The township of New Ebenezer, founded in 1736, has a heritage as rich as America. Settled by Lutheran Salzburgers seeking a place of religious freedom and a chance for a new beginning, it grew to about 2,000 residents. Each family was given a town lot for their home, a two-acre garden plot on the town’s edge and a 50-acre farm further out.
Historic Jerusalem Lutheran Church was completed in 1769, and still has worship services today as the oldest Lutheran church in America with a continuously active congregation.
The British captured the town in 1779. Most of the homes were destroyed and many Salzburgers fled to their farms. The church was used as a hospital by the British, then as a storehouse for their supplies, and finally as a stable for their horses. Patriots, under the command of General Anthony Wayne, drove the British out in 1782.
Ebenezer became the first capital of Georgia. John A. Treutlen, a member of the Jerusalem congregation, was the first governor.