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Full text of "History of Egypt church"

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Book-iliA^Si 



HISTORY 



OF 



EGYPT CHURCH 



By 

Charles R. Roberts 

u 

AND 

Rev. J. D. ScHiNDEL, D. D. 



READ BEFORE THE LEHIGH COUNTY 
HISTORICAL SOCIETY 



ALLENTOWN, PENNA. 
1908 



c 



1 




Egypt Church. 



History of the Reformed Congregation 
of Egypt Church 

By Charles Rhoads Roberts. 



The Egypt Reformed congregation possesses a documen- 
tary history which runs back one hundred and seventy-four 
years, making it the oldest Reformed congregation in Lehigh 
county, the Great Swamp congregation, of Lower Milford town- 
ship, coming second. The year 1733 has generally been accepted 
as the date of its organization, but we have no proof of the cor- 
rectness of this date. The accurate historian must depend upon 
documentary evidence to substantiate any statement he may 
make, and we have no such evidence as to when the congrega- 
tion was organized. The majority of the first settlers in this 
immediate vicinity were natives of Switzerland and members 
of the Reformed church. It was natural, therefore, that upon 
their settlement here, they should organize a congregation of 
their own faith. It was in the year 1733 that the majority of 
the early settlers at Egypt arrived in America, and it may be 
that in this year an organization was effected. It was not, how- 
ever, until July i, 1734, that any land warrant was secured, 
when Jacob Kohler, who is supposed to have settled here about 
1730, obtained a warrant for one hundred acres of land. 

The principal source of information regarding this congre- 
gation is the old baptismal record, the oldest record book of a 
Reformed congregation in this county. It is a small volume 
bound in leather, with strips of buckskin serving instead of 
clasps. The earliest entfy in this book is dated September 23, 
1734, and was made by Rev. John Philip Boehm, recording the 
baptism of David, born July 27, 1734, a son of Peter Traxel. 
The sponsors were Nicholas Kern and his wife Mary Marjjaret 
Kern. The fact that Rev. Boehm made this entry in 1734 
points to the existence of a congregation at that time, as it is 
doubtful whether he would have opened a baptismal record had 
there not been an organized congregation. 

Boehm 's report to the Holland Synod, written October 18, 
1734, in the Dutch language, does not mention this congregation. 
He mentions, however, the needs of "Macungie, Maxatawny 



and Great Swamp, wliere, notwithstanding their being scattered 
very far apart, vet a considerable number of people can come 
together." The name "Macungie," then included a large ter- 
ritory, and the inhabitants of this region, in a petition to the 
Court in 1752, for the erection of a new township, which was 
later called Whitehall, styled themselves, "residents of the 
back parts of Heidelberg and Macungie." 

In the same report, in speaking of the district of the minister 
needed at Goshenhoppen, Boehm says: "He might conduct 
services there every three weeks, and use the rest of the time to 
feed the poor sheep at the end of the wilderness, in the above 
mentioned Saucon, Macungie, Maxatawny and Great Swamp, 
who thirst for the hearing of God's word as the dry earth for 
water. Many people from these regions have already been to 
see me in great sadness, and complained of the pitiable state of 
their souls. There were also some, who being able to make the 
journey, have come at various times to communion in the con- 
gregation entrusted to me at Falkner Swamp, a distance of cer- 
tainly twenty-five to thirty English miles, and brought children 
for baptism, which journey, however, is impossible for old persons 
and weak women, so that it is not to be wondered at (especially 
when one remembers that there are children who for lack of a 
minister can not be brought to baptism until they are several 
years of age) that my heart breaks and my eyes are full of tears 
about this condition. But I can not accomplish this work alone, 
for my years are beginning to accumulate, and my poor body 
is also getting feeble, since I must not only make long journeys 
and preach, but also, because these poor people are not able to 
support me, I must support my large family with manual labor." 

The second entry in the church book was made October 
26, 1736, by John Henry Goetschius, recording the baptism of 
John, son of "the respectable Peter Traxel, church censor of the 
Reformed congregation here," and his wife Juliana Catharine 
Traxel. The sponsors were Nicholas Kern, John Egender and 
Margaret Egender. This is the first mention of a congregation 
here and also the first mention of Goetschius in the book. Di- 
rectly above this entry he wrote: "Getauft durch H. Pfarrer. 
Goetschi." As Goetschius did not arrive in America until 1735, 
this record could not have been made in 1733, as has been often 
stated. 

It is in this year, 1736, that we find the first mention of the 
name, "Egypt," applied to this vicinity. On the title page of 
the record book of New Goshenhoppen, Goetschius states that 
he served the congregations at Skippack, Old Goshenhoppen, 
New Goshenhoppen, Swamp, Saucon, Egypt, Macedonia, Mosil- 
lem, Oley, Bern and Tulpehocken. Rev. Prof. William J. Hinke 
gives 1736 as the date when this inscription was written by Goet- 
schius. 



The third entry is in the handwriting of Goetschius, and is 
the baptism on July 27, 1737, of Peter Roth (the writer's great 
great grandfather), son of Daniel and Anna Margaret Roth. The 
sponsors were Peter Traxel, deacon of the Reformed congre- 
gation and his wife Juliana Catharine. 

The fourth and fifth entries are dated March 22, 1739, when 
Goetschius baptized Anna Barbara, daughter of Abraham and 
Anna Margaret Wotring and Catharine Elizabeth, daughter of 
Michael and Eva Catharine Hoffman. The sponsors of the 
Wotring child were Ulrich Burghalter and his wife Anna Bar- 
bara, and of the Hoffman child, Peter Traxel and Catharine 
Elizabeth Kern, the wife of George Kern. 

On this same day he wrote the inscription on the fly leaf of 
the baptismal record; viz, in Greek, "Nothing without writing;" 
in Latin, "All for the glory of God and the salvation of our souls;" 
and in German, "Baptismal Record of the Congregation on the 
Lehigh, in which are recorded the names of the children bap- 
tized, the names of their parents, and also the names of their 
sponsors. Commenced March 22, 1739. J. Henricus Goet- 
schius, M. (Minister). Helvetico Tigurinus." (A Swiss of Zu- 
rich).* This date is corroborated by two eminent authorities. 
Prof. Wm. J. Hinke says: "The church record at Egypt has 
always been supposed to have been opened by Goetschius in 
1733, but on closer examination the date turns out to be 1739." 
Rev. Dr. Joseph H. Dubbs says in ""The Reformed Church in 
Pennsylvania"; "The inscriptions on the title pages of church 
records, which have led to so much misunderstanding, are easily 
explained. Goetschius found the books already in existence, 
containing a number of entries of baptism; but the first page 
was in each case unoccupied, and he took a boyish pleasure in 
putting his name there, sometimes adding a few sentences in 
Greek or Latin. The inscription at New Goshenhoppen was 
not written before 1736, though on the next following page 
there is the record of a baptism solemnized in 1731 by some 
earlier minister. The inscription at Egypt turns out to have 
been written in 1739, and the one at Great Swamp alone is legibly 
dated April 24, 1736." 

This is precisely what happened at Egypt, for Rev. Boehm 
made the earliest entry in 1734, leaving several pages blank. 
Goetschius did not appear until 1736, when he baptized the 
second Traxel child. In 1737, he baptized the Roth child and 
in 1739 wrote the inscription on the fly-leaf. 

These pioneer organizers of this congregation deserve more 
than passing mention. Peter Traxel, or Drachsel, and his wife 
Juliana Catharine, were natives of Switzerland and came to 
America in 1733, with two sons, Peter and Daniel. He settled 



*These records, from 1734 to 1834, translated by the writer, will appear in the Sixth 
Series of Pennsylvania Archives. 



at Egypt, where he appears to have been the most prominent 
of the church members, being mentioned as censor in 1736 and 
1 741, and as deacon in 1737 and 1741. A few years later he 
removed a few miles westward and secured large tracts of land 
along the Jordan creek, some of which is still owned by his 
descendants, one of whom is James Troxell, residing near the 
Iron Bridge. 

Nicholas Kern, one of the earliest settlers of Whitehall 
township, owned large tracts of land near what is now Guths- 
ville, which he sold in 1739 to Lawrence Guth, and removed to 
the site of Slatington. 

Daniel Roth, a native of Switzerland, where he was born 
about 1703, came to America in 1733, and in 1737, settled at 
the Jordan at what is now Sherersville. He died in April, 1737, 
in the same hour in which his son Peter, baptized at Egypt on 
July 27th following, was born. This son became prominent as 
a Revolutionary patriot, and was the first President Judge of 
Northampton county. An elder son, Daniel, born in Switzer- 
land in 1724, was the ancestor of many of the Roth families in 
Whitehall to-day. 

Abraham Wotring was born July 11, 1700, and came to 
America in 1733, with his wife and four children. He died in 
1752, leaving eight children to survive him. 

Ulrich Burghalter, algo from Switzerland, arrived in 1733, 
on the same ship with Abraham Wotring, accompanied by his 
wife and six children. He died in 1762. His only son, Peter 
Burghalter, was prominent in the Revolution, and is buried 
here at Egypt. 

Michael Hoffman came to America in 1732, and settled 
along the Coplay creek. He died in 1786. John and Michael 
were his sons. 

George Kern, in whose house the congregation often wor- 
shipped, arrived in this country in 1737, and bought land 
adjoining the Kohler and Burghalter families. He was the 
father of George Jacob Kern and Mrs. Philip Jacob Schreiber. 

On April 16, 1739, Goetschius baptized Christian and Juliana 
Margaret Traxel, twin children of Peter and Juliana Catharine 
Traxel. The sponsors were Christian Brengel, Peter Traxel, 
Salome Gut, John Bertsch, Catharine Elizabeth Kern and Mary 
Margaret Newhard. On May 13, 1739, he baptized Jacob, son 
of Jacob Bricker and Catharine Eva, daughter of Clementz 
Arndt. These are the last of his entries in the book. 

John Henry Goetschius, or Goetschi, was the son of Rev. 
Moritz Goetschius, of Saletz, Canton of Zurich, Switzerland. 
His father left Zurich on October 4, 1734, at the head of four 
hundred persons, including his wife and eight children, intending 
to go to the Carolinas. After many trials they arrived at Rot- 
terdam, where the father was persuaded to change his destina- 



tion to Pennsylvania and was promised a salary of 2,000 gulden, 
for the first year, to organize and superintend the churches of 
Pennsylvania' He accepted the offer and after a terrible voyage 
of three months, in which the passengers suffered greatly, they 
arrived at Philadelphia on May 29, 1735. On the arrival of the 
vessel, the elders of the Reformed congregation of Philadelphia 
came on board to greet him as their pastor. He was very ill, 
but responded heartily. The next day he was taken ashore to 
a house, but his wife and family remained on the ship. While 
carrying him up the stairs to a chamber on the second floor, he 
expired. On the third day after, he was buried in the church- 
yard of the principal Presbyterian church in Philadelphia with 
elaborate ceremonies. 

His eldest son, John Henry, was then seventeen years old, 
and a student for the ministry' When the people saw the cer- 
tificate of his studies, they were delighted, and insisted on his 
preaching. He was, there'fore, as Rev. Dr. Good says, the boy 
preacher of the earlv Reformed. He preached to them every 
Sunday twice and had catechization twice. The first Sunday 
he preached at Philadelphia morning and evening, and after 
service he had catechization. On the second Sunday he preached 
at Skippack in the morning, then had catechization, and in the 
afternoon he had service and catechization at Old Goshenhoppen. 
On the third Sunday he preached at New Goshenhoppen and 
had catechization in the morning. In the afternoon he preached 
at Great Swamp, in Lehigh county, where was a large congre- 
gation. Here, at Great Swamp, he opened the church book on 
April 24, 1736. 

• Goetschius continued preaching until 1739, when he went 
to Bucks county and studied under Dorsius. On September 
24, 1740, he paid a farewell visit to New Goshenhoppen and bap 
tized eight children. Rev. Boehm says in his report in 1744, 
that Goetschius went to Long Island in October, 1740, where 
he was irregularly ordained bv Revs. Dorsius, Tennant and 
Frelinghuvsen in April, 1741. 'The classis of Amsterdam was 
verv angry at this act of Dorsius in ordaining Goetschius, as he 
had no authority from them to do it, and he was censured. Goet- 
schius was finally examined and ordained in 1748, when he be- 
. came pastor at Hackensack, N. J. He died in 1774. 

The next three entries in the book were probably written 
by Rev. Boehm, who preached here occasionally until his death 
in 1749. The first of these is dated June 12, 1739, and is the 
baptism of Anna Barbara, daughter of Martin and Sara Kocher. 
The sponsors were Barbara, wife of Ulrich Burghalter and Nicho- 
las Saeger. On June 27, 1739, George, the son of Ulrich and 
Lucia Flickinger, was baptized. His sponsors were George 
Kern and Juliana, wife of Peter Traxel. The last of these three 
entries is the baptism on September 30, 1739, of John Peter 



Sensinger, son of Ulrich and Catharine Sensinger. The spon- 
sors were Peter Traxel and wife Juliana, Anna Mary, wife of 
John Traxel, and Nicholas Kern. 

Ulrich Flickinger came to America in 1733. The family- 
lived here many years, but later removed from the vicinity. 

John Traxel, whose wife was a sponsor, came to America 
in 1737. His son, John Peter Traxel, built in 1756, the house 
in which the congregation frequently worshipped. 

Then follow three entries of the baptism of children in the 
Saucon church, on September 23, 1740, by 'Tnspector Peter 
Henry Torschius." 




House built I v John Peter Traxel in 1756, in which church services Avere htld 



The first of these is that of John JNIichael Lorentz, son of 
Frederick and INIargaret Newhard. The sponsors were Lorentz 
Guth, Michael Newhard, Juliana Catharine Traxel and Engel 
Trumer. The second is that of John Michael, son of John and 
Anna Mary Weber. The sponsors were ]\Iichael Weber and wife. 
The third is that of Mary Barbara, daughter of John Nicholas 
and Eva Schneider. The sponsors were Peter Traxel, Paulus 
Paillet, Marv Margaret, wife of Nicholas Kern, and Anna Bar- 
bara, daughter of Nicholas Saeger. 

Frederick Newhard owned 203^ acres of land along the 
Coplav creek, which he sold to Adam Deshler, and removed to 
near Allentown. He came from Zweibruecken in 1737. 



Michael Newhard, brother of Frederick, was born in 1713, 
and died in 1793, He and his wife are buried in the Egypt 
graveyard. He was the ancestor of the Newhard famiUes of 
North Whitehall. 

Lorenz Guth came from Zweibruecken in 1738. He after- 
wards founded the Jordan Reformed church. 

Paul Balliet was born in Alsace in 1717, and came to this 
country in 1738. He married a daughter of Abraham Wotrmg, 
and died in 1777. He was the father of Col. Stephen Balliet, a 
Revolutionary officer. 

Rev. Dr.' J. I. Good says, in his "History of the Reformed 
Church," that Rev. Dorsius was a native of Meurs, Germany. 
He studied at Groningen and Leyden, and was ordained in Hol- 
land in 1737. He came to America October 5, 1737, and was 
pastor of the Dutch church at Neshaminy, Bucks county. He 
had been asked by the deputies in Holland to correspond with 
them and to answer certain questions concerning the German 
Reformed churches in Pennsylvania. 

The next entry in the record book states that the followmg 
five children were baptized on July 28, 1741, by Rey. Mr. Boehm. 
These children were George Frederick, son of Peter and Juliana 
Catharine Traxel, whose sponsors were George Kern, Frederick 
Newhard, Salome Gut, wife of Lorentz Gut, and Susanna, wife 
of George Ruch; Catharine Elizabeth, daughter of George and 
Catharine Elizabeth Kern, whose sponsors were Peter Traxel, 
church censor, Roland Schmidt, Mary Barbara, wife of Michael 
Newhard and Luce, wife of Ulrich Flickinger; Catharine Bar- 
bara, daughter of Ulrich and Luce Flickinger, whose sponsors 
were Christian Brengel, single, Juliana Catharine, wife of Peter 
Traxel, and Catharine Elizabeth, wdfe of George Kern; a child 
of Ludwig and Eva Knaus, whose sponsors were Nicholas and 
Mary Margaret Kern; and George Jacob, son of Frederick and 
Anna Mary Schneider, whose sponsors were George Jacob Kern, 
son of George Kern and Anna Barbara, daughter of Nicholas 
Saeger. 

Rev. Jo^n Philip Boehm was born at Hochstadt, Germany, 
Nov. 25, 1683. His father, Philip Lewis Boehm, was the pas- 
tor there. John Philip Boehm taught school at Worms from 
1708 to 1 715, and at Lambsheim from 171 5 to 1720, after which 
he came to America. He settled in the Schuylkill valley above 
Philadelphia and there held religious services without salary in 
the capacity of a "reader." As no Reformed minister was to be 
had, the people finally prevailed on him to become their mini- 
ster, and in 1725, he first administered the communion at Falk- 
ner Swamp,' Skippack and White Marsh. He formulated a 
church constitution which was adopted by seven congregations— 
the three above mentioned, Conestoga, Tulpehocken, Philadelphia 
and Olev. Later he also founded a congregation in Whitpain 



lO 

township, Montgomery county, still called Boehm's church. 
He was ordained Nov. 23, 1729, in the Reformed church of New 
York city. He died suddenly at the house of his eldest son, 
April 29, 1749, after he had on the previous day administered 
the communion to the congregation at Egypt. This house is 
still standing at Hellertown. As Rev. Dr. Good says, he worked 
on virgin soil, and should ever be honored as the founder of 
our church. 

Again referring to the church book, we find this notice: 
"1742. Children were baptized by Peter Traxel and George 
Kern. Commencing 1742, were baptized by myself. John 
Conrad Wuertz. V. D. M. Helvetio Tigurinus." 

John Conrad Wuertz, or Wirtz, was born Nov. 30, 1706, 
and was a brother-in-law of Goetschius. He became school- 
master at old Goshenhoppen, and later began preaching, though 
not ordained. 

He baptized twelve children here at Egypt, dating from 
Sept. 17, 1742 to Dec. 21, 1744. 

Michael Schlatter, the Missionary Superintendent, also 
visited Egypt in June, 1747. He says in his Journal: "From 
Wednesday to Saturday, the 24th, 25th and 26th, I visited the 
congregations in Manatawny, Magunchy, Egypt and on the 
Lehigh, a circuit of 45 miles and came near to Bethlehem, a loca- 
tion of the Moravians." 

In September, 1747, the first Coetus of the Reformed church 
was held in Philadelphia, and the delegate from Egypt was Abra- 
ham Wotring. 

From 1744 to 1752 there are no entries in the record book. 
Schlatter says in his journal, on Nov. 8, 1748: "I received a call 
for a minister from the congregations called Egypt and Heidel- 
berg. They desire to have a permanent pastor, and obligate 
themselves for forty-two pounds, or two hundred and eighty 
Dutch guilders, as salary." In the same year he states that 
the charge, composed of the Heidelberg, Egypt, and Jordan 
congregations, is without a regular minister. • . 

In the minutes of the second Coetus, held in 1748, is the 
following: "The delegates from Egypt and Heidelberg, in Bucks 
county, and from Little Lehigh, have asked for. a regular min- 
ister, and have received as a unanimous answer from the Coetus 
that if at least fifty pounds of Pennsylvania money can be raised, 
then Coetus will send a request to the Venerable Christian Synods 
to obtain a minister for them." 

It was at this same session of Coetus that the marriage fee 
was fixed at 7 shillings and 6 pence, and the fee for a funeral 
sermon at 5 shillings, but no renumeration was to be asked for 
baptism. 

In the minutes of a special Coetus held at Philadelphia on 
August 10 to 13, 1752, Rev. Michael Schlatter in his report to 



II 

the Holland Synods says that with the approval of the brethern, 
he placed the newly arrived six ministers, among them Domine 
Wissler at Egypt. At the Coetus held October i8 to 24, 1752, 
at Lancaster, John Jacob Wissler, of Egypt, was present. 

In the minutes of a special Coetus held at Philadelphia on 
December 12, 1752, occurs the following: "As regards Domine 
Wissler, located at Egypt, at no great distance from Dos. Weiss 
and Leydich, he is more of a friend to Dos. Steiner and Rubel 
than to us, and we are also afraid that he will not come up to 
our expectations. Neither did he come to this meeting, but sent 
in writing the following excuses; viz., 'That he had an engage- 
ment to preach, and to marry a couple, that he had to visit the 
sick and had house visitations on hand, nor could he leave his 
wife alone, and that he had no money for the journey.' " 

In the church book in 1752, after the text, Matthew, 19: 14, 
occurs the name, "John Jacob Wissler, Dillenberga Nassauicus, 
pastor of Egypt, Jordan and Heidelberg." 

