The Danish Lutheran Congregation held its first worship service in September 1734 in a small room at Fort Christianværn in Christiansted.
Construction of a permanent church home began in 1750 at a site located across from the present post office in Christiansted, now known as the Steeple Building. This new location was consecrated on 27 May 1753 as the Lutheran Church of the Zebaoth (meaning Church of the Lord of Hosts). Worship services were conducted at this site for 78 years. A temporary move of the services to St. John’s Anglican Church occurred in 1831 when the Steeple Building became unsafe, as a result of damages from hurricanes that occurred in 1825 and in 1827.
Learning of the need for a replacement sanctuary, the Dutch Reformed Church Congregation, who were leaving St. Croix, offered their building - constructed sometime before 1740 - to the Lutheran Wardens. With a loan of 4,000 Rdls. (approximately $20,000 US Dollars) from Denmark to do rehabilitation work on the building, the offer was accepted. Not only was a larger sanctuary now available for the growing number of Lutheran parishioners, the building located at # 4 King Street, was just one block north of the old church.
Rehabilitation of the Church lasted from 1831 until 1834 under the direction of Governor General Peter von Scholten. All the interior fittings from the Steeple Building were relocated to the new Church home. The gallery, sacristy, side entrance vestibules, and bell tower we see today were also added at the time.
All was made ready to receive the prayers of the faithful as the first service was held on 25 July 1834 in the newly constructed Lord God of Sabaoth Church.
The hanging chandeliers, the aisle brackets, the communion candlesticks and the mahogany Governor’s pew were gifts of Governor Peter von Scholten in 1833. The wood used for clergy and regular pews moved from the Steeple Building is native mahogany fashioned in the 1700's. The brass Lectern standing at the SW corner of the Church originally was a hanging chandelier with crystal arms from the Steeple Building.
The Reredos picture frame behind the altar made of local mahogany was crafted in the 1700's. The silver candelabra on the altar was first used in worship services in the Fort in the early 1700's. The marble Baptismal Font with silver basin was a gift of Johannes Söbötker in memorial to his son Adam Levin, the first child baptized in the Church in 1760. The sterling silver Chalice, Paten and Spoon still in use were gifts of King Christian VI of Denmark in 1741. Floor tiles are of Italian marble originally installed in the Steeple Building in 1794. The bell was moved from the Steeple Building and hung in the tower. It was cast in Copenhagen in 1793, and has been rung ever since its arrival in St. Croix in 1794 to call worshipers in service.
"Hic quiecit Qui nunguam, ex quo vir factua In Evangelio propogand quievit Quigue Ni ardens proferendæ religionis ftudium
Occupasfet animum, In Patria Mollius, et, fortean, diutius, vivere, Atqve tranqville qviefcere potuisfet Plurimum reverendus et fanctus, Dnus. Johannes Jacobus Stoud Evangelicæ, per novennium, fidus Antiftes Eccelsiæ In Insula Sanctæ Crucis, Totidem annis proctavit patienter crucem, Quam
In hac novi orbis Sardinia Anno ætatis XLII raptus Cum corporis exuvits depofuit.
Spørg, Læfer Sjæland, Sant: Cruz, Sant: Thomas og Sant: Jean Om udi hellig Jver man hands liige finde tand Vil du Landsmand. vide meere om denne falige Buds Tienere! Da er han föd udi Chriftianfand i Norge d. 27 Sept. Kl. 4re 1707, hans Fader var Velædle og Höylærde nu falige Hr. Mag. Otto Stoud Sognepræft til Hvidefös i Tillemarken: som var en Sön af hands Höylædle Höyærværdighed nu fal. Hr. Mag. Ludvig Stoud Bifkop over Chirftianfands Stift i Norge, hans Moder Mad. Ingeborg Beerman Velædle of Veliife nu fl: St: Hans Iacob Beerman, kongt: Maits. Byefoged i Chriftianfand, eenefte Daater, fom med sin Søn vores afdödes eenesfte Broder Hr. Ludvig Stoud Sognepræft till Kiældbye paa Møen førgende efterlever Han er opfödtog oplærdt udi den Konge! Skole i Friderichs-borg, udi Siæland till Aarte 1728, da hand kom til det Kongelige Univerfitæt i Kiöbenhavn, hvor han forblev of fuldförte fine Studeringer indtil 1740, da hand govillig pantog fig at gaae fom Præst til St: Cruz. Her indgik hand et Kierligt Ægteskab med Velædle og dydzirede Matrone Ma: Magdalene Jall. Fom til fin sal: Mands Thukommelfe haver ladet denne Liigsteen bekofte. Hand døde falig efter en langvarig Sygdom d. 19 April `749 Hun fulgte hannem efter d. 25 Aug. 1769.
