Arends/Nussmann Memorial, Rockwell
The Arends/Nussmann memorial consists of two tall square or rectangular shaped stone columns with incised inscriptions on each side. The columns are joined at the top with a similar shaped lintel. The lintel also holds an inscription on each side and Lamp of Learning and Luther’s Rose symbols. Centered between the two columns is a stone panel holding the primary inscriptions. The memorial stands on a double stone foundation and is surrounded by low wall of stone block.
Images: The North side of the memorial JOHANN GOTTFRIED ARENDS | The view of the south face of the memorial (ADOLPHUS NUSSMANN) and (Organ) Zion Lutheran Church
Lintel, both sides: THE BEGINNING OF LUTHERAN / MINISTRY AND EDUCATION / IN NORTH CAROLINA
Right Column, when facing cemetery, both sides: 1773 / EDUCATION
Left Column, when facing cemetery, both sides: 1773 / PROCLAMATION
South face: NUSSMANN / ADOLPHUS NUSSMANN / JULY 12, 1739-NOVEMBER, 1794 A MAN OF TREMENDOUS FAITH, A SCHOLAR WITH / THEOLOGICAL INSIGHT, A FRANCISCAN CHRISTIAN / WITH COMPASSION FOR HIS FELLOWMAN—THIS / LUTHERAN APOSTLE TO NORTH CAROLINA SAW / TWENTY CONGREGATIONS ESTABLISHED ON THE / "MOST DISTANT BORDER OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD" / DURING THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND / INDEPENDENCE (1773 - 1794).
HE WAS BAPTIZED ON THE DAY OF HIS BIRTH BY / THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN MUNSTER, WESTPHALIA: / WAS CONVERTED TO THE LUTHERAN FAITH FROM / THE FRANCISCAN ORDER: WAS INSTRUCTED IN / LUTHERAN THEOLOGY AT GÖTTINGEN UNIVERSITY / AND CHOSEN BY THE CONSISTORY OF HANOVER / TO ANSWER THE CALL FROM NORTH CAROLINA.
HE SUPPORTED THE PATRIOTS: THOUGH TORTURED / BY TORIES, STAYED IN NORTH CAROLINA TO / PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD: SAW MANY MEMBERS / OF ST. JOHN'S, CABARRUS COUNTY, SERVE IN THE / AMERICAN ARMY.
AFTER INDEPENDENCE, HE ENLISTED HELP FROM / THE HELMSTEDT MISSIONARY SOCIETY FOR THE / NORTH CAROLINA MISSION; LIVED TO SEE FIVE / OTHER LUTHERAN CLERGYMEN LABOR IN THE / PIEDMONT; SPONSORED A SCHOOL FOR EVERY / CONGREGATION; WAS APPOINTED A TRUSTEE IN / 1785 BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH / CAROLINA TO ESTABLISH AN ACADEMY IN SALISBURY.
WITH CHRISTLIKE FORTITUDE HE SHOWED THE / PIONEERS HOW TO LIVE AND HOW TO DIE.
Base, south face only: UNVEILED AUGUST 12, 1973 AT THE 200TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, / ERECTED BY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS OF (ORGAN) ZION LUTHERAN CONGREGATION
North face: ARENDS/ JOHANN GOTTFRIED ARENDS DECEMBER 11, 1740-JULY 9, 1807 / HE CAME HERE AS A TEACHER IN 1773, GERMAN / CHURCH LEADERS COMPLIED WITH THE REQUEST / FROM SIXTY ROWAN FAMILIES CARRIED BY / CHRISTOPHER LYERLY AND CHRISTOPHER / RENDLEMAN, ENDORSED BY GOVERNOR TRYON AND / KING GEORGE III FOR THE 3.000 GERMAN/ PROTESTANTS IN THE COLONY, BY COMMISSIONING/ PASTOR NUSSMANN AND ARENDS. THEIR PASTORAL / AND EDUCATIONAL MINISTRY EXTENDED SEVENTY / MILES EAST AND WEST.
ARENDS WAS ORDAINED AT ORGAN CHURCH IN / AUGUST, 1774 AFTER NUSSMANN MOVED TO / BUFFALO CREEK. DURING THE SIXTEEN YEARS OF / HIS "FIRST COMMUNION RECORD, 885 NAMES ARE / LISTED IN INSTRUCTIONAL GROUPS OF ABOUT TWELVE / GIRLS AND EIGHT BOYS.
IN 1775 ARENDS MARRIED HANNAH RUDISILL AND / TEN YEARS LATER MOVED NEAR HER LINCOLN/ COUNTY HOME, CONTINUING SOME WORK EASTWARD / SEVERAL YEARS. HE IS CALLED "FATHER OF THE / LUTHERAN CHURCH BEYOND THE CATAWBA RIVER.
APPROACHING BLINDNESS HANDICAPPED HIS / LATER MINISTRY, ENDING WITH HIS 1807 DEATH / WHILE SOME CONGREGATIONS STILL LISTED HIM AS / PASTOR, HE SERVED OVER TWENTY DIFFERENT / CONGREGATIONS, NEARLY ALL THEM EXISTING IN /NORTH CAROLINA.
IN 1803 ARENDS WAS ELECTED FIRST PRESIDENT / OF THE SYNOD. HE WAS SECRETARY OF AN EARLIER / HOMELAND-AIDED "MINISTERIUM.”
(Organ) Zion Lutheran Church
August 12, 1973
35.529060 , -80.450510 View in Geobrowse
Allran, Austin. 1979. “Arends, John Godfrey,” NCpedia.org, (accessed August 19, 2022) Link
Roth, Gary G. 1991. “Nussmann, Adolph,” NCpedia.org, (accessed August 19, 2022) Link
Sifford, Harry. Organ Lutheran Church, Rowan County, North Carolina, Founded 1745 : A Brief History, History prepared by: Harry T. Sifford, President, Historic Organ Church Foundation, Inc., November 1993, (accessed September 8, 2022) Link
“Arends/Nussman,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed August 17, 2022) Link
“Grave of Johann, Old White Union Church, Lincolnton, Lincoln County, North Carolina,” Tim Buchman Photographs, 1988-1998 (MC00583), Preservation North Carolina, NC State University, (accessed August 19, 2022) Link
“Lutherans to Observe 200th N.C. Birthday,” The Durham Sun (Durham, NC), August 11, 1973
“N.C. Lutherans to Mark 200 Years in State,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), August 11, 1973
“Organ or Zion Church,” North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program, ncmarkers.com, (accessed August 17, 2022 Link
Members and friends of (Organ) Zion Lutheran Church
The primary address was given by Rev. H. George Anderson, PhD., historian and president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. The dedication date coincided with the arrival of Nussmann during the second week of August 1773 and his first sermon the following Sunday. The monument was unveiled by Rev. David L. Martin, Th.M. A ballad was composed for the celebration by Rev. Carl F.W. Ficken, Ph.D. of Elon College and performed by a young folk singer Bill Beck.
The memorial to Johann Arends and Adolphus Nussmann was unveiled during the celebration of 200 years of Lutheranism in North Carolina. The church where it is located received its unusual name after the installation of a pipe organ circa 1786. It was the first pipe organ in the south and one of the few in the country at the time.
A separate memorial to Adolphus Nussmann was placed in Concord, Cabarrus County, NC in 1935.
The memorial is at the intersection of Organ Church Road and Shive Road, on the right when traveling north near Rockwell, NC. The street address for the church is 1515 Organ Church Road, Salisbury, NC 28146.
The Arends and Nussmann Memorial stands in a tree lined median for the drive that runs between the old 1790’s church building and cemetery and the modern church building.