Rev. Wissler was born at Dillenberg, Feb. 23, 1727, and was 
the only one of the six young men who came with Schlatter who 
was married. He seems to have been the first regularly appointed 
pastor of Egypt congregation. His salary in 1753 is recorded 
as 35 pounds. The first entry written by Rev. Wissler was on 
Sept. 24, 1752. Of the sixteen entries of baptism made by him, 
seven related to Egypt, seven to Heidelberg, and two to Jordan 
congregation. He also recorded the confirmation here in 1753 
of fourteen boys and seventeen girls, and in 1754 of two boys 
and two girls. Of the earlier ministers, he was the only one 
who recorded any deaths, of which there are two, Abraham 
Wotring, on Nov. 28, 1752, and Elizabeth, daughter of the late 
Henry Roeder, of Heidelberg, on May 10, 1753. He recorded 
also two marriages, one on December 12, 1752, in Heidelberg, 
the very day on which Coetus met, showing that, one, at least, 
of his excuses was true. 

In the Coetus minutes of October 30, 1754, mention is made 
of his death, "a month ago, after a sickness of two months," 
and his widow was given ten pounds. In 1756, Coetus gave his 
widow six pounds; in 1757, six pounds; and in 1759, two pounds, 
eight shillings. In a letter written by Rev. Stoy, dated Sept. 
30, 1757, referring to the Indian troubles, he says: "The place 
where Domine Wissler labored, when living (Egypt), has been 
pillaged and robbed of its inhabitants." 

From 1754 to December, 1764, Egypt was without a pastor. 
Who preached here is unknown. Although there are many 
records for these years in the church book, there are no names 
of ministers recorded. Two baptisms are recorded on Oct. 5, 
i755> very poorly written, evidently by a layman, and one on 
May 2, 1756. Then the handwriting improves, and there are 
two recorded on June 6, 1756; two on July 15, 1756; two on August 



12 

15, 1756; and one on November 7, 1756. In 1757 there are five 
records, and in 1758, six; in 1759, one; in 1760, three; in 1761, 
six; in 1762, one; and in 1763, three. The last, on April 12, 
1763, and the last in the old church book, was a daughter of 
John and Margaret Snyder, all three of whom were killed by 
Indians on October 8, 1763, about a mile northwest of here. 

In the minutes of Coetus of 1763, is the following: "A call was 
presented to us by the three congregations in Weythall (White- 
hall) township and Northampton county, in which they ear- 
nestly desire to have a regular pastor, for whom they are willing 
according to their ability to contribute fifty pounds, Pennsyl- 
vania currency, per annum. If it were possible to raise this 
sum to fifty pounds sterling, we would humbly beg your Rever- 
ences to secure a pastor for them. But as this sum (fifty pounds 
Pennsylvania currency) is too small properly to support an 
honest man, we dare not venture to do so. However, should 
the Reverend. Fathers know of a way to increase that sum, the 
increase would be accepted with cordial gratitude." 

In the minutes of 1764 it is stated that "Lancaster, Reading, 
York, Tulpehocken, Whitehall, Easton, Goshenhoppen, impor- 
tant places for preachers, request, beg and pray through us for 
help." In 1765, Rev. Weyberg, President of Coetus, reported 
having visited several congregations, among them Whitehall, 
and found them in good order. 

In the minutes of the Coetus held at Lancaster on May 9, 
1765, is stated that one, John Daniel Gros, a well-educated man, 
who came over with Rev. Hendel, was received into the Coetus. 
The minutes then continue as follows: "The time in Holland 
being too short, on account of the departure of the ship, he could 
not further address himself to the Rev. Synods and await their 
decision. Therefore he at once desired our assistance here. We 
were obliged to take him from the ship, because several sheperd- 
less congregations wanted to take him, engage him, and receive 
him as their pastor. To stop and prevent all disorder, we 
examined him in theology and languages, and found him exceed- 
ingly well versed. His delivery was defective, but his creden- 
tials from Marburg and Heidelberg were genuine and fine. Mr. 
Hendel's testimony to his conduct and diligence at the Uni- 
versity of Heidelberg as long as he knew him there, was of very 
great weight with us. In this manner we ordained him and 
located him at Whitehall, where he is serving four congregations 
with zeal and praise. We trust that this worthy man will be 
accepted by your Reverences, and that our action, demanded 
by the state of affairs, will meet with approval." 

Further on we find the following: "At Whitehall 'Domine 
Gros found 94 members in the one congregation, Egypt; from 
the middle of December to May, baptized 7 children, received 
13 members." 



13 

According to the inscription on the fly leaf of the record 
book of the Reformed church at Unionville, December 20, 1764, 
is the date Rev. Gros took charge of the four congregations of 
AUentown, Egypt, Schlosser's and at the Jordan. In 1766, 
Rev. Gros reported 31 families at Egypt, 12 members received 
and 7 baptized. 

The first baptismal record written by Rev. Gros at Egypt 
was dated April 28, 1765, and is the first entry in the second 
church book. This book contains the following inscription: 
"Church Book of the Congregation in Egypt, begun in the 3'ear 
1764, under the care of Rev. Daniel Gros, Reformed Minister." 
On the fly leaf is the following memorandum: "The Egypt church. 
The Reformed congregation was founded Anno 1733. The 
first was a log church, built in 1764. The second was of stone, 
40 by 50 feet, and was built in the year 1785. The third is of 
brick, 50 by 65 feet, and was built in 185 1. It cost in money 
expended $7,383.00, and including the work, cost about $11,000." 
From other memoranda we learn that Nov. 8, 1765, George 
Jacob Kern, who had the custody of the alms money, paid £2. 
4s. 8d. to Jacob Mickley, the elder, his successor. On December 
17, 1766, Jacob Mickley paid ^i. 6s. to his successor as alms- 
surveyor, John Schadt. On the same date, the church account 
was examined, and no claims were found against the congre- 
gation, but all debts were paid. This was signed by Adam 
Deshler, Michael Newhard and Rev. Gros. 

In 1767 the four congregations purchased a house and six 
acres of land, situated in what was called "Moyer's Valley," 
for use as a parsonage. The cost of this was one hundred and 
fifty-two pounds, Pennsylvania Currency (.$345.67). Egypt's 
share was one-fourth, or thirty-eight pounds. In addition to 
this there was spent upon the parsonage ^^31. 13s. 4d., of which 
Egypt's share was £']. i8s. 4d. Adding to this 2s. 6d. for writing 
the agreement, made the total for this congregation amount 
to ^46. lod. From an old account book of the congregation 
we find that this amount was made up as follows : 

£ s. d. 

Peter Burkhalter 4 o o 

George Jacob Kern 4 o" o 

Johannes Schad 2 12 6 

Christoph Schneider * 15 6 

Adam Deshler 3 4 o 

Peter Deshler 17 6 

Jacob Mickly, Jun 2 10 o 

Peter Kohler 3 4 o 

Jacob Kohler, Sen 5 o 

Jacob Kohler, Jun i 15 o 

Ulrich Flickinger i 3 o 

Jacob Mickly, Sen 2 5 o 



14 

£ s. d. 

Nicolaus Mark 17 6 

Peter Steckel 3 o o 

Jacob Schreiber 2 10 o 

Nicolaus AUemann 12 6 

Jacob Flickinger i o o 

Peter Flickinger. . . 9 o 

Jacob Moritz 3 o 

Michael Neuhart, Sen i 2 o 

Michael Neuhart, Jun 10 o 

Johannes Moritz 4 6 

Nicolaus Draxel 2 o o 

George Leibenguth 5 o 

Johannes Hoffmann 2 10 o 

Jacob Miller i o o 

George Koehler 13 o 

Engelbert Hoffmann 16 6 

George Flickinger 4 o 

Bastian Miller 5 o 

Martin Mickly 2 6 

Christoph Kern 3 o 

Peter Siegfried 3 o 

Frederick Neuhart i 6 

Peter Neuhart i 6 

45 5 o 

Peter Burkhalter added 15 10 

Total Receipts i^ 46 o 10 

The above was signed, May 29, 1771, by J. D. Gros, Abr. 
Blumer, Michael Neuhart, Jacob Mickly, Jacob Miller and Nicolaus 
Marck. 

In this year, 1767, Paul Balliet represented this charge as 
a delegate at the meeting of Coetus, and it is recorded that ten 
shillings was paid him to ride to Coetus, presumably for his 
expenses. 

In 1768,. Rev. Gros was Secretary of Coetus and reported a 
membership of twenty families at Egypt, having baptized nine, 
and confirmed 41 in the four congregations. He adds; "In each 
congregation is one winter school. Two congregations are served 
every Lord's Day." 

In 1769, Rev. Gros was President of Coetus. In that year, 
quoting from the minutes, is the following: "Domine Gros, who 
is much beloved by the Reverend Coetus as well as by his charge 
at Whitehall, this year received a regular call from two large 
congregations at Saucon and Springfield, which last year already 
were commended to the Reverend Fathers. Domine Gros showed 



^5 

considerable inclination to accept this call, and complained espe- 
cially on account of the unfitness of his present dwelling at White- 
hall. He lives in a very poor building, also at a place where no 
wholesome water can be had : which to a minister in this country, 
who has nothing to drink but water, may be a chief cause for 
complaint, especially in the hot summer days, when through 
bad water one's health can easily be impaired. The delegate 
from Whitehall (who was Peter Roth, of AUentown) was ques- 
tioned concerning this and replied, that the congregations at 
Whitehall, were well satisfied with Domine Gros, and that they 
would be sorely grieved, if they were forced to lose him. We 
resolved to leave this matter to the decision of Domine Gros, that 
he may determine for himself whether he could leave the charge 
which he has hitherto had, and accept the call to Saucon and 
Springfield. Do. Gros thereupon declared, that the separation 
from Whitehall would be very hard for him, because he well knew 
that his ministry among them had been blessed by the Lord to 
the good of many souls, and for the future even more was to be 
expected; that therefore he could not leave these congregations 
unless Coetus would recommend to them in his place the first 
capable minister whom the Reverend Fathers might send over. 
This request was granted in the hope that the congregations at 
Whitehall would see to it that their future pastor need not make 
such complaints." 

Rev. Gros is reported in 1769, as living with his family at 
Whitehall, and having a membership of 34 families and baptized 
16 at Egypt, and confirmed 30 in the whole charge. 

In the Coetus recor4s of 1770, it is stated that the resolution 
of the previous year in regard to the four congregations served 
by Domine Gros was confirmed. The resolution is as follows: 
"That, because Domine Gros goes to Saucon and Springfield, the 
congregations which he leaves shall be supplied by the first capable 
rninister who may be sent to us by the Christian Fathers, in order 
that this vineyard, so prone to turn into a wilderness, may not 
again, from want of cultivation, be entirely destroyed and become 
unfruitful." 

In 1 769, it is recorded that the share of Egypt congregation 
towards the pastor's salary was 18 pounds, 15 shillings ($50.00). 
In 1770, Rev. Gros reported at Egypt, 36 families, 10 baptized, 
and 45 confirmed in the whole charge. His salary was 70 pounds. 

Rev. John Daniel Gros, D. D. 

John Daniel Gros was born at Webenheim, in the county of 
Zweibrucken. He attended the Universities of Marburg and 
Heidelberg, went to Holland to arrange to be sent to America 
by the deputies, but found the ship ready to sail, and came over 
without waiting for them. He took the oath of allegiance at 
Philadelphia, Dec. 4, 1764. The Coetus located him in White- 



i6 

hall, where he labored must successfully, and the people became 
greatly attached to him. In 1769, he was called to Saucon, but 
so great was his attachment to his charge that he would not give 
them up until they had a pastor, as already mentioned. For a 
time he served both charges, although quite a distance apart. 
He would preach in his old charge three Sundays and the fourth 
Sunday in Saucon and Springfield. But in 1770, he left his old 
charge, giving his entire time to Saucon. In 1772, he complained 
to Coetus that his congregations did not pay his salary. Because 
of their want of love, stubbornness, neglect of church worship and 
failure to pay his salary, he therefore accepted the next year, a 
call to Kingston, N. Y., where he was pastor from 1773 to 1783. 
He was pastor of the German Reformed Congregation in New 
York City, from 1783 to 1795. He became Professor of German 
Languages at Columbia College, 1784-1795; of Moral Philosophy 
there, 1 787-1 795 ; regent of the University of New York, 1 784-1 787. 
Columbia College gave him the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 
1789. He died May 27, 1812. He published the first great book 
published in America on moral philosophy, entitled "Natural 
Principles of Rectitude, a systematic treatise on Moral Phil- 
osophy," Philadelphia, 1795. 

Rev. Abraham Blumer succeeded Rev. Gros as pastor of 
the Egypt congregation. 

Rev. Abraham Blumer. 

Abraham Blumer was born at Grabs, then in the canton of 
Glarus, Switzerland, December 14, 1736. (Old Style.) At his 
baptism on December 19th, his sponsors were Magistrate David 
Hildy, Captain General John Hildy, Catharine, wife of High 
Bailiff Schmidt, and Anna Blumer, wife of a relative. His father 
was John Jacob Blumer, minister at Betschwanden and Grabs, 
Switzerland, who died in 1746, and his mother was Salome Shindler, 
of Mollis. His grandfather, John Henry Blumer, was Deacon at 
Shwandi and Pastor at Grabs, and his ancestors held offices of 
distinction in Switzerland for generations, the genealogical tablets 
of the family running back to Othmar Blumer, who was Church 
Steward at Shwanden, in the sixteenth century. Of his four 
brothers, three died in military service, one as Major, one as 
Ensign, and one as cadet, and one died on his voyage to America. 

Abraham Blumer matriculated at Basle, August i, 1754. 
He was ordained June 8, 1756. He became chaplain of a Swiss 
regiment, in the service of the King of Sardinia, July 11, 1757, 
remaining in it until 1766, when, according to Rev. Dr. Good, he 
entered the teaching profession in his canton. He became vicar 
to a sickly minister and also private tutor. Rev. Mr. Planta, 
the pastor of the German Reformed church at London, wrote a 
letter, June 26, 1770, to the deputies, strongly urging his appoint- 
ment. He appeared before the deputies August 22, with Rev. 



17 

Charles Lewis Boehme, and also before the classical committee, 
August 27, 1770. He left Amsterdam, September 6, 1770. He 
arrived at New York the latter part of January, 1771. He 
appeared before the Coetus in February, and in that month took 
charge of the four congregations in Whitehall charge, one of 
which was Egvpt. In the records of Unionville church, he wrote 
the date of his taking charge of the congregation February 17, 
1 77 1. His first baptism at Egypt was on June 2, 1771. In 
October, 1771, Rev. Blumer attended the session of Coetus and 
reported a membership at Egypt of forty families. In 1782 he 




Silhouette of Rev. Abraham Blumer. 

reported 38 families at Egypt, 14 baptized, 12 confirmed and one 
school, with 53 pupils. In 1785 the report was very full, and gave 
at Egypt 44 families, 23 baptized, 14 confirmed, and one school, 
with 46 pupils. The yearly salary is given as one hundred pounds, 
with twenty pounds perquisites, and ninety-five pounds expenses. 
Rev. Blumer was a well-educated man and was possessed of 
considerable ability and scholarship. In 1774, he received a 
call from the French Reformed church, of New York City, which 
he declined in a letter written in the French language. (See 
Dubb's Reformed church in Pennsylvania.) He was clerk of 
Coetus in 1773 ^-^d 1784, and president in 1774 and 1785. In 
1785, he purchased a tract of 195 acres along the Jordan at the 
present "Iron Bridge," on which a house built by him still stands. 



He was pastor here for thirty years, until I\Iay, 1801, when old 
age compelled him to resign. He retired to his home where he 
died April 23, 1822, at the age of 85 years, and was buried at the 
Jordan Reformed church. During his pastorate he baptized 
2517 children and confirmed 1137. The last entr}^ in his hand- 
writing in the Egypt records is dated May 17, 1801. 

During Rev. Blumer's pastorate, the second church was built. 
The cornerstone was laid June 13, 1785, and the church was 
dedicated June 4, 1786. The cost was £893.0 s. 3+ d. ($2,381.73). 
At the same time an organ was installed into the church at a cost 
of i: 154. 2 s. 9 d. (S411.04). 

Facsimile of Rev. Blumer's signature. 

The two congregations, prior to erecting the new building, 
entered into an agreement, of which the following is a translation: 
"This i8th of April, Anno Domini, 1785, we, the members 
of the Evangelical Reformed and the Evangelical Lutheran 
congregations, belonging to the parish of Egypt, in Whitehall 
township, Northampton county, in the State of Pennsylvania, 
have bound ourselves and agreed to erect a new stone church, 
50 feet long and 40 feet broad, for joint use, and we herewith 
give to our joint architects, chosen for that purpose, namely, 
Peter Kohler, Esq., Samuel Saeger, Philip Jacob Schreiber, Adam 
Zerfass, Jacob Mickly and Nicholas Saeger, Sen., full power to 
place the above-mentioned church, upon one of the most suitable 
spots on our joint church lands. We also bind ourselves and 
each other to contribute to the requisite and necessary expenses 
according to our ability, until the said church is built and com- 
pleted, which we hereby certify to with our own signatures, on the 
above-mentioned day and date." 

Peter Kohler, Philipp Jacob Schreiber, 

Samuel Seeger, Adam Zereass, 

Jacob Mickly, Heinrich Steckel, 

NicoLAus Seeger, Sen., Jacob Meyer, 

Peter Burkh alter, Engelbert Hoffmann, 

Peter Deshler, Wilhelm Laury, 

Georg Koehler, Abraham Hartmann, 

Johannes Moritz, Jacob Kohler, 

Friedrich Neuhart, Caspar Ritter, 

Johannes Hoffmann, Georg Flickinger, 

Christian Seeger, Jacob Fischer, 

Nicholas Saeger (Tanner), Adam Traxel, 
Daniel Kern, Johannes Steckel, 

Johannes Grob, Jacob Geiger, 



19 

Jacob Laub, 
Michael Neuhart, 
Theobald Herzog, 
Adam Deshler, 
David Neuhart, 
Johannes Schantz, 
Jacob Kern, 

Peter Burkhalter, Jun., 
Johannes Meyer, 
John Kern, 
Georg Schad, 
Christoph Kern, 
Jacob Shantz, 
Adam Scheurer, 
Jacob Seeger, 
Johannes Schad, 
Michael Neuhart, Jun., 
Peter Neuhart, 
Peter Hoffmann, 
Philip Knappenberger, 
Jacob Mueller, Sen. 
Heinrich Ruch, 



Christian Traxel, 
Jacob Flickinger, 
Peter Meyer, 
Jacob Steckel, 
Peter Kern, 
Georg Remely, 
Philipp Roth, 
NicoLAUs Traxel, 
Johannes Kocher, 
Sebastian Mueller, 
Michael Ringer, Sen., 
Heinrich Jehl, 
Andreas Siegfried, 
NicoLAUs Herzog, 
Jacob Hartmann, Jun. 
Christian Bertsch, 
Heinrich Biery, 
Andreas Fuchs, 
Andreas Jehl, 
LoRENZ Ruch, 
Martin Mickly, 
Georg Jacob Schneck. 

Abr. Blumer, Minister. 
Joh: Caspar Dill, Minister. 



The laying of the cornerstone of the new church took place 
June 13, 1785, at which time sermons were preached by Revs. 
Blumer and Shellhard, before a large assemblage of people, and 
a copy of the following resolutions was placed in the cornerstone : 
"As we, the Evangelical Lutheran and Reformed congregations 
in Whitehall township (otherwise called Egypt), have agreed 
to build a house of God for our common use, therefore have we 
drawn up the following articles : 



No minister shall be admitted into the church, who is erro- 
neous in doctrine, or is scandalous in conduct, or who was not 
lawfully called to the ministry. 

U. 
Both congregations shall have an equal right and share in 
this church. 

III. 

In order to guard against misunderstanding and dispute, it 
is established, with the approbation of both congregations, that 
none shall obstruct the other in the service of God, but each shall 
hold justly to its alternate time. 



20 
IV. 

All repairs, which shall become necessary to this house of 
divine worship, shall be paid jointly. 

V. 

The consistories of the congregations, and the pastors chosen, 
shall conduct the congregations to the best of their abilities, and 
keep in order the accounts pertaining to the church. 

Done this 13th of June, 1785, and signed with our own sig- 
natures, by us, the Architects, Elders and Deacons of both congre- 
gations, on the day on which the cornerstone was laid." 
Peter Kohler, Samuel Saeger, 

Ph. Jacob Schreiber, Adam Zerfass, 

Jacob Mickly, Nicholas Saeger, 

Michael Neuhart, Nicholas Hertzog, 

Michael Neuhart, Jun., Jacob Laub. 

John Hoffman. 

Abr. Blumer, Pastor. 
JoH : Caspar Dill, Pastor. 

