Church History

History of St. Lukes

St. Luke’s (Winter’s) Lutheran Church is the fifth oldest surviving Lutheran Church in what is now Carroll County, Maryland. 

Antiquated books at Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania state that our church was organized as the Evangelical Lutheran (Winter’s) Church in 1783. Our first evidence of the name of St. Luke’s (Winters) Lutheran Church was in the Articles of Incorporation of March 30, 1856.

It is believed that some of our earliest settlers in Carroll County, New Windsor (Frederick County until 1837) worshipped in homes and groves long before St. Luke’s (Winter’s) Lutheran Church was organized. It has been recorded that as early as 1766 George Francis Winter, who was one of the earliest settlers near the town of New Windsor, received an application from German colonists in Pennsylvania for land for the erection of a prospective Lutheran church, and for land for farming purposes. It has been stated by historians that a log church was erected in 1772. However, the church was not organized until 1783, eleven years later, apparently under the direction of The Rev. Johann Daniel Schroeter. This organization was documented in our old record book at the Gettysburg Seminary. The old register dated 1783-1884 is still intact, and is kept at the Seminary because of its antiquity.

On March 30, 1856, our church was incorporated under the name of St. Luke’s (Winter’s) Lutheran Church. Most of the first members (communicants) of our church were German immigrants. The old register at Gettysburg is in old German, as well as some of our old tombstones in the cemetery. Both the German Reformed and Lutherans used our church at one time. We were probably served by the same itinerant preachers as the Taneytown charge, and we were once part of the Westminster charge. In 1870, we were part of the Uniontown Parish. This union lasted until 1979 (109 years). In 1979, we decided to take on the responsibilities of our own full-time pastor.

Our present church was built in 1875, and has been remodeled several times. The parish hall was added in 1958.