Lutheran Benevolent Society Cemetery

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According to an item in an 1880 New Orleans newspaper, the Lutheran Benevolent Society in Baton Rouge was established in 1858. It obtained a charter in 1872 with one of the organization’s incorporators being a member of an African American family that has been prominent for many generations and lent leadership to the Baton Rouge community.  

Beverly Victor Baranco was a signee of the newly organized 1872 Lutheran Benevolent Society domiciled in Baton Rouge Louisiana. Although Martin Luther was a ‘hero’ to protestant churches and many followed his Lutheran religion, Benevolent Societies so named, were unaffiliated with any specific religion or church, particularly the Lutheran Church. The 1872 Lutheran Benevolent Society was organized as a mutual aid society to provide help and services to its members after the Civil War when the traditional help from the plantation system was no longer available.

Using the same 1872 charter, on May 9, 1898 the Lutheran Benevolent Society re-organized and re-registered with the Louisiana Secretary of State. The following year on December 9, 1899, the Lutheran Benevolent Society purchased a tract of land of more or less six acres from William Garig. This original land purchase forms the present day footprint of the historic Lutheran Cemetery. Almost 40 years later, the Society’s legal status was inactive ... so, once again in its long history and again using the same charter, the Lutheran Benevolent Society was again re-organized and re-registered with the Secretary of State in 1935.  

Today, the cemetery is cared for through the kindness of strangers.