Historical Markers StoppingPoints.com Historical Markers, Sightseeing & Points of Interest Scenic Roads & Points of Interest
About Us | Photo Gallery | Free Widgets | Featured States | Search Site
Home North Carolina Catawba County City of Startown Historical Markers Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

NC-10 at Rocky Ford Road, Startown, NC, USA
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Organized before 1797 by German settlers from Pennsylvania. Present building, erected 1950, stands 2 1/2 miles south."
     In 1797, Samuel Jarrett deeded three acres of land to a united congregation of Lutheran and Dutch Presbyterians (Reformed). For several years the combined group had met for worship in local barns and at times private homes within the area. At a 1796 meeting, the worshippers elected to build a “house of worship” and the following year purchased the land from Jarrett.

     The first church was a log structure measuring twenty-five by thirty feet. It remained in use until 1858, when a brick building was constructed. The new building supported both congregations until 1940 when the Lutherans separated, and built a new brick structure across the street that became Grace Lutheran. Eight years later Grace Lutheran burned as a result of a boiler explosion; it was rebuilt in 1951. The 1858 brick structure remained in use by the Reformed parishioners and is known as Grace Church.

     J. G. Arends, charged with administering all Lutherans within the vicinity including Lincoln County, oversaw the congregation at Grace Church as well as those at Daniels Church and St. John’s Church until his death in 1807. Andrew Loretz served as the first German Reformed pastor, from 1786 until his death in 1812. After Loretz’s death, the Reformed members worshipped for sixteen years without a minister until the arrival of John G. Fritchey in 1828. However, during that time, they continued to congregate with the Lutherans under a series of pastors including father and son Paul and Phillip Henkel. In the 1830s the congregation voted to admit African American members, who were assigned to the rear two pews in the sanctuary becoming one of the first churches in the region to do so. Despite having separated both churches share the common grounds and the cemetery.

Banks J. Peeler, A Story of the Southern Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1740-1968 (1968)
Gary Freeze, The Catawbans: Crafters of a North Carolina County (1995)
“Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church” (church program, 1947)