Few churches in Georgia have had the bizarre history of this landmark. Its origins are in 1734, when Austrians emigrating from Salzburg founded the church. Although most of the Salzburgers settled in a community called Ebenezer outside Savannah, not all of them did. The Reverend Johann Bolzius, who had created the Ebenezer New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, came back to Savannah in 1741 to found this church for the Salzburgers who had settled in the historic core. A wooden structure originally stood on this site, until a Greek Revival church replaced it in 1844. Thirty-five years later, architect George B. Clarke added the second floor and the medieval-style turrets. Today it’s a fine example of the Grecian-Doric style that swept eastern America. When General Sherman invaded Savannah in 1864, the church pew cushions were used as beds by his soldiers, and the pews themselves were used as firewood. The church was turned into a hospital for the sick and wounded. Although the building was damaged, it was not destroyed. Today it’s known for its spectacular “Ascension Window” inside the sanctuary behind the pulpit, and for its rose window featuring Martin Luther and his coat of arms in front of the building.
- Frommer's Staff