"Fru Gouvermeurinde Johanne Feddersen F. Deegen født i Kjøbenhavn den 1 April 1816 død paa St Croix den 22 November 1835 Blomsterne visne og Glæderne svinde Altsom Tiderne skifte paa Jord Dog kan ei Tiden udslette dette Minde Som i den trofaste Kjælighed boer. Dette Minde sttes den Uforglemmelige Aføde af hengivne of taknemmelige Medborgerinder paa St. Croix. Herunder hviler Hans Excellence Peter Clausen hans Konglige Majestæt til Danmark og Norge etc. Ridder af Dannebrog Generallieutenant af Infanteriet of Generalgouverneur over alle de danske Eylande i Amerika Fød den 2den December 1721 Død den 24 Juni 1784 Alstaa 62 Aar og 6 Maaneder 22 Dage. Denne Inskription staar indgraveret paa Pladen som fandtes paa Kisten.
"In Gratam Memoriam Vxoris Dilectæ Probæ Oprimæ Annæ Mariæ Kreutzer Qvæ Per Annos Dvm Vixit Hev! Pavcos XLIX Fvit Sexvs Svi Decvs Et Ornmanentvm Mariti Pariter Ac Amicorvm Amor Et Diliciæ Honoribvs Licet Avcta Invidiæ Expers Pietatis Hoc Monvmentvm Posvit Maritvs Lvgens Pretrvs De Clausen Eqv. Avrat. Ord. Danebrog. Nec Non Legatvs Et Insvllarvm Danorvm Ditioni In Indies Occidentalibvs Svbiectarvm Præfectvs Generalis Nat. Die II. Nov. MDCCXXXIV Ob. Die XI Septemb. MDCCLXXXIII
I. Wiedeweldt. Hafn."
"Til Taknemlig Erindring om Generalleutenant of Ridder af Dannebrogordenen Peter Clausen’s Generalguverneur over de danske vestindiske Øer, opreistes dette Monument af St. Croix’s Borgere, Da hans iordiske Levninger efter 50 Aars Hvile udi den forrige, danske Kirke i Christiansted bleve forflyttede hetil Anno 1835. Denne Mindesten sattes under Tilsyn af:
St. Croix’s Borgerraad,hvis Medlemmer da vare: Andrew Lang, Robert Smith, William Beech, William Kerr, Thomas Busby, Robert Innes Grant
Bygningskommissionen for denne Kirkes Istandsættelse, som bestod af: Peter de Nully, Johannes van Sollingen, Magens, Jens Klint Bagger, Henry Keutsch, Peter Eggert Benzon.
|Church #5 covered by piano, picture and inscription at a later date.|
"Lucas De Wint Junior Geboren den 6 Juny 1755 & Overleden den 14 July 1758"
"Hier Rust Lucas De Wint Van Grooten Klyn Bemint Omzynge trou wen Handel Zyn Zieloontfangt by Godt Hetgroot Genaden Lot Opzynenroomenwadel Natus op St. Thomas III December MDCCXXI Dena tusop St. Croix XXX MDCCLVII."
"Christian Seeberg Geboren den 18den van Winfermaand Ao. 1751 en, Overleeden den 14den van Louwmaand Ao 1757 Ik, Stierf ind, Opgang, van, myn, ieugd Toentlicht, my, naauwlyks, was, beschooren K was, vaders, Troostk. Was. Moders, vreugd Maarkost, myn’ Schepper Tneest bekooren Myn, Ouders’ treurt Gy, om, myn, Lot ‘K, ben, doot, by, u, Maar ‘k, leef, by, i God."
