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3 3433 0818176 



ITrinitY) Xutbcran Cburcb, 

IReaOinci, pa. 

Erected 1791-1794. 
Hemodeled 1851-1852. 
Benovated 1893-1894. 




I riqity LiutF|eran (ShurcF| 


'1751 - 1894. 










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Reading, Pa., 189< 

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All Bights Reserved. 

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Eagle Job Office. 


On Trinity Sunday of this year, 1894, Trinity 
Lutheran congregation of Reading, Pa., celebrates 
the one hundredth anniversary of the completion and 
con.secration of its venerable church edifice. Much 
already has been done in preparation for that celebra- 
tion. The magnificent Memorial Chapel, erected in 
1891-92 by William A. Arnold and Samuel H. 
Kutz, is a memorial not only of their parents but 
also of this event. This was followed by a complete 
renovation of the church itself by the congregation, 
including the rebuilding of the steeple, new memorial 
windows, altar, lectern and other articles of church 
furniture, a new gallery front, and general improve- 

For some time I have thought the best memorial, 
and possibly the most useful and enduring of all, 
would be the writing and publication of a history of 
the congregation. The present building is a century 
old, but the congregation's history goes back to 1751. 
It is, therefore, one of the oldest, as well as one of 
the largest and most important of the I^utheran con- 
gregations in America. With the exception of sev- 
eral newspaper articles, written by the late H. H. 
Muhlenberg, M. D., and published in the Missionary 
in 1857-58, its history has never been written. 

When I began the search four months ago for ma- 
terial for this history, I expected to find a very lim- 
ited supply, but as the search proceeded, I was sur- 
prised and delighted to find how abundant it was. 


Miicli of" it \v:is fiaijiMCMtarv, Imt in putting together 
what acniniiilatcd IVoiii vaiioiis sources, it was foiinil 
that these separate links lorincd a coiitimioiis eliain, 
and nia(h'a .story nhiiost unbroken iVoni the begin- 
ning until now. When I became pastor of the con- 
gregation there was })ut into my care, besides the 
usual church records, a small chest containing, it was 
said, 'S)ld papers of no value,'' consisting of ac- 
counts, bills, receipts, etc., etc. In these were found 
many curious facts which have formed the missing 
links and have proved to be of the greatest value. 

Fortunately before the late Rev. Dr. Mann became 
disabled by illness, it was suggested to the Vestry 
that they employ him to secure for us copies of all 
correspondence, items and facts he had discovered, in 
preparing his Notes to the Plalle reports, which re- 
ferred to this congregation and its pastors. Dr. 
Mann undertook the task, and three years ago j)ut 
into the writer's hands the results of his work. Both 
were surprised at the amount of material he found, 
especially among the letters of Henry Melchior 
]\[uhlenberg. These letters will give to this history 
an interest and value beyond our own congregation, 
and add new lustre to the character and wisdom of 
that eminent man. 

This history is therefore prepared and j)ublished as 
the writer's contribution first of all to this centennial 
of Trinity Church, and also to the history of the 
Lutheran church in these United States. 

I am sorry I did not begin the work a year sooner, 
so as to have had time to give more attention to its 
composition. The extraordinary labors of a large 
parish, especially between Chi-istmas and Easter, to- 


gether with my work at the Seminary, left too little 
time for careful writing. Not that any line of inves- 
tigation has been neglected, but in the presentation of 
what was gathered, more care should have been 
taken. As it was important the book should appear 
no later than the centennial celebration, it was not 
possible to re-write any of its pages. 

In this work I have been greatly aided by several 
brethren, whose assistance has enabled me to work 
more rapidly than otherwise could have been done. 
I take pleasure in acknowledging such assistance 
given me, especially by Rev. F. A. Muhlenberg, D. 
D., LL. D., in the translation of some old docu- 
ments, and Rev. J. W. Early in furnishing some 
facts from the older minutes of Synod in his posses- 
sion. I have alreadv mentioned the material fur- 
nished by the late W. J. Mann, D. D., LL. D., and 
acknowledg-e my indebtedness to his edition of the 
Halle Reports icith Notes for a number of facts per- 
taining to the earlier pastors of the congregation. I 
am also under obligations to Rev. H. E. Jacobs, D. 
D., LL. D., for some matter obtained from the 
archives of Synod, and to Mr. Montgomery's i??!s^or^ 
of Berks County for various items of local informa- 

In the preparation of this history the most atten- 
tion has been given to the earlier years. What has 
happened in the last fifty years is a matter of record, 
and those who desire can readily find full details of 
things here given in brief statements. But the his- 
tory of the first fifty years had to be rescued from 
oblivion. The sources of information were so frag- 
mentary and scattered, and the information itself so 


iiiil)()rtnnt and iMt('rc.stin<r, timt I felt justified in t;iv- 
in^' minute- tletails. And I liave |)referre(l to let these 
tell their own story. 'a\A li.ivi? reprodtieed many of 
them in their orioimd form, rather than to attempt to 
tell tlieir . story in my own lanjriiuiro. While their in- 
troduction mjda's the compositi(M) of some chapters 
somewhat disjointed, to the student of history they 
will add interest to the book. 

In some respects this history should close with the 
year 1864, as the present j)astorate in this congretra- 
tion began in 1865, and no man is competent to write 
a history of times in which he is as prominent an 
aetor as the pastor of a church must be. But as my 
pastorate covers nearly one-third of the century of 
which this book is specially a memorial, its history 
would be incomplete if not carried down to the pres- 
ent date. The difficulty and delicacy of the situation 
have been met by giving only such facts of these years 
as was necessary to make the story complete, and I 
have felt a freedom in doing this from the fact that 
the book is a history of the congregation rather than 
a biography of its pastors ; and also because these 
thirty years have been years of harmony and peace, 
without any divisions or contentions which liiight 
prejudice the writer's judgment or warp his words. 

^^ hile this history has grown from an expected 
pamphlet into a book, the size of the volume will not 
reveal the amount of research and labor its prepara- 
tion required. To be wortli anything, history must 
be accurate. Some things required days of patient 
investigation, which are told in a single line. But 
though a congregational history will have too limited 
a sale to be pecuniarily profitable, I do not regret the 


time and labor it has required. It became to me a 
work of absorbing interest and positive delight. My 
only regret is that this important work was so long 
neglected. For nearly thirty years I have been like 
a man walking through the halls of a palace without 
ever trying the doors of chambers which seemed 
closed, and wherein wonderful treasures have been 
stored. Now that they have been explored, I am 
only beginning to realize what a story of trials and 
triumplis forms the liistory of the congregation in 
whose service one-half of my life has been spent. 

I send out this history of" Old Tiinity '' with the 
prayer, and in a hope which amounts to assurance, 
that the members of the congregation who read these 
pages will rise from the perusal with a higher appre- 
ciation of the heritage they have received from their 
fathers, a deeper love to tiieir spiritual mother, and a 
more earnest consecration of their services and talents 
to her welfare and prosperity. 

J. Fry. 

Festival of The Ascension, 1894. 

p. S.— The writer is indebted also to Rev. J. Nicum, D. D., of Rocliester, 
N. Y., for a copy of a letter found by him in the archives at Halle. It is 
a petition from the vestry of this congregation, sent in the fall of 1758 to 
Rev. F. M, Ziegenhagen, of London, and forwarded by him to the fathers 
at Halle, asking that a pastor be sent for tliis congregation. It states 
their great poverty and distress b3cau?e of the iQdiau wars, and that 
they could not promise more than £40 and a respectable parsonage. It 
mentions that Reading then had 200 German families, at least 90 of which 
belonged to the Lutheran Church. It appears to have been written by 
Adam Fred. Langjahr, whose name does not occur in our Records. The 
letter came too late to be inserted In its proper place, on page 35 of this 



Preface, 5 

Chapter I. 

Revs. T. Wagner and H. B. G. Wordman, . 13 

Chapter II. 


Revs. D. Schumacher, J. C. Harfwig and 

B. M. Hausihl, 29 

Chapter III. 

Rev. John Andreas Krug, .... 44 

Chapter IV. 


Rev. H. M. Muhlenberg and the Conflicting 

Parties, ....... 53 

Chapter Y. 


The Revised Bv-Laws or Rules of Church 

Order, ...... 65 

Chapter VI. 

Revs. F. Niemever and P. J. Grotz, . .74 


Chapter YII. 



Kevs. H. Moller, F. A. C. Muhlenberg and 

D. Lehman, ...... 81 

Chapter YIII. 

Eev. Charles Frederick Wildbahn, . . . 98 

Chapter IX. 


The Erection of the Present Church Edifice. 

Rev. C. F. Wildbahn, . . . .110 

Chapter X. 


Eevs. C. F. Wildbahn, A. N. Marcard, 

D. Lehman and W. H. Scriba, . . 124 

Chapter XL 

Eev. Henry A. Muhlenberg, D. D., . . 132 

Chapter XII. 

Eev. Jacob Miller, D. D., . . . .155 

Chapter XIII. 

Eevs. J. Miller, D. D., and F. A. M. Keller, 173 

Chapter XIV. 

Eevs. J. W. Eichards, D. D., and 

J. N. Hoffman 186 





Revs. F. J. F. Sc'liantz, J. J. Kiieiidig and 

C. Rightniyer, 202 

Chapter XVI. 

The Present Pastorate, . . . .216 

Chapter XVII. 

The Present Pastorate Continued, . . . 232 

Chapter XVIII. 

The Present Pastorate Continued, . . 247 

Chapter XIX. 

The Present Pastorate Continued, . . . 265 


A. Conrad Weiser's Hymn. . . .281 

B. The Old Charter. ' 283 

C. Contributors to the Present Ciiurch Building. 286 

D. The Present Charter and By-Laws. . 288 

E. Official Lists and Present Organization. . 294 
Index. ....... 297 




The history of Trinity Lutheran Congregation of 
Reading begins with the history of the town itself. 
Reading was formally laid out as a town by the agents 
of Richard and Thomas Penn, sons of William Penn, 
and the proprietors of Pennsylvania, in 1748. It was 
named after their native town of Reading, in Berk- 
shire, England, which fact also gave the name of 
Berks to the county, when it was separated from 
Philadelphia county, in 1752. 

For many years prior to these dates the surround- 
ing country had been settled by people of various 
European nationalities,- comprising Swedes, English, 
French Fluguenots, Welsh and Germans, the latter 
largely predominating. In religion these Germans 
were almost equally divided between Lutherans and 
Reformed. Tiie Lutherans had organized congrega- 
tions and erected churches at Tulpehocken, Moselem, 
and other points now in this county, for many years 
before Reading existed. 

The precise date of the organization of Trinity 
Congregation is not known. Unfortunately no 
records were made prior to the ministry of Rev. 
Schumacher. The two communion tankards, made 
of pewter, and still in possession of the congregation, 
have the following inscriptions : 








Tlie dates most probably refer to the years when 
they were made, as we have seen it stated similar 
inscriptions are found on the communion vessels of 
other old congregations. Mr. Schumacher, who began 
the church records, marked the first pnges 1751 ; 
and from this year the congregation has dated its be- 
ginning. The first entry in these records is that of 
the baptism of Henry, child of Abm. and Margaret 
Brosius, born August 20, 1751, and baptized xVugust 
24th, by Rev. Wagner, the sponsors being Henry 
Brosius and Philip Jacob Meyers and wife Maria 
Barbara. A blank page was ruled and dated 1751, 
before this entry was made, so as to allow the entry of 
other baptisms which had taken place prior to this. 
Another blank page follows, and then comes the sec- 
ond entry, that of the baptism of Philip Plenry, child 
of Hans Jurg Engelhardt and wife Margaret, born 
February 3, 1752, and baptized in October of the 
same year by Rev. Schertlein. 

A record is preserved of a congregational meeting 
held on the festival of the Epiphany, January 6, 
1752, at which it is stated the church officers were re- 
elected, showing the existence of an organized congre- 
gation prior to that date. 

It is altogether probable that the first preacher who 
gathered the Lutherans residing in this locality and 
organizecT them into a congregation was Rev. Tobias 
Wagner, whose name appears in the record of the first 


baptism mentioned. He v/as a great-grandson of the 
celebrated theologian, Dr. Tobias Wagner, chan- 
cellor of the University of Tubingen, who died in 
1680. His great-grandson was pastor at Horkheim, 
on the Neckar, when following the prompt- 
ings of a roving disposition, and agaitist the 
advice of relatives and friends, he determined to 
emigrate to America. He arrived with his family 
and with other German emigrants in 1742, the same 
year when Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg came 
to this country. His first residence seems to have 
been with the Lutheran colony settled at Waldeboro, 
Maine. As Muhlenbei'g was immediatel}' recognized 
as the head and chief adviser of our scattered 
churches in this country, Mr. Wagner importuned 
him to recommend him as a suitable pastor for some 
Lutheran congregation in the province of Pennsylva- 
nia. Muhlenberg, who was always willing to extend 
a helping hand, after some efforts succeeded in secur- 
ing him a call from the large IjUlheran congregation 
at Tulpehocken ; and it was during Mr. Wagner's 
ministry there that he officiated on April 22, 1745, 
at the marriatre of Muhlenberg; to Anna Marv, 
daughter of Conrad Weiser, so widely and favorably 
known thioughout this section and the entire prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania, as the agent and interpreter of 
the Q^overnment in its dealincjs with the Indians. 

Mr. Wagner's ministry at Tulpehocken terminated 
in 1746, and on April 30th of that year he moved 
to this vicinity ''on the road towards Easton," where 
he purchased some land and kept a store, and at the 
same time served the congregations at Alsace and 
Schwartzwald. As soon as the founding of Reading 


was (k'tcnniiKd :m(] houses were erected, he began 
prenehinu:; licic, holding services in a private lioiise. 
His ell'orts were successful and a coi»gregation was 
organized. The beginning was small and humble, 
but that which was planted grew, and the congrega- 
tion to-day is one of the strongest in the land. 

The record of the congregational meeting referred 
to is interesting, mid we give a translation of it. 


It has pleased the only wise and immortal God, to 
whom belong praise, glory and honor, that we should 
become acquainted, in this land also, with His paternal 
and gracious favor, that the clear light of the gospel in 
its purity, in the face of Jesus Clirist, should here also 
be puljlicly spread abroad. We acknowledge and con- 
fess the Divine mercy in this respect, and give thanks 
for this benefit, to the Triune God, and humbly pray 
that He would preserve, in their purity, for us and our 
l^osterity. His dear, precious and saving word, grounded 
upon Moses, the Prophets and Apostles, Chi-ist, how- 
ever, being the corner-stone of them all, and His holy 
Sacraments, for the strengthening of our weak faith. 

May He be especially a Protector of His church, in 
her suffering and militant condition, here on earth ; 
grant it continually faithful teachers, who may be pat- 
terns of their Lord Jesus Christ, both in doctrine 
and also in life, in accordance with the principles of the 
Augsburg Confession and the Symbolical Books, so 
that here also, in this land, the kingdom of Christ may 
be continually advanced more and more, and many 
souls conducted to heaven. May God Almighty, the 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, grant this, through 
the gracious existence of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 

This day, January 6th, 17o2, it was deemed necessary, 
for various reasons, particularly on account of the erec- 
tion of a church, to call together the Ev^angelical Luth- 
eran congregation, and there were again elected, by 


those tlius assembled on the above mentioned day, as 
Deacons for the present year, viz. : Peter Schneider, 
Christian Brentzer, William Marx and Abraham Bro- 
sius. Further, on the same day, for the building of the 
church, there were elected as a Building Committee 
the above named Peter Schneider and John Oerhle. 
It was also determined by the same persons assembled 
together, that it was highly necessary to adopt earnest 
measures, in the name of Grod, to prepare the way for 
the erection of a church for the Evangelical Lutheran 
congregation, which has no other foundation than 
solely and alone upon the unaltered Augsburg Confes- 
sion. Those persons who conform to this religion, 
without the least hypocrisy or misgiving, and desire to 
render assistance, and equitably contribute to it ; those 
also who are wilHng to become regular members of it 
and to give something for this building, can signify, 
over their own signatures, what they are willing 
to give ; all such persons, who thus bind them- 
selves, are assured that they shall be and remain gen- 
uine members of the congregation, provided they con- 
tinue steadfast in the true Christian faith ; if, however, 
such individuals are discovered to be despisers of God 
and His people, they shall be excluded from this congre- 
gation. That those, therefore, who promise money 
and assistance for the building of this church, may 
show their sincerity, be it resolved, that each one be 
obligated to pay £10, Pennsylvania currency, towards it, 
that the Building Committee and Deacons may be able 
to go forward more confidently and without hindrance." 

This is followed with the statement that forty-nine 
names were appended to it, wliich would indicate the 
number of families connected with the congregation. 

The ground selected on which to erect the cliurch 
consisted of two lots each 60 feet wide, on North 
Sixth street (then called Duke street), and 230 feet 
on Washington street (then called Thomas street), 
and marked Nos. 406 and 407 on the plan of lots 
as laid out by Thomas and Kichard Penn. Conrad 

18 Tin: LOCATION. 

AVcisor, who Iiad built a lionso in 1751 {\{ tlio corner 
of IVnn and North Fifth (tluMi called Callowhill 
street), to be used as a store and tradini^-post with 
the Indians, interested himself in secnrin«r this ground 
for a Lutheran Church, and the original deed states 
the ground was conveyed l)y the proprietors to hini 
and Abraham Brosius ^' as trustees for the religious 
society of Lutherans residing in the town of Reading." 
The deed recites that the application for permission 
to take up this ground was made in 1752, and that 
the application was fav^orably regarded and permis- 
sion given. The deed was finally executed and 
recorded in 1754, the consideration money being'' five 
shillings, lawful money of Pennsylvania/' together 
with an annual ground rent of ''seven shillings, 
sterling money of Great Britain,'' dating from 1752, 
when the ground was occupied by erecting the church. 
The deed is signed by James Hamilton, Lieutenant 
Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania. 

Conrad AVeiser died in 1760, and in 1763 his 
widow and sons, Peter and Samuel, together with 
Abraham Brosius, executed another deed, conveying 
the property to William Huttenstein, Andreas Engel, 
Christopher Witman and Henry Hahn, "in sj)ecial 
trust to and for the sole use, benefit and behoof of the 
members of the Lutheran congregation of Reading." 

The erection of the church building was com- 
menced in the spring of 1752. Tradition says it oc- 
cupied the position of the present parsonage, possibly 
nearer the centre of the lots. This is confirmed by 
the fact that in digging the cellar for the parsonage 
in 1866, pieces of wall were discovered, which doubt- 
less belonged to the foundation of the church. 


It was a wooden building, constructed of logs 
after the manner of building in those days, of good 
size, with galleries on three sides, and surmounted 
with a steeple. Among the old papers belonging to 
the concj-reocation is a bill of sale of the materials of 
this building, in 1795, after the new church was com- 
pleted and used. In this bill of sale it is stated the 
buildino; would be offered in two sections, the ^^ north- 
ernmost '' and " southernmost." The church, there- 
fore, stood north and south, facing Washingtou 
street, and the pul[)it must have been on the eastern 
side, as the sections of the gallery put up for sale are 
described as on the north, west and south sides. 

