In 1870 the Reverend Samuel Bouknight
gathered together in Leesville a group of
Lutherans who were hungering for the Means of
Grace. So eager were these people for worship
services that they improvised a brush arbor as a
place of worship. Pastor Bouknight conducted
their first services, organized them into a
congregation, and became their first pastor.
They later worshipped in the upper room of a
two-story blacksmith shop nearby.
Mr. David Shealy, a Methodist who lived at the end
of Main Street, donated a building lot for the
church, but it was exchanged for the original plot
of the present church, parsonage and cemetery
lot. The name Luther Chapel was chosen for the
new congregation, the first church to be
This brief history is condensed from
Joan Caughman's account in
Wittenberg Cooks: Leesville, South
established in Leesville. A plain, unceiled frame building was constructed in 1874.
The building remained unceiled until the Reverend Emanuel Caughman gave the
material and had the building ceiled for the congregation. It served well until about
1887 when members, many of whom drove horse and buggy for miles, devoted
their hands to constructing a second building -- a frame structure with Gothic
windows and a bell tower, about the same size as the first building.
The congregation continued to grow, and in 1918 the present building was
constructed. It is an imposing and handsome building, with its bell tower and
cross-crowned steeple spire pointing heavenward, visible for miles.
When planning the new church building, in the spring of 1917, the congregation
decided that the name of the church should be changed. Wittenberg was adopted
as the new name, in honor of the birthplace of the Lutheran Church and because
the year 1917 was the 400th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
In 1950, a two-story parish building with a basement social hall and kitchen was
built for educational and social activities. In 2004, a total renovation of the church,
educational building and the parsonage was completed.
And Wittenberg continues to grow! Check out the Facilities link for information on
our latest addition.
|GATHERED IN BAPTISM. FED BY WORSHIP. SENT OUT AS SERVANTS.
|Wittenberg Lutheran Church
PO Box 3447 + 233 North Lee Street + Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29070
Church phone: 803-532-4636 + Church email: email@example.com
Service of Word and Sacrament
At 8:30 a.m. each Sunday we celebrate Holy
Communion and worship through a variety of musical
styles and instrumentation.
At the 11:00 a.m. service we use worship settings from
the Evangelical Lutheran Book of Worship. Musical
worship includes choir-led harmony from an
assortment of hymnals. Holy Communion is
celebrated on Festival Sundays and the first Sunday of
In addition to Wednesday Lenten services, Wittenberg
holds Christmas and Easter Vigils, semi-annual Taize
(plainchant worship) services, and a Service of the
Word for Healing in the fall.
The Blessing of the Animals
This special service is held at 4:00 p.m. on the second
Sunday in October on the church grounds.
Nursery and programs are available for infants and
toddlers. Children's Church is available for young