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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Madison in Madison County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hebron Lutheran Church

 
 
Hebron Lutheran Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
1. Hebron Lutheran Church Marker
Inscription. Nearby stands Hebron Lutheran Church. This cruciform church was built in 1740 and is America’s oldest church in continuous use by Lutherans. The congregation was formed by 1725 by German families, some of whom arrived to Virginia in 1717 to work at Germanna, Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood’s frontier mining community. The church was enlarged about 1800 and a pipe organ crafted by David Tannenburg of Lititz, Pennsylvania. was installed. The interior of the church has elaborate frescoed ceilings painted by the Italian born artist Joseph Oddenino. It was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
 
Erected 2000 by Department of Historic Resources. (Marker Number JE-4.)
 
Location. 38° 23.728′ N, 78° 15.271′ W. Marker is near Madison, Virginia, in Madison County. Marker is on North Blue Ridge Turnpike (Virginia Route 231) south of Hebron Church Road (County Route 638), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Madison VA 22727, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jackson’s March to Fredericksburg (approx. 0.7 miles away); James L. Kemper Residence
Hebron Lutheran Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
2. Hebron Lutheran Church Marker
(approx. 0.8 miles away); Joseph Early Home (approx. 4.4 miles away); Oak Grove Baptist Church (approx. 4.4 miles away); A Camp of Stonewall Jackson’s (approx. 5.8 miles away); Battle of Jack’s Shop (approx. 6.1 miles away); Engagement at James City (approx. 6.6 miles away); Battle of James City (approx. 7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Madison.
 
More about this marker. This marker replaces a marker with this same number titled “Hebron Church” from the late 1920s that stood 6 miles further north on this highway. It read “One mile south stands Hebron Church, the oldest Lutheran church in the South, built about 1740. The first communion service bears the date, Mary 13, 1727; another date, March 28, 1737. The organ was built in 1800.”
 
Regarding Hebron Lutheran Church. Church is one mile from this marker on Hebron Church Road at Blankenbaker Road.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Mitchells Presbyterian Church in Culpeper County
Hebron Lutheran Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
3. Hebron Lutheran Church
Notice the equestrian mounting and dismounting platform. There are two others on either side of the church. These were once quite important when parishoners arrived on horseback in their Sunday finery.
was also decorated by Joseph Oddenino. And there is a marker to the organ-maker, David Tannenberg, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvaniia.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Germanna Colonies In Virginia — History. “In 1717, a Second Colony of Germans came to Germanna and were settled across the river from Germanna in the Great Fork. They were Lutherans from the Palatinate and Baden-Wurttemberg regions of Germany. They paid passage to their intended destination, Pennsylvania, but the captain landed in Virginia where he demanded more money. Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood paid this extortion, in exchange for an indenture of 7 years on the Germans. The truth of the matter here is that the Captain, Andrew Tarbett was in cahoots with Governor Spotswood, and this additional money was the captain’s “bonus” for bringing the Germans to Virginia rather than Pennsylvania. ...

“The Colonists of 1717 and 1719 remained in the Germanna neighborhood until 1725 or 1726 when they acquired land in Madison County. Many of these names are prominent in Madison and the surrounding area today. The Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison County remains today with an active congregation after being built by these Germanna Settlers in 1740.” (Submitted on June 1, 2008.) 

2. Hebron Lutheran Church. “Located
Hebron Lutheran Church image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
4. Hebron Lutheran Church
This shot is from within the cemetery on the other side of the road.
just north of Madison, VA, the Hebron Lutheran Church is the oldest continuously operating Lutheran Church in the U.S. and is one of a handful of wooden Virginia churches that pre-date the Revolutionary War.” This page has a photo of the interior. (Submitted on June 1, 2008.) 
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
Hebron Cemetery Entrance image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
5. Hebron Cemetery Entrance
Storm clouds are seen receeding in the distance.
Hebron Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
6. Hebron Cemetery
Church is behind the photographer. Church and cemetery are out in the country surrounded by pastures on all sides. This view is to the south.
Hebron Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, June 1, 2008
7. Hebron Cemetery
This view is to the east. Gravestone on the left reads “Tillman N. Banks, born Feb. 1, 1893, died Nov 4, 1922. Veteran of the World War. Gone but not forgotten.” Double gravestone on the right reads “Samuel N. Banks, Mar. 31, 1834, Feb. 14, 1920. At rest.” And “Sarah Lee Banks, Sept. 5, 1866, April 18, 1919. At rest.”
“Hebron Lutheran Church. Built in 1740. As it looks at present.” image. Click for full size.
J.J. Prats Postcard Collection
8. “Hebron Lutheran Church. Built in 1740. As it looks at present.”
Caption continues, “Still in use and has the old pipe organ which is used for church services. Near Madison, Va.” This undated unused “Gloss Tone” postcard was published by the Madison Drug Company, Madison, Virginia and manufactured by Fort Wayne Printing Co., Fort Wayne, Ind. It is numbered B-528.
David Tannenburg Organ, Hebron Lutheran Church, Madison, Va. image. Click for full size.
J.J. Prats Postcard Collection
9. David Tannenburg Organ, Hebron Lutheran Church, Madison, Va.
Caption continues, “Organ built 1800. Brought south from Lititz, Pa. by ox cart and installed 1802. Only Tannenburg extant without major alterations. Restored and refurbished, 1970.” Undated unused color postcard was published by Camera Center, 913 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22903, and made by Dexter Press, New York, New York. It is numbered 29078-D.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 5,236 times since then and 7 times this year. Last updated on , by PaulwC3 of Northern, Virginia. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   8, 9. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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