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History of Emmitsburg's Reformed Church

The Reformed Church at Emmitsburg. Md., like all other Reformed Churches in this part of the country, grew out of the early German settlements that were established here. The history of the Reformed Church in Emmitsburg goes back to the year 1768. It was in that year that the Reformed and Lutheran people in this district united and built a union chinch at Tom's Creek. about 2 miles east of Emmitsburg. 

The new church was built on the same spot where the old log Lutheran church formerly stood at the corner of the cemetery, and, like its predecessor, was built of logs. A school house also was built. We know very little about the history of this church while at Tom's Creek, as no records have come down to us. 

No doubt the charter members were formerly members of the Monocacy church, and saw and heard the great missionary sent to the Monocacy church, Rev. Michael Schiatter. About all we know is the names of the pastors who served the congregation during this early period. The first regular pastor was Rev. Jacob Wepner, 1784-1788; the second, Rev. Valentine Nichodemus, 1788-1794; and the third, Rev. Lebrecht L. Hinach, 1794-1804.

It was during the pastorate of Rev. Mr. Hinsch that the congregation removed to Emmitsburg. In the year 1797 the Lutheran and Reformed congregations again united and built a stone church in the little village of Emmitsburg. Both using the German language. the Lutheran and Reformed congregations united in laying the corner-stone, and erecting the large and substantial stone church which is still used by the Lutherans.

For many years these two streams of life ran side by side. The cemetery surrounding the church contains the earthly remains of many of the early and influential members of the two congregations that worshipped within the church, as well as others of the community. The names of the pastors are: Rev. Jonathan Rahauser, 1804-1808; Rev. Frederick, Rahauser, 1808-1816: Rev. William Runkle, 1816-1821; Rev. David Bosler, 1821-1832; Rev. Elias Heiner, 1833-1835; Rev. Samuel Fisher, 1836-1839, Rev. D. P. Freeze, 1840-1842; Rev. William Philips, 1842-1846; Rev. Geo. W. Aughenbaugh, 1846-1856; Rev. E. E. Highee, May to August, 1858; *Rev. Walter E. Krebs 1858-1862; Rev. J. M. Litzel, 1863-1873.

It was during the pastorate of Rev. J. M. Litzel that the Lutheran and Reformed congregations separated. The Reformed congregation bought the John Nickum lot for $800, and in 1868 erected the present church at a cost of $7,000, and where they have worshiped ever since. The church is a large substantial brick building and is a credit to the congregation and an inspiration to the community. 

The following ministers have served as pastors: Rev. Abner R. Kremer, 1873-1881; Rev. M. A. Gring, 1881-1882; Rev. Geo. B. Resser, 1882-1884; Rev. XV. H. Heilman, 1886-1892; Rev. A. M. Scheffuer, 1893-1895; Rev. XV. C. B. Shulenberger, 1896-1903; and Rev. A. M. Gluck, the present pastor, who was ordained to the Christian ministry in this church on November 1, 1903. It will be seen, from these facts, that at no time in its history has this congregation been without a pastor for any great length of time, and some of these ministers have been leaders in their denomination.

Read about other churches in Emmitsburg

Do you have any information to add to our history of the Reformed Church?  
If so, send them it to us at history@emmitsburg.net


*Krebs had a very interesting life. He was born in Littlestown, PA in 1837 and moved to Winchester, VA in 1847.He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Emmitsburg was his first charge. He then moved to Waynesboro, PA. He later taught mathematics and history at F & M and served for a short time as President of what is now Cedar Crest College, Allentown. From 1885-1900 he operated the Edge Hill Institute in Littlestown, a college preparatory school. He died in Lancaster, PA in 1928. His son, Stanley, married Marjorie Main aka Ma Kettle. (Submitted by Ken Sell)

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