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Historic Landmark Preservation Commission: Richland Lutheran Church & Cemetery

Richland Lutheran Church

Richland Lutheran Church cemetery

Headstone, 1811

Headstone of Cathrine Codle, 1814

Headstone of David Ritsman, 1841

Grave marker carved into a tree stump

Richland Lutheran Church

Richland Lutheran Church and cemetery

Read the Cultural Heritage Site Designation Report

Read the Cultural Heritage Site Resolution

Richland Lutheran Church was the first of that denomination to be located in Randolph County. The original membership came from the combined Lutheran and Reform German immigrants who worshiped together at Barton’s Meeting House (ca. 1766), now Liberty Grove United Methodist Church. The church was organized in 1789 by the Rev. Christian Eberhart Bernhardt, pastor of three other Lutheran congregations in Guilford and Orange Counties. The first church was built in 1790. After a doctrinal split in 1820, two congregations shared the church until 1849. On July 14, 1849, the Evangelical Lutheran congregation voted to build a new meeting house “12 feet high, 35 feet wide and 55 feet long,” to be paid for by subscription. The 1849 building exists virtually unaltered, with 9/9 sash windows and one-panel double doors. The church has been inactive since 1850. The adjacent cemetery has many unusual early tombstones.