Founded in 1755, Zion Church is the oldest Lutheran congregation in Maryland. German Lutherans began settling in Baltimore Town shortly after it was laid out in 1730. Relying on itinerant preachers from Pennsylvania, the small struggling community worshipped in private homes until 1762. In that year they built their first church on a hill one block north of here.
In 1807-08 George Rohrback and Johann Mackenheimer, both members of the congregation designed the present church facing Gay Street. The adjoining parish hall and tower, added in 1912-13, were designed by T. W. Pietsch.
The eminent scholar Henry Scheib, sixth pastor of Zion Church, founder "Scheib's School" in 1836. For decades, the bilingual school was a landmark in liberal education, attended by children of different faiths. Zion's many traditions include a language school, a weekly service in German and the hospitable practice of opening the garden at midday for those who seek a quiet lunchtime retreat.
Inside the church there is a 15,000 volume library of German theological works and a collection of Victorian and Art Nouveau stained glass windows. The two represented below depict the diverse contributions of the German inhabitants of Baltimore ranging from shipping to singing.