History of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, New Market, Va.

The following is excerpted fromĀ Our Church Paper, New Market, Virginia, Volume 32, Number 30, 26 July 1904.

History of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, New Market, Va.

by Rev. E. L. Wessinger.

The writer acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. C. O. Miller who has in his possession the records of the facts presented in connection with the early history of the Lutheran church in New Market.

The history of Emmanuel congregation is closely connected and interwoven with that of the Davidsburg church from which it grew. Emmanuel is one of the two branches which grew from the original tree planted by Rev. Paul Henkel in 1790, and which was known as the Davidsburg church. On the 30th of March in that year Rev. Paul Henkel with his family located at New Market, Va., where at that time there was no organized Lutheran congregation. There were in the vicinity a few German settlers who were said still to have held to the regular church (ordentliche kirche.) These the Rev. Paul Henkel gathered together and organized into a congregation. In the beginning of the year 1791 a location for the church was selected on the lands of Lewis Zirkle and a half acre of ground was purchased. The deed for the church lot is dated Sept. 9, 1794, and was recorded, and was given for a consideration of ten pounds by Lewis Sircle (Zirkle) to George Adam Sircle, John Bare, and Andrew Bird for the use of the Presbytertan (Calvinist) and Lutheran congregation of New Market. The records show that by the term Presbyterian (Calvinist) was meant what we now know as the Reformed church.

In June of 1791 the first timber for the church building was cut on the lands of Lewis Zirkle by those, some German and some English, who were interested in the building of a church. In the beginning of February, 1792, the logs were taken to the site selected, and during the spring of that year the first church building, a log house, was erected, and was known as the Davidsburg church. The lay promoters and builders of the church were: George Adam Zirkle, Lewis Zirkle, John Rausch, Michael Rader, Abraham Peter, Andrew Bord (Bird), Jacob Kipps, Jacob Olinger, John Bar (Bare), and David O’Roark. Of these George Adam Zirkle, Lewis Zirkle, and John Bar were selected as the deacons or council (vorsteher), the two former representing the Lutherans and the latter the Reforms. The first service in the church building was held in the latter part of April, 1792, by Rev. Paul Henkel who became the first pastor and preached in both German and English, holding services about once in every four weeks until 1794 when he and his family moved to Staunton, Va.