The treasurers of the two congregations, Peter Burkhalter, 
Esq., and Samuel Saeger kept accurate and detailed accounts 
of all receipts and expenditures. An assessment was laid upon 
each member, according to his means, which amount he was 
required to pay. The members of the Reformed congregation 
were assessed as follows : 

Peter Kohler, Esq., £ 29; Peter Burkhalter, Esq., £ 29; John 
Hoffman, £ 25; Jacob Mickly, £ 22; Jacob Kern, £ 22; Adam 
Deshler, £ 22; Elizabeth Steckel, widow of Peter Steckel, Henry 
Steckel and John Steckel, £ 22; Philip Jacob Schreiber, £ 20; 
Jacob Kohler, £ i?>; Peter Kern, George Remely and Jacob Miller, 
Sen., each £ 16; Martin Mickly and John Schad, each £ 15; 
Nicholas Traxel, £ 14; Peter Deshler, Peter Newhard and Philip 
Roth, each £ 13; Frederick Newhard, George Schad and Henry 
Biery, each £ 12; Michael Newhard, Jun., John Moritz and Jacob 
Flickinger, each £11; George Flickinger, £ io\ Christopher Kern, 
£ 8, 10 s. ; Peter Meyer, £ 8; Andrew Siegfried, £ 7, 10 s. ; Adam 
Traxel, Daniel Kern, Engelbert Hoffman and David Newhard, 
each £ 7 ; John Grob and Jacob Hartman, each ^5, 10 s. ; Michael 
Newhard, Jacob Steckel and John Kocher, each £ 5 ; Peter Hoff- 
man and Sebastian ^Miller, each £ 4; Martin Meyer, £ 3, 10 s. ; 
Jacob Meyer and IMartin Graff, each ;^3; Christian Traxel, £ i. 
10 s. ; George Hartman, ^ i. 2 s. 6 d.; Jacob Geiger, £ i; John 
Kern, Abraham Hartman and Andrew Keck, each 15 s.; Philip 
Faust, 7 s. 6 d. ; and Adam Kern, 3 s. The total contribution of 
the Reformed members amounted to £ 545. 2 s. 6i d. 

The members of the Lutheran congregation were assessed 
as follows: 

George Koehler, £ 25 ; Samuel Saeger, iJ 22 ; Christian Saeger, 
£ 22; Lorenz Ruch, £ 14; Conrad Leisenring, £ 12; John Meyer, 



21 

£ ii; Nicholas Saeger, Sen., ^ lo; Adam Zerfass and Andrew Fox, 
each £ 9; Adam Scheurer, £ 8. 10 s. ; Caspar Ritter, Christian 
Bertsch and Theobald Herzog, each £ 8; Jacob Laub's Executors 
and Adam Miller, each £ 7. 10 s. ; Michael Ringer, Sen. and Jacob 
Kretschman, each £ 7 ; Nicholas Saeger (son of Christian Saeger) 
and Andrew Jehl, each £ 6; Nicholas Herzog, Jacob Saeger, George 
Helferich and Jacob Wolf, each £ 5 ; Henry Ruch, £ 4; Henry Jehl, 
£ 3, ID s. ; George Jacob Schneck and Michael Deiber, each £ 3; 
William Laury, Peter Reng and Jacob Shantz, each £ 2 ; Sybilla 
Leisenring, widow of Conrad Leisenring, Sen., contributed £ 2; 
Philip Knappenberger, £1.175.; Michael Ringer, Jun. and George 
Miller, each £ 10. 10 s. ; Michael Zellner, £ i. 2 s. 6d.; Margaret 
Meyer, widow of Nicholas Meyer, contributed £ i ; Michael Miller, 
John Schantz and Philip Kurtz, each 15 s. ; Jacob Fischer, 10 s.; 
and George Hausser, 3 s. 9 d. The total contribution of the 
Lutheran members amounted to £ 262. 17 s. 4 d. 

These assessments were paid in installments, and interest 
was collected upon overdue installments. Upon the occasion 
of the cornerstone laying, on June 13, 1785, there was collected 
^11. 12 s. 4 d. On June 16, 1785, ten pounds alms money was 
received from the Reformed congregation. Contributions from 
non-members were received as follows : 

£ s. d. 

Christian Gilbert, of Lowhill Township 7 6 

Caspar Thomas, of Lowhill Township 3 9 

Abraham Dufheld & Longstreet 7 6 

Gottfried Knauss, of Northampton Parish i 2 6 

Nicholas Mafcks, formely a member of this Parish, now 

in : 10 o 

John Miller, carpenter, of Allentown 7 6 

Jacob Buchman, of Lehigh Township i 16 o 

John Henry Geiger, of Heidelberg Township . 7 6 

Peter Ealer, Esq., Sheriflf of Northampton County 15 o 

Conrad Ihrie, of Easton 10 o 

Adam Heberly, of Jordan Parish i 5 o 

Conrad Marcks, of Northampton Parish 10 o 

Theobald SchafTer, of Lehigh Township i o o 

Peter Kuntz, of Lehigh Township 10 o 

John Roth, of Northampton Parish 7 6 

John Lichtenwalder, of Jordan Parish 15 o 

Carl Beyer, Doctor, of Kutztown 17 7 

Joseph Bossner, shopkeeper 7 6 

Carl Hornberger, of Lynn Township 7 6 

Jacob Kolb, of Northampton Parish i o o 

David Deshler, of Northampton Parish 2 5 o 

John Loeser, now of Egypt Parish 9 o 

Adam Deshler, of Northampton Parish i 4 o 

Michael Kolb, of Northampton Parish . i 10 o 

Total £18 15 4 



22 

On June 4, 1786, at the dedication of the church, there was 
collected £ 26. 2 s. 6 d. 

In addition to this, the Reformed congregation collections 
(Allmosen) amounted to iJ 8. 17 s. 8 d.; that of the Lutherans to 
^ 4. 1 1 s. 5 d. ; and nails were sold amounting to ;^ 5. i s. 2 d., thus 
bringing the total receipts to £ 893. 3+ d. 

The expenditures in building the church were as follows: ^ 

The board and lodging of the carpenters, masons, quarrymen 
and mortar-carriers at 1 5 pence per day, the account of which -v^as 
kept by Conrad Schneider, the schoolmaster, and which was 
furnished by Jacyb Mickly, Henry and John Steckel, Peter Kohler 
and John Hoffman, amounted to ^ 117. 3 s. 2 d. 

The master joiners, John Miller and George Jacob Newhard, 
agreed to do the carpenter work for £ 200, Pennsylvania Currency. 
The total cost of the carpenter work, including interest on the 
payments, amounted to £ 224. 11 s. 3^ d. 

Nicolaus Ott, of Allentown, agreed to do the mason's work 
for £ 89. 5 s., Pennsylvania currency. The total paid hirti, 
including interest, was £ 90. 9 s. 

The smith's work was done by Peter Kern, of Whitehall 
township, at the rate of 14 pence per pound. The total paid him 
for iron supplied, tools sharpened and interest, was ^88. 11 s. 10 d. 

The shingles were purchased from Eyre and Wever, of 
Philadelphia, and cost £ 38. 5 s. 6 d. 

The boards were of white fir, pitch fir, white pine and oak, 
and were purchased from Christian Wirth, Jacob Mickly, John 
Hoffman, Michael Strohl, Michael Ohl, of Penn. township, Abra- 
ham Duflield, George Gilbert, Abraham Sterner, John Moritz and 
Peter Schneck, and the total cost was iJ 76. 19 s. 9 d. 

To the following quarrymen, mortar carriers and laborers, 
namely, John Merkel, John Schanz, John Hoffman, Solomon 
Ringer, Dietrich Hartman, Christian Kaesebauer, John Meyer, 
Abraham Hartman, John Loeser, Jacob Hauck, Daniel Roth, 
Jacob Kraft, Michael Zoellner, Conrad Naas, John Kern and John 
Kohler, at three shillings per day, was paid ^^57. 19 s. i d. 

The nails were bought of Wister & Co., in Philadelphia; 
Gottfried Roemelt, in Bethlehem; Wm. Gibbs & Co., in Phila- 
delphia; John Richards, in Philadelphia; Christian Heckewelder 
and Abraham Levering, in Bethlehem; and Peter Rhoads, in 
Allentown, and cost ^^ 31. 18 s. 3 d. 

The paint was purchased from Henry Epple and others in 
Philadelphia, and cost £ 14. 18 s. 11 d. 

The glass, bought in Philadelphia and Bethlehem, cost £ 24. 

The lime, bought of Samuel Saeger and Theobald Herzog, 
cost £ 2. 13 s. 4 d. 

For hair, bought of Philip Roth, Adam Zerfass, Simon 
Dreisbach, Samuel Saeger and Thomas Mowharter, was paid 
^ I. 2 s. 6 d. 



23 

For the sawing of wood by Peter Kohler and Jacob Shantz, 
and of laths, by Frederick Beck, of Lehigh township, was paid 
£ 22. 4 s. 2 d. 

For brandy, was paid ;^ 14. 12 s. 6 d. 

Among the miscellaneous expenses, were; 3 s. 9 d. for a white 
pint bottle, put in the cornerstone; £2. 16 s., for 1600 bricks of 
Charles Colver, of Bethlehem; £ i. 15 s. 9 d., for travelling 
expenses of Henry Epple, of Philadelphia, son-in-law of Peter 
Burkhalter, Esq., who painted the pulpit, altar, &c., without charge ; 
£ I. 2 s. 6 d., to Andrew Leisenring & Co. for the customary 
" Trinkgeld," for the carpenter apprentices; for Linseed, ^11. 
14 s. ; to Jacob Strein, for keeping all the accounts, iJ 5. 3 s. 10 d. 
Total £ 87. II s. 

The total expenditures amounted to £ 893. 3^ d. 

On August 9, 1 80 1, the accounts were closed and signed by 
Rev. Abraham Blumer; Peter Burkhalter, Trustee, Elder and 
Treasurer; Philip Jacob Schreiber, Trustee, Elder and Architect ; 
Jacob Mickly, Architect ; Peter Kohler, for his father Peter 
Kohler, deceased; and Michael Neuhard, Nicholas Kern and Jacob 
Meyer, Deacons, for the Reformed congregation; and by Rev. 
John Casper Dill ; Nicholas Saeger, for his father Christian Saeger, 
deceased, a former Trustee; Nicholas Seeger, Trustee; Nicholas 
Seeger, for his father Samuel Seeger, deceased, Architect and 
Treasurer; Adam Zerfassand Nicholas Seeger, Architects; Nicholas 
Saeger and Caspar Ritter, Elders; and George Ringer, John 
Saeger, George Keim and George Smull, for the Lutheran congre- 
gation. 

The Reformed congregation contributed to the cost of the 
organ, ^ 71. 8 s. 2 d., which was contributed by the same persons 
who contributed to the cost of the church, with the addition of 
Peter Burkhalter, Jun., John Kohler and Peter, son of Jacob 
Kohler. 

The Lutherans gave £ 28. 15 s. 4 d., contributed by the same 
members previously mentioned, with the addition of George 
Smull, Adam Knappenberger and Jacob Musgenung. 

Others who contributed were: Gottfried Knauss, Daniel 
Roth, John Roth, Jun., Conrad Marcks, Peter Schoener, John 
Roth, Sen., George Frederick, Nicholas Fox, Michael Kolb, 
George Schreiber, Stephen, Frederick and Henry Snyder, David 
and Adam Deshler, George Miller and George Yund, of the 
Northampton parish (Allentown) ; George Seem, Frederick Hauer, 
Sen., Daniel Schwarz, Simon Dreisbach, George Riess, Andrew 
and George Lilly, Adam Heckman, Conrad Kreider, John Sieg- 
fried, ^lichael Bieber, Adam Schoener, Frederick Kleppinger, 
George Edelman, Christian Hartman, Anton Kleppinger, Michael 
Keiper, George Haas, Frederick Kratzer, Henry Beil, Philip 
Faust and Adam Laubach, of Allen township; Nicholas Balliet, 
Jacob Wirth, Jacob Fenstermacher, Henry Beyer, John Baer, 



24 

Martin Andreas, Michael Remaly, Peter Siegfried and Jacob Baer, 
Jun., of Union parish; Jacob Buchman, Conrad Herman, John 
Seeger, John Bachman, John Alspach, Conrad Reiswig, Abraham 
Leyenberger, John Heuckly, Peter Mufly, Valentine Ahnewald, 
Theobald SchaefTer, Peter Kuntz, Adam Sold, John Schneider 
and John Gann, of Lehigh township; John ^liller, Anton Schaeffer, 
Caspar Hunsicker, John Wassum and John Keck, of Heidelberg 
township; William Meyer, George Meyer, Peter Traxel, Jun., 
Daniel Traxel, Adam Heberly, John Meyer, George Frederick 
Knauss, John Lehr, Peter Lehr, Michael Schneider, Lorenz Guth, 
Nicholas and David Meyer, Peter Guth and John Helferich, of 
Jordan parish ; Nicholas Bachman, of Lynn township ; Peter j\Iertz 
of Longswamp ; Peter Ealer, Sheriff, and Conrad Ihrie, of Easton ; 
John Balliet, Jacob Dinky and Leonhard Fischer. 

The total cost of the organ was ^ 154. 2 s. 9 d., of which 
£ 145 was paid to the builder, Dannenberg, of Lititz, ^ 3 to his 
son Samuel, for the usual "Trinkgeld," and the balance for the 
hauling of the organ from Lititz, board of two organbuilders, 
postage, etc. 

In 1787, a schoolhouse was built, costing £ 100. 6 s. 2 d., to 
which the Reformed side contributed £71. 10 s. 8 d., and the 
Lutherans, £ 28. 15 s. 6 d. 

John Hartman, of Upper Milford, received £ 2. 10 s., for 
building the cellar walls; John Heyberger, of Upper Milford, 
received £ 8. 10 s. for the mason work; George Jacob Newhard, 
of Allentown, received £24. 18 s. 3 d. for building the two-story 
log schoolhouse; John Leyenberger, of Lehigh township, received 
£ 8 for the shingles; the boards cost £ 22. 8 s. 9 d.; paint, glass, 
nails, etc., £10. 11 s. id.; lime, £ i. 16 s. 2 d. ; linseed-oil, ^^ i. 9 d., 
and miscellaneous expenses were ^8. 12 s. 10 d. 

Out of 124 feet of lumber, 100 feet of which w^as bought of 
John Moritz and 24 feet given by Jacob Mickly, a writing table 
and two benches, for the schoolroom were made, without charge, 
by Philip Jacob Schreiber and Peter Deshler. 

When the first schoolhouse at Egypt church was built, or 
who the first schoolmaster was is unknown. From the records 
we find, however, that John Carl Shribeler, was schoolmaster 
from 1774 to 1776. Conrad Schneider was schoolmaster and led 
the singing in 1785, but as he was no organist, he was requested 
to resign in 1786, and Jacob Strein became organist and school- 
teacher. He resigned in 1804 and removed to Lancaster. His 
successor was Henry Hemsing, of Hamburg, who served until 
1 8 10, when Adam Gilbert succeeded him. He was succeeded in 
1822 by Theodore Storb, who served several years and then 
removed to ^Montgomery county. He was followed bv John 
Daniel Eisenbraun, who served till 1829. Christian Schick then 
served until 1836, when John Bernd became organist and school- 
teacher. He resigned in 1846 and was succeeded by Francis G. 



25 

Berndt, who served for 41 years, until 1887. He was succeeded 
by Robert A. Benner, who died in 1901. His successor, WilUam 
H. Snyder, was elected February 9, 1902, and still holds the 
position. 

In 1 801 the four congregations sold the parsonage and land 
purchased in 1767 and bought a house and 25 acres of land from 
Michael Kern. 

Rev. John Gobrecht. 

Rev. John Gobrecht, son of Rev. John Christopher Gobrecht, 
who became the successor of Rev. Blumer, was born in Lancaster 
countv, December 10, 1773. He studied under Melsheimer, 
Stoecic and Hendel. He is said to have been of a peculiarly 
mild and affectionate disposition, and was greatly beloved by 
all who knew him. He lived on a farm but a short distance from 
here, on the road to Ballietsville. He was pastor at Egypt for 
thirtv vears. The last entry in the record book in his handwriting 
is dated February 15, 1831. He died March 5, 1831, and is 
buried here in the churchyard. 

His first wife was Hannah Troxel, who died March 12, 181 9, 
aged 32 vears, 5 months and 7 days, leaving eight children. He 
married a second time a Mrs. Hall, with whom he had two children. 

His successor in the pastorate was Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs. 

Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs, D. D. 

Joseph S. Dubbs was born October 16, 1796, at the family 
homestead, in Upper Milford (now Lower Milford) township, 
Lehigh county. Pa. He was the youngest son of Daniel Dubbs 
and his wife Elizabeth, a daughter of Martin Schwenk, of Mont- 
gomerv county. His grandfather, Jacob Dubs, a native of the 
parish of Birmansdorf, near Zurich, came to America in 1732 
and secured from the Penn family a tract of land on one of the 
branches of the Perkiomen Creek, where he erected a small forge 
and engaged extensively in the manufacture of guns and agri- 
cultural implements. His wife, Veronica, was the eldest daughter 
of John George Welker, who appears to have speculated exten- 
sively in land. The business which Jacob Dubs founded, was 
enlarged by his only son, Daniel, who in course of time erected 
a group of rustic industries. Besides the forge he owned a mill, 
saw mill, oil mill, cutlery (schleifmuehle), tannery and a large 
farm. He was the first to build a brick house within the limits 
of Lehigh countv, the brick for the building being manufactured 
on his own land. He was for many years an elder of the Great 
Swamp Reformed church, and of his six sons five became elders 
and one was a minister of the Gospel. 

Joseph, the subject of this sketch, early acquired consider- 
able mechanical skill, but also manifested talent in other directions. 
He took naturally to music and learned to play on several instru- 



26 

ments; so that he was able to earn a part of the expenses of his 
education by conducting singing schools. For some time, he 
attended a Quaker school in Chester county, for the purpose of 
becoming more familiar with the English language. 

. Having determined to prepare himself for the ministry, he 
placed himself under the care of the Rev. F. L. Herman, D. D., 
who prepared many candidates for his profession. The school 
which he conducted was popularly know as the "Swamp College." 
For four years, he was under Dr. Herman's instruction, and in 
1822, was licensed to preach the Gospel, with special authority 
to administer the sacraments. In September, 1823, he was 
regularly ordained. 

During this period occurred the division, which led to the 
organization of the Free Synod of Pennsylvania. Though 
ordained by this body he always regretted the division and took 
the lead in the measures which led to reunion. In 1836, he was 
the chairman of the commission by which this work was accom- 
plished. 

His first charge consisted of the Windsor and Weiss churches, 
in Berks county, of which he assumed the pastorate in 1822. 
In 1824 the Eppler's church, and in 1826 the Hain's church were 
added to the field. 

Dr. Dubbs was warmly attached to his first charge, but it 
proved exceedingly laborious. His churches were situated almost 
in a straight line for a distance of almost thirty miles. In reaching 
his most distant appointments he was compelled to cross three 
streams, the Schuylkill, the Antelauny and the Tulpehocken. 
There were no bridges over these streams in those days, and in 
winter he was often compelled to cross them at the peril of his life. 

In 1 83 1, he accepted a call from this charge in Lehigh county, 
consisting of the Allentown, Egypt, Union and Jordan churches. 
There had been four candidates for the pastorate of this charge, 
and at first there was some disagreement, particularly in Allen- 
town, where a second congregation was organized, which after 
three years returned to the parent body. The first baptism 
recorded by him at Egypt is dated August 28, 1831. Dr. Dubbs, 
remained pastor of the entire charge until 1861, assisted in Allen- 
town, in later years, by his son, Alfred, and the Rev. C. R. Kessler. 
At various times, he also preached at Rittersville, Cedarville 
and Morgenland. After retiring from the Allentown church in 
1 86 1, he continued to preach to the other congregations of his 
charge until 1868, when he resigned and removed to Allentown, 
where he lived in retirement until his death, which occurred April 
14, 1877. 

The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred 
upon him in 1866, by Franklin and Marshall College. 

Dr. Dubbs was twice married; the first time to Susan Getz, 
a daughter of Nicholas Getz, of Berks county; the second time 



in 1837, to Mrs. Eleanor Murphy, a daughter of David Lerch 
and his wife Eleanor Jones. By the first marriage he had three 
children; Alfred, who became a minister and is well remembered, 
and two daughters who were respectively married to Owen L. 
Schreiber and James 0. Shimer. By the second marriage he had 
two sons, Joseph Henry, who has been for many years a professor 
in the college at Lancaster, and a prominent historian of the 
Reformed church, and Silas, who died in childhood. 

