Since 1771, St Paul's Lutheran Church has connected people to God through Sunday worship and encouraging members to give back to the community.
The congregation was organized as "Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Jerusalem, Washington County, Maryland, in 1771. The first pastor was Charles Frederick Wildbahn. A log church, erected on Town Lot #156 in 1772, was shared with the German Reformed congregation. On July 17, 1803, Articles of Incorporation were adopted making the Union Church in Funkstown the first religious corporation in Washington County. A county-wide lottery, authorized by the State Legislature, was held in 1810 for the purpose of raising funds to repair the old log church.
In 1812, the Rev. Solomon Schaeffer became the first Lutheran pastor to preach in English in the Funkstown church. Lutherans purchased the eastern half of town lot #4 in April, 1850. On Christmas Day of that year the new church building was consecrated. The union with the reformed congregation was officially dissolved on February 21, 1857. Fire, of undetermined origin, completely destroyed the original log church on August 3, 1859.
For 91 years the Lutherans in Funkstown were served by pastors from St. John's Hagerstown. That relationship ended in 1859 when the congregation received the western half of town lot #4 and a house from the estate of Anna Schultz. A parish, consisting of Funkstown, Beaver Creek and Bakersville was formed and Amos Copenhaver was called to be the first resident Lutheran pastor in Funkstown.
On February 7, 1886, the corporate title of the congregation was changed to "St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Funkstown, Maryland." In 1888, the "envelope system" of church giving was instituted in an effort to solve long-standing financial problems. When the church was built in 1850, the east wall was placed just inches inside the property line. In order to provide horse and buggies access off of Baltimore Street to the standing area behind the church, a 10x233 foot piece of ground along the east side of the property was purchased from Salome and M.L. Stockslager in 1889.
Men chewing tobacco and spitting on the floor of the church became a cause of consternation to the vestry, the sexton and the ladies. In 1892, a rule prohibiting the spitting of tobacco juice in the church was adopted. The local Justice of the Peace was authorized to collect fines of "not less than three dollars and not more than five dollars" levied on offenders.
The first church budget was adopted in February 1893. It was estimated that the "sum of $530 is necessary to meet all expenses of the congregation for each year, including pastor's salary, sexton's salary, fuel and other necessary objects".
Fire insurance was purchased in December 1894, two years before a fire in the church - "around the heater in the center of the floor" - occurred in April 1896. Damages, paid by the insurance, totaled $12.50.
Major changes were made to the external appearance of the church building in 1897. The Narthex, originally an open porch, was enclosed. The west stairs leading to the balcony were removed and stairs leading down to the "Audience Room" beneath the church put in their place.
Electric lights were installed in the parsonage in May 1902. Forty three electric globes were lighted in the church on June 24th.
A brick wall, running the width of the church property, was removed in 1907. At the same time the original clear panes of window glass were replaced with "Gothic" glass.
Millionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie made the purchase of the first church organ possible. At the request of Pastor Remsburg, Mr. Carnegie agreed to pay one-half of the price if the congregation would agree to pay the other half and also donate $10 each year for 10 years to a needy church or Sunday School. The organ, costing $500, was installed in 1911. To improve acoustics and reduce heating costs, a metal ceiling was installed that same year.