Our history

Ebenezer Evangelical Lutheran Church was first organized in 1867 by Lutherans who descended from early German settlers to south central Rowan County. The settlements in this area were situated nearly halfway between Lutheran Chapel in China Grove and Organ Church in Rockwell. They were also about halfway between St. John's in Salisbury and St. James in Concord. With the long distances from these places of worship made long by the time period,  a desire arose for local Lutheran families to establish a centralized place to worship since traveling was difficult during the Reconstruction era.

A petition to create a new church was presented to the Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of North Carolina on December 3 & 4, 1866. The Conference accepted the petition and passed a resolution that a new Lutheran Church be organized at or near Bostian School House. During the next year, an organizational meeting was held at the old Bostian School House, a small one room 20' x 20' building built out of hand hewn logs. The synod voted to approve the church on May 2, 1867 and the first meeting was held on June 3, 1867, at the "Old Bostian Log School House" located about a quarter mile from the present school.

Six families (Siffords, Grabers, Stirewalts, Bargers, Ketners, and Eddlemans) made up the original charter - 19 members. On March 1, 1868, work started on a church building on 3 1/2 acres of land donated by the Stirewalt family. The first church, a frame building was 40' x 60.' The whole cost was about $2,000.00, including donated lumber. It was built by the members; men, women and children. The building was dedicated (free of debt) on January 31, 1869 and the name Ebenezer was given using scripture found in 1 Samuel 7:12.

Throughout the late 19th century and the 20th Century, the congregation of Ebenezer went through many changes such as joint parish agreements, fielding seminarians in ministry, denominational mergers and splits, and expansion of the church building and campus. The congregation has witnessed numerous societal changes as well such as reconstruction, the Great Depression, World Wars, and the Civil Rights Movement. Additionally, the population of the Ebenezer congregation has blossomed from the original 6 families to include members from a wide array of places and backgrounds.  With so many changes, Ebenezer's commitment to the Holy Gospel and the teachings of Christ have remained steadfast. Our doors have always proven to be open to new life and growth in ministry, and while we do cherish our past, we are committed to building upon our future!


Some interesting facts:
    •    Salary of the first Pastor was $150.00 per month
    •    First child baptized August 11, 1867
    •    First marriage January 23, 1868
    •    First burial in Ebenezer cemetery - February 5, 1869
    •    Entered into Organ-Ebenezer Parish - 1879; Dissolved in 1927
    •    Church building extended 12 feet, steeple built and bell placed in tower around 1914
    •    Entered into Ebenezer-Mt. Herman Parish - 1930; Dissolved in 1947