Charles R. Roberts
Rev. J. D. ScHiNDEL, D. D.
READ BEFORE THE LEHIGH COUNTY
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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
In the minutes of a special Coetus held at Philadelphia on
August 10 to 13, 1752, Rev. Michael Schlatter in his report to
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
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
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
£ 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
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
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
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
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
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-
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.
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,
Peter Burkhalter, Jun.,
Michael Neuhart, Jun.,
Jacob Mueller, Sen.
Michael Ringer, Sen.,
Jacob Hartmann, Jun.
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.
Both congregations shall have an equal right and share in
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.
All repairs, which shall become necessary to this house of
divine worship, shall be paid jointly.
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.
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
George Koehler, £ 25 ; Samuel Saeger, iJ 22 ; Christian Saeger,
£ 22; Lorenz Ruch, £ 14; Conrad Leisenring, £ 12; John Meyer,
£ 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
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.
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-
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
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,
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,
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.
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
In 1 801 the four congregations sold the parsonage and land
purchased in 1767 and bought a house and 25 acres of land from
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-
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
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-
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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,
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.
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-
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.
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,
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
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.,
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
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
Rev. Johann Casper Dill,
Nicholas Saeger, for his father,
Christian Saeger, Trustee, who
had died since 1785.
Nicholas Saeger, of Samuel
Nicholas Saeger, for his father,
Samuel Saeger, Treasurer and
Building Committee, who had
died since 1785.
Jacob Strein, Clerk.
Rev. Abraham Blumer,
Peter Burkhalter, Trustee,
Elder and Treasurer.
Philip Jacob Schreiber, Elder,
Trustee and Building Com-
Jacob Mickley, Building Com-
Peter Kohler, for his father,
Peter Kohler, of Building Com-
mittee, who had died since
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.
. 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
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
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-
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
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-
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.
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
Rev. F. W. Mendsen, Pastor.
Rev. Johann Gobrecht,
Jacob Schreiber, Trustee and
Nicholas Kern, Trustee.
Johannes Newhard, for his
father, Michael Newhard, of
Building Committee, who had
Jacob Meyer, Elder.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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