"Hier onder Rust de Hoog Wel Gebooren Me Vrouwe Anna Maria Clausen Gebooren de Creutzer aansheowde het Ligt der Weereld op. S. Thomas den 2de Novembr. 1734 Trad in het Huwely mit Syne Excellensie den Heere Peter Clausen syne Kooninglyke Mayesteit van Denemarken & Norwegen etc. etc. Ridder van den Dannebrog Orden Lietenant General der Infanterie en Deensche Americansche Eylanden den 18 de Augusti 1750 Ging i haare Ruste in op Ste. Croix den 11de. Septembr. 1783 oud 48 Jaaren 10 Maanden en 9 Daagen."
|There are also seven tombstones lining the northwest corner of the Church's exterior. They are numbered from left to right. All of there exterior inscriptions are found below in their translated forms.|
"Reader: What you see here contains the earthly remains of Christian Friederich Lauberg His Royal Majesty's state councilor and assignee to the Westindian Government Born the 6th of December 1731 died the 9th of September 1787 On the rarely visited roads of industry and righteousness he wandered always and surely ahead Every quiet active virtue guided him. So he was really what so many would like to appear to be. Not all eyes can see worth when it labors in silence but its reward shall not therefore be lacking"
"Carl Henrick Jacob Schimmelmann Born the 17th of July 1776 Died the 17th of February 1780."
"The light of the just shall please but thee lantern of the godless shall be extinguished So speak the wise: chapter 13.9 "The wreaths of honor belong therefore with reason upon the URN that hides the ash of now blessed Ships Captain Mr. Jacob Bølle born in Nachskov on Lolland the 9th of July 1744 observed on the highest as the obedient son of his aged mother, as the loving brother and support of relatives, as a reasonable benefactor of windows and needy, as a honest and obliging man towards all, in short as a Christian who labors towards living justly and dying blessed.
Therefore he is missed by all just men who knew him in life.
He entered into eternity the 28 December 1777 but still lives in the memory of the good for the pious never die.
"Carolina Sabina von Schimmelmann born the 3rd of February 1778 died the 6 of June 1778."
|Church # 14
"Under this marble is hidden what the earth has regained and love must miss of well breed and well born H. Jacob Anders en Disching Thun Harbormaster on St. Croix. Born in Bergen in Norway the 29th of August 1723. Ready to leave for his beloved fatherland he soon longed for his most beloved the 9th of May 1776. "Reader Prepare Yourself.""
"Cecilia Maria Suhr born the 28th of October 1776 and died the 1st of January 1778"
Here rest the bones of Mr. Philip Friederich Hensler who was merchant and trader of St. Thomas in the Westindies The deceased saw the light of this world the 18th of June of the 1739th year in Kaltenkirchen of the duchy of Holenstein and after he as a youth of 20 years left his mother country out of a noble desire to improve his worldly welfare and occupied himself with trade in this part of the world did the Divine of High from whom comes all the good things of this world, let many good things happen to him in these lands of the quick and the richly blessed his affairs.
These worldly blessings were further exalted thru two marriages.
After he married Madam Adriana Dorlow, who, to his greatest sorrow, was torn from his side and given over to the death in the Father country. He then entered into wedlock with Madam Anna Maria born De Wint and had the pleasure in this last marriage to have a daughter,
But just as he was preparing to seek his mother country again to enjoy the fruits of his industry, quietly, in honor of his creator it so happened to this man that death suddenly denied this firm decision and on the 22nd of March of the 1776th year, after he had brought his earthly life to 36 years 9 months and 4 days, that he by his Savior, to draw in his own, thru a saintly death was led into the lordly kingdom to the sincere sorrow of a distant and bereaved mother, a tender wife and most faithful of five brothers and many friends with the memory of a good Christian, faithful-husband, obedient son, affectionate brother and honest friend.
He is no more but in a higher sphere he lives in heavens Gladness Were his better part thru the tomb not enthroned where then were consolation for our sadness?
He lives in the world of the risen host his life carried forth forever what does not here come to fruit ripens and blooms there."