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Lutheran Church, Baltimore, German language, slavery, prohibition, Civil War


In 1864 a pastor walked into the Superior Court of Baltimore and sued his Congregation. The pastor, Reverend Leonhard Frederick Zimmerman (Rev. Zimmerman), wanted to be reinstated to his position as pastor of the St. Stephen’s German Evangelical Lutheran Church (St. Stephen’s), following a close vote calling for his dismissal. The Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed the reinstatement of the Rev. Zimmerman, however neither case discussed the underlying reason for his dismissal. In this project it was necessary to explore the Lutheran Church during the Civil War by studying the history of the Lutheran Church in America, the history of St. Stephen’s, and the biographies of the individuals involved in the case to uncover areas of conflict. Three potential reasons emerged: the use of the German Language, Slavery, or Prohibition of alcohol.


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