Tour Stop 1 - Dunker Church
"May it stand as it did in war – as a beacon to guide men searching their way through the darkness. May it stand throughout all ages as a symbol of mercy, peace, and understanding."
Maryland Governor Millard Tawes, Church Rededication Service, September 2, 1962
The Battle of Antietam was the bloodiest one-day battle in American History. Yet ironically one of the most noted landmarks on this field of combat is a house of worship associated with peace and love. This historic church was built by local German Baptist Brethren in 1852 on land donated by local farmer Samuel Mumma. The name "Dunker" comes from their practice of full immersion baptism. During its early history the congregation consisted of about a half-dozen farm families from the local area. Although heavily damaged during the battle by rifle and artillery fire, the church survived, only to be blown down by a windstorm in 1921. Rebuilt for the Civil War Centennial, it stands today as not only a step back in time, but also as a solemn reminder of the impact the battle had on the local families.