Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery
The cemetery has also been referred to as Old Lutheran Cemetery. In the LDS Survey
in 1956 (FHC#0002104) it was called the Turnverein Cemetery. There is no identification
markers or signs in the cemetery or on the fence. During my visit to the cemetery in
Dec 2008, I noticed that it could use some cleanup.
Zion Lutheran Church
A few block away from the cemetery, on the corner of Hempel Ave and Gotha Ave, is the old Zion
Lutheran church. While the church building is no longer regularly used, it is still owned by
the church membership.
The congregation was established in 1888 by a group of German Lutherans in Gotha. They originally
held services in the homes of the membership and were occasionally received sermons from a
traveling missionary named Rev Carl F. Brommer who first visited them in 1891.
The congregations first building, located on the corner Hempel Ave and Morton Jones Rd., was built
in 1894 and included a kindergarden, an elementary school and the cemetery which is still there and
still owned by the church. Pastor Edward Fischer succeeded Rev Brommer that same year and served
the church for 61 years.
In 1920 the church purchased the church building on the corner of Hempel Ave. and Gotha Rd. It was
originally built in 1913-1914 by the First Presbyterian Church of Gotha. In 1956 the congregation
relocated to a five acre site in Moore Rd in the Pine Hills area of Orlando. In 1965, they let the
Zion Baptist Purity Church use the Gotha church building. In 2001, the congregation sold the Pine
Hills property and relocated back to the old Gotha building, with plans to build a new church on
Marsh Rd and State Road 545 in Winter Garden.
Interestingly, during World War II, German Prisoners of War who were interned in the area worshipped
at the Zion Lutheran church.
The cemetery continues to be operated and maintained by the "Foundation for the Preservation of Zion's
Historic Properties". They currently have no definite plans for the historic church site in Gotha.
According to the Orange County Property Assessor website, the church and the cemetery are owned by
FOUNDATION FOR THE HISTORICAL ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH OF GOTHA INC
Windermere, Florida 34786.