Out of a desire to worship in their native language, Johann Andreas Wagener and 49 other German speaking colleagues, in 1840, founded St. Mathew’s Lutheran Church (officially known as the German Evangelical Lutheran Church of Charleston, South Carolina). Nine years later, Wagener also established the German immigrant colony of Walhalla, S.C. During the Civil War, Wagener, then a Brigadier General, served as the Confederate Army’s commandant of Charleston until 1865. Three years after the end of the Civil War, the church’s congregation decided that they had outgrown their original structure and began plans for a new building. In 1872, they dedicated their new, larger church. The Bell Tower and clock were added in 1901. Today, St. Mathew’s Lutheran Church serves as a frequent venue for the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir concerts.