A leading trait in the character of Dr. Dubbs was supreme 
regard for the demands of duty. Nothing could induce him to 
miss an engagement and he kept the records of his ministry with 
the utmost care. He preached over eight thousand sermons; 
baptized 7,065 infants and adults; attended 2778 funerals; and 
solemnized 2,176 marriages. In the general affairs of his denom- 
inations, he took a profound interest; and at a meeting of the 
Classis of East Penna. prepared and offered the resolution which 
finally led to the preparation of the "Order of Worship." In an 
extant letter the late Dr. Schaff calls him "the father of the 
German hymn book" because he first suggested its publication. 
Socially he was unusually genial and for many years was the 
friend and adviser of his people in secular no less than in religious 
affairs. Few ministers have been regarded and remembered by 
their people with such profound affection. 

Rev. Samuel A. Leinbach, A.M. 

On the 22nd of September, 1867, Rev. Samuel A. Leinbach, 
A. M., preached his first sermon in Egypt church, and in 1868 was 
elected pastor of the congregation. Rev. Leinbach, is the 
youngest son of the late Rev. Thomas H. Leinbach, of the Tulpe- 
hocken charge, in Lebanon county, who had been a fellow student 
and a life-long friend of the Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs, D. D. Rev. 
Leinbach was educated in the public schools," the Myerstown 
Academy, Swatara Institute, Franklin and Marshall College, 
where he graduated in the class of 1864, and the Mercersburg 
Theological Seminary, where he completed his course in the 
spring of 1867. 

"Father Dubbs," as he was fondly called by his parishioners, 
had served the Egypt Reformed congregation for a period of 37 
years, when, on account of the infirmities of age, he resigned, 
recommending Rev. Leinbach as his successor, and giving him 
his kindly help and hearty support. On the 2nd of February, 
1868, Rev. Leinbach preached his introductory sermon, selecting 
for his text Hebrews, 13th chapter and 17th verse. A committee 
appointed by the East Pennsylvania Classis, consisting of Revs. 
Drs. J. S. Dubbs, Strassburger and Loose, installed him into the 
pastorate, in the month of May, the latter preaching the sermon. 
Rev. Leinbach was then in his twenty-fourth year. 




Rev. Samuel A. Leinbach, A. M. 



29 

Services were now held regularly, every two weeks, instead 
of every four as had been the custom, but Rev. Leinbach having 
two vacant Sundays in a month, and eager for more work, was 
requested by the Classis to preach in the Public School Building, 
in the growing town of Slatington, with a view of gathering 
material for a congregation in that place. After one year's 
service he retired to make room for another brother, by whom 
an organization was effected, which soon became self-supporting 
and is now in a very flourishing condition. 

For a number of years he also assisted the Rev. Dr. Wm. R. 
Hofford, in preaching to an unorganized congregation in the 
Public School Building at Coplay, the place of his residence. 
Largely through his labors, with the aid of B. S. Levan, Superin- 
tendant of the Lehigh Valley Iron Company and Owen L. 
Schreiber, a son-in-law of Rev. Dubbs, a congregation was 
organized and Rev. Leinbach chosen as its pastor. A neat church 
was erected and dedicated on June 15, 1873, s-^d being a daughter 
of the Egypt church, it was added to the charge. In the year 
1869 he also held services in Laury's schoolhouse, and succeeded 
in organizing a congregation, of material mostly belonging to the 
Egypt church. This congregation was organized on the 12th of 
May, 1872, and on Sept. 14, 1874, the so-called Miller's church 
was dedicated. This congregation was also added to the Egypt 
charge, so that it consisted of three congregations, which Rev. 
Leinbach served to the end of his pastorate, preaching his last 
sermon in the charge on December 23, 1883. 

After ha.ving served the charge for a period of sixteen years, 
he resigned January i, 1884, to accept a call from the Leesport 
charge, near Reading. During his pastorate in Egypt, he baptized 
about six hundred, officiated at 356 funerals, married 146 and 
confirmed 384. Twelve of those confirmed by him became 
ministers of the Gospel, and five others were influenced by him 
to study for the ministry. There are comparatively few congre- 
gations, if any, from which such a large number of ministers of 
the Gospel have come. During his pastorate in 1874, the church 
building was remodelled and re-dedicated on November 11, 1874. 
Rev. Leinbach now resides in Reading. 

Rev. Wm. R. Hofford, D.D. 

The late Rev. William R. Hofford, D. D., was elected pastor 
on December 15, 1883, and entered upon his duties January i, 
1884. Rev. Hofford, the son of Joseph and Sarah Hofford, was 
born May 8, 1833, ^^ Upper Saucon township, Lehigh county, 
and confirmed October 12, 1850, in Zion's Reformed church, 
Allentown. His preliminary education was obtained in the public 
schools, qualifying him to become a teacher in a district school. 

In 1 85 1, he was admitted as a scholar in the Allentown 
Seminary; in 1855, he was graduated in Franklin and Marshall 




•«'»».!» 

e-'****. 




Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs, D. D. 






Rev. Wm. R. Hofford, D. D. 




Rev. Geo. P. Stem. 



College, Lancaster; and in 1857, in the Theological Seminary, 
at Mercersburg, Pa. After his graduation, he accepted the 
appointment of teacher of Latin and Greek in Cumberland Valley 
Institute, Mechanicsburg, Pa., which position he held for several 
years. He was licensed May 12, 1858, to the Gospel ministry. 
For one year he filled the position as teacher of Ancient Languages 
in the Allentown Seminary. He subsequently became principal 
and continued in this service to 1864. He was ordained and 
installed February i, 1863, as pastor of Lower Saucon congre- 
gation. In the following year, Williams township congregation 
was added to his charge, and he continued to serve these two 
congregations until 1869. He supplied the congregation at 
Freemansburg, from May i, 1869 to September 29, 1872, and 
also South Whitehall, from May 3, 1863. In 1867, he was elected 
professor of Latin Language and Literature in INIuhlenberg College. 
In 1868, he was elected President of Female College in Allentown, 
which he filled with credit to himself for five successive years. 
In 1883, he was called to the Egypt charge, which he served 
until the close of his life, a period of seventeen years. He preached 
his last sermon on the 5th of November, 1900. After suffering 
several years, with rheumatism, his ailment finally culminated 
in apoplexy. He died January 31, 1901, at the age of 67 years, 
5 months and 23 days. The funeral service was held February 
4th, and his mortal remains were buried in Union cemetery, 
Allentawn, Pa. 

Rev. George P. Stem, A. M. 

Rev. George P. Stem, a son of the late William and Eliza 
Kemmerer Stem, was born at Cherryville, Northampton Co., 
Penna., and spent his boyhood at Stemton, Pa., now a part of 
the Borough of Alliance, where his father was interested in the 
Stemton Car Works. 

He received his early education in the public schools of 
Stemton, the Weaversville Academy, under Prof. Edward Kummer, 
and the Preparatory Department of Muhlenberg College. Entering 
the College as a freshman, September, 1882, he continued his 
studies here until the end of the Junior year, entered the Senior Class 
of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., September, 
1885 and graduated in June, 1886. 

He engaged in the profession of teaching, and for two terms 
taught the Grammar School, at Slatington, Pa. 

He entered the Eastern Theological Seminary at Lancaster, 
Pa., the opening of the fall term, in 1888, graduating in May, 1 891, 
and was examined and licensed by Lehigh Classis. Having 
received and accepted a call from the Littlestown charge, Gettys- 
burg Classis, he was ordained and installed as pastor on the evening 
of July 5, 1 89 1, bv a committee consisting of Rev. J. C. Bowman, 
D. D., Rev.. W. E. Krebs, D. D. and Rev. F. C. Lindaman. His 



pastorate of nearly eight years marked an increase in church 
membership, benevolent contributions and improvement of the 
parsonage and church building. 

Rev. Stem became the assistant to the late Dr. W. R. Hof- 
ford, by whom he had been confirmed at the Mickley's church, and 
upon his death became his successor of the Egypt charge, consisting 
of the Egypt, Miller and Cementon congregations. He was installed 
as pastor, Trinity Sunday, June 2, 1901, by the Rev. S. G. Wagner, 
D. D., Rev. A. R. Bartholemew, D. D., and Rev.T. J. Hacker, D. D. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Stem, the evening communion 
and English services were introduced, as also the envelope system, 
and 100 hymn books procured for the use of the congregation. 
The ofiferings of the charge for benevolence were doubled. The 
extensive church improvements are described in detail under 
another head. 

In June, 1891, he married Elizabeth Laubach, daughter of 
the late Adam and Caroline Laury Laubach. Three children 
were born to them, Laury George, Karl Kemmerer and Caroline 
Laubach Stem. 



Reformed Pastors at Egypt Church, i 734-1 908 

John Philip Boehm 1734 

John Henry Goetschius 1 736-1 739 

John Philip Boehm 1741 

John Conrad Wuertz 1 742-1 744 

Michael Schlatter 1747 

John Philip Boehm 1749 

John Jacob Wissler 1 752-1 754 

Unknown 1 754-1 764 

John Daniel Gros 1 764-1 770 

Abraham Blumer 1771-1801 

John Gobrecht 1801-1831 

Joseph S. Dubbs 1831-1868 

Samuel A. Leinbach 1868-1883 

William A. Hofford 1884-1901 

George P. Stem 1901- 




Rev. J. D. ScHiNDEL, D. D. 



History of the Lutheran Congregation 
of Egypt Church. 

Bv Rev. J. D. ScHiNDEL, D. D. 



A sketch of the Lutheran congregation, of Egypt Church, 
can not well be presented without at least a reference to the 
locality of the church, Egypt itself, with its extremely interesting 
history. Nor would it be just to make no mention of the sister 
Reformed congregation which occupies at this time, 1908, and 
has occupied, in peace and harmony, with the Lutheran congre- 
gation, the three Union Church buildings for over one hundred 
and forty-four years. So also we can simply allude to the erection 
of the three church buildings and their repairing and remodeling 
from time to time, up to this date. The same is true with the 
organists, organs, school-houses, schools, improvements to the 
burial grounds, the acquisition of the land belonging to the church, 
and a great many other matters of interest and importance. A 
separate sketch is necessary for these and we must confine our- 
selves to the history of the Lutheran wing of the Egypt Church. 

As is only too frequently the case, the records of the Lutheran 
congregation here, were also found to be very meager and incom- 
plete. The earliest communion list found, bears the date 1803, 
1 8th Sunday after Trinity. It is stated that the communion was 
held in "the Organ Church, in Whitehall." Because the Egypt 
Church had in its use a pipe organ, it was often called the "organ" 
church. At this communion, administered no doubt by Rev. 
John Caspar Dill, who was then the regular pastor, there were (32) 
thirty-two communicants. In this list of thirty-two communi- 
cants, we find the names of three Nicholas Saegers; they were, 
Nicholas Saeger, Esq., Nicholas Saeger, Jr. and Nicholas Saeger, 
the son of Samuel Saeger. There is also on hand a record of 
baptisms from 1778 to 1843. The Reformed congregation of 
Egypt has such a record which goes back to 1734. This book for 
baptisms was presented to the Lutheran congregation by Mr. 
Christian Bertsch, on November 27, 1784. Mr. Bertsch came into 
the congregation from Northampton County, where he was born 



35 

and raised. He was an active, faithful member of the congrega- 
tion and was the ancestor of the different Bertsch famihes, who 
are now, and have been, connected with the Egypt Lutheran 
congregation for over one hundred and twenty-five years. Mr. 
Bertsch was born in 1756, died in 181 9 and is buried at Cherryville. 
The first baptism recorded in this book is that of Samuel Saeger, 
a son of Nicholas Saeger, Esq. and his wife Barbara. He was born 
in Egvpt, April 17, 1778 and was baptized on May 17, of the same 
year, no doubt by Rev. Daniel Lehman. His sponsors were 
Daniel Staery and wife Elizabeth. 

From the most reliable records and documents, we learn that 
the Lutheran congregation did not exist before 1757. There were 
of course Lutherans in and around Egypt long before this date. 
The Saeger family was one of the first and most prominent. 
Nicholas Saeger came to Egypt from the Upper Palatinate, Ger- 
many, in 1733. His name was really John Nicholas. He was 
the ancestor of the Saegers still connected with the Egypt 
Lutheran congregation as well as of the Saegers well known in 
Lehigh County and Allentown. He and his immediate descen- 
dants, as the records showed, took a very active and prominent 
part in the welfare of the Lutheran congregation at Egypt. In 
1737, alreadv he was established and was the owner then of two 
hundred and fifty acres of land in the vicinity of Egypt. He died 
in 1762. His son Samuel was married in 1752 to Anna Eva, the 
daughter of Frederick Eberhard. Some of the land on which 
the church building of 1785 stood, was secured from Christian 
Saeger by exchange, and Samuel and Christian Saeger were 
trustees when that second church building was erected in 1785. 
Another pioneer, some of whose descendants are still connected 
with the congregation, was George Ringer. He lived within the 
bounds of the congregation as early as 1 748. The woodland which 
belongs to Egypt Church, was purchased of him in 1802, half an 
acre of which woodland he gave the church as a present. He was 
a stone mason by trade. The Ruch family is another prominent 
pioneer family. In the old graveyard of Jordan Lutheran Church 
is still found at this date, 1908, a brown sandstone, in a good state 
of preservation, on which we find this inscription: "Here rests 
George Ruch, born in x\lsace, Zinzendorf, in 1664. He died in 
the year 1 769 ; his age is 1 04 years, 1 1 months. ' ' In connection with 
the organization of the Lutheran congregation of Lehigh Church, 
near Alburtis, Lehigh Co., Pa., we find in the year 1750 the name 
of George Ruch. No doubt this was the same man who was the 
ancestor of the Ruch family so long and so well known in the 
Lutheran congregation at Egypt. The family of Adam Scheurer 
and wife Catharine Elizabeth, is also one of the early families. 
Their son Daniel was born October 27, 1778, and baptized Novem- 
ber 15, of same year, no doubt by Rev. Daniel Lehman. Nicholas 
Hertzog and his wife IMaria Catharine were the sponsors. Their 



36 

descendants are still identified with the congregation. From an 
old certificate of baptism the writer of this sketch saw that Rev. 
Theophilus Emanuel Franz baptized the later well-known John 
Jacob Scheurer, the son of Adam Scheurer and wife Catharine 
Elizabeth, on November 24, 1782, in Egypt. The Ritter family 
is still well represented in the congregation. As early as 1791, we 
find that Philip Ritter and his wife had their son John Philip, 
baptized on February 13th. Caspar Ritter and his wife Ottilia 
were the sponsors and no doubt Rev. Jacob Van Buskirk baptized 
the child. When the writer of this sketch took charge of this 
congregation, in the spring of 1888, and had completed his list of 
membership, he found that he had sixty-two Ritter names, most 
of whom are still in the congregation. The Leisenring family is 
perhaps the best known early family of the Lutheran congregation 
of Egypt Church. Johann Conrad Leisenring was the progenitor 
of all the Leisenrings in the United States. He came into the 
vicinity of Egypt evidently as early as 1771, when he purchased 
the Joseph Showalter farm and gave it the Leisenring name. The 
farm continued in that name for one hundred and thirty-five years, 
when it was sold. The distinguished ancestor is buried in the old 
cemetery at Egypt and his tombstone tells us he was born in 
Europe, June 29, 1727, and died near Egypt on August 14, 1781. 
A few of the family are still in the congregation at Egypt. The 
Leisenring family was intermarried with the well-known Laury 
family, one of whose most distinquished members was the late 
Hon. David Laury, of Laury's Station. From the earliest records 
of baptism that we have of the Egypt Lutheran congregation, 
found in the diary of Rev. Daniel Schumacher, the first pastor of 
the congregation, we take the following referring to the Laury 
family: "In Egypt, June 19, 1763, Jacob, son of Michael Laueri 
and wife Barbara. Sponsors were — Jacob Flickinger and Salome 
Newhard, Jacob Miller and wife Rebecca Elizabeth." 

Time and space forbid any reference to the later families of 
the congregation, although such reference would be just as 
interesting and important. No doubt the early families of the 
congregation prior to 1765, attended service when the Reformed 
congregation had such, and likely, at communion seasons, they 
went as far as Upper Saucon, Blue Church, ]\Iacungie, Jordan 
or other regularly organized Lutheran congregations though at 
some distance from Egypt. In the records of the Blue Church, 
Upper Saucon, it is stated that in 1740, children were brought to 
this church from Egypt to be baptized. In 1757, on May 3rd, the 
records of the same church show that Johann Ahrenbold Eberhard, 
of Egypt, was married to Anna Margaretta Weber, of Lower 
Saucon, a daughter of Frederick Weber. 

The Egypt Lutheran congregation has steadily, though at 
times slowly, increased from its small beginning in membership 
until it has become one of the largest country congregations in 



37 

the county, if not in this section of the state. Though the organ- 
ization of a Lutheran congregation at Cementon in 1900, took 
away at least one hundred of its members, yet in these eight 
years the congregation has again gained more than that number. 
The sketch of the church itself will also show the continued 
improvements made to the property itself, belonging to the 
two congregations. It is but just to say that the congregation 
has advanced decidedly in liberality, churchliness and we -hope 
also in pietv. The offerings for benevolence are more than four 
times as much as they were twenty years ago, and the congrega- 
tion has always taken part in this good work of the church. As 
early as 1814, Rev. F. W. Mendsen, then pastor, makes record 
of the fact that on August 21, of that year, the congregation 
contributed the sum of S29.64 for the benefit of the Orphan's 
Home, at Halle, Germany, after it had been greatly damaged by 
the ravages of war. The congregation has always stood in con- 
nection with the Ministerium of Penna. If not by any special 
formal action or constitutional provision, then certainly by the 
constant representation at the annual meetings bv delegates 
from the congregation. As early as 1769, at the meeting of the 
Ministerium in Philadelphia, June 25 to 27, representatives came 
from Egypt to confer with Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg, so also in 
1785, at the meeting held in Philadelphia, May 22 to 24, certain 
delegates appeared from Egypt, Heidelberg and Union Churches 
and asked that Rev. Schellhardt be ordained as their pastor. 
The request was not granted. In 1786 the request was repeated 
and the Ministerium declined again. Rev. Mendsen at times 
became indifferent and independent as to Synodical connection 
but when Rev. Thomas Steck became pastor at Egypt the old 
relation was fully re-established and has continued so ever since. 
In 1 82 1 the Lutheran Conference held its meeting in Egypt 
Church, as also in 1840, 1868, 1875 and in 1885. In the Fall of 
1885 a large Missionary meeting was held here. Revs. Drs. INIann, 
C. W. Schaeffer, S. A. Repass and A. R. Home were the principal 
speakers. At this same meeting the woman's Home and For- 
eign ^lissionary Society, of the Ministerium of Penna, had its 
beginning and initial meeting. Mrs. Artman, the widow of the 
late Rev. H. G. Artman, Missionary to India, had returned to 
America, was present and took an active part in the meeting 
and in the organization of the society which has since been so 
active and accomplished so much good. The missionary spirit 
created by this meeting also resulted in the formation of the 
Egypt Lutheran Missionary Society which is still active and 
prosperous. This was during the incumbency of Rev. J. S. 
Renninger. 

The congregation has also the great satisfaction of having 
in'the ministry of the gospel a goodly number of her sons. They 
are, as nearly as can be ascertained, the following: Rev. Prof. 



38 

F. K. Bernd, now of Kutztown, Pa. ; Rev. A. J. Long, of Stouchs- 
burg, Pa. ; Rev. J. H. Kuder, of Lehighton, Pa. ; Rev. H. J. Kuder, 
of Siegfried, Pa. ; Rev. A. J. L. Breinig, departed; Rev. C. F. 
Kuder, for a second time a Missionary in India; and Rev. O. S. 
Scheirer, of Stony Run, Pa. As will be noticed, the congregation 
can point to something more than ordinary in this line. Out of 
one of its families, the Kuder family, its three sons, John, Hiram 
and Calvin are in the ministry. 

The history of the Egypt Lutheran congregation will become 
still more interesting as we follow, in regular order, the history 
of its successive pastors. 

Rev. John Joseph Roth. 