An article in the Lutheran of September 25, 1873, 
by the late Rev. H. M. Bickel, a native of Reading, 
confiims this statement. He savs it was " a block 
church, which stood about the middle of the church 
yard, directly opposite where was, until the parsonage 
was erected, the wide gate, and not on the site of the 
present church. We have as our authority the testi- 
mony of an aged lady, now in the ninety-fourth year 
of her aire, who remembers well the old block church. 
She was eleven years old when it was demolished. 
She had frequently been in it. It was a one-story 
building with galleries on three sides, north, westand 
south. On the north gallery stood the organ, and on 
the east was the chancel and pulpit. The entrance 
was on the Washington street side." 

Several bells a]>pear to have been purchased and 
put in the steeple. Dr. H. H. Muhlenberg found in 
1857, among the old papers of the congregation, the 
following bill : 

20 riri': bells. 

J*iiif.\i>KiirniA, May 1, 1755. 
"AlJUAIIAM HkoSIUS tfe Co., ])U. TO Hkmiy Kkim»l,k. 
OctoIxT, 10, 1751, to onf^ chM-k with a bell, - .1:44, 15, 10 
April 20, 1755, to one bell, ------- £25, 8, 2." 

This papiT \v(j liave not foiiiid. But among tl)e 
items of expenses and rontiilxitions given in the old 
minnle book is this statement : 

'' The Ix'lls were ordered from England by Mr. 
Henry Ke[)ple, of rhlLidelphia, and snbse(piently 
delivered by order of Plenry Hahn and Abraluim 
Brosius, vestrymen of the eongregation, and eost 70 
])onnds and 4 shillings.'^ 

Thus it ap])ears the first church had a clock and 
two bells. That there was a clock api)ears also 
from the fact we find the treasurer crediting himself 
with paying fifteen shillings, on November 29, 17G5, 
^' for repairing the church clock and making it right." 

They were not the two bells which were displaced 
by the present large bell in 1889, as those were pur- 
chased and put in place after the steei)le was erected 
on the ])resent building in 1833. TIk; oidy bell on 
the first church of which wt have positive knowledge 
was the second one mentioned in Mr. Kepple's bill, 
as it bore that date, cut in the metal, 1755. This 
bell was transferred to the present building and for 
many years was daily rung for the convenience of 
our citizens. 

When the present pastor took charge of the church 
in 1865, he found this small bell no longer in use, 
but set aside in the belfry. After St. Luke's chapel 
was built, in 1867, this bell was loaned to that mis- 
sion and used there for a number of years until it be- 
came cracked, when it was brought back to Trinity 
Church. The clapper and a section of the bell bear- 


ing the date 1755, are preserved among the relics of 
the congregation. 

The need of a convenient place of worship was so 
urgent that tl#e congregation began to use the church 
before it was completed. The contributions were in 
small amounts, but it may be interesting to read the 
names of some contributors. We copy the following 
list: Christian Brentzer, Abraham Brosius, Casper 
Zinn, Andreas Scheck, Eberhard Mai tin, William Hut- 
tenstein, John Ohrlen, Peter Weiser, Andreas Wolf, 
Hans Martin Gerigh, George Domm, Moses Hey- 
mann, Adam AVidman, Michael Fichthorn, Jacob 
Erpff, Michael Holich, Henry Pfeffer, Jacob Knsser, 
John Christoph Leeman, Nicholas Schabhardt, Wil- 
liam Marx, Peter Schneider, John Kissinger, Philip 
Jacob Meyer, Henry Reitmyer, Frederick Polland, 
Alexander Klinger, Christopher Widman, Philip 
Erpff, Christian Cammerer, Adam Schlagell, Martin 
Cai'st, Michael Wahrlich, Peter Drompor, George 
Michael Gi'other, Hieronymus Eichelberger, Henry 
Hahn, Hans Jurg Sauerbrey, Jacob Rabalt. 

Monev was also borrowed and it is recorded that 
William Allen, of Philadelphia, loaned the congrega- 
tion sixty pounds, Pennsylvania currency, upon a 
bond signed by four members of the congregation. 

When the Lutheran Ministeriura met in German- 
town, October 1, 1752, the congregation sent a dele- 
gate and applied to be received into the " United 
Congregations," as the Ministerium or Synod was 
then called, and presented a petition, signed by 
eighty-two members, that a pastor should be sent 
them to preach the first sermon in their church and 
establish good order in the congregation. This would 


indicnto tlint R<'V. Wagner was no l()njj:;er coiisidorod 
their pastor, aii<l tliat Conrad W'ci.sor, tlic father-in- 
law (»t' >ruhlenl)erij:, interested himself in seenrin<r a 
connc.'ction of the new e()n<^re(rjiti()n with the Minis- 

Mnhlenl)er<r eain(! himself, l)y appointment of the 
Ministerinm, and preaehed the first sermon in the 
ehiireh on October 15, held communion and baptized 
several eliildi'en. 

While at Reading Middenborir tried to induce the 
congregation to come to j)eaceful terms with Mr. 
Wagner. The effort was not successful, and 
ner, instead of thanking Mulileid)erir for his unselfish 
and fraternal act, ])ublished a pam])hlet in which he 
manifested great bitterness against Muhlenberg, 
charging him with heresy because he did not use the 
word " ^riie " in the administration of the Lord's 
Suppei", and in baptism addiessed the questions to the 
sponsors and not to the child. 

Unfortunately Mr. Wagner seems to have been a 
man whose ways and manners were not calculated to 
win the esteem and love of the })eo})le to whom he 
ministered. This was the case at Tulpehocken as 
well as at Reading. His want of success he always 
found in others and failed to discover it was largely 
in himself. Notwithstanding Muhlenberg's repeated 
acts of disinterested kindness to him, he became one 
of his most violent opponents. He never joined the 
Ministerium, but ])referred associating with a class of 
independent preachers who had come to this country 
more in the S})irit of adventure than in the spirit of 
the gospel^ or for the fulfillment of their sacred calling. 


The influence of these men was long felt in this 
part of the State in their hostility to the Ministerium 
and to the fathers sent out from Halle to establish 
sound doctrine, true piety and good church order 
among the early Lutherans who had settled here. 

Mr. Wagner continued to reside in this neighbor- 
hood after his pastoral relation with this congrega- 
tion had ceased, and occasionally performed minis- 
terial acts for its members. Several baptisms are 
recorded in our books which he performed, and a 
remarkable entry is found as late as the middle of 
1754, when a daughter of Rev. Tobias Wagner and 
wife, Maria Christina Dorothea, was born and on ac- 
count of its weakness was immediately baptized, and 
subsequently the baptism was publicly acknowledged 
and the child presented in the church, the witnesses 
or sponsors being Rev. N. Kurtz, of Tulpehocken ; 
Rev. J. S. Gerock, of Lancaster ; Rev. J. P. Michael, 
Reformed pastor in Reading, and the wife of Henry 
Gartens. This entry is in the handwriting of Rev. 
D. Schumacher, at that time pastor of the church. 
It suggests two things, the custom then of public an- 
nouncement in the church of baptisms which of 
necessity had to be performed privately, and also that 
Rev. Wagner at this time was on friendly terms with 
the ministers who were connected with the Synod or 
" United congregations.'^ 

In 1759, he with his wife and one daughter re- 
turned to Germany, where he died in 1775. His 
other children remained in America, and among their 
descendants may be found names of great eminence, 
as those of the Wagner and Stille families of Phila- 

24 j:i:v. j. f. sciiFjrrrFfN. 

\\\\ru \\\o coni^iTgatioii sent a delegate to the Miii- 
isterium :il (icrmaiitowii In 1752, they also petitioned 
that a collection he taUen in all the *' United C(jng:re- 
cations " to enahle tlictn to complete their church. 
But as many of them were engaged at the same time 
also in seeming houses of worship and other necessary 
work, it coidd not he granted. The connection, how- 
ever, was then formed, and Trinity congregation at 
Keadintr has remained in unbroken union with the 
Ministerium unto this day. 

The congregation now had a churcli but no pastor. 
Their attention was directed to Rev. Jacob Frederick 
Sehertlein (in the church records it is written 
Schrertli/), who was settled at Macungie and was serv- 
ing a number of congregations in that vicinity. He 
visited Reading rej)eatedly and a number of baptisms 
are entered in the books administered by him. He 
had been a pastor in his native country of Wurtem- 
burg and came to America in September, 1752, and, 
after a short stay in Lancaster, bought land and set- 
tled at Macungie. Two things prevented the con- 
gregation from uniting on him as their pastor, one 
being the fact that he could not serve them oftener 
than once in three weeks, and the other that on the 
occasion of his visit the subject of his sermon was 
the " Pragmatic Sanction," a diplomatic transaction 
by which Charles VI, emperor of Germany, settled 
his dominions on his daughter Maria Theresa, which 
excited great interest and opposition at the time, but 
finally was confirmed by the Diet of the empire, and 
sanctioned by most of the European powers. It may 
have been a learned and earnest discourse, but did 
not satisfy the simple people of Reading, who were 

REV. H. B. G. WORDMAN. 25 

hungry for thebread of life. He preached, however, 
on several occasions in the eaily part of 1753, and in 
March of that year administered the Holy Com- 
munion to the congregation. 

Their next choice was very unfurtunate, as it fell 
upon Rev. H. B. G. Wordman. He was highly edu- 
cated and possessed a powerful voice, but also an un- 
governable temper. He preached by invitation on 
May 20, 1753, and was chosen pastor. The call ex- 
tended to him was entered in full in the church rec- 
ords, and as it is of interest we give the following 
translation : 


As the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the town of 
Reading and the adjacent townships of Alsace and 
Schwartzwald have united in electing as their regular 
pastor and preacher the Very Reverend Master Henry 
Borchard Gabriel Wordman, and the same person has 
accepted the call thus given him, and it is now the duty 
of the subscribers, the elders and deacons of the said 
congregation, to extend to the same a regular written 
call and commission ; we commission, therefore, in the 
name of the entire congregation, the above named 
Henry Borchard Gabriel Wordman to be our regular 
teacher and pastor ; to teach and preach to us the pure 
word of God as it is contained in the sacred Holy Scrip- 
ture, in accordance with the principles of the Unaltered 
Augsburg Confession ; administer the sacraments, visit 
the sick, and in general perform all the duties which 
are proper for and belong to a faithful Evangelical Lu- 
theran minister. 

For which services we bind ourselves to pay our 
above named pastor annually the sum of £60, Pennsyl- 
vania currency, and to furnish him with a house, rent 
free, and wood without charge. 

Finally we obligate ourselves mutually in this respect, 
that the pastor, as well as we ourselves, shall have the 
privilege of terminating this contract after three 
months' notice. We certify to the correctness of the 


Til /; cir ( n ( ni ' .v na me. 

peter }iauin, 

John Wendel Heitz, 

Andreas Engele, 

Micliael Fichthorn, 

Joseph Brendlinger, 

Peter Rapi), 

John Ohrle, 

Henry Fred. Degenhardt, 

Henrv Hahn, 

Henry Reitmier, 

Fred. Wendish. 

\vli«»le«.f theahove state<l particuhirH, by affixint^ our 
indiviihial names. 

Kkadim*, June 4, IToS. 

Peter Schneider, 
PhiMp .lacoh Mayer, 
Ueorj^e William Marx, 
(^hrist in SamI liarchman, 
Jolni Ilaheraeker, 
A<lam Heinle, 
The<)l)ald Haum, 
Jacob Spenj^ler, 
Martin (ierieh, 
Hans George Sauerbrey, 
Ciisper Koljerling, 
John George Shultz, 

Viw W'orilnian accepted tlie call and entered imme- 
diately on his duties. The church building had been 
completed and was finally dedicated on Trinity Sunday, 
June 17, 1753, and the church received the name of 


At tiie same service the followincr vestrymen were 
installed : Peter Schneider, Philij) Jacob Meier, 
William Marx, Henry Hahn, Peter Weiser, Chri.stian 
Baichman, P]beihard Martin, Henry Reitmeier, 
Frederick Wendisch, Michael Fichthorn. From Al- 
sace : Jacob Spengler, Adam Reiffle. From Schwartz- 
icahl : Martin Gerich. Deacons: George Sauerbrey, 
Alexander K linger, Peter Drompor, John Kissinger. 

It appears that Conrad Weiser composed a hymn 
or poem for this occasion, which is of remarkable ex- 
cellence, both in its sentiment and form. It con- 
sists of thirteen verses and is given in the appendix, 
marked (A). We give a translation of the first two 
verses, made at our request, by Thomas C. Zimmer- 
man, Esq., of this city : 


"Jehovah, Lord and Mighty One ! 
Hear, Thou, our childhke calls ; 
To all who stand before Thy face 
Within these sacred walls, 
Incline, dear Lord, Thy gracious ear, 
Nor cast aside our fervent prayer, 
For sake of Thy dear name. 

The people of Thy covenant 

Now consecrate this place ; 

Reveal, O Lord, from out the cloud 

The splendors of Thy face. 

That it may flood this house with light, 

And banish evil from our sight, 

For sake of Thy dear name." 

Mr. Wordman's ministry, which began so auspi- 
ciously, was doomed to a short continuance' and sad 
termination. A month later the Vestry felt con- 
strained to give official notice to him to quit, and all 
affixed their names to the following: 

"We whose names are hereunto subscribed, herewith 
give notice that we have found, in the short period of 
time Rev. Wordman has sjjent here, that we are 
obliged to give him notice to quit on account of the 
miserable circumstances which have taken place, and in 
future not to recognize him as our minister; and yet 
from kindly considerations to pass over in silence the 
reasons for this course. 

May Grod grant him power, in some other place to 
which he may be called, to have better fortune and 
more success, and to live with greater satisfaction to 
his family and congregation. Amen." (Signed by the 
Vestry, July 9, 1753;. 

For some reason the time specified in his call was 
extended, and he remained in Reading until Decem- 
ber 20, when he returned to Lancaster with his 
family, after he gave the following bond or receipt, 
in the presence of Conrad Weiser, who is styled the 
attorney or " patron " of the congregation. 

" Received, Reading, December the twentieth, A. D. 
J753, of the within named subscribers, the sum of fiye 

28 D/SAf/SSAr OF ]Vnr?n.}r.\N. 

shilliiiKS iK'iiif^ ill full of all accounts, drbts, diU'H and 
(Irmands wliatsorvtT din* <>r hccomiiij^ due to nie, the 
within aj^rrrnnMit, or any oth«T whatsoever. And I do 
hereby actjnit and for«*vcr discharj^e the said Hubscrib- 
en*, for all and sinj^ular the covenant^ restrictions 
and ol>lij;ationH, mentioned, conii)rised and contained 
in the within aj^rcenient. And further, I do hereby ac- 
knowledi^e the witliin a^^reenient to be utterly void and 
(.f none elTect, to all intents and purposes, as if the 
same had never been made. 
Witness my hand the year and day above. 
Witness present : H. B. G. WoRDMANN. 

Christian Bussk, Benjamin Lightfoot. 
I lad tliL' congregation listened to Mnhl(Md)erg's 
advice to do as the Lancaster Lutlierans did, send a 
petition to the chui'ch autliorities of the Dukedom of 
Wiirteuiburg to send them a suitable pastor, or even 
had taken care to iiiqniie into Mi-. Wordman's char- 
acter before electing and calling him, they would 
have been saved this sad and mortifying experience. 
A true minister needs other qualifications besides a 
sonorous voice. His record at Lancaster, before he 
came to Readino^ was verv unsavory, as he not onlv 
headed a disorderly faction which had divided the 
congregation there, but was guilty of shameful treat- 
ment of his wife and fan)ily. From the wording of 
the notice to (piit, we infer some similar act of cruelty 
was the occasion of the sudden termination of his 
ministry here. As he did not belong to the '* United 
Congregations and Ministers" or Synod, there was 
no body to whom he was responsible nor to take his 
office from him. 

The record states that he returned to Lancaster, 
but he subsequently went to Virginia and the Caro- 
linas and preached for a time in Charleston, after 
whieh his name disappears, 



pastors Scbumacber, Ibartwta auMbaustbl 

The next pastor was Rev. Daniel Scluimaclier, 
who beijan his ministry in the sprini2r of 1754. 
While his ministry was also short, he did a service 
for which we should ever hold him in grateful re- 
membrance : that of beginning the church records 
still in possession of the congregation. All we have 
given heretofore from these records is in his hand- 
writing, showing his care and diligence in gathering 
up and putting on record all facts concerning the 
founding of the congregation, the building of the 
church, and the acts of his predecessors. In the be- 
ginning of the volume in which the baptisms, com- 
municants, marriages and funerals are recorded, he 
gives in Latin a statement concerning himself, of 
which the following is a translation : 

" I praise and glorify Almighty God, Creator of 
heaven and earth, whose grace, favor, kindness and 
good-will towards man is unspeakable, that He has 
pointed out a way for me, through many difficulties and 
dangers, to go from one place to another for the pur- 
pose of establishing the glorious kingdom of God, 
founded by the blood of Jesus Christ our Saviour. 

I arrived here from my native country of Hamburg 
(Germany), and came into the so-called province of 
Nova Scotia, and in the citv of Halifax and at Lunen- 
burg I preached the gospel to the brethren professing 
the Lutheran religion. In the former and latter city at 
that time Evangelical ministers and school teachers 

'^^ i:i:\. i>. .sciii MA('Jii:h\ 

Nv«'r«' n|i| Tlicit' wa-s noiliin;; rt'iiuiiuiii;^ there tor 
my Hiipport, iiwiMiiiich as the peopl*- were p(H»r and the 
rulern liati iio coMceiii about advancini^ evanj^ehcal 
truth. I left in a niiseral»Ie condition, hoth as ref^ards 
myself <ind the e^ire of tlieir souls. Thence I went to 
New \Mik an<l afterwardsvto Philadelphia, until tlie 
providence of Ood pointed out my way to this town of 
Heading. Here there was a wretched state of ecclesias- 
tical alTairs, because shortly before a man by the ftajne 
of Wordnian had l)een, susjiended from his ofRce. The 
ollicers of the con^ref^ation olTered me the office of the 
{gospel in the new church, after a sermon delivered on 
Suntlay, Oculi, March 17, 17.j4, on the subject of keep- 
ing the olivine word in the heart. 

May the thrice great and blessed God, whose benefits 
are very great, be my support in this new field of laV)or, 
that many may be converted and established in the 
faith of Jesus Christ, that the kingdom of God may be 
enlarged and extended from one sea even to the other, 
be crowned with many souls, and be propagated to 
distant posterity. 

So writes DanUl Schutnadicr. Romans 1 : 22." 

In the Plalie Keport.s, Muhlenberg speaks of him 
as a " candiihite of theoh)(j;v." Wlien he came to 
Miih]enl)ei'o; lie brought letters of conimeiulation from 
Kev. J. A. Weygatul, of Now York, but for some 
reason his ordination was not acknowledired, atid he 
was never admitted into the Ministeiium. He al- 
ways affixed the letters V. D. M. (Minister of the 
Word of God) to his name in the church records. 

Among the items he enteied in the church records 
is the fact that on August 1, 1754, the congi-egation 
at Lancaster presented to this congregation a com- 
munion cu[), a dish for the communion bread, and a 
baptismal basin. 

He also states that the altar had been presented by 
Christian Brentzer and wife Catharine, and a wdiite 


altar-cloth by Eberhard Martin ; a baptismal vase by 
Anna K. Saiierniilch ; a dish for the sacramental cup 
by Philip J. Rohrbauscht, and '' Master Trury, an 
Englishman/' presented a collection plate. 

None of these gifts liave been preserved, unless the 
collection plate may be one of the six old plates for- 
merly used in the church. An interesting relic of 
these early times is a small round box, six inches in 
diameter and three high, used for keeping com- 
munion bread, covered with leather stamped on the 
lid with the words RETENS— DAUN, beneath 
which are the letters NK. 

Durino: Mr. Schumacher's ministry the liUtheran 
and Reformed congregations unitedly sent a petition, 
dated December 10, 1754, to the trustees residing in 
Philadelphia, of the " Charity Schools" recently es- 
tablished in various localities in eastern Pennsylvania. 
A society had been formed, and received assistance 
from benevolent people in England, to establish free 
schools in Pennsylvania, in which German and Eng- 
lish should be taught, and pastors appointed to teach 
the catechism. 

The civil and spiritual condition of the German 
colonists was set forth in a very unfavorable light. 
Rev. W. Smith, D. D., first provost of the Univer- 
sity of Pennsylvania, was particularly active in this 
direction and wrote letters to influential persons in 
England and stirred up an interest in the condition 
of the province of Pennsylvania. Dr. Mann believed 
his aim was to counteract the dominant Quaker ele- 
ment, and that for this there were ample reasons in 
the condition of things. 


i)r. Siiiitli ,111(1 Ills (•((adjiitors. iiirliidiiitr liciijamiit 
Frnnklin, .lames Ilainiltoii, \\ . Allni, Kicliaicl Pttcrs, 
etc., made cfTorts to ^aiii iiifliicncc witli the German 
si'ttlci's, to «|ualilV tlu'in l)y instiuction in the Eiij^ 
as well a- in the (Jciinan, fully to identify themselves 
with the interests of the commonwealth in which they 
lived. It was, however, unnecessary f«jr them to 
speak of the danger that the (iermans might he ()[)Cii 
to I'^-ench influences, or rela|)se into the errors of 
Poperv. That charity schools should be established 
among them, the Germans, who everywhere appreci- 
ated schools, could accept only because of their pov- 
erty. Such a school was opened in Reading, and on 
♦Iidy 24, 175-3, Muhlenberg was appointed " catechist " 
for the Lutheran children in the charity schools at 
the Trappe, New Hanover, Viuceut and Reading. 
We know nothing of the ])raetical result of this ap- 
pointment ; but we know that the whole scheme of 
the charity schools was given up after a few years' 

\\(^\ . Schumacher served other congregations in this 
vicinity at the same time, and he resigned the Read- 
ing congregation in September, 1755, his pastorate 
coutinuiny; but a year and a half. There is nothinir 
to indicate the cause of his resignation, unless it was 
the fact that he was not received into the Ministe- 
liinu. For some years subsequently he served con- 
gregations in the upper part of this county, and in 
Lehiijh county where he oro-anized several cona;reH:a- 
tions and remained until his death. 

The vacancy thus formed in Tiinity's pulpit con- 
tinued for several years, the congregation having only 
occasional supplies. During this time one baptism 

BEV. J. a HART WIG. 33 

is recorded as performed by Pastor Kurtz, of Tulpe- 
hockei), and another by .Rev. Wagner, who still re- 
sided in the neighborhood. 

From December, 1757, to April, 1758, Rev. John 
Chiistopher Hartwig served the congregation as a 
suj>ply rather than a? regular pastor. In his records 
in the church books lie styles himself '' pastor pro 
tem^ He was a man of excellent education and good 
Christian character, who came to America in 1746, 
and took charge of congregations along the Hudson 
river. He became greatly attached to jNIuhlenberg 
and subsequently assisted him at the Trappe. From 
there he came to Reading, doubtless urged to do so 
by Muhlenberg himself It was not the fault of the 
congregation he remained here so short a time. 
Witli all his excellent qualities he seems to have been 
a man of a restless spirit and a roving dis[)()sition. 
He had many eccentricities and never married. He 
afterwards returned to New York State, where he 
spent the remainder of his life. He was a man of 
means and left his estate for the founding of a sem- 
inary for the education of young men for the Luth- 
eran ministry. Hartwig Seminary, in Otsego county, 
N. Y., became thereby the tirst Lutheran theological 
school established in this country. 

Surely these times were verv trvino- to our fathers 
who established Trinity Church. With great self- 
denial and commendable zeal they had erected a 
goodly church and organized a pron-iising congrega- 
tion, but the frequent changes of pastors, and the un- 
worthiness of some they had chosen, must have been 
very discouraging. The great difficulty our early 
congregations had to contend with, was the lack of a 

:it 77//; en unci I DFjrr. 

siillicicut imiiilx'C of cdiicatcd and {lodlv ii)iiiister.s to 
.servo tlii'in. Tlic liarvcst truly was plenteous but 
the lal)orers were few. 

Among the j)a|)eis whieh belong to ^Ir. Ilartwig's 
tinie, we found the lul lowing statiMiient of money 
reeeived fur debt ineurred in the building of the 

"On A])ril 9, 17.j8, before me, tlie undersigned pastor 
of the Evanj^elieal congregation in Reading, Henry 
Hahn, Abiaham Brosius, George Adam Scldegel and 
George Sebastian Krauser, deacons ; Henry Hahn who 
has hitherto conducted the church accounts, in the 
presence of Conrad Weiser, Esq., presented his report 
before them and other members of the congregation. 

It was as follows : From December 21, 1753, to date, 
received from contributions and collections for the 
church V>uilding £150, 10s and lid. Of this sum he 
paid out £150, Is, id for building expenses according to 
items specified, leaving a balance in the treasury of 9s 
and lOM. His account was examined and found correct 
by the schoolmaster. Such was afiflrmed before Justice 
Weiser, the Vestry and members of the congregation. 

After this, George Adam Schlegel was appointed 
treasurer, and the balance paid over to him. (Signed) 

J. C. Hart wig, P. 

xVbraham Brosius, 
George Adam Schlegel, 
Geo. Sebastian Krauser, 

Eberhard Martin, 
Jacob Rabott, 
Andreas Fuchs, 
George Eisenbeiss." 

After Mr. Hartwig's departure we find the congre- 
gation was repeatedly supplied with preaching by 
Rev. Nicholas Kurtz, of Tulpehocken. It is a re- 
markable fact that between May, 1758, and May, 
1759, the treasurer's book shows no less than fifteen 
entries of collections taken at English services. We 
find a similar record made twice in 1762, One of 
these is stated to have been an afternoon service. 
Both Mr. Hartwig and his successor, Mr. Hausihl, 


were men of liberal education and may have been 
able to preach in English as well as in their native 
tongue, but we surmise these services were for the 
benefit of the English-speaking citizens of Reading, 
who had no church of their own, and may have been 
conducted by visiting ministers using the English 
language. Whatever may have been the reason for 
it, the fact is worthy of note that at this early date 
services were occasionally held in the English lan- 
guage in this church, and at regular stated times for 
at least one year. 


Wiiile this arrangement for having services in the 
English as well as in the German language was in 
progress, the congregation became supplied again with 
a regular pastor. 

Mr. Hausihl (sometimes written Houseal), who 
was a man of talent and exemplary life, accepted a 
call and entered on his duties as pastor in December, 
1 758. He was a young man about thirty years of age, 
and had in him the elements of popularity and use- 
fulness. He had been a student in the University of 
Strasburg, and was ordained by the Lutheran Con- 
sistory of Rotterdam. He came to America in 1752, 
and became pastor of the Lutheran congregation at 
Frederick, Md., and from there came to Reading. 
Before leaving Europe he married Sybilla Margaret 
Mayer, daughter of an eminent citizen of Ulm. 
The advent of so gifted a pastor and whose wife came 
from so distinguished a family, had an elevating in- 
fluence on the congregation and on the whole com- 
munity. It is to be regretted no records beyond his 
certificate of the annual settlements in 1759 and 1762, 

30 AVvT. /;. M. UAUSnil.. 

togctlicr witli till' l):i|)(isins, m:nri:i<:('s, t^'C, pi'ifornicd 
l)v him, were miidc. It lu.iy he llic best evidence of 
(lie jx'Mcc :in<l good oidci' that jn-cvailcd. Battles, 
and not peacelid times, occupy the laigest part of* liis- 
torv. Mr. Ilaiisihl icmaincd jKistoi* until 1763, 
wlien he removed to Kaston. 

It seems he served as selTool master as well as i)as- 
tor of the congregation, as appears from the follow- 
ing petition or subsciiption to th('del)t on the church 
and school house during hib pastorate : 

"Reading, September 15th, 1759. 

Beloved Brethren:— \\\VL'>\\\wi^\\ as at this time we 
liave been provided and furnished with a regular and 
j2:ood teacher and preacher, in the wortliy person of Mr. 
Berniiard Michael Hansihl, who has strengthened for 
the most part our entire congregation by his discharge 
of the office of teacher and preacher, for which favor 
and grace we unitedly praise and thank God ; we de- 
sire that this favorable condition of things may con- 
tinue for many years to come. For this pur^jose we 
wish to give our aid to promote the interests of our 
school and church so that our teacher may be able to 
discharge the duties of his important otTice with greater 
courage and zeal. To this end we desire to pay the 
debts upon the above mentioned church and school 
house which now amounts to the sum of £190, Pennsyl- 
vania currency. But as it is too burdensome and un- 
satisfactory to most persons to x^ay their obligations at 
once, it has been thought advisable to fix definite 
periods for these subscriptions, viz.: the firist one at the 
February Court in 1760; the second at the August 
Court in 1700 ;' and thus successively until the last 
period be reached. Thus it will be ascertained what it 
is possiljle for each to subscribe, and we will find de- 
liverance at last from the debts resting on our school 
house and church." 

To this subscripti(jn 11(3 names are attached, two 
of whom subscribed to the debt provided '^ the school 


house remain where it is," which it likely did, as we 
know of no other location than that at the southwest 
corner of Sixth and Washington streets, where the 
large stone school house was subsequently built. 

While Mr. Hausihl's pastorate was thus far the 
longest, it lasted less than five years, and his depar- 
ture must have given distress to the congregation. 
As he and his wife were of superior education and 
culture, it may be they became dissatisfied with life in 
a quiet inland town as Reading then was. This is 
confirmed by the fact that he remained in Easton 
only one year. In 1765 we find him in Philadelphia, 
and in 1770 in New York, where he became pastor of 
the old Hollandish-Lutheran Church, preaching in 
three languages, Hollandish, German and English. 
Here he and his family found congenial society and 
became quite prominent. He was one of the Board 
of Trustees of the college of New York, and also of 
the New York hospital. His troubles began with 
the Revolutionary war, his sympathies being with 
Great Britain and the Royalist party. As long as 
the British held New York he was protected, but 
after Cornwallis surrendered and the city was evac- 
uated, he had to flee for his life, and sought safety 
with his family on a British vessel. Many of his 
congregation regretted to lose so talented a preacher 
and faithful pastor. As the vessel was sailing for 
Halifax, the Vestry gave him a letter of recommenda- 
tion to the Lutheran congregation of that city, and, re- 
gardless of the peculiar circumstances under which he 
was leaving, began it with the usual form " Whereas 
the Lord of the church has called the said our beloved 
Pastor to another station in His vineyard/' &c. 


It may l>c of iiitt'icst to ^ivo tlic serjiiel which 
reads almost like a romance. The Jjiitheran congre- 
gation at Halifax could ^ivc hijn hut meagre snp- 
]K>rt, and lie was advised to aj)|)ly for aid to the So- 
ciety for the propagation of the gospel, which was 
connected with the Chnrch of England. In order to 
do so he was required to go to London and receive 
re-ordination at the hands of the bishop of London, 
which he did in 1785, and then returned to Halifax 
in the double position of pastor of the Lutheran con- 
gregation and also German missionary of the English 
society. All his children attained to positions of em- 
inence. Two of his sons became surgeons in the Brit- 
ish navy, and a third served on the staff of the Duke 
of Kent. Two daughters married officers of the Brit- 
ish fleet ; four others, officers of the British army ; the 
youngest became the wife of Capt. W. Seymour, a 
nephew of the Duke of Somerset. Doctor Mann, 
from whose notes we get these facts, significantly 
adds, " the family had no cause to regret that they 
cast their lot \\'ith the Loyalist party.'' 

Mr. Hausihl remained in Halifax until his death, 
in 1799, and was buried in a vault beneath his church. 

It may not be without interest to introduce here 
several items relating to those times, and throwing 
light upon the condition of the Germans in Pennsyl- 
vania in general, and especially the Lutherans at 
Reading. As early as April 23, 1748, Governor 
Thomas wrote to the Bishop of Exeter : '' The Ger- 
mans in Pennsylvania are, I believe, three-fifths of 
the people, and by their industry and frugality have 
been the principal instruments of raising it to its 
present flourishing condition, beyond any of his 
Majesty's colonies in North America." 


The Rev. Aiexancler Murray, one of the mission- 
aries sent from England by the ^' Society for the 
Propagation of the Gospel," and who made re])eated 
visits to Reading, in his reports to England here and 
there takes occasion to allude to the Germans, and 
particularly to the Lutherans, as they came under his 
observation. On April 9, 1763, he Vv^rites: 

"There are (at Reading) two hundred and ten fam- 
ilies, including about thirteen hundred persons, young 
and old ; one hundred and ten of these families are Lu- 
therans, who have a minister of their own, and nearly 
as many German Calvinists (German Reformed). The 
rest are chiefly Quakers and a few Papists, with six or 
seven families belonging to our church. The country 
for miles around this town is thickly peopled, but with 
few else than Germans and Quakers, the former being 
compared twelve to one of all other nations together, 
and seem to be abundantly well x^rovided in teachers of 
one denomination or another ; and as long as they are 
so blindly attached to their native tongue as they are at 
present, an English minister can be of no great use to 
them. For tho' they might be at no loss for English 
schoolmasters, yet they choose to send their children 
rather to German schools, which they have everywhere 
in great plenty." 

We have seen that a school house had been erected 

and the congregation had a flourishing school already 

prior to 1759. It was located opposite the church on 

the south side of Washington street, on the lot owned 

by the Weiser family, from whom it was conveyed 

in 1763, in tVust to Jacob Hoffman, Peter Weiser, 

Adam Schlegel and Bastian Krauser, trustees of the 

congregation. The lot was No. 93 in the draft of 

the town, and measured sixty feet on Sixth street and 

two hundred and thirty feet on Washington street. 

On this lot the congregation erected, in 1765, the 

40 M I i[Li:Mii:i:(rs lot. 

lariri' school lioiHc Imilt or^^toiic \vlii<li remained until 
last fall, wIkmj it wa-; (ieinolishcd to make room for 
the brick hnildin'r now stan(lin«r on that corner. 

The adjoinin;^ lot on the south, marked 94, and of 
the same size, ami which became afterward the prop- 
erty of the coiiirieiration on wlii(.'h to erect a i)ar.son- 
at^e, was orii!;inally purchased by Henry Melchior 
Muhlenberu^, his patent to which recites an interest- 
ing fict. It is dated January 5, 1765, and states: 

" Whkiikas. The said Henry Melchior ]\rahlenberg, 
late of the town of Rea.lin«j, and now a minister of the 
Lntlieran coni^regation in Philadelphia, hath repre- 
sented to the said proprietaries that the lot in the said 
town of Readini^. niarked 94, was several years a^jo ap- 
l)lied for Viy the Rev. Peter Brunholz, then a Lutheran 
minister at Readin<^, and was intended by him for his 
godson, Peter Muhlenberg, the son of the said Henry 
Melchior Muhlenberg, but that the said Peter Brunholz 
dying before any warrant or patent was granted to him 
for the same, and that the said Peter Muhlenberg being 
since also deceased, the said Henry Melchior Muhlen- 
berg did, in the year 17G1, apply for the said lot instead 
of his said deceased son, and hath built and made im- 
provements thereon, and the said proprietaries being 
willing for divers good causes them thereto specially 
moving to grant the same lot to the said H. M. Muhlen- 
berg under the rent of seven shillings sterling from the 
first day of March, 1752, and his discharging the arrears 
thereof and undertaking to build and improve on the 
said lot within the space of three years, etc., etc." 

The following receipt is also among our church 

pa})ers : 

Philadelphia, 2d March, 1774. 
Received of the Rev. Henry M. Muhlenberg the sum 
of three pounds, 3s and 9, in money of Pennsylvania, in 
full for 9 years quit-rent due on his lot No. 94, in Read- 
ing town, Berks county, to the first March instant. 
For the honorable, the proprietaries, 

Edmuxd Physick. 


In 1778, Muhlenberg sold the lot to Paul Dorst, 
and he in 1782, sold it to Nicholas Hunter of Oley, 
and he in turn sold it for fifty pounds, on June 5, 
1786, to Henrv Christ, Fred Sensel, Godfrey Baker 
and Henry Hahn, members of the Vestry, for the 
use of the eongregaticjn. 

Rev. Peter Brunholz, referred to above, was 
Muhlenberg's co-laborer in Philadelphia and in Mont- 
gomery county. This is the only mention of his 
name in connection with Reading we know of. 
Doubtless, like Muhlenberg, he visited and preached 
here repeatedly, and is, therefore, styled "a Lutheran 
minister of Reading." 

After Mr. Haushil left, it appears the congregation 
made an effort to secuie the services of Muhlenberg 
himself as their pastor, and to this end the Vestry 
addressed a letter or petition to the authorities at 
Halle, dated August 29, 1763, asking that H. M. 
Muhlenberg be permitted to take charge of this con- 
gregation. Muhlenberg, as we have seen, owned a 
lot here, but whether in any way he gave them en- 
couragement in this attempt, or whether the fact that 
his father-in-law, Conrad Weiser, had died, and his 
widow resided in Reading, influenced them, may be 
only conjectured, but they aimed high and made the 
effort. Muhlenberg's work, especially in Philadel- 
phia, was so important that the Halle fathers refused 
their consent. 

Muhlenberg made repeated visits to Reading about 
this time, and it is noteworthy that he was here 
officiating at a funeral on August 29, the day on 
which the petition to the Halle fathers was dated. 
Dr. Mann states in his Notes that on account of some 

•lli A VACAXCV. 

falso ()j)Iiii(ms roj^anliii^ nianini^o, advocated and 
epread in lliis coininnnity l)y a teacher from the Eph- 
rata hrethren, Mnhlenherg took Kev. xiv : 4, 5, as 
his text at the funeral referred to. 

Tlie Synod met this vear in Oetoher, in Philadel- 
})hia, and the congregation sent delegates imploring 
that body to send them a suitable pastor. The reply 
was the old story, they had nol)ody to send. But 
tile vacancy did not continue very long. Muhlen- 
berg had consented to preach during the Easter 
season, 1764, and administer the Holy Communion. 
Shortly before that occasion, two additional mission- 
aries, sent out from the institutions at Halle, arrived 
in Philadelphia and reported to Muhlenberg. He 
was greatly delighted and relieved at their coming. 
One was Rev. L. Voigt, and the other Rev. John 
Andreas Ivrup-. 



