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“E” is for Ebenezer Colony

South Carolina A to Z larger logo

“E” is for Ebenezer colony. Ebenezer, founded in 1734, was located some twenty-five miles up the Savannah River on the Georgia side. This unique settlement of Lutheran refugees from Salzburg, Austria, was included in the Lutheran Synod of South Carolina until 1860. Its early inhabitants caught the imagination of many on both sides of the Atlantic because of their courage under persecution, their industry, and their singular piety. Blessed with strong pastoral leadership, Ebenezer for a time regularly sent sermons and devotional literature to South Carolina Lutherans who were not as well organized. The colony became increasingly critical of their South Carolina neighbors who seemed more interested in economic gain than a life of discipleship. Evangelist George Whitefield admired the Salzburgers and characterized Ebenezer as the biblical land of Goshen in the midst of Egypt.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.