The Saint of Georgia
Bartholomew Zouberbuhler, my favorite name at Bonaventure Cemetery, was a committed Pastor born to German parents in Switzerland in 1719. He came to South Carolina with his father after the death of his mother in 1739. His father was pastoring a church of Swiss immigrants in the South Carolina low country. It was in that small South Carolina community outside of Charles Towne that young Zouberbuhler would learn to speak English. Already proficient in German and French he would become one of the more educated and capable preachers of his time.
In 1745 he would come to Savannah to pastor Christ Church. Christ Church is still holding services today and is located on Johnson Square in downtown. Zouberbuhler would follow the work of John Wesley and George Whitfield at the church. Two tough acts to follow as those men would go on to become two of the most well known and beloved Christian ministers in American history. Zouberbuhler was there much longer than Wesley or Whitefield. He would go on to pastor the church for 23 years. He would grow the congregation and oversee the construction of today’s building. The talented Zouberbuhler would earn the nickname, “The Saint of Georgia”, while pastoring his flock. He would deliver
sermons in German and French multiple times each month to serve the German and French immigrants.
Zouberbuhler was known as an extremely hardworking, dedicated, and unselfish man. Not only would he spend the extra time delivering sermons in different languages, he would walk the streets of Savannah preaching during the day, he would travel to the outskirts of town and to rural areas to preach. He was very concerned about the spiritual needs and health of the African slaves in Savannah and he spent many hours on plantations ministering to the slaves. He included slaves and freedmen in the services at Christ Church and performed the first baptism of a slave in Savannah. He is also known for teaching slave children to read and write. He was a man that practiced what he preached!
Pastor Bartholomew Zouberbuhler died in 1766 and is buried in Bonaventure Cemetery.
Zouberbuhler Family Plot