north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

      Nazareth Lutheran Church, in the Rural Hall community of Forsyth County, was organized about 1778 by the Reverend Adolph Nussman. The church property, secured in 1790, included 102 acres on Beaver Dam Creek, bordering “Fessler’s line.” During the early years, the congregation was served both by traveling Lutheran clergy and by visiting Moravians. In the Moravian records the church is called the Beaver Dam Church or “the German Church near Fessler’s” but for many years it was known as the Old Dutch Meeting House. The Reverend Gottlieb Shober was ordained by the Lutheran Synod in 1810 and accepted the call to minister the parish that included present-day Davie, Davidson, and Forsyth counties. It has been written of his efforts that “the congregations in Forsyth County near Salem were greatly built up by the efficient labors of the first pastor, the Rev. Gottlieb Shober.”

      In 1863 most of the church land, 92 acres, was sold in order to fund a new church facility. The new building was not constructed until 1878. Still in use today, the church is a simple brick gable-front structure with two front doors. Several additions and improvements have been added over the years. The cemetery behind the church contains some eighteenth century German-inscribed tombstones.

Adelade Fries, Stuart Thurman Wright, and J. Edwin Hendricks, Forsyth: The History of a County on the March (1976)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, V, 339-340—sketch of Gottlieb Shober by James S. Brawley
Gwynne Stephens Taylor, From Frontier to Factory: An Architectural History of Forsyth County (1981)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

Nazareth Church

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources