History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Maryland of the United Lutheran church in America, 1820-1920

Written by Abdel Ross Wentz in 1920. While providing an exhaustive history of the Synod of Maryland it also provides a list of the Pastors of the Synod during the years 1820-1920.

The plan of the book includes three main parts, the history of the Synod as a whole, the history of the churches constituting the Synod at present (1920), and biographical sketches of the sons of the Synod now (1920) in the ministry.

1) The history of the Synod as such, from the organization to the present, has been gathered mainly from the Minutes of the body. The original protocol of the Synod was not available and was thought to have been destroyed.

2) For the materials in the congregational sketches we are in most cases indebted to the pastors of the churches. They were gathered largely from the church records and congregational archives of the individual congregations. About one-third of the congregational histories could be published in practically the same form in which they were prepared by the pastors. Another third were prepared from data submitted by the pastors. For the other third the editors had to secure the data as well as write the history.

3) As to the third part of the volume the editors assume responsibility for the form in which most of the biographical sketches appear. They had much difficulty in overcoming the modesty of many of the "sons of the Synod" and in securing a measure of uniformity in the sketches. Four or five subjects belonging to this chapter refused to respond.

Not all United Lutheran Churches in Maryland in 1920 were featured in this manuscript, because not all of the United Lutheran Churches were part of this particular Synod. Of particular interest to the genealogist will be the congregational sketches, clerical rolls, and the biographical sketches of the "Sons of the Synod".

Table of Contents:

  1. Early Lutheran Settlements in Maryland
  2. Early Lutheran Expansion and the Special Conferences of Pastors
  3. The Organization of the Synod
  4. The Growth of the Synod
  5. Leading Personalities
  6. The Pastors of the Synod, 1820-1920
  7. Missions: Home, Foreign, and Inner
  8. Educational Activity and Literary Products
  9. Doctrinal and Liturgical Development
  10. Synodical Relations
  11. Conventions and Officers
  12. Clerical Roll for the Centennial Year
  13. The Churches of Baltimore and Vicinity
  14. The Churches of Washington and Vicinity
  15. The Churches of the Middle Conference
  16. The Churches of the Western Conference
  17. The Churches of the Mountain Conference
  18. Ordinations and Licensures
  19. The Sons of the Synod - Biographical Sketches

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If the plan of the work had included footnotes many interesting but isolated events, many extraordinary occurrences, and many piquant and original anecdotes might have been introduced to enliven the reading. Then, too, complete bibliographical and other source references could have been included. But these were not regarded as essential to the main record and had to be omitted.

The earliest Lutheran settlement in Virginia seems to have been in Spottsylvania County, now Madison County. This is the Hebron church of today. These pioneer Lutherans came partly from North Carolina and partly direct from Europe.