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Zion Lutheran Church was founded in 1745. Some say it may be the oldest Lutheran congregation in Lexington County; we are certainly one of the oldest in the state. The settlement of this area originated with a plan proposed by Royal Governor Robert Johnson to establish 11 townships in the South Carolina frontier. The townships were intended to provide a defensive perimeter from Indians and Spaniards around the settled areas of the Lowcountry. One of the proposed townships was Saxe Gotha, which was located between Sandy Run on the Congaree River and Twelve Mile Creek on the township's northern boundary. The majority of settlers to the new township were from Germany, with others migrating from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Although there is no written record of the founding of Zion Lutheran Church, there is evidence that the first church in 1745 was near the banks of the Saluda River. An early frontier fort was built near here by Godfrey Dreher on land that he received in the 1740's. During the Cherokee War in 1760, the fort provided protection from hostile Indians for 121 men, women, and children. Near the fort on Twelve Mile Creek was the first location of Zion Church.


Zion is part of the ELCA — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — which resulted from a union of three North American Lutheran church bodies. The ELCA has over 10,000 congregations and nearly five million baptized members.


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