FROSTBURG — It’s been 200 years since the first recorded Communion for three churches in the Frostburg area, and the three congregations that were once one small gathering are working together to celebrate that Communion.

“It was a service performed by a Lutheran pastor from St. Paul’s in Cumberland on his way riding horseback through the western part of the state,” Karen Tamorria, pastor of Zion United Church of Christ, said.

She said only 13 names were written down in the record book as participating in that Communion, where now the congregation totals 165 split in three churches that all base their origins on that first Communion on Aug. 14, 1808.

Though the service will be held Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Zion, participants will come from the other two churches, Salem United Church of Christ and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Frostburg.

The Rev. Michael Tamorria of St. Paul’s, who is Karen’s husband, said to commemorate the anniversary, they will use the liturgy that was used by English-speaking Lutherans in the United States 200 years ago.

Michael said while the original service would have been done in German, they will use an English translation of it.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Michael said. “I’ve done this service twice before in my career (at different churches). It’s fun to dress up in period costume and do things the old-fashioned way and see how things have changed over the years.”

He said he wasn’t sure if the service had been done at the church to mark an anniversary.

The bicentennial will be celebrated a month late, Karen said, to accommodate for the church members who would be on vacation during August.

She said the anniversary event would involve the service with some members from the three churches in period costume, possibly even having someone ride up the sidewalk on horseback to remember the preacher who rode from Cumberland that way to “start the ministry in Frostburg.”

There will even be the original set of Communion pitcher and goblet from Zion, which was the first church in Frostburg.

She said the decision was made to hold the serve at Zion because the church is the original building for the congregation. It was constructed in 1846, with St. Paul’s and Salem following later.

Contact Sarah Moses at smoses@times-news.com.

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