Glade Church was founded in 1750 by Rev. Michael Schlatter, a German Reformed pastor. The original church was located on the outskirts of Walkersville (1750 to 1896) and then moved to Fulton Avenue (1896 to present).
Around 1748, the Rev. Michael Schlatter from the Holland Synod was sent to the Monocacy area to organize churches for the German Reformed settlers. Rev. Schlatter wrote that “a new Reformed congregation was formed in 1750,” and referred to it as “the Church in the Glades.”
From 1750 until 1833, Glade Church was part of the Frederick Charge, which included most of the German Reformed churches. There were 10 pastors, including Rev. Schlatter, serving this charge.
Soon after the formation of the congregation, a log church was built on Glade Road about one and a half miles from Walkersville. At about the same time, a log schoolhouse was built across the road. It remained in operation until after the Civil War. Land adjacent to the log church was used as a “graveyard,” a well-maintained cemetery to this day.
As part of the Frederick Charge, many developments took place at Glade:
- In 1781, Glade Church was granted by the Maryland General Assembly about five acres of land from the Daniel Dulaney estate, Monocacy Manor; this was being farmed by the John Cramer family who had allegedly received the land from Lord Baltimore to settle.
- Following new and repaired log churches, a brick structure was built in 1781.
- John Winebrenner, born in Walkersville and baptized and reared in Glade Church, was mentored by and guided into the ministry by the Rev. John Helffenstein (pastor from 1811-1828). The Rev. Winebrenner went on to serve German Reformed churches in the Harrisburg, PA area. He embraced the ideas and worship style of the evangelistic fervor of the day and went on to form the Church of God in the U.S.A. Glade Church still maintains The Winebrenner Fund, a bequest from Arie Winebrenner given in 1942 for “foreign missions.”
- In 1823, Americanization of the German churches, including Glade, resulted in English, instead of German, being used in services.
- In 1833, the Reformed congregations at Glade, Woodsboro, and Creagerstown became Glade Charge. Later, the Charge was re-aligned to include only Glade and St. John’s, Woodsboro.
The Rev. Atville Conner (1892-1898) oversaw Glade Church’s move from the country to the town of Walkersville in “the Mt. Pleasant District” on one acre of land purchased from John H. Stauffer. The new church was built and dedicated in 1896. In 1899, the old church was torn down and materials from it were used to build a new parsonage next to the church.
In 1915, a new organ was installed and later electrified. Electric lights were used for the first time in 1916.
In 1957, Glade Church became part of the United Church of Christ, and changed its name to Glade United Church of Christ (UCC). In 1983, Glade Charge was dissolved, and St. John’s and Glade became single churches. Complete renovations of the sanctuary, social hall, and part of the Educational Wing, making the facilities handicapped-accessible and unifying the worship space, were completed in 1997. In 2000, as Glade UCC entered and embraced the 21st century, the people of Glade celebrated 250 years as a congregation.