Jobn BuDreas Ikrua's IPastotate* 

Mr. Krug was born in Sax(3ny in 1732, and was 
engaged for a time as a teacher in the Orphan House 
at Halle. Knowing of the great need of ministers in 
America he offered his services, was accepted and or- 
dained shortly before his departure. He was small 
in stature, slender in form, and rather weak in voice 
and body, but a man of fervent spirit and deep piety. 
He was humble and retiring in disposition and felt 
deeply the responsibility of the sacred office he had 
received. During his preparation for the voyage he 
speaks of the comfoit and encouragement he received 
from the reading of God's word, and some devotional 
German hymns sung at family worship duiing his 
stay with fiiends, which were so appropriate to his 
circumstances that they seemed like a message di- 
rectly from God. 

After his arrival in Philadelphia, in 1764, he offi- 
ciated on several occasions for Muhlenberg, who 
found his sermons *' logically coherent, instructive, 
clear and edifying." He concluded to send him to 
Reading as a suitable man for the place. INIr. Krug 
accordingly came to Reading, and on April 4th at- 
tended a catechetical examination held by Rev. J. F. 
Handschuh, of Philadelphia, in which he was sur- 
prised to see adult people as well as children in the 
class, sitting on the same benches and answering the 
same questions. 

44 UFA'. ./. A. KinjQ KLECTKl). 

He also heard (lien of rumors in the congregation 
ofan intention to Imild anotlier ehnreli and of a threat- 
ening disruption olthe congregation. He preached on 
Kaster, and on ihe following Sunday assisted Muhlen- 
berg in the administration of the eoniniunion. The 
congregation still had hopes of securing Muhlenberg, 
and on this occasion again the Vestry most earnestly and 
affectionately insisted upon his accepting their oft-re- 
j)eatedcall, removing to Reading and taking charge of 
the congregation ; they being convinced that by i)is 
granting their request, the future woidd be bright and 
piosperous. lie could only reply that this was not 
in his power. Rev. Krug, however, contijiued his 
services at Reading and was elected })astor, and the 
regular call, executed in proper legal form by Muh- 
lenberg, was given him a few montiis later. In a 
letter, dated November 12, 17G4, Midilenberg also 
states that Rev. Krug enjoyed the affection of his 
flock, and considering his somewhat weak bodily con- 
stitution, was glad that he was a pastor in the town 
of Reading, and not necessitated to spend much time 
and strength on horseback. In this he was to some 
extent mistaken, as already in the fall of 1764, Mr. 
Krug found occasion to enlarge his sphere of action 
and usefulness, by accepting an additional congrega- 
tion in the vicinity of Reading. In visiting this con- 
gregation he had to use a horse, and Muhlenberg, who 
was accustomed to the saddle, gives Rev. Krug credit 
for beginning to acquire some skill also in this line. 
He describes him as a man of humble mind, con- 
scientiously and fervently attending to the duties of 
the sacred office, but of weak physical constitution, a 
rather weak voice, and very near-sighted. To persons 


of a spiritual mind and life hi.s ministry was fraught 

with much good. In liis personal intercourse with 

his people he endeavored to lead them into serious 

conversation and a better life. In doing this, and in 

his public teaching, he was very far from '' making 

the path to heaven wider than Christ had made it/^ 

and required of those who were under his spiritual 

care to be blameless in life and full of good works. 

During his ministry an addition was put to the 

church and a subscription started for the purchase 

of an organ for use in the services. We have the 

old subscription book, and give a translation of its 


" Reading, December 7tb, 1768. 

Inasmuch as our Evanj^elical Lutheran Church has 
been enlarged and improved this year so that an excel- 
lent plcice has been made wherein to put an organ, it 
has been decided to make an attem^it to collect a suffi- 
cient sum of money to order and place therein such an 
instrument. An organ is both a great help to the sing- 
ing as is well knoAvn to every one, and thereby the pub- 
lic worship of God and a better attendance at church is 
secured ; therefore, every and each member of our 
Evangelical Lutheran Church, within and outside of the 
town, and benevolent friends and neighbors generally, 
are requested to contribute their mites that this object 
may be undertaken and effected. We hope that no one 
will refuse to give his name to whom the matter is pre- 
sented, but put down cheerfully what he intends to 
give, which will be thankfully acknowledged and place 
us in a condition to return the favor and aid them with 
our contributions under similar circumstances." 

This was signed by 206 subscribers, among whom 
appears the name of Pastor Krug, who contributed 
three pounds. The organ was contracted for in Octo- 
ber, 1769, but the builder was allowed two years for 
making it. The original agreement or contract is 

■10 Tin: Ol^fJAN. 

ainoiiix tin' nld (locnmciits of the cliurcli. It was 
made l>('l\v(M'ii tli<' \'^<'stry on (lie one part, and David 
'I'annclMT^ci-, or^an bnildcr, oi" Lititz, oi^ tliu other. 
The followinir spcclficafions arc ^ivcii : 


1. Principal, Ei^ht feet. 

*J. Viola (le Ganiba (metal), - - - - Eight feet. 

3. Gedaet (wood), ----- Eij^ht feet. 

4. FUuto Traver (wood), . - . - Eight feet. 

5. Octave (metal), ----- Four feet. 

6. Siih-Oetave (metal), - . - - - Two feet. 

7. Fifth (metal), . . . - - Three feet. 

8. (xemshoni (metal), ----- Four feet. 

9. Mixture (metal), ----- Three feet. 
.10. Coupler with pedals. 


11. SuVj-bass (wood), . . - - Sixteen feet. 

12. Octave (wood), ----- Eight feet. 

The organ was to have two beUows, and to bo 
enclosed in a handsome case', and he set up in the 
clinrch leady for use hy September 1, 177J. 

The builder was to receive two hundred and 
thirty pounds, Pennsylvania currency, payable in 
three equal installments; the first when work was 
begnn, the second when it was half com})leted, and 
the third when it was finished and placed in the 
church. ISIr. Tanneberger and his necessary men 
were to be boarded free while in Reading putting up 
the organ. 

The bellows were drawn by a strap instead of 
puRipeJ by a handle, as the following order testifies : 

"Please to pay Christopher Merchen fifteen shillings, 
specie, due to him next January, for drawing the bel- 
lowses in the Lutheran Cliurch. 

December 2, 1789. [Signed] J. W, 


The organ contributed greatly to the singing and 
worship of the sanctuary, but could not silence the 
storm which was rising and threatening the peace of 
the congregation. There were ^' savage breasts ^^ at 
Reading, its music could not charm. 

Fi'om the material he had to deal with, we are not 
surprised to find Pastor Krug's faithful preaching 
roused an opposition to him on the part of those who 
" lived after the flesh/' and who thought that the 
pastor was appointed to preach on Sunday, but not 
to trouble himself about their habits and ways of 
living. But Mr. Krug was not willing to secure the 
favor of such people by acting against his conscience. 

We find, therefore, that at the Sy nodical meeting, 
held at Philadelphia, June 25-27, 1769, fourteen 
members of the Reading congregation, who were op- 
posed to church discipline and advocates of a mode of 
life not becoming Christians, lodged complaints 
against their pastor, and, being unable to attack his 
character, found fault with his physical weakness. 
Their demand that Synod should remove Mr. Krug 
was effectively neutralized by a counter-petition, signed 
by one hundred and six members, which amply 
proves to what a degree he had endeared himself to 
the better elements in the congregation by his blame- 
less life and the spiritual character of his preaching. 
The other party, however, ceased not by their oppo- 
sition and bad treatment, to make his stay at Reading 
very unpleasant. ^■ 

It seems that about this time two congregations, 
which had heard good reports about Pastor Krug, 
expressed a desire to secure his services for themselves. 
One was at Frederick, Md., and the other at Balti- 

48 M r ///. r.y /:/■:/:(," s Tr.srfMoyv. 

moro. Miilil«!il)('i^: ('X|)resse(l Ins opinion of Pastor 
Kriiu; ill a letter, dated Se|)teii)l)er 24, 1770, while 
Ml. Kni^ was still al Jieadiii^^ to Dr. Cliarlcs F. 
W'iesentlial, one of tlie elders of tin,' Lutheran con- 
pre<^ation al Baltimore. From it we quote the fol- 
lowing extract, translated : 

"Provi«le<l that by the divine will Rev. Kru^ should 
be the instrument to build up your con^rej^ation, as 
your elders seem to thiidc, I agree with you in this, that 
you selected a man of excellent character, who in the 
sacred Fervice was active already in Germany, and in 
consequence of our urgent petitions (without any 
travelling expenses being demanded of us) was sent as 
a laborer into this American vineyard to assist us in our 
work. He has presided for some years over the Read- 
ing church, teaching pure doctrine and walking with- 
out blemish, though experiencing much rude treatment 
from a numl:)erof pulTed-up individuals. In addition to 
this, I testify from personal knowledge, that he is not 
only well versed in the Oriental languages in which 
God's word is written, but in all the branches of the- 
ology, and that he adorns his preaching with a Chris- 
tian walk and conversation. I count it one of his pecu- 
liar gifts, that he is eminently well qualified to cate- 
chize and to teach and deal in a pleasant and edifying 
manner with the young, a quality most necessary for a 
teacher. I may also say that he is neither a hypocrite 
nor a flatterer, but to everyone speaks the truth with- 
out prevarication, and is no respecter of persons, high 
or low. A difficulty, however, is this, that for some time 
past the elders and deacons of the congregation at 
Frederick requested Rev. Krug to become their pastor 
and sent me a call, to be laid at the next Synodical 
meeting before the Ministerium, to be deliberated upon 
and to be approved or disapproved." 

In answer to the petition and counter-petition ad- 
dressed to the Ministerium by opponents and by 
friends of Rev. Krug, at Reading, already referred 
to, a resolution was passed, " that the petition of 


those one hundred and six members, friendly toward 
their pastor, be granted ; and that, in due considera- 
tion of Rev. Krug's weak physical constitution, his 
inability to endure much riding o*n horseback, and of 
the still rough condition of the country roads, Rev. 
Krug should not leave Reading, though it was a 
grievous, sad and annoying circumstance to be sur- 
rounded by even fourteen dissatisfied members of the 
congregation in an envious and unfriendly spirit, 
watching every word, step, act, feature and gesture of 
the pastor, having no eye for that which in him is 
truly good and the effect of divine grace or special 
talent, but transforming gnats into camels, never rest 
in their persecutions and slanders.''- 

This shows with which party the sympathies of the 
Ministerium were, but impressive and truthful as the 
sentiments embodied in this resolution were, they had 
no desirable effect. 

It is an interesting fact that amid all these troubles 
the Ministerium was invited to hold its next annual 
session here, and accordingly met in Reading for the 
first time, on October 24, 1770. Although then a 
small body, it was the only Lutheran Synod in this 
country, and comprised in its membership the most 
influential ministers and congregations. The gather- 
ing of such a body and the holding of a religious con- 
vention, was a great event in the early history of 
Reading. It is very probable the Synod was invited 
here-with the ho[)e that it would be able to decide 
and settle the disputes which had arisen. But it was 
either disinclined or not in a position to take decisive 
measures, and the meagre reports of that convention 

r>0 A /j-rrr/:/: /v/o.u m f ///j:\/ujj:a. 

wliicli survive, throw no lij^lit uih.ii llic difliciilties here 


That the ill-trentmciit whicli Kev. King received 
:it tlic hands of his opponents continned, we learn 
from a letter addressed to him by II. M. Mnhlenl)erg, 
Jannary 22, 1771, and reading thns (in translation) : 

'' Jliijhlil rtxproted find beloved Brotlter in the sacred 
office:— A letter, dated January 12, sif^ned by Beven 
friends, and a doeuinent added to it, gives me distress- 
ing iiifonuatiou of sinful acts of a rude and scandalous 
character, which were perpetrated at Reading. I ob- 
serve liere the very same satanic outrages once enacted 
at Germantown. 

The longer you, dearest brother, remain at Reading, 
the more savagely will those men behave ; heap up sins 
upon sins, and with their abominable example infect 
other congregations. From Baltimore I have news 
that the small congregation there is in great confusion 
concerning the deed for the building lot of the church, 
one of the elders having stirred up tlie members about 


One man is enough to cause a conflagration, let alone 

a number of men. Mr. N has made up his mind 

(along with others) that you must leave Reading, and 
that he with them shall have control of the congrega- 
tion and elect pastors of their own sort. At this time 
it is too late to establish proper church rules and after- 
wards install a Vestry. It would be pouring oil upon 
the fire. Every pastor ought to endeavor to establish 
proper church rules at the very beginning of his ser- 
vices to the congregation, at a time when all is still new 
and peaceful. Where there are no fixed fundamental 
laws and agreements, there is nothing to take hold of 
when dissensions arise. Whenever existing difficulties 
are laid before the secular courts for arbitration, fiiost 
votes and heaviest fees decide. I confess my ignorance 
concerning the position of the Reading congregation in 
this matter ; whether they have, or have not, a formerly 
acknowledged order or agreement ; what the deeds say 
as to church and school house ; whether they are under 


trustees ; who is the custodian of them ; whether the 
(first) trustees are still living?, and, if so, to which party 
they belong. The calls from Frederick and Baltimore 
I view as hints given by Providence, and thus the entire 
Ministeriura viewed them at its last meeting. 

It is ever my lot that my own co-laborers in the sacred 
office bear envy and suspicion against me as soon as I 
undertake, according to my best conviction, to act im- 
partially with a single eye to the greatest good. In the 
Reading case I had to take a passive attitude, inasmuch 
as it was said : ' He assists to hav^e Rev. Krug removed 
from Reading in order to put his own sons there.' In 
Philadelphia I experienced the same thing. There they 
will not dismiss me for secular reasons. Suppose I say 
Rev, Schultz should take care of the nine congregations 
of the Tulpehocken district, to the end that an older 
brother, assisted by a younger one, might take care of 
that charge; and in the same manner an older one, as- 
sisted by one who had recently arrived, might take 
charge of Philadelphia, it is at once rumored : ' He in- 
tends to chase away good Mr. Schultz so that the 
brother who came of late might marry his daughter 
and he might put in his two sons.' I am in the situa- 
tion of the old man with his son and the ass, who gave 
no satisfaction to the people, do whatever he would. 

I cannot understand, however, dearest brother, why 
you should and would stay in Reading with the pros- 
pect of at last being trampled upon and tormented by 
bad people, until no longer fit for the service of our 
Lord. Who will thank you for this or take care of you, 
when in the end you will have to leave Reading ? I 
was told that it was expected of me that I should ask 
one member of the congregation after the other 
whether Brother Krug should stay at Reading or not. 
Quietly considering this proposition, I recognized it as 
a petitio 2^1^'^^1'G'pih and as a matter of course would 
make me appear too much of a partisan, as if desirous 
of putting in my sons and expelling an old brother. 
On this account I at that time communicated my 
opinion to you, and from your own impulse, without 
my advice, you resigned your office. It appears to me 


/; /; I •. A'/; t '(fs /: i:sraxA riox. 

tlmt if <lir«'ctly aft«'r r<'si^;niiiK yon had .said farewell, 
and until spriii^f <»r thercalxtut had j^iveii me assistance 
at Tid|)«'h«»ck«'n, MrotlnT Schidt/. iiiit^ht have remaineil 
at IMjiladclphia f<»r th»' time l)ein^, and you, myself 
and my son Frederick mif^ht conveniently have taken 
care of Tulpehoeken. Your remaining:? at Reading cre- 
ated the imprei-sion that you entertained the h<»pe of 
being re-established there— a thing which would have 
given fresh encouragement to all the opposition, and 
multiplied them like an avalanche, and there would 
have been no rest until the opi)onents had got rid of 
you and the entire Ministerium, heaping upon us dis- 
grace and installing their own hirelings. In German- 
town we connnitted the error of permitting Rev. Hand- 
schuh, after his resignation, to remain there with the 
so-called good party. But this "good party" grew 
cold soon enough. It is much better under such cir- 
cumstances that a pastor should leave. It will help to 
unite the conflicting factions sooner. It will be better 
for you now to come tome, and. Providence permitting, 
to gain new strength Herewith I send you ray greet- 
ings and in the spirit embrace you, being desirous that 
much grace, light and comfort may be given you. 

Philadelphia, January 22, 1771. M. 

From this letter, which amply testifies to the pas- 
toral wisdom and tiie kind iieart of the i)atriarch 
Muhlenberg, we learn that Rev. Kriig, being con- 
vinced of the impo.ssibility of continuing his labors in 
this congregation with any success, had resigned, but 
still remained here. Probably influenced by the ar- 
guments contained in jNIuhleuberg's letter, he left 
Reading about Easter, 1771, having accepted the call 
to Frederick, Maryland. In the following year he 
was married to Henrietta, oidy surviving daughter of 
Rev. J. F. Hand.schuh. Rev. Krug continued his 
.services at Frederick until his death. May 30, 1796. 
His widow survived him until 1822. 



1b, /ID, /IDublenbera an^ tbe Contlicttng 


It appears that soon after Pastor Krug had re- 
signed at Reading, a few members belonging to the 
party of liis opponents, in a* letter, dated February 
8, 1771, and addressed to H. M. Miihlenbero;, at- 
tempted to accuse others as the originators of the un- 
fortunate dissensions existing in the congregation, and 
to clear themselves of the responsibility. The an- 
swer they received unmistakably indicated that Muh- 
lenberg, while treating them politely, did not allow 
his eyes to be blinded by any such subterfuge. 
" To Messrs. S , C and W , at Reading : 

'''■Respected Gentlemen and Friends: — Your favor of 

February 8, 1771, I received from Mr. T . I have to 

regret that there is some obscurity in your complaints 
to me. You write about the distressing dissensions as a 
matter known throughout the country. You say that 
a person or some persons, acting injudiciously, caused 
the conflict, which from day to day is taking larger di- 
mensions ; a fact also pretty well known, with this dis- 
tinction, however, that no person or persons ever admit 
to have originated the trouble ; while in every case 
where two parties exist, in consequence of domineering 
self-love, each party puts exclusively the guilt upon the 
others. The words I Cor. VI: 1-8, may be properly 
quoted here. 

"You refer to some new regulations in your congrega- 
tion and church affairs, as calculated to increase the dis- 
sensions. This I cannot understand, and the less so 
since you quote Acts XV : 10 : ' Why tempt ye God, to 

put a y«»k«' upon t ln» necrk <>f tli«' ilisciples, which neitlier 
nur fatht'TH nor we were able to bear ?' Now, respected 
j^<*ntl«Muen, wlnit do you nu'un by tlie term 'yoke'? 
And what by tliese 'new reguhitiouK' ? In that passage 
in Acts XV, 'yoke' means (Mroumcision. l)i<l I ever 
lay a 'yoke' upon you, or did my co-laborer, Rev. Krug, 
do it ? The few times I prenched to you, I never de- 
manded of you anythinf^ but repentance, faith, godli- 
ness. Now for some years Rev. Krug has preached to 
you ; instructed your chiltlren, and administei'ed the 
sacraments. No doubt he commended to you both law 
and gospel ; a circumcision not of the flesh, but of ears 
and hearts. I did not impose Rev. Krug upon you, but 
you gave him a regular call, as the signatures of your 
names at that time testified, in the document now re- 
turned to you. Some years ago we would have removed 
him, but for the counter petition of one hundred and six 
members over against that of from seven to fourteen. 
And why do both parties torjnent the i)oor preacher, 
since they know that he hasa regular call to Frederick, 
Maryland, and that only the winter season and bad 
roads prevent his departure ? Is it Christian, evangel- 
ical or humane ? Are we in a hostile land, and can you 
not patiently wait about four or six weeks? Be not de- 
ceived, brethren ; 'God is not mocked.' I have already 
written to Rev. Krug that without delay he should ex- 
tricate himself ; come to me and stay with me, until the 
roads would be in better condition and he could pro- 
ceed to Frederick. In regard to your complaints about 
'new^ ordinances and an intolerable yoke,' I think the 
following (piotations will prove quite appropriate : Ps. 
II : 3, 4. Jer. V^ :4, o, G ; II : 20. Matt. XI : 29, 30. 

Being desirous to bring this letter to an end, and con- 
sidering that in behalf of eighty or more memljers it is 
demanded of me to annul those ordinances and to re- 
store peace, I now beg not only those eighty members 
but the whole congregation, for the Lord's sake, to 
keep quiet, to adhere to their former ordinances (since 
I am unacquainted with those new ones), until Rev. 
Krug has left you. Both parties may the*i meet and 
select for themselves a better yoke, and old or new ordi- 


nances, or none at all, just as they please. As the mes- 
senger is waiting for the letter, I send this much in a 
preliminary way. I am, respected gentlemen arid 
friends, your much troubled 
Philadelphia, Feb. 15, 1771. H. M." 

Dr. Mann furnished us with another letter, written 
a few days later by the same hand, and graphically 
showing with what sort of aiaterial the " Praeses of 
Synod/' as he then was called, had to deal, and what 
difficulties he had to encounter. Although lengthy, 
we give it entire because of its great interest. It was 
evidently addressed to those at Reading who were 
favorable to Rev. Ki'ug, and refers in part to the 
meeting of Synod held here. 

Respected Oentlemen and Friends .•—Your answer, 
dated February 11, a. c, gives me the impression that, 
by my inquiries after deeds, trustees, former order of 
the congregation, etc., you were offended. I made 
these inquiries simply because you had informed me 
that the opponents intended to gain possession of the 
church building and other property. Concerning the 
new "order" of the congregation, you stated how 
abominably you were treated even in the presence of 
the justice of the peace ; that that document w'as 
compared with the Stamp Act ; that proclamations of 
liberty were published against it, and that such leaven 
had influenced the whole crowd and set them raving. 
Now who would ever demand of me, that I, a superan- 
nuated and decrepit man, should go among that rag- 
ing crowd and ask them whether they were willing to 
retain Rev. Krug as their pastor, to ai^prove of the new 
congregational rules, and to allow the appointment of a 
new Vestry ; a thing, which, under existing circum- 
stances, in spite of all efforts, neither Rev. Krug nor the 
best and most intelligent elders were able to accom- 
plish \ Men who respect neither Gfod nor an impartial 
magistrate, and act in as shameless a manner as they 
did at the meeting in the school house, will much less 
show respect to a minister of the gospel, or be made to 

r^c* M I 'If I, i:MU':i!(rs letter. 

blush in his pn'scncc. Somo years npo I was present at 
a \'«'strv iiUM't in^j in the sch<>f»l house held on account of 
K«'v. Kru^, iin<l have n<»t fnr^^otten the disorder and 
rudeness prevailing there. No appeal toeouinion sense 
was of any avail ; they all talked at the same time at 
the top of tht'ir voices ; at a carousal people could not 
be noisier and niore disord»Mly than they were. Our 
Lord forbids casting pearls before swine, lest they tram- 
pt'j them under foot and turn aj^ain and rend their 
benefactors. In this country nothing can be done by 
the civil government through force in matters of re- 
ligion, much less by ministers of the gospel ; all depends 
upon free consent and agreement, as you say your- 
selves : ''We thought the church order was almost 

Our Pennsylvania German wiseacres are guilty in 
this matter. No English church or religious society 
is found which would not begin by establishing some 
fun laiuental laws and rules. How can a society, con- 
gregation, or even a family exist without certain laws, 
rules and regulations being laid down as a foundation? 
This was the advice I have given our Grerman Luther- 
ans during my twenty-eight years' sojourn in this coun- 
try, and for this, up to the present day, I am con- 
demned, avoided and suspected. These wise men seem 
to fear that tithes might be laid on them, that they and 
their children might be put under an " intoleraljle 
yoke," and that there may be a design to reduce them 
to slavery. For this reason they battle against Christ- 
ian order with hands and feet. What so called liberty 
or impudenr-e is able to do, I had the misfortune to ex- 
perience in Philadelphia, where two or three agitators 
succeeded in kindling throughout the whole congrega- 
tion the fire of dissension. Tliere was a party dissatis- 
fied with the lamented pastor, Handschuh, and with 
the vestry. A church " order " did not exist. At Ger- 
mantown where Demetrius and his followers made the 
rabble rebellious, I ventured in vain to come between 
them, and to restore peace, since there were no laws and 
no order, and neither the Ministerium nor the civil 
government were able to settle the difficulty. As to 


my reward, I was treated with insolence and contempt. 
The Germantown friends, however, having gained wis- 
dom through heavy damages, reunited among them- 
selves, introduced a new congregational order and now 
live peacefully with their pastor, —who knoweth how 
long ? 

You ask in your letter : "Would any intelligent man 
demand of us to come to terms with such a rabble ?" 

An intelligent man will say : All of you are of Ger- 
man blood; numbers of you are related to one another 
and are neighbors. You are members of the same 
community and one member cannot well do without 
the others. You stand in mutual business connections. 
You are all called Lutherans, and live among members 
of other denominations who are inclined to pour oil on 
the fire. None of you will pretend to have royal, 
princely or aristocratic blood in his veins, and if so, it 
is of no account, at any rate in Pennsylvania. 

An enlightened Christian will say : Our hearts are 
one and the same material, and all of us are in need of 
true conversion, as Luther in the preface to the Ro- 
mans describes it. 

You also speak of some influential person who might 
convince those who were deceived by mere hearsay. I 
believe that neither Rev. Krug nor I could bring about 
this result. Unfortunately Rev. Krug, both in secret 
and in public, experienced enough of unmerited hatred 
and animosity. I myself am altogether disqualified for 
that task, since by writing and talking so much slander 
has been spread against me, charging me with endeav- 
oring to bring the people and their children into 
slavery, and to put a yoke upon them, and with hold- 
ing communication with the court preacher at London, 
&c., &c. What wisdom ! What profound knowledge! 
As to an answer, I point to Ps. II :3-5 ; Jer. II : 20; V :4-6 ; 
Matt. XI :29 30. Certain it is that whosoever despises 
the easy yoke and the light burden of his Saviour will 
have to bear another. What could a man, despised as 
I am, accomplish, since my own pretended friends, in 
their address, charge the Ministerium with indiscretion 
and me with hypocrisy, cunning and deceit, and appear 


to point to in«» wlicn sayiiiff : "Whosoever will not de- 
fiM»»l and assist so just a canse lu* our cliurcli-onh'r and 
so peaceful a man as Rev. Krn<^ is, is not (pialilied to he 
at the hehn, much less should any particular respect be 
shown him.'' You are ri^ht. I am not qualified to 
beat the helm, and demand no f^reater respect than 
was shown to that well-known village magistrate in his 
office. I am willing to say with Amos (VII : 14), "I am 
no prophet." Ps. cxx. 

As to the call of Rev. Krug I say, that, in response to 
my urgent petition, the Right Rev. Fathers, our patrons 
at Halle, sent liim free of all expense to our united con- 
gregations ; none of them contributing to the payment 
of his expenses. Consequently no one has any claim 
upon him as a bond servant, and he is at liberty to 
labor where as a peaceable man he is respected and his 
labor and services are not abused. He had been scarcely 
a couple of years at Reading, when on the floor of the 
Synod discordant voices were heard for and against 

Not I, but men of experience and intelligence foresaw 
that in the long run, things would nof work well ; since 
in our Pennsylvania congregations dissatisfactions, dis- 
putes and conflicts easily increase like a rolling snow 
ball. We perceived, however, no providential sign 
l)ointing to another field. Some of the delegates, who 
were friendly to Rev. Krug, were not opposed to his 
leaving after some time, but to his immediate removal, 
lest the proud agitators might boast of having gained 
the battle. Neither could we advise Rev. Krug, on ac- 
count of his physical weakness, to take charge of 
country congregations. 

At last there came, without any influence on my part, 
an invitation from the Frederick congregation, wiiich 
for many years, since 1745, had held connection with us. 
Without my direct advice, Rev. Krug paid a visit 
there, an act which I could not prevent, he being 
neither mine, nor the Mi nisteri urn's, nor the Reading 
congregation's, but God's servant only. 

Now it might have been expected that those seven 
times seven faithful men and fathers would be content, 


unite and select a pastor, and in proper manner, orally 
or in writing, present their case before the Synod. 

Nothing of this kind took place. Messrs. C and S 

appeared at the meeting of Synod, and on behalf of the 
congregation (or rather their party) demanded a change, 
which demand was entered on the minutes. 

With Mr. M. I held a private conversation in the 
house of Mrs. Weiser. Provided I properly under- 
stood him, he charged the friends of Rev. Krug with not 
being properly united among themselves, and hinted 
that it might be best to release Rev. Krug from his 
present misery, and give to the Reading people time to 
"get hungry." Some elders and deacons, with whom 
I conversed in the upper room of the school house, ex- 
pressed the same opinion. Mr. H., on other occasions 
always found in front, could neither be heard nor seen. 
In short, what I could hear and see on all sides was 
this— that the people would have been satisfied with 
the removal of Rev. Krug, and the transfer to Reading 
of Rev. Kunze, who, however, had already been sent to 
Philadelphia. Some had held a conversation with Rev. 
Stoever, and thought the congregation might perhaps 
elect him. The Ministerium ordered that on the second 
day of the synodical meeting Rev. Schwerdfeger should 
preach. It was soon found that none of the leading men of 
the Reading congregation favored him. No one, how- 
ever, knew, who was "cook or butler." On the one 
hand it was said Rev. Krug might retire to seek needed 
rest, and allow the congregation some time for reflec- 
tion. On the other hand the opinion was that Rev. 
Krug, whose remaining at Reading would prevent the 
return of peace, should leave there, and that under an- 
other pastor the congregation might be reunited. 
Again, others positively demanded his removal, threat- 
ening to break connection with the Synod unless he 
was removed, and by an election of a new pastor to 
show on which side the majority of voters and the pos- 
session of the church building would be. They also 
maintained that there was no lack of preachers outside 
of Synod, and provided an organ was placed in the 
church, there would be no want of church-goers and of 


iiuMiibers of the congreg^ation. The delep^ates from 
Frederick were present at Synod. Tlie call from there, 
and another from Baltimore, were read and considered. 
The ministers, enjoying the hospitality of the most 
prominent members of the congregation, had opportu- 
nity to hear and learn more of the circumstances of the 
congregation at Reading and of the mood of mind of 
the members than I had. All united in the opinion 
that Rev. Krng would do best by accepting the call to 
Frederick, and escaping from the two walls here threat- 
ening to crush him. Since he himself could not make 
up his mind then, I was advised, when returning from 
Tulpehocken, to ask the Reading congregation whetlier 
most voters were in favor or against his remaining 
there. Before I departed from the Synod at Reading 
and bid farewell to delegates of other congregations, 
some impartial and credible persons informed me that 
some friends of Rev. Krug suspected that I would like 
to drive him from Reading, with a view to put my sons 
there. This moved me to act very circumspectly, and 
to leave the case entirely in the hands of Rev. Krug and 
his friends, to act according to their best knowledge and 
belief. For in case I had called upon the congregation 
to meet at once in the church or school house, and in- 
vited the multitude, no doubt much sinful animosity 
would have been exhibited, as was done on a former 
occasion at the school liouse in the presence of a civil 
magistrate. The rough element, who will show nothing 
but disrespect and hatred to any church order, would 
doubtless have appeared at such a meeting with double 
ammunition to fight ; and nothing would have been ac- 
complished. Fighting, or even petitioning for a major- 
ity of votes in favor of Rev. Krug, would certainly not 
have given me any advantage, and I would have been 
charged with having used hyprocrisy, cunning and de- 
ceit in order to put in my sons. From October 28th, un- 
til December 3d, I was kept very busy day and night 
travelling about on horseback, unable to return as soon 
as I had intended. Having resolved, however, at least 
to make an attempt at Reading, I received on Novem- 
ber 30th, whilst at Tulpehocken, a letter from Rev. Krug 


informing me that on the preceding Sunday he had 
pubhcly resigned at Reading, having decided to accept 
the call to Frederick. 

Now I may justly ask my respected friends and pa- 
trons : Did I advise you or Rev. Krug to act this way ? 
Did the Ministerium advise thus ? Did he not surrender 
his position of his own accord ? Should I then come 
afterwards to ask his opponents : Would you be kind 
enough to give Rev. Krug a new call or, without a call, 
to tolerate him for an indefinite period and promise him 
a suitable support? For we do not know what to do 
with the man ; you, please, keep him until lie is totally 
worn out, although at this the Frederick congregation 
will be considerably enraged ; we on our part intend to 
keep him out of spite against our opponents, that they 
may have no chance to boast of a victory ; later on a 
call may probably come from Siberia or some other 
locality, and take him off, lest he may become a charge 
to the " man at the helm." 

Our peace-loving man and brother is getting the ex- 
perience of the Prophet Micah, chap. VII : 1-4. 

Returning December 3, from Tulpehocken to Read- 
ing, I inquired of Rev. Krug why he had resigned 
before the congregation had had a chance to express 
their opinion, as Synod had advised. He gave me his 
reasons, adding that he had already informed the Fred- 
erick congregation of his resolution to move there. 
Providence willing, in the coming spring. He requested 
me as soon as possible to address a letter to the Vestry 
at Frederick, and to ask them to furnish him a proper 
call. I discharged this duty in the beginning of Janu- 
ary, 1771. 

Now if my respected gentlemen and friends, could 
and would view the whole case, not partially, but in all 
its bearings with unbiased hearts and eyes in an intelli- 
gent Christian manner, they would not charge me with 
"hypocrisy, cunning and deceit." They would have 
paused before viewing me as unsuitable to be at the 
helm, and to enjoy honors bestowed by them. It is a 
serious matter at once to cut off a man's life and being. 
If other vestries would act in the same manner, release 


me from the Pennsylvania {galley and declare me in- 
competent, I would feel a relief like a slave unexpect- 
edly receiving his liberty, or like an ass from whose 
back the heavy sack is gliding off. 

That you did not subscribe nor ai)ply the rules I had 
proposed for your congregation, was wise and judicious, 
and you have my thanks for it. During such a confus- 
ion and condition of animosity, it was not and is not 
advisable nor practicable to make any kind of proposi- 
tions. I believe that just now the people would have 
scruples to give their signatures to the Lord's Prayer or 
the Apostle's Creed, being afraid that a " Stamp Act," 
or some other intolerable yoke or slavery was hidden 
in it, much less to a church-order, even if it was the 
very best. 

In conclusion I say that I have painful feelings in all 
cases where I am expected to advise and assist friends 
in trouble. I would be willing to do it, though I am 
not almighty, but of little account. Possibly this is 
the last time I write in such detail on this matter, you 
having provoked me, and demanded satisfaction, 
whilst, provided I was pugnacious and free from nearer 
engagements, I would have much more cause to make 
such a demand. AVillingly do I give -advice, may it be 
ever so simjole. If you think, as you state at the end of 
your letter, that you might get along with Rev. Krug, 
and that all depended on the assistance of some in- 
fluential man, let it be known to you that, at its meet- 
ing in 17G9, Synod made a rule and had it recorded, viz.: 
If in any congregation or locality any thing turns up 
which allows of no delay until the yearly meeting, it 
shall be considered theduty of the neighboring pastors, 
members of the Ministerium, to give their assistance 
with a view to settle the difficulties. [Here Muhlen- 
berg names a number of pastors living nearer to Read- 
ing than he did at Philadelphia, and continues ]: If you 
will address them and remind them of this rule as their 
own resolution, they will not refuse to defend a just 
cause and to support it. 

Suppose now that Rev. Krug should regret having 
resigned and promised to go to Frederick, and requested 


me to inform the people at Frederick of this, and of his 
preference to remain at Reading ; suppose also that 
those seven times seven men could, with the help of 
some influential members of Synod, prevail in Reading 
and give a new call to Rev. Krug, preserve the church 
and the pastor, and defend him against the wrath and 
deceit of the dissatisfied, and that Rev. Krug and the 
Vestry w^ould in a few words in writing assure me that 
this was the actual condition of things; it would in 
such case be no hard matter for me to inform the Vestry 
at Frederick thereof, and to comfort theiu with the as- 
surance that without any trouble another pastor could 
be procured for them. But I beg you do not view this 
as my advice nor a contrivance of mine. I leave it all 
to Rev. Krug and to those seven times seven men, and 
take no responsibility upon myself concerning the re- 
sult. I shall only report to the church at Frederick 
what information you give me from Reading. 

That you may see that the other side gives me trouble 
also, I enclose here a copy of a letter to them, asking 
you to read and then to destroy it. I have had in this 
country enough of such sad times and strength-consum- 
ing disputes, and am desperately sick and tired of 
them. Each party claims to be right ; neither admits 
its fault ; whosoever defends the one is insulted and 
abused by the other ; whosoever tries to take an impar- 
tial position between the two, will be attacked by both 
of them. And now no more, but the Christian greet- 
ings and good wishes for the restoration of peace, 
respected gentlemen and friends, of your well inclined 

February 22, 1771. H. MuHLENBERa. 

The practical wisdom, sound judgment, manly dig- 
nity and Christian spirit, manifested in this letter, 
justifies its publication in full, and we need make no 
apology for the space we give it in this history. 
Nothing we have ever read about Henry Melchior 
Muhlenberg has given us a better impression of him, 
or revealed so fully the manner of spirit he had. 


'V\\:\{ the iniiiislry ol' Pastor King was apprcc^iatcd 
I)}' the better pari of the coiif^repition, is evident from 
the following testimonial wlii(;h appears in the old 

minntc l)0()k of the eongregation : 

''Upon tin* holy festival of Easter, in the year of 
Christ 17(14, IMr. J<)hn Andrew Krug came to us as a 
faithful teacher. He served the conf^regation seven 
years in mucli love and upriglitness, both towards God 
and also towards men. We also experienced his liber- 
ality on every occasion when there Avere good objects 
in view, especially in the building of the church and 
school. He gave, as far as we know, about fifteen 
pounds on dilferent occasions. What he did for the 
poor members, they will be grateful witnesses of who 
experienced his kind gifts, and the Lord, we hope, will 
reward him in time and in eternity. 

After the expiration of these seven years it also hap- 
pened, in the providence of God, he delivered Ids fare- 
well sermon on the holy festival of Easter, to the great 
grief of many lovers of his instructions within and out- 
side of Reading. 

The Lord grant also that his affectionate counsels 
may take root in the hearts of many, and abide until the 
close of their lives. 

May God likewise keep this faithful servant in the 
truth, and grant him the privilege of praising His name 
forever, through Jesus Christ. Amen. 

[Signed] Balthazer Mayerle, 

Conrad Braun, 
Samuel Schultz. 
A. D, 1771. 

Muhlenberg's letter given above sliows the congre- 
gation had before that time, completed the school 
honse and it was now in use, but that the organ had 
not yet been placed in the church. 



XTbe IRevnseD B^^Xaws or IRules ot Cbutcb 


The repeater! reference in the letters of Muhlen- 
berg, given in the preceding chapter, to certain rules 
of the congregation or '^ practical church order," and 
the fact that he had suggested certain improvements 
to them, make it interesting to us to know what they 
were. The lawless condition of affairs described, 
show bow inferior and insufficient they had been to 
prevent disturbances, or to punish transgressors. 

Before giving the revised rules, we insert here a 
translation of another letter of his, addressed to the 
congregation several months later, and which shows 
how much stress he put upon having good laws for 
the government of congregations : 

Hespected Gentlemen and Friends : — Your favor of 
April 8 I received through Mr. D. True it is : through 
peace things increase ; through strife they decrease. 
Your young Evangehcal Lutheran congregation was 
treated by us as a child. As such we received her into 
our "United Congregations," and in her we held our 
last synodical meeting. Unfortunately, however, she 
threw away her honor since that time, and lost her jew- 
els, and the scandalous behavior of that meeting in the 
school house gave her a bad reputation in all North 
America. The consciences of all of you will bear wit- 
ness that these many years of my living among you, I 
never sought any personal advantages. For this reason 
I felt grieved, that I, and that innocent "church order," 
were dragged into the melee, as if there had been an 

cc NJ':c7':ssjTy o/' la \vs. 

intention to lay a yoke upon you ; to deprive you of tht^ 
fr«'«Ml(Mii of your oonHciences ; to introduce a sort of 
•' SStjinij) Act," tiilx'S, etc.. etc. These are old, relinshed 
stories, of Avhicli the children of the world make use in 
elections <o delude the simple-minded. There is no re- 
ji^ious society in the world, that could existwith(jut a 
fixed order, with rules and rep^ulations. God himself is 
a God of order, and no republic, church or even fandly 
can be without laws, rules and a prescribed order. No 
justice of the peace would dare decide according to his 
personal views and arbitrariness, but has to follow the 
laws. So also asherilT simi)ly executes prescribed laws 
and rules. The man who would maintain that the laws, 
orders and rules executed by officers of the common- 
wealth, were "Stamp Acts," intended to lay a yoke upon 
the people, introduce tithes, deprive the people of 
their liberties, etc., would make himself ridiculous. 
The intention is not at all to take their liberties away 
from the people, but to put a barrier against impudent 
libertinism, so that orderly people may be undisturbed 
in the enjoyment of their religious and civil rights. 

Having stated this much in the premises, I proceed to 
answer my respected gentlemen and friends. 

1. Willingly I consent to bury and forget all that has 
passed, on condition that you as men of German blood, 
as citizens and inhabitants of one and the same town, 
as neighbors, friends and members of the same spiritual 
household, as Christians and fellow-travelers on the 
road to eternity, will receive one another in charity, 
humility and meekness, and in this manner settle the 
disputes between you and forgive one another. For 
you have, on both sides, gone too far and done wrong, 
as generally happens in all such wretched church squab- 

2. I am willing to do for your congregation what the 
strength still left me will allows and the grace of God 
may grant. 

3. I shall report to the brethren of the Ministerium 
united with me, at Tulpehocken, Lebanon, Lancaster, 
Earltown, Falkner Swamp, (New Hanover), White 
Hall and Macungie, and request them to assist you. 


provided the. elders and deacons at Reading ask me 
to do so, and will send out the invitations. 

4. I do herewith admonish you for the present to 
allow things to rest, to keep quiet and to promote peace 
and unity, until I, my life being preserved, shall be able 
to crawl up ihinauf krlechen), inquire into tlie state of 
things and establish better arrangements. 

5. It pleases me greatly to learn that you meanwhile, 
have the schoolmaster read for you and keep up the 
services on Sunday. 

This much for the time being, from your old and 
much-plagued friend and well-wisher, 

April 11, 1771. H. M. 

Toward the end of this same month Muhlenberg 
made an extended visit to the Lutlieran congregation 
at Cohenzy (Friesbiirg), N. J. After his return to 
Philadelpliia, he suffered a severe attack of illness, 
and had to delay his promised visit to Reading. At 
liis reqnest, Rev. Justns H. C. Helmnth, at that time 
pastor at Lancaster, and fiom 1780-1822 at Phila- 
delphia, went to Reading, held services, but found 
things in the same deplorable condition, and witnessed 
himself, in the church, very unpleasant scenes. 
Muhlenberg was led, under these circumstances, not 
to request any of his brethren to visit Reading, nor 
would he appear there himself. He proposed that 
from both the contending parties, a few sensible, dis- 
creet, well-behaved representatives might be sent to 
him, and with such he was willing to confer.' He 
also proposed, in union with these men, to prepare a 
a church-order to be laid before the congregation. 
All those who would agree to this order and sign it, 
should, so long as they would lead lives becoming 
Christians, be considered regular members of tiie con- 
gregation, and entitled to vote at elections for vestry- 


iiuMi. Tliosc representatives ini;i;lit (hen, after tlie 
new order was adnptj'd, in (he presence of" Midilen- 
bcrj^, seleet three men for (instees, tliree for ehlers, 
and three for deacons, and aUow (he members to give 
tiieir votes for or ag:ainst them. Those elected by a 
maioiitv of votes, shonKl then constitnte the Vestry. 
Tins Vestry shonld consider the election of a snitable 
pastor and give him a call. This was the manner in 
which in those days, pastors usnally were elected. 
Muhlenberg adds that this was his last advice and 
o})inion. It was dated May 30, 1771. 

This sno-ofcstion of Mnhleribeio^ seems to have 
been acted u})on, and a new order or series of rules 
was drawn u[) and adopted about that time. Fortu- 
nately Dr. H. H. Muhlenberg, in his articles in The 
Missionary, in 1857-8, on the history of Trinity 
Church, gives a translation of tiiese revised rides or 
by-laws, as they are no longer among the old docu- 
ments of the congregation. They are interesting, not 
only from their contents, but in showing that the 
conorreiration had certain rules of church order alreadv 
in 1752, and that these had been revised and im- 
proved at Muhlenberg's suggestion and with his aid, 
twenty years later. They are as follows : 


An ordinance for the government of Holy Trinity 
Church., adhering to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession., 
in Heading, and covering the church and school house 
buildings., and other necessary matters. 

1. As at the building of said church it was determined 
to keep a writing of association or ordinance for the 
government of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation 
here, we have deemed it necessary at this time in the 
year 1772, for the purpose of preserving peace and. in- 


creasing the acknowledged meiubership of said congre- 
gation, to call the congregation together to institute 
(ratify) this ordinance. 

2. That the said Holy Trinity Church, being built to 
the glory of God and for the propagation of the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran religion, which sincerely acknowledges 
the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and that the same 
may be used to no other end, neither by force or color 
of right, it is herewith resolved to support the said 
church constitution inviolable hereafter, and to live up- 
rightly in the said congregation. 

3. And as it sometimes happens with preachers, that 
we do not find their life and conversation irreproach- 
able according to the doctrine, it does not follow that 
we should be satisfied with this state of things ; no, 
our will and determination is that, according to the 
precept of St. Paul, we should above all things seek 
such teachers, be they pastor or schoolmaster, who are 
of good report and good testimony of those who are 
without ; who know how to rule their own house, so 
that the apostolic doctrine suffer no prejudice. On this 
account principally w^e reserve to the congregation the 
right to choose and call the pastor and schoolmaster, 
and also to dismiss them according to our beloved leader 
Luther's own regulation. We reserve this right to our 
posterity, and it shall be the duty of the preacher to ad- 
minister baptism and the Lord's Supper according to 
the institution of Christ, as it is used in our church, ac- 
cording to the 9th and 10th Articles of the Unaltered 
Augsburg Confession. 

4. As it is of the greatest importance that good ordi- 
nances and regulations be made in said congregation so 
that the church not only be strengthened, but for the 
further propagation of the Evangelical Lutheran relig- 
ion in good order, it is hereby resolved that, with this 
in view, orderly and sensible men of the congregation 
shall be chosen annually, no less than seven, to wit: 
Two elders, four wardens and one alms-overseer, in the 
following manner : On the first Monday in March, 1773, 
one elder and two wardens, and on the first Monday in 
March, 1774, one elder, two wardens and one alms-over- 

T THE HE I YA'/;/) A' I Y ES. 

Sf er : («• nMiinin in offico until otln-rs shall })e elected ])y 
a majority <»f v<)t«*K in the con^^refjation in the niarnier 
above nn'ntioned, and so yearly and every year for- 
ever. This ordinanct' shall be understood, as to the 
Avardens and overseer, aecr)rding to th<? usages of tliis 
congregation and cliuich, that thereby good order and 
regulations^ be observed, as well on the part of the 
pi'eacher and the schoolmaster, as of the congregation, 
in lift* and conversation, and in the contributions to the 
ex])enses of the church ; and yearly, on the Ih'st Monday 
in March, a correct account of receipts and payments 
shall be rendered, and laid before the members who 
choose to be present. 

5. It is also deemed proper that three orderly and fit 
men be chosen openly in the congregation for tliree 
years, as deputies to counsel with the eldei's, wardens 
and overseer, wdienever anything in the congregation is 
to be done, built, ordered, called or undertaken; yet 
they shall not proceed on their counsel, but lay it be- 
fore the whole congregation, and then by a majority of 
votes it shall be decided and done for the good of the 

C. Uesolvcd, That the elders, wardens, overseer and 
deputies, with the pastor, shall settle the accounts of 
the congregation every year, so that the preacher re- 
ceives the annual salary as promised ; or if not, that 
they assist to have it made up and handed over. 

7. Resolved, That the said church and school iiouse 
be kept in good condition and order, and repaired when 

8. Although at this time no parsonage is built, yet we 
obligate ourselves to erect and build one as soon as cir- 
cumstances will admit, for the residence of the pastor 
so long as one remains with us in that office, and makes 
known to us the word of God pure and unadulterated, 
according to II Tim. IV: 2. "Preach the word ; be in- 
stant in season and out of season ; reprove, rebuke, ex- 
hort with all long suffering and doctrine." 

9. To support our common freedom and free-will, it is 
our earnest request and petition to all men of whatever 
race, nation, power and dignity, secular or religious 


estates, be they rulers or subjects, that they by no means 
profane the above mentioned buildings, happen it 
through force or color of right, through the extinction 
of this congregation or unexpected decay (forsaking) 
the Augsburg Confession, or the change of the estab- 
lished church service J which may very readily happen ; 
examples of which we have had in former times and see 
'in part now ; with intent to use the above mentioned 
church for any other xjur^DOse than that for which it was 
built and dedicated. Be it known to every one that 
the great and ahnighty God, the Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost, and yet not three Gods, but one God in unity ; 
that the same great and ahnighty God, to whose honor 
it was founded and dedicated, will also have a watchful 
eye over it, and reward the promotor, and jjunish the 

So take notice of our petition, which is made not for 
our bodily welfare but for the honor of God and our 
happiness, ye children of men, noble or ignoble, rich or 
poor, great or small, young or old, it is no jest, ye have 
not now to do with men but with God. We have built 
the said church and school house in the name of the 
Triune God, and in His name it shall be kej^t, Avith 
God's help. 

10. The above concise articles are our constitution, 
with directions to the members of our said congrega- 
tion, and to our posterity who confess and believ'e ac- 
cording to the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, in what 
manner it shall be observed respecting this said 
church, school house and the Evangelical Lutheran 
congregation, and which every one and all the mem- 
bers of our congregation are bound to obey and live ac- 
cordingly. [Signed] 

Anthony Aschyer, 
John Kurtz, 
George Marx, 
John Schumacker, 
Christian SchreflBer, 
Frederick Rapp, 
Adam Ege, 
George Teibel, 

John Maehrich, 
John Braun, 
Charles Fruescht, 
Michael Stump, 
Andreas Engel, 
Christopher Witman, 
John Medlit, 
Andrew Fichthorn, 



IMifhacl Fichthorn, 
GottlitO) l^ecker, 
Jacob Alter, 
Henry Christ, 
Adam Dielim, 
Andre^v Diehin, 
Henry WollT, 
Conrad ]5raun, 
John Conrad Braun, 
Frederick Braun, 
Michael Bush, 
George Schultz, 
John Reitmeyer, 
John Philhppi, 
George Joeger, 
John Joeger, 
Nicholas Moretz, 
Jacob Burkhart, 
Philip Fischer, 
Jacob Graul, 
J. Henry Beyerle, 
Ludwig Iniler, 
Michael Seidel, 
Adam Drinkhause, 
Jacob Schneider, 
George Eisenbeis, 
Peter Klinger, 
Philip Klinger. 
Michael Krauss, 
Michael Koch, 
Frederick Stintzel, 
George Wunder, 
Henry Schreffler, 
Conrad Babb, 
Henry Reitmeyer, 
Ludwig Beyerle, 
Andrew Shaaber, 
Thomas Diehin, 
Henry Witman, 
Nicholas Seitzinger, 
Jacob Mueller, 

Jacob Keyser, 
George Fullmer, 
Jacob Follmer, 
Ludwig Deibel, 
Peter Filbert, 
Daniel Adam Kurrer, 
Micliael Rapp, 
Anthony Zimmerman, 
Jacob HolTman, 
Henry WolfT, 
Philip Nagel, 
Thomas Straub, 
Jacob Alswalt, 
John Riess, 
Valentine Folss, 
George Schumacker, 
Jacob Hoff, 
Martin Hausmann, 
John Witman, Jr., 
George Fleischer, 
Frederick Suber, 
Nicholas Schappert, 
William Marx, 
Peter Holzader, 
Gottlieb Strohecker, 
George Michael Spatz, 
Matthew Meyer, 
Andrew Schenk, • 
Henry Koehler, 
Henry Dengelhart, 
Peter Rapp, 
Jacob Winter, 
Gottlieb Christein, 
Jacob Seitter, 
George Frey, 
Christian Merkel, 
Jacob Shoemaker, 
Conrad Schaeffer, 
Jacob Rabbolt, 
Caspar Pateicher, 
David Nolcker, 


Jacob Groff, 
Conrad Fuss, 
William Schoener, 
Dewalt Mueller, 

Martin Jung, 
Joseph Brendlinger, 
Henry Hahn. 

Many of onr congregation and citizens will recog- 
nize the names of their ancestors in this list, althouirh 
the spelling of some has been changed. 

We are sorry the original of this " ordinance '' can- 
not be found, as we would like to compare the trans- 
lation with it, because some expressions are of doubt- 
ful meaning. In section nine we have inserted in 
brackets, the word forsaking, since some word about 
the Augsburg Confession must there be supplied, 
and the context justifies the word we selected. 

The definition of the Trinity in the same section 
may appear strange and incongruous, as it looks like 
a mixing of a section of the Athanasian creed with a 
caution about desecrating church property. But we 
must remember, the class of independent preachers 
who travelled about the country, trying to get into 
our congregations, were generally rationalists, and 
denied the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Divinity 
of Christ. These articles were intended to preserve 
the congregation from such preachers, and this ex- 
plains why reference is so repeatedly made to the 
Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and why this exact 
statement of the doctrine of the Trinity is here insert- 
ed. Our fathers had taken the name ^' Holy Trinity 
Church," and they felt bound to keep that doctrine 
prominent, and to intimate the abandonment of the 
doctrine of the Trinity, would be a desecration of a 
church called by that name. 



IRcvt^. jf. IRicmepcr an^ ip. 3. Grots* 

The adoption of these new rules and by-laws may 
have lulled the storm, but peace was yet far off. The 
anti-Krug party entered into correspondence with 
Rev. Frederick Niemeyer, wlio had been serving the 
old Goshenhoppen congregation, in Montgomery 
county, and whom Muhlenberg in his diary styles 
'^ so-called pastor/' having never furnished any cre- 
dentials, or proved his right of title as a Lutheran 

The other party in the congregation, who were in 

sympathy with Muhlenberg and the Ministerium, 

served a notice on Mr. Niemeyer, which Muhlenberg 

calls a Caveat, to the following effect : 

Respected /S'ir.-— We, being lawful officers of the 
Evangelical Lutheran congregation of this place, do 
herewith, in the name of the United Congregations, 
adherents to the Ministerium, and to our acknowledged 
and ratified rules, give you notice that under no cir- 
cumstances can we permit or desire that you should 
preach in our church. In case that some, who have no 
authority to call a preacher, should undertake to re- 
peal those articles which we and tliey have signed, and 
inaugurate in our congregation a worse strife than ex- 
ists now, to defy the Rev. Senior Muhlenberg and the 
whole Ministerium, they will do it at their own risk. 
We, therefore, hope that you, respected sir, will resolve 
not to participate in that scheme, to the end to \iVO- 
mote your own credit and welfare, as w^ell as that of the 
whole congregation, since Rev. Senior Muhlenberg has 
prohibited any stranger to be called to visit us before 


we as a congregation are reunited. This, respected 
sir, is the brief notice we give you ; being fully per- 
suaded that it will be the best for your own welfare to 
take to heart our warning. All this is submitted in all 
deference by us B. M., S. Sch., Ph. M. 

Reading, Jane 22, 1771. 

If a suitable man could then have been placed at 
Reading by the Ministerium, the troubles would 
doubtless have ceased, as Muhlenberg, in a letter dated 
July 21, 1771. expresses his joy that the Lutheran 
horizon at Reading began to brighten, and that the 
two parties, so long and unhappily at war with each 
other, seemed to approach together in a milder 
spirit. But in another letter of nearly the same date, 
he states that he could not persuade any of the older 
brethren to go to Reading even as temporary supplies. 
He recommended Rev. Conrad Roeller, but for some 
reason he was not called, or refused to come. This 
gave the friends of Niemeyer encouragement and ap- 
parent success. While there is no evidence of his 
election or call to the pastorate, he njust have served 
as pastor "pro tempore for the ensuing two years, as 
the fallowing receipt, preserved among the church 
documents, will show : 

"I, the undersigned, acknowledge to have received 
from the elders and deacons of the Evangelical Luth- 
eran congregation at Reading, the sum of one hundred 
and twenty pounds, lawful currency, as my salary for 
two years. 

Witness my hand at Reading, January 23, 1774, 

Friederich Niemeyer." 

Possibly a law suit grew out of these complications 
concerning Niemeyer, which may explain the fol- 
lowing statement we find on a separate slip, among the 
old papers ; 

76 A LA W SUIT. 



v8. y 


Judf^eV and l^rotlioiiotary's fees, - - €0, IHs, 3d 

Attorney, Mr. E. Biddle, - - - - 1, 17, 

Sheriflf, besides mileage, - - . . IG, 

Jury, ........ 

Cryer, - - - 1, C 

Send my fee. 