It is claimed that Rev. John Joseph Roth, who was serving 
the newly organized Lutheran congregation, of Allentown, then 
known as Northampton, in 1763, was the first regular pastor of 
the Lutheran congregation of Egypt Church and had served the 
same until 1769. This is of course an error, for Rev. Roth died 
in 1764 and was buried May, 13, 1764, in the graveyard of the 
Blue Church, near Coopersburg, in Upper Saucon, Lehigh County. 
He was never a regular pastor at Egypt, but the connection of 
his name with the Lutheran congregation there can be accounted 
for in two ways. In 1763 the Indian troubles took place near 
Egypt. With these troubles he was largely identified, had 
raised a company for defence and became the captain of the same. 
In October of 1763, when the Lutheran Ministerium, or Synod 
of Penna, met in Philadelphia, he could not attend on account 
of these Indian troubles and was excused. His intimate con- 
nection with these troubles no doubt brought him to Egypt and 
vicinity. Being in the neighborhood of the Egypt Church, he 
may have been called upon to discharge ministerial acts fre- 
quently and was thus handed down by tradition as a regular 
pastor. But there is another reason that may have connected 
him with the Egypt Lutheran congregation. At this time, 1760 
to 1763, we are reliably informed, there was an effort made to 
build a church in the vicinity of what we now know as Helf rich's 
Springs. Burials had taken place there and the old site of this 
graveyard remained until 1895 when it was demolished, the 
tombstones removed and the land taken into cultivation. The 
land is now owned and cultivated by Mr. Tilghman G. Helf rich, 
a descendant of the old Helfrich family. In the possession of 
Mr. Helfrich is a tombstone which bears this inscription — "Anna 
Catharine Miller, — born in the year 1733, died Aug. 18, 1775." 
This lady was a near relative of the late Joshua Miller, of Lower 
Catasauqua, and of the late Peter Miller, of near Mickley's, who 
were both of the founders of Mickley's Church, almost sixty 
years ago, and who were both baptized and confirmed in Egypt 



39 

Church. The preaching for this prospective church at Helfrich's 
Springs and the regular rehgious services were held in an old 
grist mill which still has a successor at that same place and is 
now owned and worked by Mr. Thomas Helfrich. But now, 
1763, a Lutheran congregation was organized in the town of 
Northampton, Allentown, only two miles away from Helfrich's 
Springs. It is easily seen that the project therefore at the latter 
place had to be abandoned. Rev. Roth became the first pastor 
of this newly organized Lutheran congregation at Allentown 
and no doubt had preached for the people at Helfrich's Springs. 
Many of the families also interested in this project came from 
the vicinity of Egypt and went to church services there, such 
as the Ringers, some of the Roths, the Eberhards, Millers, Sherers 
Schadts and others. Coming in constant contact with Rev. 
Roth he appeared as their regular pastor. Besides, we know 
that Rev. Schumacher was at Egypt as early as 1757 and thus 
Rev. Roth could not have been a regular pastor there. 

Rev. Daniel Schumacher. 

From the private record or diary of Rev. Schumacher which 
is now with the Archives of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, 
Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, we gathered many interesting and 
important facts. This diary was given to the writer's father, 
Rev. Jeremiah Schindel, by one of Schumacher's descendants, 
in Weisenburg, Lehigh Co., Pa. In 1754 he came from Nova 
Scotia, by way of New York, to Eastern Pennsylvania, where 
he labored until 1774. It is claimed that he w^as in Reading as 
early as 1751 and was the first pastor to begin the record of 
Trinity Lutheran Church of Reading. He certainly labored 
there in 1755-58. It is also claimed that he was licensed by the 
]\Iinisterium of Penna., in 1754 which claim after proper investi- 
gation, can not be substantiated. He was not a member of the 
Ministerium. He came to Salzburg Church in January, 1759, 
as the records show. From these private records we see that he 
labored at Egypt as early as 1757, as already shown. In August 
30, 1757 he baptized in Whitehall, Egypt, Catharine, a daughter 
of Hans Nicholas Koch (Kooch) and wife Anna Catharine. The 
sponsors were Abraham Ely and wife Catharine. On May 18, 
1758, he baptized Catharine Elizabeth, the daughter of Nicho- 
las Hertzog. According to his dairy he confirmed a class of 
Catechumens in Egypt in 1760, one in 1762, one in 1765 and one 
again on Good Friday, 1767. He calls the Egypt Church the 
"Lehigh Church," a name given to it from the very beginning. 
We find no positive traces of him as serving Egypt regularly 
after 1767. In his diary he mentions having confirmed classes 
in "Lehigh Township" in 1769, 1771 and 1773. We are inclined 
to think that this was "Lehigh Township," of Northampton 



40 

County, or our present Cherry ville or Indianland. He records 
a baptism from that place — "Feb. lo, 1760, Maria Magdalena, 
daughter of Andreas Schitterly and wife Catharine Margretta. 
The sponsors were, Wilham Best and Regina Wannamacher. " 
He also records the following baptisms: "In Northampton, 
May 21, 1758, Maria Barbara, a daughter of Henrich Busch and 
wife Anna Maria. Sponsors were Anna Barbara Schaus. This 
baptism was administered at Easton, Pa., and it is noted that 
Schumacher preached for the first time in Easton during this 
visit. "In Lehigh Church," that is Egypt, November 25, 1759, 
Johann Peter, son of Johann Peter Koch and wife Catharine, 
sponsors: Carl Kress and wife Juliana (Drachsel). "In Egypt," 
February 11, 1760, Anna Maria, daughter of Hans Nicholas 
Hertzog and wife Maria Catharina, sponsors: Christopher Baehr 
and Anna Maria Wirth; John Schad and Catharina Wedder. 
"In Egypt," Feb. 11, 1760, Johann Juerg (George), son of Juerg 
Ringer and wife Christiana, sponsors: Michel and wife Margretta. 
"In Egypt" September 7, 1760, Johann Nicholas Saeger, 3 weeks 
old, son of Samuel Saeger and wife Anna Eva, sponsors: Johannes 
Nicholas Fuchs, Nicholas Saeger, Juliana Drachsel and Margretta 
Hertzog. In connection with this baptism, Schumacher states 
that Egypt is one of his regular congregations. He served 16 
congregations at this time. It is claimed that Rev. Schumacher 
served Weisenburg in 1757. He must have continued to serve 
this congregation to his end for his remains are buried in the 
Weisenburg Church graveyard. The many Schumacher families 
of Weisenburg and Lowhill are his descendants. The name is 
generally written now Shoemaker. 

Rev. Jacob V.^n Buskirk. 

Rev. Jacob Van Buskirk was no doubt the second regular 
pastor of Egypt Lutheran congregation. He was the son of 
Captain Jacob (some say Lawrence) Van Buskirk and was of 
Hollandish descent. This fact, later on, enabled Rev. Van Bus- 
kirk to render very valuable services to Patriarch Muhlenberg. 
He formed a kind of union between the Dutch of New York and 
the Germans of Pennsylvania. He was born at or near Hack- 
ensack, N. J., on February 11, 1739. In the years 1751 and 
1752 when Muhlenberg was often in New York and Hackensack, 
N. J., Captain Van Buskirk was a member and also an officer of 
the Dutch Lutheran Church, of New York City. Muhlenberg 
was a very intimate friend of the Van Buskirk family. We are 
told that he visited them frequently and even held preaching 
services in their home, when they and neighboring families had 
gathered for that purpose. His influence no doubt induced 
young Van Buskirk to study for the ministry. The preparatory 
education of Van Buskirk was conducted by his pastor the Rev. 



41 

J. A. Weygandt. He also studied for a time at Princeton College, 
and finally December 31, 1760, he went to Philadelphia ; and from 
this time on until his ordination, on October 12, 1763, he was 
under the care and direction of Muhlenberg himself. It is 
claimed that VanBuskirk was the first native born American to 
enter the Lutheran ministry. He was married March 15, 1764, 
to Anna Marie Hollenbach. His first charge was "New Hanover 
and Pikestown beyond the Schuylkill." In 1765 he was called 
to St. Michael's, Germantown. In 1769 he came to Lehigh, then 
Northampton County. In Allentown, then called Northampton, 
he served from 1769 to 1778. He also served Macungie, now 
"Lehigh" Church near Alburtis, Saltzburg, Milford, Upper Saucon 
and Egvpt. In 1783 we find him in Kunkletown, Pleasant Valley, 
Monroe County. He came to Egypt the latter part of 1769, did 
not remain long, however, this time, and came back again and 
served the congregation a second time from 1789 to 1799. He 
likely left Egypt the first time in 1770 when he was followed by 
Rev. John George Yung who had come to Jordan in 1769. 

In a letter written April 16, 1782, by Rev. Emanuel vSchultze, 
then president of the Ministerium of Penna., to Rev. Henry Mel- 
chior Muhlenberg then living at the Trappe, Rev. Schultze says 
he had "received a letter from the congregation in Allen Township, 
Northampton County, in which they request the continued services 
of Rev. Mr. Van Buskirk." We can not determine whether 
Van Buskirk supplied this congregation from Saltzburg and 
Macungie, for he was no longer at Egypt nor at Allentown. What 
congregation this could have been in Allen Township is not easy 
to determine either. It may have been our Cherryville, as we 
find Van Buskirk in Kunkletown in 1783 and that is not far away 
from Cherryville. The same letter of Rev. Schultze states that 
Rev. Theophilus Emanuel Franz was serving congregations at 
this time not far away from Van Buskirk. Now, at this time, 
1782, we know that Rev. Franz was at Jordan and Egypt. We 
know of a certainty that Van Buskirk was at Egypt from 1789 
to 1799. In the old records of the Egypt Church is seen that it 
was customary for the pastor and his church council to audit 
the current expense account and sign their names to the same. 
The audit of January i, 1801, is signed by Rev. Johann Caspar 
Dill and his church council. The one of October 19, 1799, for 
they seem to have been made only every few years, was signed 
by Van Buskirk and his church council, so also the audit of 
October 22, 1796, August 20, 1794, and September 12, 1789 were 
signed the same way. Before this last date we do not find these 
signatures, so that we can see that Van Buskirk's second term 
of service at Egypt extended from 1789 to 1799. Besides, in 
1875 we buried Peter Eberhard, a deaf and dumb man, at Mick- 
ley's Church to which place the Eberhard family had moved 
after leaving Egypt. From his baptismal certificate we learned, 



42 

as also from the old record for baptisms in Egypt Church, that 
Peter Eberhard was baptized on September i, 1799, 3-t Egypt, 
by Rev. Van Buskirk. 

So successful and acceptable was Van Buskirk's ministry 
in Lehigh County that when he received a call, in 1793, to become 
pastor of three Lutheran congregations in Bucks County, at 
Upper Dublin, Whitpain and Gwynedd, these congregations 
here refused to call a successor so that he would return again. 
He really did so and seems to have cared for both charges, for 
in 1799 he was back again altogether in Bucks County. For a 
long time he lived on his farm in Lower Macungie, Lehigh County. 
In 1792 he sold the farm to Christopher Andres, the great-grand- 
father of Rev. W. J. Andres, of Bath, Pa., and moved to Macungie, 
then called ]\Iillerstown. In this place he owned a tannery which 
after his death passed into the hands of his son-in-law, Mr. John 
Singmaster, the grandfather of Rev. J. A. Singmaster, D. D., 
president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, at Gettysburg, 
Pa. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, a prominent 
member of the Ministerium of Pa., a member of the first Board 
of Trustees, of Franklin College, now Franklin and Marshall 
College, of Lancatser, Pa. He excelled especially as a catechist 
and possessed wonderful power of personal magnatism. Whilst 
serving his last charge, the three congregations in Bucks Countv, 
already mentioned, he died suddenly on August 5, 1800, while 
on his way on horseback to an appointment. He had preached 
the Sunday before, in the yellow church. ' He is buried in the 
cemetery near the Lutheran Church, of North Wales, formerly 
known as Gwynedd, where his grave can still be seen. His 
age, when he died, was 61 years, 5 months and 26 davs. 

Rev. John George Yung. 

Rev. Van Buskirk was succeeded by Rev. John George 
Yung. He evidently came to Egypt in 1771 and remained until 
1773. He preached at Union and Jordan churches from 1769 
to 1773. At Jordan, he built, in 1770, the log part of the old 
parsonage, in which the writer of this sketch was born. Under 
Yung also was built the second (stone) church at Jordan which 
stood until 1842, when the present edifice was erected. The 
corner stone of this second church is embodied in the wall of the 
present building and may be seen over the door leading into 
the basement. The first church had been a log building and it 
seems that during Yung's administration this log building was 
torn down and the material used in erecting the log parsonage. 
During these building operations at Jordan, Patriarch Muhlenberg 
paid a visit to Rev. Yung, who was on very intimate terms of 
friendship with Muhlenberg. The people of Jordan were very 
poor, and asked Muhlenberg to try and help them in their work. 



43 



At the meeting of the Ministerium of Penna. in New Han- 
over, November 4-6, 1768. Yung first appeared as a candidate 
for the ministry. He had been sent from London m the same 
vear by a Rev. Dr. Wachsel. At the meeting of the Mmistermm 
in Philadelphia, June 25-26, 1769, he was still candidate although 
already stationed at Jordan. His son John Peter \ung was 
also examined at Philadelphia in 1769. although no record of 
his ordination later is found. At the meeting of the Mmistermm 
in Reading, October 25, 1770, Yung (J. G.) was finally ordained. 
With him were ordained, at the same time, Christian fetreit, P. 
A and H. E. Muhlenberg, the two youngest sons of Patriarch 
Muhlenberg. These two sons had just returned from Halle, 
Germany where they had been educated. In 1773. Yung was 
called to Hagerstown, Maryland, and was yet there m 1786^ In 
1782, Muhlenberg writes of him as follows: "The Rev. Mr \ung 
in Maryland is a man who labors diligently and faithfully, and 
as pastor of a number of churches, is reported as one who is prompt 
in attention to his duties." It is claimed that Yung died m 
Virginia in i793- 

Rev. Daniel Lehman. 

Rev Lehman evidently came to Egypt in 1774, the year in 
which he was licensed by the Ministerium of Penna. Jordan and 
Egypt were still served bv the same pastors. Lehman was a 
man of superior abilitv. 'He was educated in Germany, and 
when he came to America in 1773- he was too poor to pay tor 
his passage over the ocean and had to be sold as a redemptioner. 
Rev J C Kunze, D. D., of Philadelphia, a finely educated Luth- 
eran pastor, paid his passage and set him free. He afterwards 
had Lehman to assist him in teaching and instructed him m 
theology. Lehman served later as tutor in the family of Van 
Buskirk and was ordained by the Ministerium of Pa. at New 
Hanover, May 25, i777. after having been licensed for three 
consecutive years. He was still at Jordan and Egypt m 1770, 
but in that year he left and removed to Reading where he remained 
until 1780. He left here in 1781 and went to Moselem, Berks 
County, where he remained until i794- In 1797 to 1801, he is 
back again in Reading. In 1801 he returned again to Moselem 
and remained there until his death, October 2, 1810. He is 
buried at Moselem. 

Rev. Theophilus Emanuel Franz. 
Mr Franz appeared at the meeting of the Ministerium of 
Penna at New Hanover, October 4, 1778, and was granted a 
license to preach. The same was renewed 1779 whilst he was at 
Tulpehocken. On October 4, 1780, he began serving Jordan. 
At the meeting of the Ministerium in 178 1, he was still in White- 



44 

hall, and on recommendation, his license was continued. He 
left Jordan likely in 1783 and, from all appearances, in rather a 
disorderly manner. At least the people of Jordan complained 
about him in that year, at the meeting of the Ministerium. That 
he served Egypt, at this time, we think is reasonable to believe, 
because Jordan and Egypt were still connected in the same charge 
and no doubt served by the same pastor. 

Besides, from certain records already referred to, we learn 
that on November 24, 1782, he baptized in Egypt, John Jacob 
Scheurer, the son of Adam Scheurer, who was a regular member 
of Egypt Church. 



Rev. Herman Jacob Schellhardt. 

Rev. Schellhardt seems to have had a rather checkered course 
of life. He was serving Egypt as pastor in 1784, 1785 and 1786. 
He made the address on behalf of the Lutherans at the corner 
stone la3dng of the second church building which took place 
June 13, 1785, the pastor of the Reformed congregation present 
being Rev. Abraham Blumer. At Union Church he served as 
pastor until 1791, and records show that he labored in Jordan in 
1785. He may have been in Egypt until Van Buskirk's second 
term began in 1789. He had preached in Weisenberg from 1770 
to 1778 and was the first pastor of the so-called "Dreisbach" 
Church in Buffalo Valley, Union Co., Pa., where many German 
Lutherans had settled as early as 1770. He evidently labored 
independently of any sy nodical connection. From the records 
of the Ministerium of Pa., we learn that at the meeting of the 
same, in Philadelphia, May 22-24, 1785. delegates came from 
Egypt, Heidelberg and Union Churches and asked that Mr. Schell- 
hardt might be ordained as their pastor. The request was not 
granted because most of the members of the Ministerium did 
not know him well enough. In 1786, at Philadelphia, the request 
was repeated and declined again. In 1787, at the meeting of the 
Ministerium in Lancaster, a complaint was handed in that Rev. 
Lehman had given Schellhardt a license to preach. The Minis- 
terium made Lehman take back that certificate and disapproved 
of his course in the matter. Schellhardt organized Zion's Luth- 
eran congregation in West Penn, Schuylkill Co., Pa., and was 
its pastor until 1807. For upwards of thirteen years he had 
been holding services in school houses, barns and private houses, 
before building the church there. The first church was erected 
in 1790. In 181 2 to 1 814 he was pastor of Mt. Zion congregation, 
in Nescopeck Township, Columbia County. He finally served 
as pastor for a number of years in the upper part of Lehigh County, 
where he died, and his remains are buried in the graveyard of 
New Tripoli Church. 



45 

Rev. Carl Christopher Goetz. 

Who the immediate successor of Rev. Schellhardt was at 
Egypt is not easily determined. But, as Rev. C. C. Goetz was 
at Jordan from 1785 to 1789, and as Jordan and Egypt were 
served by the same pastors, it might be the case that he served 
Egypt until Van Buskirk returned in 1789. Of course there is 
no positive proof of this. In 1790 he was pastor of the Mahanoy 
parish in Northumberland County. From 1785 to 1788 he was 
pastor at Allentown. In the audit of 1794, in the records of 
Egypt Lutheran congregation, we find that six shillings were 
paid to Rev. Goetz for communion wafers, which he no doubt 
had brought there for the communion which he may have admin- 
istered in Egypt at that time. 

Rev. Conrad Frederick Plitt. 

After the second pastorate of Rev. Van Buskirk, 1789 to 
1799, Rev. Conrad Frederick Plitt served the congregation a 
very short time, likely from 1800 to 1801. In 1808 he was pastor 
at Catawissa, Columbia County, and seems to have been in Chester 
County after leaving Egypt. He was a brother of Rev. John 
Plitt and an uncle of the late John Keller Plitt who was the first 
pastor of Trinity Lutheran congregation, of Catasauqua, from 
1875 to 1885, and was also treasurer of the IMinisterium of Penna. 
for a number of years. 

Rev. Johann Casper Dill. 

Rev. Dill was the next regular Lutheran pastor at Egypt. 
He took charge after Rev. Plitt in 1801, and continued until 1806, 
when he was followed by Rev. H. A. Geissenhainer. The yearly 
audits of current expenses w^ere signed during those years by him 
and his church council, as was customary for the pastors to do. 
Mr. Dill appeared at the meeting of the Ministerium of Penna., 
at New Hanover, June 1791, and requested to be licensed. He 
was at Jordan at the time and had just come from Germany. 
After some delay, a license was granted for one year. It was 
conditioned, however, that he must stay away from the Trexler- 
town congregation, because that congregation was within two 
miles of a congregation served by Rev. Van Buskirk, namely, 
"Macungie" now known as "Lehigh" Church. In 1792 he was 
recommended to the Whitpain congregation, by the Ministerium, 
but in 1793, the year in which he was ordained, he still reported 
from Whitehall or Jordan where he lived in the parsonage, and 
continued until 1802. In 1803, 1804 and 1806 he reported at 
the meeting of Synod from Northampton County, serving congre- 
gations at Hamilton, Monroe County, Plainfield and Moore Town- 
ship. He was the first pastor of Salem Lutheran congregation, 



46 

of Pleasant Valley, Monroe County, from 1806 to 18 10. He 
laid the corner stone of the first church, November 14, 1806, and 
dedicated the same on September 6, 1808. In 1807 he reports 
again from Whitehall and then from 1808 to 181 3 he reports 
from Plainfield. In 181 5 he reported having received a call 
from Germantown, Ohio, and synod recommended him to the 
place as a traveling preacher. In 1 8 1 6 he organized a congregation 
in and around Germantown, Ohio, called Emanuel Lutheran 
Church and became the first pastor thereof. In 1825 he died 
there and is buried near the church in its graveyard. He was 
one of the organizers of the Ohio Synod in 181 8. 

