Cumberland Times-News

Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum

August 14, 2008

Happy 200th to St. Paul's Lutheran congregation

Today is the 200th birthday of the Lutheran congregation in Frostburg!

On Aug. 14, 1808, 24 people joined in a communion service in the New Church, a log structure on the edge of what is now called the Prichard Farm.

The meeting house is gone, but the record of that service, with the names of the participants, is retained at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cumberland, the mother church of the young parish. And here in Frostburg, Lutheran worship continues, with direct descendants of the founding fathers still retaining membership.

At the time of that first Lutheran service, Frostburg did not exist. (The name was first applied to a mail-drop in 1819, and only later to the community as a whole).

The congregation also antedates the National Road, on which construction began in 1811 and was completed to wheeling in 1819.

And yet, without connecting roads, telephones, newspapers or mail service, adults from beyond Mount Savage, from Klondyke and Loartown, responded to some form of notification and came to worship together in 1808.

What kind of service did they have? We don't know. It was undoubtedly in German, although Pastor Butler spoke it with an Irish accent. They sang hymns, but probably without instrumental accompaniment, depending on the pastor to sing a line, or a stanza, for the congregation to repeat.

After that first communion service, Pastor Butler continued to visit our George's Creek congregation twice a year. His parish covered all of Allegany County, which at that time extended to the Virginia line, with eight chapels so scattered that it was impossible for him to preach in one on Sunday morning and another in the evening.

As long as the Braddock Trail was the principal east-west route the Neff Meeting House was a convenient gathering place, but when the National Road was opened, the Lutherans looked for a site adjacent to it.

Text Only
Betty Van NewKirk - From the Museum
  • Happy 200th to St. Paul's Lutheran congregation Today is the 200th birthday of the Lutheran congregation in Frostburg!

    On Aug. 14, 1808, 24 people joined in a communion service in the New Church, a log structure on the edge of what is now called the Prichard Farm.

    August 14, 2008

  • Quality, attitude of people make 'Burg special A note in the newspaper a week or so ago mentioned that Oprah Winfrey was looking for "the best small towns in America.'' Frostburg is the best one I know of - but unfortunately Oprah asked for photos or videos supporting the nomination.

    August 7, 2008

  • There's always something new under the sun! The popular press has been devoting a good bit of space in recent weeks to the new swimsuit, introduced by Speedo, which supposedly has contributed to the record-breaking times posted in the Olympic tryouts.

    July 24, 2008

  • Ward and his mansion stand proud in 'Burg I've had questions recently - not for the first time! - about William Ward and the house he built at 73 W. Main St. here in Frostburg.

    July 17, 2008

  • July 4th: Finding our beliefs Independence Day, like Christmas, is one of the few national holidays that has not been moved to Monday, to provide a four-day break for working people. It holds its own as the Fourth of July.

    July 3, 2008

  • Berry-picking brings back many memories Last week I went to Wiley Ford to pick strawberries. I came home with enough for several packets of frozen berries, for three jars of strawberry jam, generous spoonfuls of fruit on my breakfast cereal and shortcake with real whipped cream.

    June 26, 2008

  • Ambulance service has key community role The Frostburg Area Ambulance Service is currently asking for our help in raising money for the protective clothing that new government regulations require.

    June 19, 2008

  • Planet continues to change; Big One on horizon? In a year that is not yet half over, 2008 has already written itself into the record books for extremes of hot and cold, rain and drought, tornadoes and floods and earthquakes. Our planet Earth has been in a constant state of change.

    June 12, 2008

  • In tennis, individuals face each other as equals I'm not a sports person, but I like to watch tennis. During the three big summer tournaments - Paris, London and New York, played on three different surfaces - my TV is on, and I check the newspaper for details that I have missed.

    June 5, 2008

  • Arts are obviously alive in Allegany County Last week I had the pleasure of attending the spring concert of the Allegany Community Symphony Orchestra. The program was free, and nicely varied, and the instrumentalists were competent.

    May 29, 2008

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads