John C. Ulrich dod: 3.4.1848

Andrew Wagoner dod: 8.22.1872

Johannes Weller dod: 1.1.1800

Isaac S. White, Sr. dod: 1844

Ann Williamson dod: 8.16.1857

Elizabeth Wingert dod: 12.12.1806 (wife of Peter Wingert, and daughter of David Hager)

Philip Wingert 1.11.1784 to 8.30.1861

Martha Wingert 1793 to 1.20.1833

Frederick Wolfersperger 5.8.1780 to 12.6.1821

There are 708 souls buried here. The oldest burial is of Peter Rench in 1771. The last burial was in 1991. There are no spaces available, however, the church has established a memorial garden for cremated remains of members. The ashes of Jonathan Hager are interred here.