An amusing incident was related to the writer of this sketch 
about Rev. Dill, by the late George Yeager, of Catasauqua, who 
was quite old, yet possessed a very good memory. The incident 
came to him from his father, the late Rev. Johann Conrad Yeager, 
who lived on his farm near Schoenersville, Lehigh County. Old 
Rev. Yeager was pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Allen- 
town and a number of congregations in Northampton County. 
He was a kind of father among the Lutheran ministers of those 
days, and from far and near they visited his hospitable home. 
On one occasion Rev. Dill visited the old gentleman when he 
asked Mr. Dill how he liked his new field of labor in Northampton 
County, as he had recently left Jordan and Egypt. Rev. Dill 
replied that he was not pleased at all, because the people were 
not very polite. The men refused to lift their hats when they 
met their minister. Father Yeager assured him that in America 
it was not like in Germany. Here the minister has to lift the 
hat to the parishioners. Rev. Dill solemly declared that he 
would never do that and would go back again to Jordan and 
Egypt. And so he did, but whether they were more polite at 
Jordan and Egypt he does not say. 

Rev. Henry Anastasius Geissenhainer. 

On April 15, 1806, Rev. Geissenhainer took charge of Egypt 
Lutheran congregation. He served with it Jordan, Ziegel, 
Trexlertown and other congregations forming a charge. He 
remained at Jordan until 1814 but at Egypt he discontinued in 
1 810, and was followed by Rev. F. W. Mendsen. Whilst at Jordan 
the stone part of the old parsonage was built. In 181 1, one 
hundred and five persons of Jordan Church subscribed enough 
to erect the parsonage, repair the church building and purchase an 
organ. This was their first organ, and was secured from Andreas 
Kraus. Rev. Geissenhainer went from Jordan to the Trappe, 
and in 1821 he went to Pittsburg where he died in 1823. He was 
examined and licensed by the Ministerium of Penna., at Balti- 
more, Md., on June 11, 1797, and ordained by the same body at 
Easton, Pa., in May, 1804. His first charge was Whitpain, North 



47 

Wales and Upper Dublin. His second charge was Pikeland, 
Chester County, where he remained until 1806 when he came to 
Egypt. Rev/C. F. Plitt left Egypt and Jordan in 1801 and 
went to Chester Count v, and Rev. Geissenhainer left Chester 
County in 1806, and came to Egypt and Jordan. He was the 
father' of the late Rev. Augustus Theodosius Geissenhainer, who 
was pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, of AUentown, St. 
Thomas, Altonah, later on, and for many years treasurer of the 
Ministerium of Penna. 




Rev. Frederick William Mendsen. 

Rev. Mendsen came to Egypt July 22, 1810, and remained 
until March i, 1859, a period of forty-nine years. It was his 
first and onlv charge. He not only had the longest term of 
service here, but no other pastor has left so many traces of service 
in Egypt and communitv as he. He was born December 11, 
1780, at Oldenberg, Denmark. Was baptized and confirmed 
in his native country and also received his preparatory education 
there. In 1805, August 5, he came to America, landing in Phila- 
delphia. On July 13, 1808, he began the study of theology under 
the then well-known Lutheran pastors Drs. Hellmuth and Schmidt. 
On May 9, 1809, he preached his first sermon in Camden, N. J., 



48 

and on June 17 to 19, 18 10, he was examined by Drs. Kurtz and 
Lochman, at the meeting of the Ministerium of Penna., at Harris- 
burg, and was licensed to preach. At that meeting he preached 
in EngHsh in the Presbyterian Church, of Harrisburg, on Saturday 
evening, on Hebrews 4: 9 to 11. On June 12, 1816, he was re-ex- 
amined and ordained in St. Michael's Lutheran Church, of Phila- 
delphia. With him were ordained Revs. J. P. Schindel, the 
grandfather of the writer of this sketch, J. F. Engel, J. N. Hemp- 
ing, G. Mennig, J. Herbst, Baetis, Becker, Sackman, Heim 
and Tiedeman. 

Egypt was the only congregation in Lehigh County which 
he served regularly, although in 1819 we find him a short time in 
Upper Milford. Northampton County was well covered by him 
and he extended his labors into Carbon and Monroe Counties. 
In 1 8 10 to 1 81 5 and again in 1839 to 1844 he was pastor in Pleasant 
Valley, Monroe County. From 1810 to 1852 he preached regu- 
larly twice every Sunday and occasionally three and four times, 
besides travelling forty to fifty miles on horseback to meet his 
appointments. Horseback riding was almost altogether the 
custom among ministers in those days, and old parishioners 
say of father Mendsen that he was an expert in that custom. 
From 1852 to 1859 he served no other congregation but Egypt. 
Rev. Wm. Rath had been elected as his successor in the remainder 
of the charge. In coming from Cherryville, his home, to Egypt, 
he had to cross the Lehigh River at what is now Cementon. In 
the early days of his ministry, when there were no bridges, he 
frequently had to swim with his horse in crossing the swollen 
stream. At Egypt, for many years, his anrmal salary was eighty 
dollars and the oats for his horse. He preached his farewell 
sermon at Egypt on May 4, 1859, on Acts 1 1 : 23. His last sermon 
he preached for Rev. R. B. Kistler, Lutheran pastor, at Towa- 
mensing on November 20, 1870, on Rev. 2: 17. After a lingering 
sickness he died in Klecknersville, Northampton County, in the 
home of his daughter, on Saturday, August 5, 1871, aged 90 yrs., 
7 months and 21 days. He was buried at Stone Church, near 
Kreidersville, on August 9, 1871. Rev. A. Fuchs, of Bath, 
preached his funeral sermon on Acts 20: 25-38. On September 
2, 1 87 1, Memorial services were held in Egypt 'Church, in honor 
of Father Mendsen. Rev. J. S. Renninger, then pastor, was 
assisted by Rev. Prof. F. A. Muhlenberg, D. D., President of 
Muhlenberg College, Revs. E- A. Bauer, S. A. Leinbach, A. Fuchs 
and Rev. Father J. S. Dubbs, D. D., who was his colleague at 
Egypt for many years. Rev. Fuchs made an address in German 
on Prov. 10: 7; Father Dubbs spoke on Deut. 32: 7 and Rev. E. 
A. Bauer on Malachi 2: 6-7. Father F. G. Berndt, the old organ- 
ist, had charge of the music. Rev. Prof. Muhlenberg spoke in 
English. 



49 

Rev. Thomas Steck. 

Rev. Steck was father Mendsen's successor at Egypt, and 
served from 1859 to 1867, when he resigned and went to Bern- 
ville, Berks County, and was succeeded by Rev. J. S. Renninger. 
Egypt had heretofore stood in connection with Cherryville^ 
Stone Church, Moore Township, Towamensing and others. Since 
1852, Rev. WilHam Rath was serving these congregations except 
Egypt. When Rev. Steck was elected at Egypt in 1859, the 
congregation became connected with Heidelberg, Union and 
Lowhill, of Rev. Jeremiah Schindel's charge, and Friedens, of 
Rev. Wm. Rath's' charge, near Slatington. It was known as 
the "Schnecksville charge," and the newly united congregations 
purchased a parsonage at Schnecksville, which was occupied by 
Rev. Steck and afterwards also, part of his time as pastor, it was 
occupied by Rev. Renninger. Rev. Steck was born at Manchester, 
Pa.; January i, 1822. He entered the ministry in 1850 and 
connected with the Ministerium of Penna., in 1857. After he 
left Egypt, where he preached his farewell sermon on November 
18, 1866, he was agent for the Orphan's Home, at Germantown, 
until 1870. He also served congregations at Bernville, Berks 
County; Wilmington, Delaware; Lykens Valley and Berwick, 
Pa., and at Phillipsburg and Bridgeport, New Jersey. He was 
a man of good spirit and of undoubted Chirstian life and character. 
His ministrations in the Schnecksville charge are to this day 
highly spoken of and gratefully remembered. He died at Cata- 
wissa. Pa., November 21, 1892. 

Rev. Josiah S. Renninger. 

Rev. Renninger was elected at Egypt on April 29, accepted 
the call on May 20, and preached his first sermon there on June 
7, 1867. He came from Ringtown, Schuylkill County. He at 
first occupied the parsonage at Schnecksville but later on moved 
to his farm not far from Union Church, known as the "Scheidy 
Farm." During the last years of his service in this charge he 
lived in Slatington. He was born in Montgomery County, March 
7, 1838. After his preparatory education he was graduated 
from the Theological Seminary, at Gettysburg, licensed to preach 
by the Allegheny synod and ordained by the Ministerium of 
Penna., in 1864. After serving congregations in the western 
part of the State he came to Schuylkill County and then to Egvpt. 
In 1869 he organized the Lutheran congregation in vSlatington 
and erected a Union Church which was dedicated on Christmas 
of 1869. This congregation soon became self-supporting and 
called Rev. D. K. Kepner as its pastor. During his ministry 
he also established preaching places at Schnecksville and Slate- 
dale, and in both places neat chapels were erected. He also 
organized the congregation at Eaury's, in 1872, where a very fine 




Rev. J. vS. Renninger. 





Rev. Thomal Steck. 



Rev. J. J. SCHINDEL. 



51 

building was erected for the use of the Lutheran and Reformed 
congregations. In Whitehall Station he established a preaching 
place and erected a neat chapel in 1884. The place is now called 
Cementon and, since April of 1900, there is a regular Lutheran 
congregation there, organized by Rev. J. D. Schindel. 

On January 31, 1888, Rev. Renninger resigned the Egypt 
and Laury's congregations so as to form a new charge with Coplay 
and ]\Iickley's, two of Rev. J. D. Schindel's congregations. The 
change was effected on February '5, 1888, when the resignation 
of Rev. Renninger was handed in and Rev. J. D. Schindel, the 
present pastor, was elected. The newly formed charge is called 
"Whitehall Charge." Rev. Renninger remained with the remain- 
der of the Schnecksville charge for a time and then resigned and 
moved to Allentown to engage in mission work. Rev. J. B. Fox 
became his successor in this part of his late charge. When he 
came to Allentown he organized and became the first pastor of 
St. Luke's Lutheran Church, now served by Rev. J. C. Rausch. 
He also organized and served as first pastor of Grace Lutheran 
Church, of South Allentown, now served by Rev. J. H. Raker. 
He also served St. Joseph's Lutheran Church, of East Allentown, 
now served by Rev. J. W. ]\Iattern. Later on he received a 
call to St. John's Lutheran Church, of Lyken's Valley, near Berrys- 
burg, Dauphin County, where he is still laboring. Rev. Renninger 
did good service in Egypt congregation. He induced more 
young men to study for the ministry during his stay in Lehigh 
County, than is usually found to be the case with ministers. 
During his ministry in Egypt, in 1870, the fine new organ was 
secured at an expense of $2,500, and in 1874 ^ ".ew steeple was 
erected at a cost of Si, 100, and manv other improvements made. 
The fruits of his labors are met with constantly, and his former 
parishioners always speak kindly of him and his ministry amongst 
them. 

Rev. J. D. Schindel. 

Rev. Schindel, the present pastor, took charge of Egypt 
Lutheran congregation on April 1,1888, having been elected 
on February 5, previous. He resigned St. Paul's Lutheran 
Church, of Catasauqua, where he had labored for twenty-one 
years and had just completed the erection of their present church 
building, and took charge of the parish thus newly formed. It 
was a severe task for him to sever his connection with old St. 
Paul's, but he felt in duty bound to do so. Whitehall charge 
consisted now of Egypt, ]\Iickley's, Coplay, Laury's and a preaching 
place at Cementon. At the election of February 5, 1888, the 
Egypt congregation decided two things with the same vote. 
They decided to change pastors and to enter into the formation 
of a new parish. On coming to Egypt, Laur5''s and Cementon, 



52 

it was a great pleasure and comfort to the present pastor to have 
here as his colleague the Rev. Dr. Wm. R. Hofford, then pastor 
of the same parish on the Reformed side. He was a pious, noble, 
God-fearing man and had been the present pastor's preceptor 
and a colleague at Mickley's Church for twenty-one years. For 
seventeen 3rears here and for thirty-four at Mickley's, their labors 
had been in peace, harmony and mutual co-operation. Dr 
Hofford peacefully ended a useful, blessed life, on January 31, 
1 901. With the coming of the present pastor to Egypt, regular 
morning services were begun every two weeks and regular evening 
services in English. At this writing the languages are very 
nearly on equal footing. The Missionary Society organized by 
Rev. Renninger has regular quarterly meetings. In 1900, 
March 26, the preaching place at Cementon was organized into 
a regular congregation, called the Lutheran Congregation, of 
St. Paul's Church, of Cementon. Both the congregations there 
have regular services every two weeks, alternating German and 
English. The organization of a congregation at this place took 
away from the old mother church at Egypt, no fewer than one 
hundred members. 

The present pastor was born January 11, 1841, in the old 
Lutheran parsonage at Jordan, where his father, the Rev. Jeremiah 
Schindel, was pastor for twenty-four years and where so many 
of the old pastors lived who served Jordan and Egypt until 18 10. 
Rev. F. K. Berndt, now of Kutztown, a son of the late F. G. 
Berndt, organist of Egypt Church for forty-one years, became 
pastor of Jordan Church in 1883 and lived for a number of years 
in the new parsonage there and thus continued the long and 
intimate relation between Jordan and Egypt. The present 
pastor was educated in Allentown Seminary, Missionary Institute, 
Selinsgrove, Pa., and graduated from Pennsylvania College, 
Gettysburg, in 1864, and from the Lutheran Theological Seminary, 
Philadelphia;, in 1867, when also he was ordained by the Minis- 
terium of Penna., at Lebanon, Pa. He is virtually now in his 
first and only charge for over forty years, having begun his 
ministry at Mickley's, in May 1867. Since 1899 he has associated 
with himself his only son. Rev. Jeremiah J. Schindel. He was 
born in Allentown, October 25, 1876, educated in Muhlenberg 
College, graduating in 1896, and also a graduate of the Lutheran 
Theological Seminary, at Mt. Airv, Philadelphia, in 1899. He 
was ordained by the Ministerium olf Penna., at Reading, in 1899. 
During the incumbency of these last pastors, the most expen- 
sive and costly repairs were made in the history of the present 
church. These repairs were made in the years 1905 and 1906. 
Steam heat was introduced and electric light, the whole building 
was remodeled, with new pews, carpets, extra fine windows and 
all modern improvements. The Sunday School room was also 



53 

handsomely prepared for Sunday School and Catechetical pur- 
poses. The amount expended was nearly seven thousand dollars 
(7,000.), all nicely paid for soon after the repairs were completed 
and a handsome balance of nearly $800 over. 

If the past is an indication and guarantee of the future, 
then Egypt Lutheran Congregation will continue to receive and 
enjoy the blessing of the Good Lord, the great Head of the Church. 
Such, indeed, is the sincere prayer of the writer of this sketch. 

[Note. It is with profound sorrow that we announce the death 
of Rev. Dr. Schindel on June 27, 1908, at the age of 67 years, 5 
months and 16 days. Dr. Schindel had resigned as pastor of the 
Egypt charge on May 31, 1908, and only a week before his death had 
read the proofs of this and' the following article.] 




The Organist's home formerly a schoolhouse. 



The Egypt Church. 

By Rev. J. D. Schindel, D. D. 



Egypt, Lehigh Countv, Pa., is an interesting locality. A 
place that 'can claim a history of one hundred and eighty years, 
certainly is entitled to our consideration and even our veneration. 
The early colonial as well as the later revolutionary history of 
our country, is shared by this place. The Indian history of the 
state, with its gruesome massacres, its pitiless devastations and 
pillage, is intimatelv connected with our Egypt. In its very 
midst is located, to this day, in a good state of preservation, one 
of the prominent frontier forts, built by Adam Deshler m 1760, 
which fort served as a military post during the Indian troubles. 
But a short distance from Egypt, were committed some of the 
most blood-thirsty massacres during the Indian outrages of 1763. 
Adam Deshler, one of its earliest and most prominent citizens, 
furnished the provisions for Fort Allen, now Weisport, and other 
frontier forts erected against the Indians in 1756 to 1758. So 
also during the revolutionary war, the patriot army was supplied 
with fattened cattle by the farmers of and around Egypt. They 
made a great deal of 'meadow hav, as timothy and clover were 
not yet cultivated to any extent. For this purpose they had 
elevated water courses or gutters made, and raised the water 
into them by means of an Archimedes screw so that they were 
able to water large areas of meadow land. 

The history of Egypt has its beginning about the year 1728. 
It was a German settlement, and it is claimed to be the oldest 
German settlement north of the "Lehigh" or South Mountam. 
It was usually called "The German settlement on the Lehigh, 
being on the west side of the Lehigh River. It may likely have 
received this distinctive name, because at this same time the 
well-known "Irish Settlement" was made, on the east side of 
this same Lehigh River, in Northampton County, by emigrants 
from the north of Ireland. It extends from the Lehigh River, 
now Cementon, Lehigh County, over to, and beyond, Bath, in 
Northampton County. ^ 

The chureh at Egypt was also known at first as i he Churcn 

at the Lehigh" or the "Lehigh Church." The name Egypt or 

Egypta" appears as early as 1 736. Rev. Joh. Henry Goetschius , 

who" began the record of the Reformed congregation, of Egypt 



56 

Church, mentions, amongst his eleven congregations, "Aegipten" 
as one. Just as Rev. Daniel Schumacher, the first Lutheran 
pastor, had sixteen congregations in 1757 of which number 
"Egypta" was one. How the name Egypt originated is not 
known of a certainty. Efforts have been made to account for its 
origin but they do not seem to rest on any positive historical 
foundation. It was an important place long before some other 
places which have, in one hundred and eighty years, far sur- 
passed it. There was an Egypt before there was an Allentown, 
Kaston or even a Bethlehem. Jacob Kohler, the first white 
settler, though at first a squatter, had a land warrant as early 
as July I, 1734, for 150 acres of land, and built his first mill in 
1750. When Whitehall Township was formed, March 20, 1753, 
situated between Heidelberg and Macungie, it was found that 
■"Egypta" had already become an important place. Already 
in 1752, Michael Hoffman had been appointed a constable for 
this particular place. In 1776, July 15 to September 28, the 
convention which drew up the first constitution for Pennsylvania, 
met in Philadelphia. Benjamin Franklin was president of the 
convention and Peter Burkhalter was the representative from 
Egypt. The location for the future church buildings was easily 
selected. It was the spot where the burials had been made from 
the very beginning. It was a crescent or half-moon shaped 
tract, sloping towards a hill at whose foot the waters of the well 
known Coplay Creek have passed these many years and continue 
to do so to this day. 

Church Buildings. 

As was the laudable custom of our German fore-fathers, they 
soon cared for the church and the school house. The school 
house was usually cared for first and was then used for religious 
services and when they could not procure the services of a regu- 
larly ordained minister the school teacher would, on Sundays, 
read a sermon from one of the sermon books which were brought 
with them from the old fatherland. Such was no doubt the case 
at Egypt. Though we have no positive information of this fact 
yet by inference we believe such to have been the case. The 
baptismal record of the Reformed congregation was begun on 
March 22, 1733, by Rev. John Henry Goetschius, who was the 
first regular pastor and remained until 1736. The first records 
of baptisms on the Lutheran side were made in the early part of 
1757. by Rev. Daniel Schumacher who was the first Lutheran 
pastor. The religious services of these early settlers of Egypt 
were held, we are informed, in the different houses of the settlers. 
But after 1756, these services were held regularly in the newly 
erected mansion of Mr. John Peter Troxell, who was a prominent 
and liberal member of the Reformed congregation. He was 
born in Switzerland in 1718. This mansion erected by Mr. 



57 

Troxel in 1756 is still standing, well preserved, and was occupied 
for a long time by the late Josiah Steckel and family. 

The First Church. 
Up to 1764 there had been no such a thing as a church build- 
ing to bring the people together in religious worship. In that 
year, however, a building was erected. It was made of logs. 
The seats were made of split logs laid on upright blocks, certainly 
a very primitive arrangement. The location was where the 
first graves had been made, in the well-known half-moon shaped 
piece* of ground. Right back of the third or present church 
building, running northeast, can be seen in very dry weather 
the foundations of the second church building, erected in 1785. 
By going 200 feet in a southeasterly direction from the front 
part of this foundation vou will come to the place where the 
first church stood. Certain graves of Johannes and Maria Metzger, 
will be found on the spot. We know very Uttle about this church, 
but Rev. J. Daniel Gross was no doubt the Reformed and Rev. 
Daniel Schumacher the Lutheran pastor. 

The Second Church. 

So primitive and inadequate was the first church building, 
that in twenty-one (21) vears afterwards, in 1785, a second church 
building was erected. This building stood on the crescent or 
half -moon shaped ground right back of the present church, fronting 
the street. This half -moon so often spoken of was formed by 
the road coming up from the home of the late Edmund Kohler, 
running in the direction of the rear of the present church building 
and then turning in semi-circular form and passing in front of 
the present organist house to the present road up the hill. If 
that road were continued now it would run through the present 
church building about where the heater is located. When the 
present church was to be erected, the congregation purchased 
of Daniel Kohler, fifty eight (58) perches of land, cut off the road 
near the Kohler barn, and made it straight up the hill as it is at 
present and on which the present church now fronts. After this 
transaction there was no longer a half-moon shaped piece of 
ground. 

