St. John's Lutheran Church
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but, please, do not publish without permission of the family or the
Celebrating the 250th Anniversary
The church history reads "the leader of the group settling in the Fork was
Johannes Adam Summer, considered by historian Duncan Wallace 'the first
white settler in the present Newberry County'...sailed from Rotterdam in
1743, spent several years in Pennsylvania, then led his followers to the
low-lying hill country in Fairfield overlooking the 'Esvapadema (Broad)
River. He then crossed the river at Cohee Shoals and made their homes in
the verdant fields along Crims Creek".
In the Colonial Council minutes of February 5, 1754, "The compactness of
the German settlement in the Forks of the Broad and Saluda Rivers made
possible a church organization and it was for the service of these
settlers that the Rev. John Gasser, Reformed Minister, left Switzerland in
1752. Coming by way of Pennsylvania, he did not reach Charles Town to
petition for land until 1754, but at that time he had agreed with the
settlers to preach in two churches, one in the lower part of the Fork, the
other farther on. He was given his bounty of 50 acres.
The first church was built in 1754, a small, crude log cabin served as a
church and a school house. After nine years, the young congregation was
sufficiently established to apply to the Colonial Government for a grant
of land. On October 5, 1763, a royal grant of 100 acres on Grames (Crims)
Creek between the Broad and Saluda Rivers was issued under the seal of
King George III by Thomas Boone, Governor in Council, to John Adam Epting
and Peter Dickert, elders of the congregation and their successors for a
glebe and a church building.
The "White Church", built in 1809, still stands across the road from the
present sanctuary built in 1950.
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Last updated 24 November 2018
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