Received of the defendant six pounds, nineteen shil- 
lings and nine pence, the clerk's and cryer's fees in this 


J. Yeates." 
November 11, 1773. 

As Mr. Myei'le was one of the signers of the Caveat 
sent to Mr. Xiemeyer, ith)oks as if Xieineyerand his 
friends had instituted proceedings and gained the 
suit, which will exphnn wliy he remained until 1774. 

Dr. iNIann states that Niemeyer's friends discovered 
they had made a mistake in getting him to Reading, 
and dismissed him. This must have been some time 
prior to the date of tins receipt, and a new pastor liad 
by tliis time been elected. Tliis was tlie Rev. Philip 
Grotz, who arrived recently from Germany, and had 
presented his testimonials and I'ecommendations to 
Muhlenberg. He had received a solid education, 
and always affixed to his name the title of Magister 
Fhilusophice. He visited Reading, and was immedi- 
ately elected pastor of Trinity Ciiurch. The call was 
signed by one hundred heads of families, showing at 
last both parties had agreed upon the same man, if 
not the right one. It would seem that Rev. Grotz 
took this call and showed it to Muhlenberg, probably 
to get his indorsement of it, 

REV. P. J. GROTZ. 77 

In a letter to the congregation, dated January 25, 
1774, (but two days later than the date of Niemeyer's 
receipt), Muhlenberg ventilates his mind on this sub- 
ject, but refrains from saying anything of their treat- 
ment of his advice about Rev. Niemeyer. In his 
letter he says : 

"I could not but wonder at the undue haste in which 
this most important act was performed. There had 
been strong demands for Rev. Grotz presented from a 
number of our united congregations, in which he might 
have made use of his gifts with peace and satisfaction, 
to the honor of God and to the benefit of many souls. 
But in this matter I could not and would not interfere, 
as I have no command over him, nor over any of the 
other brethren. He came to this country at his own 
expense ; was not indentured to me, and had perfect 
liberty to select any district or vacant congregation, in 
which he might hope to do the most good. From my 
heart I wish you prosperity and blessing, and remind 
you of the words of Jer. IV: 3, 4 : " Break up your fallow 
ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise your- 
selves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your 
hearts." I should profoundly grieve if the least of the 
former olTences and scandals were repeated. Time will 
teach, and experience will prove, whether he will be 
able to attend to his office in peace and with blessing. 
This your teacher, to whom you gave a call, the Rev. 
Philippus Grotz, according to his testimonials and the 
evidence given at London and Philadelphia before us, 
has gone through a solid and regular course of educa- 
tion ; is Magister Philosophke iiud Theologus ; was ex- 
amined in his native country by the Right Rev. Church 
Consistory, and set apart and authorized to preach the 
gospel, and administer the sacraments according to the 
Word of God and the Unaltered Augsbury Confession. 
He does not, like some others do in this country, come 
as a self-appointed pastor, to use religion only as a 
means to make a living, but is furnished with recom- 
mendations to our congregations. I therefore hope 
that by true repentance and godly sorrow, you will 


eradicate tlie ])itt«'r root of enmity and strife, caHt out 
the old leaven of malice and wickedness, and chanj^e 
yourselves into the nnleavene<l bread of sincerity and 
truth; in charity and honor preferring one anc>ther ; 
and prove yourselves sincere Christians, and of one heart 
and soul/' 

To this admirable specimen of a j)astoral letter, 
Mulilenl)eig, as President of Synrxl, adds the recjuest 
that the Reading Lutherans slionhl not object to their 
pastor sei ving from time to tiuie a small congrega- 
tion in the "forest" (Schwarzwald, southeast of 
Reading), which for a long time had petitioned for 
assistance and clerical visits. He reminded them of 
the Lord's words : " Whatsoever ye would that men 
should do to you, do ye even so to them." 

Certainly no one short o^ di Mayister PhilosophicBy 
could discover anything unbecoming in this letter. 
But Rev. Grotz thought otherwise. He w^as, as it 
appears, chagrined by Muhlenberg's wondering at 
the undue haste in which that election was held, and 
the call given. Lie immediately demanded an expla- 
nation of the language used by Muhlenberg. The 
long answer, wiiich Muhlenberg good-naturedly gave, 
referred to the peculiar condition in which the Read- 
ing contrre":ation had been for a long time, and to the 
great iuiportance of a regular call to a pastor under 
all circumstances; and was written iu such a good 
aud conciliatory style, that it ought to have silenced 
forever any doubt and dissatisfaction on the part of 
Mr. Grotz. But likely he " thought of himself more 
highly than he ought to think," and not only was not 
satisfied, but continued to worry Muhleuberg with 
letters, criticising his character and his ways of aduiin- 
istering the affairs of the church and the congrega- 


tions, and to behave and act as if he had been appointed 
his superior and critic. Muhlenberg for some time 
exercised forbearance with liim, and stood this as long 
as he could^ but getting tired of standing, he finally 
sat down and wrote him the followino; letter: 

' ' Right Reverend Pastor and Learned Magister : — I de- 
sire to inform you that all your letters have come to 
hand in due time. Provided you had received from 
God, or from European or American Christendom, or 
from any Right Reverend Consistory or Ministerium, or 
from private individuals, any legitimate commission or 
authority ; and provided you could show such a docu- 
ment, I would submit to it, so that under the proper 
mode of proceeding, the administration of my office and 
deportment should be minutely examined and impar- 
tially criticised by you. But whereas, up to the present 
time, you in your letters produced nothing but harsh 
accusations, menaces, and reflections concerning my 
official conduct, my family and friends, I for one cannot 
find such procedure becoming the character of a minis- 
ter, a Christian, a civil citizen — much Jess a magister of 
the liberal arts — and least of all one who is a stranger 
here. This was the reason — and a quite sufficient one 
for me— W'hy I did not answer your letters, and shall not 
do so, but rather, if more of this kind arrive, return 
them unopened and unread. Such infamous senti- 
ments I need not receive from Reading. I can have 
them abundantly here in the public market. If you, 
sir and magister, have any just claim against me or my 
children or my relatives, or any just cause of complaint, 
any legal forum is open to you, and I shall not be afraid 
to answer. Only do not dream that you can be both 
accuser and judge ; for in this country the golden A B 
C is still in use, that the accused has a right to be heard, 
before judgment is passed. This much from your Rev- 
erence's (in all reasonable things) obedient servant, 

Philadelphia, April 20, 1774. 

Muhlenberg was dignified even when he was 
severe. The rebuke was deserved, and it is to be 

80 J//,', u // orz L j:a \ '/'Js A' i:a ding. 

Iiopcd was of hciK'fit to Ml-. Grotz. His ministry, 
wliicli bet^an so aiisj)ic'ioiisly, was of short duration, 
lasting less than a year. The only })lace we find his 
name on our records is, when he, with the Vestry, tes- 
tified to the correctness of the treasurer's account at 
the annual settlement, March IG, 1774, and it is re- 
markable lie then signs himself '* Philippus Grotz, 
Philosophia} Magister and/o;* the time pastor." This 
may mean simply ^' pastor at that time,'' but looks 
rather as if he was recognized only as pastor pro 

The cause of his sudden departure may have been 
his offensive })ompousness, but other troubles prob- 
ably helped. In a letter to Rev. Pasche, of I^ondon, 
dated December 3, 1774, Rev. John C. Kunze, D.D., 
wrote : " Mr. Grotz has turned out badly, and had to 
leave Reading on account of bad behavior. He has 
gone to Stone Arabia, in N. Y., but from there evil 
reports of him also come. He rewarded Mr. Muh- 
lenberg and myself very ungratefully for our hospi- 
tality shown him." 

He subsequently married in New York State, and 
became a more useful man. He died at Stone 
Arabia in 1809. 



1Rev>s» t>. fKnoUcVy ff* B, /IDublenbetG an^ 

H). Xebman, 

We have seen the deep interest the patriarch Muh- 
lenberg manifested in the welfare of this church, and 
tlie wise counsel and advice the congregation had 
often received from him. No congregation outside of 
those forming his immediate pastoral charge, occupied 
more of his thoughts and care. It may have been 
occasioned by the fact that his wife's family resided 
here, but no matter what occasioned it, there can be 
no doubt there was a strong tie which bound Muh- 
lenberg's heart to Reading from the time the congre- 
gation was organized. 

But of late years tliis tie had been severely strained. 
While seeking his advice and aid, the congregation 
had not only acted contrary to his counsels, but 
blamed him for some of their troubles. Now, how- 
ever, they were disposed to turn again to him, and 
asked him to visit and preach for them. To show 
his continued sympathy and willingness to help them, 
lie agreed to preach for them on Sunday, June 11, 
1775. To manifest their appreciation of his services, 
and as a token of their esteem for him, the Vestry 
assembled at the house of his wife's relatives, with 
whom he was staying:, and escorted him in a body to 
the church, and after services repeated the act on his 
return to the house. He was deeply impressed with 
this mark of esteem, and the proof it gave of the 


f'lKiiiiz;<'Ml)lencss of tlic lik(\'^ and dislikes of the Ininian 
heart, lie mentions the ^reat improvement in the 
sin^in<^, as the congregation now had an organ, and 
was much pleased with the skilli'id manner in which 
the choir contrihnted to the solemnities of worship. 
His visit was repeated within a short time, and the 
former pleasant relations between him and the congre- 
gation were re-established. 

Tl)ere can be little doubt that the responsive order 
of service which had been adopted by Muhlenberg 
and his associates in the Ministerium in 1748, was 
used in this church, especially since the congregation 
liad an organ and choir to lead the singing. We in- 
sert that Order of Service to show how similar it was 
to that in use now : 


1. Hymn of invocation of the Holy Spirit. 

^ After the Hymn the Minister shall g) before the Altar 
and turning his face to the congregation^ shall say : 
2. The Exhortation to Confession. 

''''Beloved in the Lord, cfrc, &c. Therefore make con- 
fession with me of your sins and say thus : " 

Here folloivs The Confession of Sins, eliding uiith 

The Kyrie, ^'- Lord God, the Father in Heaven, have 
tnercy upon us,''"' &c. 

^After the Confession shall be sung 

3. The Gloria in Excelsis. (The metrical version was 

\Then shall the Minister say : 

4. The Salutation. 

Minister : The Lord be with yoa. 

Congregation : And with thy spirit. 

Minister : Let us pray. 

'^And he shall use the Collect ajjpointed in the Marburg 
Hymn Book for the Sunday or Festival day. 

The Collect. 


*^ After the Collect the Minister shall say : Let us rever- 
ently hear 

5. The Epistle for the Day. 
6. The principal Hymn. 
^ TheJi shall the Minister say : Let us reverently hear 

7. The Gospel for the Day. 
^The7i shall folloio 

8. The Creed. (I'he metrical forin luas used). 
^The7i shall he sung 

9. A Hymn. [Nos. 49 or 50 in the Church Book were 
the hyms designated to be used here). 

*^Then shall follow the Sermon, preceded by the Exor- 
dium, or a Prayer concluding with the Lord's Prayer, 
during which the congregation shall stand. 

10. The Sermon. 
^ After the Sermon nothing shall be used except the fol- 
lowing General Prayer or The Litany. 
11. Tlie General Prayer. 
\After the General Prayer, special prayers {if desired) 
for the sick, (fee, shall be offered, followed by 

The Lord's Prayer. 
^TJien shall follow the Notices and Appointments, af- 
ter which the Minister shall say 

12. The Votum. " The peace of God,'' &c. 
\The7i shall be sung 

13. A Hymn. 
14. *^Then the Minister going before the Altar shall say 
Minister : The Lord be with you. 
' Con^?'e^a^io?i.- And with thy spirit. 
Minister: Let us pray. {Here follows) 
14. The Closing Collect. 
15. The Benediction. " The Lord bless thee,'' <Scc. 

It was about the time of these visits of Muhlen- 
berg, that Key. Henry Moller came to Reading 
and preached to the congregation, and shortly after 
was elected pastor. We give a translation of the call 
given him. It will be noticed the word '\ German " 
is now for the first time put in the title of the con- 



W»', the uiuhM-si^^ned trustees, elders, deacons and 
deputies, and also other regular uienibers of the Ger- 
man Evanj^elical Lutheran Conj^rrgation in and about 
Readiu}^, in the county of l^erks, in the province of 
Pennsylvania; having examined the Rev. Henry Mol- 
ler and heard him preach, and regarding and recog- 
ni/.iug him as a regularly ordained Evangelical teacher 
in accordance with God's word and the Unaltered 
Augsburg Confession, as also the satisfactory testi- 
monials of his ministry and life, we have desired that 
the said Mr. Henry Moller shall become our regular 
teacher and jweacher. Therefore, we, the undersigned, 
herebj' give our attestation to the above, and accept the 
Rev. Mr. Henry Moller as the regular teacher and 
preacher of our said congregation and overseer of our 
School, and obligate ourselves hereby to give him an 
annual salary for his support, of eighty pounds, and ten 
cords of fire-wood, in equal payments at the close of 
each half year. And in case the said preacher should 
not be satisfied in the first, second or third year, or 
some time afterwards, he shall give notice to this effect 
to the congregation, one-fourth of a year before the end 
of it. So also, should the congregation not be satisfied 
in the second or third year or thereafter, it shall 
quietly give notice to the preacher, through the elders, 
deacons and deputies, or any three of them, one-fouith 
of a year before the end of it, in accoi-dance with the 
rules of the congregation. All which we attest and con- 
firm over our own signatures as so done. 
Reading, August 5th, 1775. 

Mr. Moller was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 
1749, and received a liberal education. After arriving 
in this country he resided for some time in New 
Jersey, until 1773, when he went to Philadelphia, with 
good recommendations from Rev. W. Graaf, of Hack- 
ensack. At Philadelphia he was engaged as an 
assistant teacher in the seminary, then established by 
Rev. Dr. Kunze, and also in the academy, at the 


same time }3reparing himself, under the direction of 
Muhlenberg and Kunze, for the ministry. Having 
received his licensure from Muhlenbero^, and an invi- 
tation from the Lutheran congregation at Culpepper, 
Virginia, he paid them a visit. On his return he 
visited the Rev. N. Kurtz, then president of Synod, 
and by his advice came to Reading and preached 
here, and received a call as already stated. His ac- 
ceptance of the call to Reading, gave great offence to 
the congregation at Culpepper, who very unjustly 
blamed Muhlenberg for it. If any outside influence 
controlled Mr. Molier in his decision, it very prob- 
ably was that of his wife, whom he had recently 
married, and who was opposed to moving to Virginia. 

We find the following entry in the old minute book 
concerning his coming : 

" After the faithful Christian teacher mentioned (Pas- 
tor Krug) had left us, to the great grief of many of the 
congregation, and accepted a call to Frederick, this con- 
gregation was served successively by clergymen until 
the 6th of August, Anno 1775, when Mr. Henry Molier, 
who had been unanimously elected its pastor, delivered 
his introductory sermon upon the words found in Isaiah 
40:11, 'He shall feed His flock like a Shepherd,' &c. 
The Lord Jesus, as Chief Shepherd, take under His care 
His flock in this place, and feed us on the green pas- 
tures of His saving Word, that we may blossom as the 
rose, and grow in spirit as the cedars of Lebanon. 

This was Mr. Moller's first pastoral charge, and he 
manifested commendable diligence in his office. His 
entries of official acts in the church records are made 
with care, and he was the first pastor to record the 
names of communicants. It may be interesting to 
give the family names of the communicants at that 


time, wliic'li wore as follows : Schneider, Reitnieyer, 
l^eibrant, Alter, Spenj^lor^ Schiiltz, Kurtz. Otto, 
Jvapj), Mack, Cietz, Jjrowii, Roseli, Dielnn, Rabhold, 
Volnier, Fleisher, Noekei", Straiih, Went, Kraft, 
Gosler, ICngelhard, Schaiier, Selionfelder, Baum, Lutz, 
Hitzel, Bayer, Sehniehl, Sehniidt, Kissinger, Ubel, 
P^rnst, Kaeliel, Hermann, ilartman, Trostel, Reifel, 
Held, Weidenliamnier, Young, Ege, Fornewald, 
Schliehter, Dumm, Haberaeker, Seidel, Lenert, Hub- 
ner. Helling, Morgan, Broker, Saehsman, Medler, 
Ort, Stout, Kaeliler, Grunblatt, Ebele, Adams, Her- 
bein, Geyer, Kreisclier, Gerhard, Gross, Fix, Schaber, 
Straub, Stein, Stab, Seibert, Fies, Tobias, Becht, 
Fischer, Krauser, Schumacker, Zimmerman, Richter, 
Nagel, Eisenbeis, Hein, Heckman, Becht, Hase, _ 
Haushalter, Kohl, Hamschon, Kuntzman, Klemans, 
Engel, Wolf, Johnson, Fuchs, Kissel, Wachs. 

Pastor Moller's ministry fell upon troublous times 
in the country, as the war of the Revolution was now 
breaking out, with all its attendant distress among the 
colonists. But in the congregation peace and good 
order seemed to prevail. We know of no dissatisfac- 
tion, nor what induced his unexpected resignation 
after serving the congregation two years. The Ves- 
try became offended at a letter he sent them asking 
to be released from his office, and took some action 
which called forth the following reply : 

Readixg, January 22, 1777. 

Friends and Brethren in Christ Jesus: — Your honored 
communication of the 31st of the month, through our 
elder, Dr. Otto, I received the same day and gave a 
careful consideration to your resolutions with reference 
to my request addressed to you the 19th inst. 

He mentions a misunderstanding in the letters which 
■were sent, which is a proof that my request to you was 


not weighed with calmness nor properly understood. 
My request was this : I desired to be released from my 
office by you, at the furthest in three months after the 
completion of my last half-year's service, now shortly to 
come to an end. 1 have candidly, and in plain and un- 
selfish language, explained to you the reason for this 
course, which it is improper and superfluous to repeat 
in Avriting. 

It must be considered that I did not request this as 
an obligation resting on you, but in the way of an in- 
terrogation to those who have certainly the right to re- 
tain me still longer (N. B.) as their teacher. But in 
case such request is not granted me, I am bound, in ac- 
cordance with my call, to continue with you yet a full 
half year, when I will be able, without specifying the 
reasons, to resign my office. For thus it reads in the 
call : " Should the said teacher not he satisfied in the 
first, second, orthii'd year, he shall give notice to the 
congregation one-fourth of a year before its close. On 
the contrary, if the congregation should not he sat'tjifled 
in the second or third year, it shall quietly give him 
notice one-quarter of a year before the termination of 
it, through the elders, deacons and deputies, or any 
three of them." Very properly, therefore, in these 
conditions, there is as much time given me to resign, as 
the congregation retains for itseff. There is not the 
least intimation of any obligation on the side of either 
party (me or the congregation) to give the reasons. 

It is an evil, and in the estimation of intelligent per- 
sons a vicious custom, to have an exchange of corres- 
pondence between the preacher and congregation, for 
it ends finally in a strife of words. For this reason, I 
wish to be released absolutely from the office from the 
date specified. Reasons for the course can be given 
orally between some intelligent and sound-minded 
deputy of the congi-egation and the preacher, and in 
this way I desire an answer to this letter, and in no 
other. On the contrary, I will answer no letter, of 
whatever kind it may he. I remain still, with good in- 
tentions and recollections, your preacher, 

Henry Moller. 


