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The Birthplace of Effingham County

Jerusalem Lutheran Church

Jerusalem Lutheran Church

The old red brick church building at Ebenezer is the only structure that remains of the early colonial town.  This treasure of Salzburger and German heritage is known by several names – the Old Salzburger Church or, more often, simply Ebenezer Church.  Officially and correctly, it is Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.

However, the church is the people – the members that comprise the congregation.  This church community dates from 1733 when organized at St. Anna Church in Augsburg, Germany.  Its first pastors, Johann Martin Boltzius and Israel Christian Gronau, met and joined with their flock in Rotterdam, Holland.  From there pastors and congregation traveled to the colony of Georgia as the First Salzburger Transport, arriving in Savannah on March 12, 1734.

The building of the current structure was begun in 1767 and it was completed in 1769.  The bricks are handmade and fingerprints can be observed in several places of the exterior walls.  The historical brick edifice is the oldest church building in Georgia and sometimes it is called the oldest public building in the state.  Jerusalem Church is still a very active congregation and, historically, it is the oldest continuing Lutheran congregation in America worshipping in the same building.  Church services are held every Sunday morning at 11:00am.