On April 18, 1785, a meeting of both congregations was held 
for the purpose of taking steps towards the erection of a new 
church. Peter Burkhalter, Esq., and Samuel Saeger were selected 
as treasurers of the respective Reformed and Lutheran congre- 
gations. By a written agreement signed by seventy-two (72) 
male members, the members of the two congregations promised 
to contribute according to their ability, towards the erection of 
a stone church, to be fifty (50) feet long and forty (40) feet wide. 
The building committee then and there selected consisted of 
Peter Kohler, Esq., Philip Jacob Schreiber, Jacob Mickley, on 
the Reformed side, and Samuel Saeger, Adam Zerfass and Nicholas 



58 

Saeger, Sen., on the Lutheran side. The plan of making assess- 
ments was adopted and thus each member knew what he had to 
pay. The amounts subscribed and paid were denominated by 
the Enghsh standard of pounds, shilHngs and pence, which accounts 
for the uneven dollars and cents. Peter Kohler and Peter Burk- 
halter were each assessed $77.33 or 29 pounds; Johannes Hoffman 
and George Koehler each $66.67 or 25 pounds; Jacob Kern, Adam 
Deshler, the widow of Peter Steckel, Samuel Saeger and Christian 
Saeger each S58.67 or 22 pounds; Philip Jacob Schreiber $53.33 
or 20 pounds; Jacob Kohler $48 or 18 pounds; Peter Kern, George 
Remaley and Jacob Miller, Sen., each $42.67 or 16 pounds; Martin 
Micklev and Johannes Schadt each $40 or 15 pounds; Nicholas 
Troxel and Lorenz Ruch each $37.33 or 14 pounds; Peter Deshler, 
Peter Neuhard and Philip Roth each $34.67 or 13 pounds; Fried- 
rich Neuhard, George Schadt, Henry Biery and Conrad Leisenring 
each S32 or 12 pounds. These subscriptions or assessments 
thus- went lower by degrees until the amount was 40 cents. 

Building operations were begun at once on the land of Peter 
Steckel, deceased, and at a place about 200 feet northeast from 
the first church. It is not known who all did the work, but 
Johannes Miller and George Jacob Neuhart, of Allentown, did 
the carpenter work. On June 13, 1785, the corner stone of the 
new church was laid. The collection on the occasion amounted 
to $30.97. Articles of constitution had been drawn up and adopted 
bv the building committee, elders and deacons and placed 
into the corner stone. Before they were placed into the corner 
stone they were undersigned by the following members of the 
building committee, elders and deacons; viz., Peter Kohler, Ph. 
Jacob Schreiber, Jacob Mickley, Michael Neuhard, Samuel Saeger, 
Michael Neuhard, Jr., Johannes Hoffman, Adam Zerfass, Nicholas 
Saeger, Jacob Laub and Nicholas Herzog. The correctness of 
the document was attested by Rev. Abraham Blumer, pastor 
of the Reformed, and Rev. Herman Jacob Schellhardt, pastor of 
the Lutheran congregation. Teacher Jacob Strein served as 
Secretarv. These articles, as placed into the corner stone, were 
afterwards revised, enlarged by additions and readopted on June 
9, 1804, and are now embodied in the present constitution of 
the two congregations. The committee of revision consisted of 
Jacob Saeger, Johannes Balliet, George Ringer, Jacob Schreiber, 
Nicholas Saeger and Nicholas Kern. Revs. Abraham Blumer, 
Reformed, and Rev. Johann Casper Dill, Lutheran pastor, testi- 
fied to the correctness of the document. The newly erected 
church was dedicated on Whitsunday, June 4, 1786. The collec- 
tions amounted to $69.67. The entire cost of the building was 
$2,381.73. Besides the amounts contributed by the members 
of the two congregations, contributions were received from many 
outside parties, from Lowhill, Heidelberg, Lynn, Northampton 
County, Allentown, Easton, Jordan Church, Kutztown and other 
places. 



59 

In 1806, both the church and the organ were repaired at 
an expense of $275. In 1839, the gallery was enlarged so as 
to accommodate the choir. At the dedication of thechurch,in 1786, 
a beautifully-worked altar cloth was presented by Mr. George 
Koehler and wife, which is yet in the possession of the church 
although no longer used. They also presented the church with 
a pewter communion set marked with their initials, G. K. and 
his wife M. E. K. The collectors for this new church of 1786 
were (53) fifty-three male members on the Reformed side who 
collected 545 pounds, 2 shillings and 6h pence. On the Lutheran 
side there were (45) forty-live male members who collected 262 
pounds, 17 shillings and 4 pence. As the congregations were 
both numerically weak, it looks as though the whole male member- 
ship had constituted itself a committee of collectors which was 
certainly very praiseworthv. 

Following the erection of the church of 1786, we notice the 
custom of auditing the current expense account every few years. 
The custom seems to have been begun with the second coming 
of Rev. Van Buskirk, in 1789. The first audit we meet with is 
that of September 12, 1789, and is signed by Rev. Jacob Van 
Buskirk, Jacob Strein, Secretary, Nicholas Saeger, Conrad Leisen- 
ring, Gottfried Lauri and George Beshler. The collections had 
accumulated from April 29, 1787 to August 16, 1789. Of this 
amount in the handling of the pennies, 6 shillings and 8^ pence 
were lost. The whole amount had been 14 pounds, 6 shillings 
and yh pence. In the expenses we find 7 s., and 6^ p. were paid 
for a "Klingelbeutel" and 16 shillings for rum used by those who 
were clearing half an acre of land by grubbing, for which 
work they received 5 shillings. Young Kohler was paid 7s., and 
6\ p. for treading the bellows. 

The audit of August 20, 1794 shows that 6 shillings were 
paid to Rev. Goetz for communion wafers. The name of Rev. 
Christian Espich also appears here. This time the account was 
short 14 shillings and George Koehler advanced the amount. 
One shilling was paid to a poor beggar man. The same auditing 
committee as in 1789 signed this audit. The audit of 1796, 
October 22; that of October 19, 1799 including 1797-98 and 99, 
was signed by Van Buskirk, Christian Saeger, Casper Ritter, 
Jacob Scheurer, George Ringer, Johann Saeger, Secretary Jacob 
Strein. In 1796, Jacob Scheurer received for treading the bellows, 
7 shillings and 6 pence and Nicholas Scheurer received the same 
amount for the same work in 1797 and 1798. Jacob Strein, the 
organist, had furnished board for those who had worked on the 
church property and received 15 cents per meal. Jonas Grob 
received 9 shillings and 4+ pence for treading the bellows, for 1799. 
The audit of January 7, 1801 including 1800 was signed by Rev. 
J. Casper Dill, Casper Ritter, George Ringer, Jacob Schantz, 
Henrich Mertz and Johannes Saeger. Back pay was given to 
John Laury, for treading the bellows, i pound and loj shillings. 



6o 



The audit of 1802, March 13, shows that Elder Casper Ritter 
advanced without interest, to November 27, the sum of 8 pounds, 
8 shilHngs and 10 pence. On February 7, 1802, 11 shilHngs, 3 
pence was paid to Solomon Scheurer for i^ years treading the 
bellows from July 27, 1800 to January 27, 1802. In 1803, Abra- 
ham Kohler received 9 shillings and 4^ pence for treading the 
bellows and Lorenz Schadt received the same amount for 1807. 
The most interesting audit, however, is that of August 9, 
1 801. It was an audit of the accounts of the building committee 
of 1785, 16 years after the building of the church. At the same 
time the organ account of 1786 and the school house account of 
1787, were audited. It is certainly to the credit of these congre- 
gations that they kept these accounts so accurately and so care- 
fully for sixteen years until they were finally and properly audited 
and recorded. Secretary Strein, who wrote a very plain, beautiful 
hand, was paid the sum of 5 pounds, 3 shillings and 10 pence, for 
recording these audits in the books provided for both congrega- 
tions. The whole cost of the church of 1786 was $2,381.73, the 
cost of the organ of 1786 and expenses connected therewith, 
amounted to $411.09, and the cost of the school house of 1787 
to 1790 was $267, or a total of $3,059.82. It speaks remarkably 
well for these congregations in those days that they not only 
built a church, purchased an organ and built a school house, but 
also promptly paid for the same. This audit of August 9, 1801, 
was signed as follows: 

Lutheran Congregation. 
Rev. Johann Casper Dill, 

Pastor. 
Nicholas Saeger, for his father, 
Christian Saeger, Trustee, who 
had died since 1785. 
Nicholas Saeger, of Samuel 

Saeger, Trustee. 
Nicholas Saeger, for his father, 
Samuel Saeger, Treasurer and 
Building Committee, who had 
died since 1785. 

Adam Zerfass, 
Nicholas Saeger, 

Building Committee 
Casper Ritter, 
Nicholas Saeger, 
of Christian, 

Elders. 
George Ringer, 
JoHANNAs Saeger, 
George Heim, 
George Smull, 

Deacons. 
Jacob Strein, Clerk. 



Reformed Congregation. 

Rev. Abraham Blumer, 
Pastor. 

Peter Burkhalter, Trustee, 
Elder and Treasurer. 

Philip Jacob Schreiber, Elder, 
Trustee and Building Com- 
mittee. 

Jacob Mickley, Building Com- 
mittee. 

Peter Kohler, for his father, 
Peter Kohler, of Building Com- 
mittee, who had died since 

1785- 

Michael Newhart, 
Nicholas Kern, 
Jacob Meyer, 

Deacons. 



6l 

The Third Church. 
The third church was erected in 1851 to 1852. The trustees 
of the two congregations purchased 58 rods additional ground 
of Daniel Kohler in order to have a suitable place for the new 
church building. In this way the road coming up the hill could 
be rnade straight and would pass directly in front of the new 
building. Thus also the old half-moon shaped piece of ground, 
on which the church of 1785 fronted, was removed. They paid 
fifty dollars for this additional ground. On April 27, 1850, a 
meeting was held by the members of both congregations to decide 
whether they should repair the old church or build a new one. 
The day set apart for the election was May 9, 1850. At this 
meeting sixty-seven (67) votes were cast and all were in favor 
of a new church. At a subsequent meeting the following were 
chosen as collectors for the new church: Simon Kemmerer, 
John Erdman, Owen Newhard, Jeremiah Ritter and Rev. Joseph 
S. Dubbs. At a meeting held June 16, 1850, the following were 
selected as a building committee : On the Reformed side, Aaron 
Kohler and Simon Kemmerer, and on the Lutheran side, John 
Erdman and John Trumbower. Edward Kohler, Esq., was 
elected treasurer. On December i, 1850, a meeting was held to 
decide whether a steeple should be built on the new church or 
not. It was carried by one majority. This steeple, however, 
which was subsequently erected, measuring 100 feet, was a very 
inferior one and was replaced in 1874, by one measuring 140 feet 
and costing about $1,100. The building was decided to be of 
brick, 65 feet long and 50 feet wide. It has a basement which 
has been repaired several times since. The bell which was placed 
into the steeple in 1851 weighs 750 pounds, cost $400, and is still 
in use. Daniel Hoffman, of Guthsville, and Jonathan Ortt, had 
charge of erecting the building so far as the carpenter work was 
concerned. In those days they, of course, had to make the win- 
dows, doors, pews, railings, etc., all by hand. They had a skilled 
German mechanic in their employ, whose name was Fritz Muenter. 
This man Muenter made all the mouldings and railings and so 
well were they made and so artistically designed, that when the 
church was remodeled in 1905 and 1906, it was found entirely 
unnecessary to change these articles. The corner stone of this 
church was laid on Whitsunday, May 18, 1851. The sermon 
was preached by Rev. Jeremiah Schindel, pastor then of Jordan 
Lutheran Church. He was the father of the present Lutheran 
pastor of Egypt Church, Rev. J. D. Schindel, and grandfather 
of his assistant, Rev. Jeremiah J. Schindel. The collection at 
the corner stone laying amounted to $164.10. The dedication 
of the church took place on April 11 and 12, 1852. The collec- 
tions then amounted to $223.50. The entire cost of the church, 
including the bell, was $9,252.91, not reckoning in the wood, 
stones, and iron left over from the old church building. 



62 

The Organs. 

. As already stated, the first organ was purchased in 1786. It 
was this organ that gave the name "Organ Church" to the Egypt 
Church, as we find it on the records. This organ was erected by 
Mr. Dannenberg, of Lititz, Pa., June 6, 1786. Philip Jacob 
Schreiber and -Nicholas Saeger, Sen., were the respective treas- 
urers. The members of the Reformed congregation contributed 
71 pounds, 8 shillings and 2 pence, and the Lutherans contributed 
28 pounds, 15 shillings and 4 pence. Outsiders contributed 22 
pounds, 16 shillings and i pence. The organ itself cost 145 pounds 
or $386.67. Mr Dannenberg's son Samuel received 3 pounds — - 
"das gewoehnliche trinkgeld." Martin Mickley and Adam Troxell 
each, received 13 shillings and 6 pence "zehrgeld," for bringing 
the organ from Lititz. Peter Kohler received 2 pounds and 2 
shillings for boarding and lodging the two Dannenbergs during 
their work in placing the organ. With other incidental expenses 
the whole cost of this organ was 154 pounds, 2 shillings and 9 
pence, or S411.04. This organ, with several repairings, served 
the congregations for eighty-four years. 

In 1870 the present organ was erected by Charles Hanzelman, 
of Allentown, at a cost of $2,500. This organ has rendered good 
service to the congregations and is still in good condition. Better 
instruments are seldom met with outside of towns and cities. On 
March 22, 1869, a meeting was held to decide whether the old 
organ should be repaired or a new one purchased. The vote 
stood 42 for remodeling and 38 for a new organ. As the vote 
was not satisfactory a second election was held on August 22, 
1869, and resulted in 66 votes for and 20 against a new organ. A 
committee was at once appointed to procure the new organ. The 
committee consisted of the four elders, Owen Schreiber and Jacob 
Lindaman of the Reformed, and George W. Daniel and Daniel 
App of the Lutheran congregation, with Aaron Kohler appointed 
as the fifth man on the committee. On December 24, 1869, a 
contract was made with Mr. Hanzelman for the price already 
specified, and the instrument to be completed inside of six months. 
On August 9, 1870, the organ was brought from Allentown and 
placed into the church. The same was used for the first time on 
September 20, 1870, at the funeral of H. B. Schadt, and on 
September 25th, the instrument was formally dedicated. On 
September 26th, the same was carefully and thoroughly tested 
by a competent committee consisting of Prof. E. F. Blech, organist 
of the Moravian Church, of Bethlehem; Prof. L. H. Weiss, organist 
of the Episcopal Church, of Mauch Chunk; and Mr. Samuel Bohler, . 
organ builder, of Reading. The committee found the organ very 
satisfactory, spoke of it in the highest terms and congratulate 
the two congregations on the acquisition of such a superior 
instrument. 



63 

The Organists and Teachers. 

The first teacher, or "Vorsinger," of whom we find any record 
was Conrad Schneider. When he began his service at Egypt, 
is not known. But as Mr. Schneider was no organist and the con- 
gregations had to have such now, since they had purchased an 
organ, he was compelled to resign his position. He did so and 
was succeeded by Mr. Jacob Strein in 1786, who served eighteen 
years, seems to have been a competent man and was very good 
in keeping records and accounts. In 1804 he resigned as organist 
and teacher and moved to Lancaster, Pa. His successor was 
Henry Hempsing, who came from Hamburg, Berks Co., Pa. He 
remained until 18 10 and was succeeded by Adam Gilbert. Peter 
Ruch, Daniel Schreiber and John Neuhart went to Rehrerstown, 
to bring the family of Mr. Gilbert to Egypt. It took three days 
and each was paid i pound and 10 shillings for the service rendered. 
Gilbert remained organist and school teacher until 1822, when 
he resigned and was followed by Theodore Starb. Starb served 
but for several years and was followed by Johann Daniel 
Eisenbrown, who served until 1829. Eisenbrown was suc- 
ceeded by Christian Schick, who remained until 1836. In 
this year, 1836, John Berndt was elected teacher and organist 
and served until 1846 when he was succeeded by Francis G. 
Berndt, who rendered a long and successful service. As organist, 
he served forty-one years, and as teacher, thirty-seven years. He 
was elected April i i, 1846, and ended his service April i, 1887, 
having resigned on December 6, 1886. He however, continued 
to serve as Secretary of the church councils until June 4, 1888. 
His daughter, Mrs. Maria Ruch, assisted him in his work the last 
few years. His resignation was accepted on December 14, 1886, 
but the church councils requested him to give a sacred concert 
with his choir before retiring. He kindly consented to do this, 
and this sacred concert was given on March 27, 1887. Prof. 
Berndt was followed by Robert A. Benner, who was elected 
February 5, 1887, and died December 19, 1901. Benner's succes- 
sor, the present organist, William H. Snyder, was elected February 
9, 1902. As long as the organist was also the teacher of the 
school of the church he received 33^ cents a month for every 
child. After the free school system was introduced he was paid 
by the school directors. As organist he had to collect his own 
salary, and for every funeral he served he could ask 75 cents. After 
the year 1900, the organist received a fixed salary and was no 
longer compelled to collect the same. 

As already seen. Father Berndt, as he was familiarly and 
affectionately called, was the last organist who also taught the 
school. He was yet a "schulmeister" and a good one he was. 
He was well known and highly respected not only in Egypt Church, 
but in the whole community. He was a very successful teacher, 
and took a prominent part in the educational matters of the 



64 

county and even of the state. He assisted in the preparation 
of many young men who afterwards entered college and became 
useful and honored in their several callings. Egypt and vicinity 
can perhaps point to as many young men and women educated 
for the professions as any community of its size and circumstances 
in the state, and a great deal of the influence exerted must be 
attributed to Father Berndt. He was also a good organist and 
teacher of music. His instruction in music and the rules and 
principles instilled by him are to be seen and felt in the Egypt 
Church to this day. He was also of great help to the pastors in 
their work, was a friend of everybody; and his advice was con- 
stantly sought and followed. His scholars and choir members 
were strongly attached to him. Implicit confidence could be 
placed in him. After he retired from the position so long and so 
faithfully occupied by him, he lived near the church with his 
son-in-law Hiram Ruch and wife Maria. He still took an active 
part in the work of the church and Missionary Society, was never 
away from his accustomed place in church and was liberal even 
beyond his ability. Like the name Mendsen, the name Berndt 
will continue to live and be honored for generations to come. 
On March 12, 1891, he quietly fell asleep, aged 72 years, 6 months 
and 13 days, and was buried March 17th. A large concourse of 
people gathered at the old church, many clergymen from the 
county, from Allentown and from a distance, came to attest 
their esteem for the departed. His pastor preached from Matt. 
25: 21, and Rev. Dr. W. R. Hofford, the Reformed pastor at 
Egypt, preached on John 11 : 11. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth." 
Strange to say, his pastor, the writer of this sketch, who had 
learned to honor and love him as a child does a father, was the 
first to find him in his bed after he had suddenly and unexpectedly 
departed this life. 

The School Houses. 

When the first school house was erected and who the first 
teachers were is not known. Likely there was a school house 
before the first church of 1764, as was customary in those early 
days. The teachers would read printed sermons in the school 
house when the pastor could not be present or the congregation 
was without a regular pastor. In 1787, however, it is certain 
that a school house was erected. Philip Jacob Schreiber and 
Adam Zerfass were the respective treasurers. Members of the 
Reformed congregation contributed 71 pounds, 10 shillings and 
8 pence, and those of the Lutheran congregation contributed 28 
pounds, 6 shillings and 2 pence towards its erection. As already 
seen, this account was audited on August 9, 1801, and everything 
found correct. The school house was made of logs, two stories 
high, and was used it is claimed until 1829. Its cost was $267. 
In the winter of 1829 to 1830 the school house took fire and was 



totally destroyed. Steps were at once taken and a new school 
house was erected in its place. It was made of stones, cost 
$1,537.54, is still in good condition and occupied by organist 
Snyder and his family at present. The committee which had 
charge of the erection of this building, consisted of Jacob Mickley, 
Sen., and Peter Ruch. Solomon Steckel served as treasurer. 
On February 16, 1833, the account was audited and is signed by 
.Jacob Mickley and Peter Ruch, building committee; Nicholas 
Saeger, Michael Frack, John Newhard, trustees; Joseph Saeger, 
Peter Steckel, Peter Kohler and Benjamin Breinig, elders; and 
Jacob Rensheimer, Joseph Freyman, David Scheurer, Johannes 
Ritter, Jonas Meyer, Solomon Dubbs, Peter Neuhard and David 
Ruch, as deacons. In this school house the public school was 
held until 1871, when the directors of Whitehall Township built 
a new school house in Egypt. Father Berndt continued to teach 
in this new school house until 1883, The pastors of the congre- 
gations were accustomed to have their catechetical instructions 
in the old school house of the church, and here also the children 
who were brought for that purpose, were baptized. It was also 
the meeting place for business transacted by the congregations or 
the church councils. In unpleasant weather the members gathered 
there before the services began in the church and, as is still the 
custom, communicants came there to be recorded for the com- 
munion. 

