History of the Lutherans in Tennessee

History of the Lutherans in Tennessee

From History of Tennessee From the Earliest Time to The Present
Goodspeed Publishing Co.
Nashville, TN

Retyped for the page by Diane Payne & Danene Vincent, 1998.

The Lutherans are among the oldest denomination in Tennessee, congregations of whom organized as early as 1800. The first Lutheran church in Middle Tennessee was established about 1825 by Rev. William Jenkins. It was located near Shelbyville, on Duck River, and was known as the "Shaffner Church." The growth of the denomination in the State has been somewhat slow, owing to the small foreign immigration. The number of ministers, too has never equaled the demand, consequently many Lutherans have united with other denominations. In 1850 there were twelve organizations in the State; in 1860 eighteen, and 1870 twenty-two. The membership at the present time is about 9,000 of which much the larger part is in East Tennessee. It is divided among three district synods, as follows: Middle Tennessee Synod, a district of the General Synod, numbering 910 members; Holston Synod, with a membership of 1,566, and forming a district under the General Council, and the Tennessee Synod (independent), with a membership of 8,185. Only a portion of the last named is included in the State of Tennessee. The Holston Synod supports a very excellent college at Mosheim, in Greene County. It was first organized in 1869, and after a suspension of several years was reopened in 1884.

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