Egypt was always a prominent place for school and education. 
The first English school in the county was here. "The English 
School Society," of Egypt, was organized in 1,808, and had for 
its object the instruction in English. It continued its work until 
1857. Tripoli had its first English school in 181 2, Allentown^'and 
Ballietsville in 1816, Upper vSaucon in 1833, but Egypt in 1807. 
The free school system began in 1834. 

The Sunday School. 

The Sunday School, of Egypt Church, does not have a very 
long history. It was first begun in 1844, and held its sessions 
in the school house until 1847, when it was again discontinued. 
The late William Leisenring, of Cementon, who lived in Egypt 
for some years, was the first superintendent. Also a certain 
Mr. Weaver was one of the early superintendents. In 1894, in 
the Fall of the year, the Sundy School celebrated its 50th anni- 
versary, and the church was very appropriately decorated, neigh- 
boring Sunday Schools were invited and were also present. 
Addresses were made by the tw^o pastors, Rev. W. R. Hofiford, 
D. D., of the Reformed, and Rev. J. D. Schindel, of the Lutheran 
congregation. The venerable William Leisenring also made a 
very interesting address, and another was made by Mr. Edwin 
Mickley, of Mickley 's. Pa., who was a scholar of this Sunday School 
fifty years ago. Augustus Kelchner, Esq., was also a scholar 



66 

fifty years ago and was present on .the occasion. Mr. A. N. 
Lindenmuth, the photographer, of Allentown, took a picture of 
the decorations with Mr. lycisenring and Esq. Kelchner on the 
same, as also the then acting superintendents, Mr. Lewis Kohler, 
Reformed, and Augustus M. Laub, the Lutheran superintendent. 

The reason Hkely why the Sunday School did not have a 
continuous life after 1847, was because Sunday Schools were 
not yet generally introduced in that neighborhood. And also, 
because the Lutheran pastor, Rev. F. W. Mendsen, showed a 
great deal of opposition to the movement. As Rev. Mendsen 
was sincere and conscientious in his opposition he won a goodly 
number to his views. He still held to the old churchly custom 
of holding "Kinderlehre."' Every month on Sunday morning 
before the regular service began. Rev. Mendsen held an hour of 
religious introduction with the children of the church. The 
writer of this sketch has met with a^number of persons who, as 
children, used to attend these instructions. Rev. Mendsen 
thought the Sunday School was a dangerous innovation and 
claimed that the persons who undertook to teach the word of 
God to these children were not properly qualified to do so and 
would lay the foundation of schism and alienations if nothing 
worse. In our days this position would not be appreciated, yet 
it was rightly and conscientiously assumed by father Mendsen 
in those days. 

Since 1847, not much positive information can be obtained 
about the Sunday School. It is certain that no school was held 
in the church of 1785 for reasons already given. When the pre- 
sent church was erected a basement was provided for such a pur- 
pose and was also utilized. How soon, however, such was 
done we do not know. Old Sunday School scholars tell us that 
the school was held only during the summer months and discon- 
tinued during the winter. The late Edward Kohler, Esq., we 
are told, was one of those who revived the school and prepared 
a constitution for the same. With him was associated the late 
Charles Troxel. In 1867, Mr. Reuben Steckel was the superin- 
tendent but how long we do not know. In the seventies and 
early eighties, father Berndt took an interest in the school and 
he and his daughter Maria worked very energetically in and for 
the same. In 1884, Revs. A. J. L- Breinig and Alfred Lobach 
became superintendents. When the writer of this sketch came 
to Egypt, in 1888, Rev. O. S. Scheirer was the Lutheran and Mr. 
Lewis Kohler the Reformed superintendent. Since then the writer, 
to the best of his ability, recalls as superintendents, David Schneck, 
A. M. Laub, Eugene Laub, Wilson H. Schneck, Robert A. Benner, 
William Kern, Francis Lindaman, Phaon Fatzinger, Lewis Breinig, 
Lewis Kohler, and the present officials, Prof. Preston Breinig and 
Milton Steckel, On account of the unsanitary condition of 

the basement the sessions were held for gome time in the audi- 



67 



torium of the church. But after the introduction of steam heat 
and the repairs of 1906, the sessions were again regularly held 
in the basement as heretofore. 

Sundry Repairs. 

In 1801 a little barn, "scheurchen," was built costing 30 
pounds, 10 shillings and 3 pence. The persons taking part were 
Adam Troxel, Christian Saeger, John Saeger, Jacob Yehl, Johannes 
Ritter, Heinrich Ritter, George Ringer, Peter Mickley, Jacob 
Schreiber, Peter Kohler, Jacob Kohler, John Neuhart, Michael 
Neuhart, Nicholas Saeger, Esq., Jacob Dinkey, George SmuU, 
Peter Neuhart, Jr., Adam Scheurer and Jacob Meyer. They 
must have become very dry, as 15 shillings were paid to Jacob 
Schreiber for 3 gallons of whiskey and to Jacob Strein 7 shillings 
and 6 pence for one and a half gallons of the same material. As 
already seen, in 1806, repairs were made to the church, organ 
and stoves. The committee was Michael Neuhart and Conrad 
Leisenring, and the cost was $274.62. The account of the com- 
mittee was audited April 21, 181 1, and the audit is signed as 
follows : 

Lutheran Congregation. 
Rev. F. W. Mendsen, Pastor. 
Nicholas Saeger, 
Jacob Saeger, 

Trustees. 
Conrad Leisenring, 
Building Committee. 
Jacob Schneck, 
Frederick Paul, 

Elders. 
Jacob Laudenslager, 
Johannes Ritter, 
Jacob Bieche, 
Jacob Scheurer, 

Deacons. 



Reformed Congregation. 
Rev. Johann Gobrecht, 

Pastor. 
Jacob Schreiber, Trustee and 

Elder. 
Nicholas Kern, Trustee. 
Johannes Newhard, for his 
father, Michael Newhard, of 
Building Committee, who had 
died. 

Jacob Meyer, Elder. 
Peter Schreiber, 
Johannes Newhard, 
Jonas Hecker, 
Peter Mickley, 

Deacons. 



In tSio on November 27, by resolution of the Reformed 
congregation, the penny collections were all put into a common 
treasury. Before this date they had been kept separate. The 
Reformed treasury had on hand 84 pounds, 6 shillings and 3^ 
pence. Of this amount 24 pounds, 6 shillings, 3^ pence were 
regarded as the penny collections and paid into the common 
treasury as such with the Lutherans. But the remaining 60 
pounds were to remain the property of the Reformed congregation 
only. In 1811 and 181 2 the wall was made around the grave- 
yard, and the church and school house were repaired at an expense 



68 

of $805.80. The committee in charge of this work was Nicholas 
Saeger, Peter Meyer, Adam Troxel and Johannas Saeger. In 
1820 the fence was made around the garden costing in money 
$20.39., Much labor was • done without charge, seventy-eight 
persons worked from 4^ to 13 days without charge and others 
gave rails and posts. In 1829 the graveyard was enlarged at 
a cost of $197.10. The committee in charge of this work was 
Nicholas Saeger and Johannes Neuhard, and the committee that 
had charge of making the fence around the garden consisted of 
Abraham Butz, Gottfried Peter, Samuel Saeger and George A. 
Kemmerer. In 186 oa centennial celebrationwas held on October 
14. Rev. Dr. P. Schaff and Rev. J. Vogelbach were the speakers. 
Rev. Jos. S. Dubbs was the Reformed and Rev. Thomas Steck 
the Lutheran pastor at that time. 

In 1873 the question arose as to the necessity of repairing 
the tower on the church. A committee consisting of Daniel 
App, Edwin Iv. Breinig, Owen Newhard and Tilghman Zellner, 
was appointed to investgate the matter. In their report they 
recommended a general repair of the church and tower with an 
extension of the tower of 50 feet. On August 22, 1873, a meeting 
was held to decide the matter but it was a failure. On May 18, 
1874, another vote was taken and the question was affirmatively 
decided. During the year 1874, therefore, the church was remod- 
eled, and a new tower or steeple erected, measuring 140 feet. 
The total cost was $2,523.93. The dedication took place Nov. 
8, 1874, and the collection amounted to $52.90. Cain Semmel, 
of Catasauqua, made the steeple. In 1878 the Lutheran congre- 
gation received the sum of $233.02 as its share of the parsonage 
sale at Schnecksville. In 1880 to 1881 a new central chandelier 
was purchased for the church and the old pewter communion 
set, presented in 1786 by Mr. and Mrs. Cxcorge Koehler, was 
replaced by a silver plated set. During this time there was also 
some general repairing done to the church building. A large 
chair for the chancel was presented by Joseph Newhard, John 
Brdman, John Schwartz, Sen., and Reuben Saeger; another one 
by Joseph Keefer; and a large arm chair for the pulpit was 
presented by the brothers Samuel and Frank Brown. The widow 
of Paul Brown presented a marble top solid walnut altar. The 
basement was repaired, a cistern was made at the church, the 
church was painted and the little doors at the pews were removed 
as well as the panel of the front pews. New heaters were placed 
into the basement and the chimney arrangement so changed as 
to heat the auditorium by these heaters in the cellar and basement. 

In 1887 a new iron fence was placed in front of the church 
by the trustees of the two congregations, Edwin L. Breinig and 
Stephan A. Brown being of the Lutheran congregation. No 
extensive repairs were now made until 1904 and 1905, when, 
after a vote on October 3, 1904, the steam heat was introduced. 



69 

the second set of heaters removed, the terra cotta chimney^ flues 
torn down and a fine chimney of brick erected. The expense 
was about $1,300, and was soon and easily paid off. This was 
followed by very extensive repairs in 1905 and 1906. The base- 
ment was thoroughly remodeled, painted, metal ceiling and 
cement floor put in, lighted with electricity and heated by steam. 
The church proper was painted outside and inside, it was frescoed 
and painted, new metal ceiling put in place, the organ touched 
up, extra fine windows put in place of the old ones, fine electric 
chandeliers hung, and verv fine circular pews, of latest style, 
placed on an elevated floor which is covered with splendid brussels 
carpet. A handsome solid dark walnut altar was presented by 
Oliver Leh and family, a corresponding baptismal font by Eugene 
E- Long and wife and a reading desk by Thomas Schadt, vSen. 
New bibles and hymn books were presented bv members, and a 
beautiful gilt cross came to the church through the instrumentality 
of the assistant Lutheran pastor. Rev. J. J. Schindel, from Mr. 
Howard W. Lewis, president Farmers and Mechanics Nat. Bank, 
Philadelphia, Pa. The committee which had charge of these 
repairs consisted of Thomas Schadt, Sen., and Lewis Kohler on 
the Reformed side and Charles Weaver and Eugene E. Long on 
the Lutheran. The total cost of these extensive repairs, including 
the steam heat, was about seven thousand ($7,000) dollars. To 
the very agreeable surprise of all concerned this whole amount 
was soon paid off after the dedication services were over, and 
a balance of nearly $800 left. The members of the church councils, 
then in office, worked nobly in collecting the funds and the Ladies' 
Aid Society was equally active and successful in accomplishing 
this gratifying and remarkable work. The church was reopened 
and dedicated on January 28, 1906. Rev. Dr. Stahr, President 
of Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., preached for 
the Reformed and Rev. J. F. Lambert, pastor of the St. Paul's 
Lutheran Church, Catasauqua, for the Lutheran congregation. 
Services were held morning, afternoon and evening. Besides 
the pastors, Rev. Geo. P. Stem, J. D. and J. J. Schindel, there 
were present during the day Revs. A. Lobach, H. J. Kuder, O. F. 
Frantz and Morris Schadt. 

The Land BeIvOnging to the Church. 

Egypt Church has very valuable land in its possession, 
although it is of very little practical benefit to the two congre- 
gations. The acquisition of this land is a matter of much interest. 
When the second church building was to be erected Christian 
Saeger offered to give half an acre of land for that purpose. But 
as he had no land near enough, being too far away from the place 
where the church was to be located, he presented this half acre 
to Peter Steckel and he, in turn, promised to present the church 
for this purpose one whole acre. But while these arrangements 



70 

were being made Peter Steckel died without having given a deed 
for the land. Later on, however, in 1786, Henry and John 
Steckel, to whom the land had been given by the will of Peter 
Steckel, gave such a deed to the church as their departed father 
had promised and on which the church building had already 
been erected. 

The first conveyance of land to the Reformed and Lutheran 
congregations, of Egypt Church, was made September 28, 1786. 
This was for the land on which the second church had been erected 
in 1785. It was conveyed to Peter Burkhalter, Esq., Peter 
Kohler, Esq., Samuel Saeger and Nicholas Saeger, trustees, respec- 
tively, of the Reformed and Lutheran congregations, of Egypt 
Church. The consideration was five pounds, being $13.67, per 
acre. The land measured 2 acres and 48 perches, one arce as 
already stated having been the gift of Peter Steckel and Christian 
Saeger, each half an acre. This land was a part of a tract of land 
of 250 acres granted by patent to Peter Troxel, by the late pro- 
prietors of Pennsylvania, on November 28, 1748. These 250 
acres were afterwards deeded by Peter Troxel and his wife Mag- 
dalena, on May 28, 1768, to Peter Steckel who willed the same 
to his sons Henry and John, on June 30, 1781. Then Henry and 
John Steckel, as already seen, after the death of their father, Peter 
Steckel, conveyed the above-mentioned 2 acres and 48 perches 
to the trustees of the two congregations as above stated, in trust, 
however, for specific purposes. The deed was acknowledged 
before Peter Rhoads on September 29, 1786. " Mr. Rhoads was 
one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton 
County. The question now arises on whose or what land did the 
first church of 1764 stand. It is claimed that those acres on 
which the dead were buried were never included in any purchase 
and were considered free by all for church and burial purposes. 
But the church of 1 764 stood only 200 feet away from the church 
of 1785, in a southeasterly direction. Both were surrounded by 
the graves of those buried there, and as the land on which the 
church of 1785 stood was regularly conveyed to the church trus- 
tees, it is reasonable to suppose that the land on which the second 
church stood belonged to the same party on whose land the first 
church stood. Now, as this land belonged orignally to Peter 
Troxel, who acquired title in 1748, and did not sell it until 1768, 
it seems clear that the first church of 1764 stood on the land of 
Peter (also called John Peter) Troxel, without previous purchase 
by the two congregations. This seems the more plausible since 
we have learned that since 1756 the church services were regularly 
held in the mansion erected by this same Peter Troxel at another 
place near Egypt. He no doubt, out of the kindness of his heart, 
allowed this first church to be erected on his land without any 
pecuniary consideration. His land extended from the location 
of the church up to where the old Troxel mansion yet stands, 
including the Nary Peter farm. 



71 

The second purchase of land was in 1793. The tract con- 
sisted of 2 acres and 55 perches with 6 p. c. allowance for roads. 
It was conveyed to Peter Burkhalter, Peter Kohler, Christian 
Saeger and Nicholas Saeger in trust for specific purposes. They 
paid into the Receiver General's office, of the Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania, the sum of three (3) pence lawful money and 
received a grant of land called "Reliance." The tract joined 
the land of Jacob Kohler and the other church land coming from 
Henrv and John Steckel. It was surveyed in pursuance of a 
warra,nt dated December 17, 1792 and given over to the afore- 
mentioned persons for the use of the said church, clear of all 
restrictions and reservations except the one (1-5) fifth of all gold 
and silver ore for the use of the Commonwealth, to be delivered 
at the pit's mouth, clear of all charges. The conveyance is signed 
by Governor Thomas Mifflin, Governor of the said Commonwealth, 
on January 29, 1793, and attested by James Trimble, Deputy 
Secretary. 

The third purchase of land was made on January 4, 1797. 
The consideration was 50 pounds and the tract consisted^ of 4 
acres and 3 perches. The contracting parties were Jacob Kohler 
and wife Mary Elizabeth to Peter Burkhalter, Jacob Schreiber, 
Christian Saeger and Nicholas Saeger, Jr. , trustees, respectively, 
of the Reformed and Lutheran congregations, of Egypt Church. 
The land according to the survey of Peter Rhoads, Jr., son of 
Judge Peter Rhoads, consisted really of two tracts and was sur- 
veyed May 3, 1797. The land joined the church's land, that of 
Jacob Steckel and Jacob Kohler's other lands. It was acknowl- 
edged before Nicholas Saeger, Sen., Justice of the Peace, May 
9, 1797, and the witnesses were John Jacob Strein, the teacher 
and organist, and Michael Neuhart. The condition included was 
that the said Kohler, for himself and his heirs, according to the 
deed on record in Easton, must always maintain the laid out 
streets on his land. To his wife for her signature i pound, 17 
shillings and 6 pence " trinkgeld" was paid. This tract was a 
part of a certain large tract of land of 60 acres allowance, which 
the Hon. Thomas and Richard Penn, Esqs., by their patent of 
December 2, 1762, granted to Jacob Kohler the elder, who deeded 
the same to his son Jacob Kohler, Jr., on August 21, 1769. 

The fourth purchase of land was on March 6, 1802. The 
parties were George Ringer (mason) and his wife Elizabeth, to 
Peter Burkhalter, Esq., Philip Jacob Schreiber, Nicholas Saeger, 
of Samuel, and Jacob Saeger, Jr., trustees, respectively, of the 
Reformed and Lutheran congregations, of Egypt Church, in 
trust. It was surveyed on May 22, 1800, by Nicholas Neligh. 
The consideration was 28 pounds or S74.67. The deed was 
acknowledged April 3, 1802, before Nicholas Saeger, Sen., Justice 
of the Peace for Northampton, County and the witnesses were 
George Smull and Michael Neuhart, The tr^ct was 2 ^cres. strigt 



72 

measure. Mr. Ringer presented the Lutheran congregation, o" 
which he was a member, with 7 pounds or S18.67, the price of 
half an acre and George Kohler, who in his day took great interesv 
in the welfare of Egypt Church, gave 6 pounds towards the pur- 
chase of this land. The expenses with the surveying of this 
tract were ^ pound, 2 shillings and 9J pence, although Nicholas 
Neligh did the surveying for nothing and organist teacher Jacob 
Strein charged nothing for writing the deed. Mrs. Elizabeth 
Ringer, the wife of George Ringer, received 7 shilling and 6 pence 
"trinkgeld" for signing the deed. This tract was chestnut tim 
ber land and is situated in North Whitehall not far from Scheidy's- 
A part of this chestnut timber land was sold in 1878 for $175. 

The fifth purchase of land was made in 1849. It was sur- 
veyed by Daniel Saeger, Esq., and consisted of 152 perches, stric 
measure, and cost $142.50. It was purchased of Jonas Stoffle 
and was a part of a tract once owned by Abraham Steckel .wh« 
had sold it to Jonas Stoflflet. It was surveyed August 27, 1849 
and was purchased for the purpose of obtaining suitable grounc 
on which could be erected sheds for the teams of members c 
the congregations as also for erecting thereon a suitable ban 
for the use of the teacher and organist. The tract was coveref 
with heavy oak timber and had been used by persons to tie thei 
horses and teams. When Mr. Stofflet purchased the propert 
he cut down the timber and enclosed the land with a fence. Th 
congregations badly needed the ground and thus were led t. 
purchase the same. 

The sixth purchase, made May 17, 1851, was surveyed b; 
Daniel Saeger, Esq., September 14, 1850, and consisted of 5 
perches. The consideration was $50. This property was con 
veyed by Daniel Kohler and his wife Magdalena to Peter Kohlei 
Peter Steckel, Daniel Saeger and David Ruch, trustees, respectively, 
of the Reformed and Lutheran congregations, of Egypt Church. 
It was a small part of a large tract which Jacob Kohler and his 
wife Mary Elizabeth deeded, on September 2, 18 13, to Daniel 
Kohler. It was acknowledged. May 17, 1851, before Edwan' 
Kohler, Esq., Justice of the Peace for Lehigh County and wit- 
nessed by Edward Kohler and Abraham Kohler. 

Total acres of land: No. i. 2 acres 48 perches; No. 2. 2 acres 
55 perches; 'No. 3. 4 acres 3 perches; No. 4. 2 acres (Woodland, 
less what was sold in 1878) ; No. 5. 152 perches; No. 6. 58 perches; 
Total II acres, 156 perches. 



OCT 2 ma