The action of the N'cstiy on this letter \vi' f'oiiiul on 
a seraj) of paper, and is as follows: 

" It was Jicsoivcd, First, as he makes liis demand in 
o]i]iosition to his "call," no answfr be sent liim nntil 
the proper time. 

With reference to what is owing, Jieaolccd, That the 
deacons, wlien the half year is completed, shall pay the 
money in the presence of the wliole Vestry, and not to the 
preacher, in the school house. 

(Signed by eight names), 

January 29, 1777. 

The relations between pastor and Vestry must have 
become very unpleasant, but he remained the addi- 
tional three months, as his record of ])ast()ra] acts 
continues until April of that year. From Reading 
he went to Philadelphia and again engaged in teach- 
ing, bnt at the same time served the congregation at 
Barren Hill. He received his final ordination in 
1782, and then accepted a call to Albany, N. Y., 
where he remained until 1790. He was pastor for 
several years at New Holland, and in 1795 removed 
to Harrisburg. 

The Revolutionary war was now at its height ; 
many of the congregation had enlisted and were ab- 
sent, while those at home were impoverished and 
distressed. Among the members of Trinity congre- 
gation who gave their services to their adopted coun- 
trv, was the distinguished Dr. Bodo Otto. He had 
emigiated to America in 1755, and after a residence 
in Philadelphia for some years, located in Reading in 
1773. We find his name signed to the settlement of 
accounts at the meeting of the Vestry of this congre- 
iration in March, 1776, from which we infer he was a 
vestryman at that time. That same year he was 
chosen one of the delegates from Berks county to the 


Provincial Council, which met in Pliiladelphia on 
June 18, 1776. He became a surgeon in the Conti- 
nental army, and with his two sons, Dr. John A. 
Otto and Dr. Bodo Otto, jr., had charge of the camp 
hospital at Valley Forge, while Washington's army 
was there. After the war he returned to Reading. 
He died June 13, 1787, and was buried immediately 
in front of the western entrance to the church, where a 
monument has recently been put over his grave. 
After the disastrous battle of Brandywine on Sep- 
tember 11, 1777, the church was used, with the con- 
sent of the congregation, and possibly under the di- 
rection of Dr. Otto, as a hospital for sick and 
wounded soldiers who had been brought here. Those 
were trying times to churches, but especially so to 
the members of this congregation, who were as sheep 
without a shepherd. 

This state of things was greatly relieved, however, 
by a fortunate circumstance which enabled them to 
secure, with considerable regularity, the services of no 
less eminent a man than Rev. Frederick A. C. Muh- 
lenberg, as a supply for their pulpit. He vvas the 
second son of Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, 
born at the Trappe in 1750, and was one of the can- 
didates for the ministry who was ordained at the 
meeting of the Ministerium in this church in 1770. 
For several years he preached at Lebanon and its 
vicinity, and then was called to New York. He 
was a very outspoken patriot, and when the British 
troops occupied that city, he was compelled to flee. 
He returned to this State, and was in Pliiladelphia on 
the memorable July 4, 1776. He assisted his father 
at the Trappe and at New Hanover, from whence also 

90 mCV. F. A. C. M( IILFNBERG. 

lie preached occayiunally at Oley. Tt was this cir- 
cumstance of his lu'iiig ill this ii('i<j!;hb()rh()()(l, and 
somewhat free, that enabled Trinity congrei^ation to 
have occasional visits and services hy him. After his 
services here, his life and talents were turned in an- 
other direction. In 1770, there were three vacancies 
in the Pennsylvania delegation in the Continental 
Congress, and he was chosen on March the 2nd, by the 
Assembly, to fill one of them, and afterwards was 
elected for the full term. In 1780 he was elected a 
member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and on No- 
vember 3rd of that year, w^as chosen its presiding offi- 
cer, and was twice re-elected to the same position. 
After the constitution of the United States was 
adopted, he was elected a member of Congress, and on 
April 1, 1789, was chosen to preside over that body, 
and became the first speaker of the Congress of the 
United States under the constitution. He died in 

We have before us the statement concerning the an- 
nual settlement of accounts that year, which has some 
interesting items, and we therefore insert it. 

In 1778, on March 9, the annual settlement of cliureh 
accounts whs held in the school house, and the treas- 
urer, Frederick Rapp, jjresented his account before the 
assembled Vestry, and it is as follows : [The account is 
in pounds, shillings and pence, a pound in Pennsyl- 
vania currency being about ^2.50 in value.] 


£. s. d. 

Balance for last year, 19, 3, 9 

Received from collectors March 16, 1777, to 

March 5, 1778, - - - - - 69, 3, 1 

13, 8, 

Total income, - - - - - - 101, 14, 10 



£. s. d. 

1. Paid Rev. Fred. Mulilenberg, - - 3, 0, 0, 

2. Paid Nicholas Lutz, house rent for Rev. 

Moller, - - 10, 0, 

3. Paid on Rev. Moller's salary, - - 3, 5, 5 

4. Paid Philip Fisher, drawing the organ 

bellows one half year, - - - - 0, 10, 

5. Paid organ builder Tanneberger, repair- 

ing and tuning organ, - - - - 13, 10, 

6. Paid Jacob Schuniacker for boarding Mr. 

Tanneberger, - - - - - -2, 6, 

7. Paid Rev. Fred. Muhlenberg, - - 3, 0, 

8. Paid Widow Held for wood for Rev. 

Moller, - - - - - - - 5, 0, 

9. Paid Rev, Fred. Muhlenberg, twice 

preaching, ___--- 5, 5, 

10. Paid Schoolmaster Fleischer, his ex- 

penses when sent with a message to 

Rev. Muhlenberg, - - - - - 1, 10, 

11. Paid Jacob Schumacker for feed and 

care of Rev. Fred. Muhlenberg's horse, 11, 16, 

12. Paid Schoolmaster Fleischer salary - 3, 0, 

— with an addition because of the 
"hard times," for the year ending No- 
vember 27, 1777, - - - - - 8, 0, 

13. Paid Schoolmaster Fleischer for board- 

ing Rev. Muhlenberg on his visits 

here, .-.--.- 5, 0, 

14. Paid Philip Fisher drawing the bellows 

when organ was tuned, - - - - 0, 3, 

15. Paid Abm. Weidman taking care of 

Rev. Muhlenberg's horse, - - - 0, 17, 1 

16. Paid Rev. Fred. Muhlenberg preaching 

8 times, - - - - - - - 18, 10, 

17. Paid militia men for carrying benches 

from the church to the old prison, - 0, 9, 

18. Paid Schoolmaster Fleischer expenses 

and trouble when sent to Rev. Pastor 

Kurtz at York, - - - - - - 6, 10, 

19. Paid Casper Fleischer fourdays' use of 

horse to York, - - - - - 1, 2, 6 

92 /:/:]'. h. I. HUMAN. 

a. 8. ii. 
20. Paid Widow Slit'nk for work done hy lier 

luishand on a funeral hi«T, - - - 0, 10, 

Total payments - - . - 103, 4, 

This shows tliat Hl'V. Fred. Miihh'iil)ertr supplied 
the church at Readiiiir no less than twelve times, dur- 
ini; the vear inchnled in the above account. 

Rp:v. Daniel Lehman l)ecanie the next pastor 
of the congregation. From his native Germany, he 
came to this country about 1773. He was a young 
njan of good education and attainments, but without 
means to })ay even his passage across the Atlantic. 
Like many others, he bound himself to the ca[>tain of 
the ship, to be disposed of to whoever would pay his 
passage on landing in America. On arriving in Phil- 
adelj)iua he made himself known to Rev. J. C 
Kunze, Muhlenberg's son-indaw and assistant, who 
kindly j)aid the captain's claim. He was employed, 
as Rev. Moller had been, in giving instruction in the 
seminary which Muhlenberg and his assistants iiad 
established, and at the same time pursued his theolog- 
ical studies. Subsequently he became j)rivate tutor 
in the family of Rev. Jacob Van Buskerk, who had 
been pastor at Germantown, but was now residino' at 
Macungie, serving congregations in that vicinity. 
Here young Lehman had opportunity to exercise his 
gifts, as a candidate for the ministry. He had a very 
strong voice, and was an attractive sjieaker. He be- 
came very popular, and a number of congregations 
wanted his services. He applied to the Ministeriura 
in 1775, for examination and license, and was re- 
ceived. He first served congregations at Whitehall, 
Egypt, and other stations in Lehigh county, and re- 


ceived his full ordination at the meeting of the Min- 
isterium in 1778. It was at this time the attention 
of the Reading congregation was turned to him, and 
he was elected pastor in August of that year. He 
be2:an his entries in the Baptismal register thus: 

HIg incohavit Danid Lehman, O. C. D. His first 
entry was made in October, 1778, and his work here 
began favorably. H. M. Muhlenberg heard iiim 
preach while here on a visit, and found nothing to 
criticise except that he made too good use of his voice, 
and preached unnecessarily loud. Shortly after his 
settlement here, he married a lady of Philadelphia 
who was in good circumstances, and everything prom- 
ised his would be a settled and longcontinued pastorate. 

To encourage and secure this, the congregation de- 
termined to purchase a house for a parsonage, wherein 
he mio:ht briuir his bride and have a home. When 
we think of the poverty, distress and uncertainties of 
these times, in the midst of the Revolutionary war, it 
was certainly at no small sacrifice this step was 

A subscription was drawn up on February 22, 
1779, which stated that " inasmuch as the residence 
of John Kendel, together with the lot on which it 
was built, had been bought by the elders and deacons 
for a Lutheran parsonage, and by April 1st the sum 
of two hundred pounds must be paid on it, and 
there was no money in the treasury for this purpose, 
and that interest must be paid on borrowed money, 
it was decided to open a subscription for it, and all 
members of the congregation residing in Reading and 
its neighborhood, and all others who were friendly 
disposed, were earnestly requested to subscribe liber- 


ally to it." 'J'lic names of 126 persons are given as 
subscribing, the total anioimting to £190, 12s and 9(1. 

We have before iis a bond for 12o pounds given 
Apiil 1, 1779, l)y Henry (dossier and Adam p]ge for 
the eongregation to Conrad Brown, and on its margin 
is a note stating '^ this one iiundred and twenty-five 
])ounds were borrowed by them to pay o(f the debt 
they made in buying a house for the use of the 
Lutheran congregation.^^ 

The lot bought was No. 98, in the plan of the 
town of Reading, and was located on the east side of 
Prince (now Sixth) street, the second lot south of 
Washington street. After the purchase, the dwell- 
ing was repaired and repainted, and for some years 
was the residence of the pastors of the church. It 
was subsequently sold, and a parsonage erected on a 
double lot situated on the north side of Penn street, 
above Seventh. 

We can find nothing to explain why Mr. Lehman's 
ministry came to an abrupt termination within two 
years. All we know is, this surprising step of his 
was brought to the notice of the Ministerium, assem- 
bled at New Providence (the Trappe,) in October, 
1780. That body must not have approved his course, 
as we infer from the following extract from the diary 

of Muhlenberg : 

"December o, 1780. Pastor Lehman gave usa call on 
his way in the stage, with his mother-in-law, to Pliila- 
delphia. He said that since our special conference he 
had conferred with pastors Schultze and Henry Muhlen- 
berg, jr., and that he intended to move next Tuesday, 
from Reading to Mosillem. Also that he had written 
a sharp letter to the Rev. Pastor Kunze, because he had 
too hastily prejudged him in the minutes. 


Thisf bickering among clergymen is by no means 
good ; is contrary to Christian ethics, and belongs to 
the class of corrupt passions. 'If any has been over 
taken in a fault, ye who are spiritual (or here, of dis- 
tinguished grace and gifts) restore such an one in the 
spirit of meekness.' In the new covenant or kingdom 
of grace, the law no more holds : an eye for an eye, a 
tooth for a tooth." 

From this we infer Mr. Lehman left Reading in 
December, 1780, and removed to Moselem, one of 
the congregations he had been serving in connection 
with the Reading church. It appears that his re- 
moval did not sever altogether his relation to Trinity 
Church, but that he continued at least to perform 
ministerial acts here a year longer, as we find nearly 
all the baptisms entered in the Church Record for 
1781, and the early part of '82, are recorded in his 
handwriting. It is possible he may also have 
occasionally supplied the pulpit during this time. 

One reason for his leaving Reading may be found 
in the following statement of the extraordinary ex- 
penses of the congregation for the year ending April 
11, 1781: 

£. s. d. 
Total receipts, - * - - , - - - 641, 5, 9 


1. Paid George Schnell for one bell rope, - 16, 17, 6 

2. Paid Abm. Levan for four cords of fire- 

wood for Rev. Lehman, - - - - 100, 0, 

3. Paid Isaac Levan for two cords of wood 

for Rev. Lehman, - - - - - 75, 0, 

4. Paid for one book of paper for the school- 

master, - - - - - - - 7, 10, 

5. Paid Michael Krauss for wood, - - 129, 7, 6 

6. Paid Conrad Beck, - - - . - 22, 13, 2 

7. Paid Philip Seller for one cord of wood, 15, 8, 3 

8. Paid for drawing the organ bellows, - 37, 10, 

96 niaii PRICES, 

£. 8. (1. 

9. Paiil (iottfried Becker, - - - - 112, 10, 

510, 10, 5 

Balance in hands of John Kendel, the treas- 
urer, - - 124, 9, 4 

This settlement is si{?ned by the following vestrymen : 
Conrad Brann, Adam Ege, George Schumacker, Henry 
Hahn, Frederick Sintzel, John Rightmeier. 

These amazing figures and })rices are explained, 
when we recall the great depreciation of the paj)er 
currency of those times, and in such currency doubt- 
less the above figures are given. Its almost worthless 
character may be judged by the fact that in February 
of this year, 1781, the Pennsylvania Executive Coun- 
cil resolved that Continental money should be received 
for public dues at the exchange of seventy-five dollars 
in currency for one in specie. 

If Pastor Lehman's salary was one luindred and 
fifty pounds in Pennsylvania currency, and it cost 
nearly seventeen pounds then to buy a rope, — and four 
cords of wood cost one liundred pounds, — we ought 
not be surprised he concluded it was better to move 
out of town and live in the country. 

In the early part of 1781, the attention of the 
congregation was directed towards Rev. F. V. Mels- 
heimer. He had come to this country in 1776, as 
chaplain of a German regiment, but resigned that 
position in 1779, having determined to become a 
citizen of America. He was then serving congrega- 
tions in Dauphin county, and probably had visited 
Reading and preached for this congregation. Accord- 
ingly when the Synod met in Philadelphia, in 1781, 
the delegates from Trinity Church petitioned that he 


might become its pastor. To this Synod would not 
agree, as he was not a member of that body. He, 
however, joined in 1785, and subsequently became 
pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Hanover, in 
York county. 

The following item from Muhlenberg's diary comes 
in here : 

" Sunday, November 4, 1781. Cloudy, with indica- 
tions of rain or snow. To-day is Pastor Voigt's turn to 
hold divine service. The Schuylkill, no doubt, is high. 
T wrote, at the request of Pastor Kunze, a few lines to 
Mr. Henry Hahn, one of the deacons at Reading, in 
case Mr. Lpps should determine to go thither. 

' Respected Sir : — The bearer of these lines, the Rev. 
Mr. Leps, is an Evangelical Lutheran minister in low 
Dutch congregations in the State of New York, on the 
North river, where the Indians are committing ravages. 
He would like to come to Pennsylvania with his family 
and serve congregations here, and desired me to give 
him a few lines to some good friend, as he is a stranger 
and unacquainted with any one. If it is agreealjle to 
Mr. Hahn and the other deacons and elders of the con- 
gregation, they can converse with him personally and 
determine whether he would suit them. Meanwhile I 
remain your well-wishing friend and servant, 

H. Muhlenberg.' " 

New Providence, November 4. 

As we find no mention of Mr. Leps' name on any 

of our records, we infer he did not come, or did not 

suit, and the congiegation continued to depend on 

occasional supplies, until the advent of Mr. Wildbahn. 



IRcw Charles Jfrc^crich "mHil^babu. 

In mentioning Mr. Wilclbalin's name, we reach the 
link in onr congregational history, which connects the 
past with the present. He is not only the man 
under whose pastorate our stately church edifice was 
erected a hundred years ago, but two of his great 
grand-children are yet living among us and members 
of the congregation, — Lewis J. Hanold and Mrs. 
Elizabeth W. Kendall. We are indebted chiefly to the 
late Rev. Dr. Mann for the following items of his 
early history. 

Charles Frederick AVildbahn was a native of 
Saxony, born December 2, 1733, and came to this 
country as a soldier in 1756, about the breaking out 
of the French and Indian war. He was a young 
man of good education, understood the Latin and 
Greek languages, was a fine singer, and was an ad- 
mirable pensman, as his entries in the church records 
testify. On account of some physical weakness, he 
soon relinquished military life, and took up his resi- 
dence in Philadelphia where he found employment 
for a time in a printing office. Here he became ac- 
quainted, in 1762, with the Lutheran pastors, 
Muhlenberg and Handschuh, both of whom took in- 
terest in him. Muhlenberg was impressed with bis 
talent for catechising and speaking to young people, 
while a marked affection grew between him and 
Pastor Handschuh. This was about the time the 


'^ Charity Schools" mentioned in the earlier pages of 
this book, were in operation, and as teachers were re- 
C[uired who understood both English and German, 
Mr. Wildbahn was soon employed as a teacher there- 
in, and sent to take charge of schools west of the Sus- 
quehanna river. Here he married Anna Maria 
Schaeffer, of Upper Bermudian, Adams county, on 
July 12, 1762. After these schools were discontinued, 
in 1763, Mr. Wildbahn removed further in the 
southwest, and was engaged as school teacher in sev- 
eral Lutheran congregations. In this way he was 
employed at Winchester, Va., and where he often of- 
ficiated at public services, in the absence of a regular 
pastor, and administered baptism in cases of ex- 
treme necessity. During this time he was pursuing, 
as best he could, his theological studies, as the people 
of Winchester desired him to become their pastor. 
In 1768, he determined to attend the meeting of the 
Ministerium, be examined, and apply for license as a 
candidate, according to the custom of those times. 
The journey on horseback from Winchester to Phila- 
delphia, by way of York and Lancaster, was a long 
and fatiguing ride, but he undertook it, accompanied 
by two delegates who bore the petition of the congre- 
gation that he receive license to preach and perform 
ministerial acts, and be returned to them as their pas- 
tor. He also had testimonials from officers of the 
English government, confirming those of the congre- 
gation, as to his teaching, life and conduct. But vex- 
atious delays of bad roads, swollen streams, etc., pre- 
vented his reaching his destination until the Minis- 
terium had adjourned. It was a sad disappointment, 
as the brethren had separated and could not be re- 


coiivoiu'd. MnliK'i)l)C'r«; soon realized tlic situation, 
and acted accord injj;ly. He says : " My brctlircn in 
tlic sacred office l)avin^ laid on me the dignity of 
Pra'se.'i, I liad to do my oilicial duty. 80 I appointed 
those brelhern whom I could take hold of, Rev. Dr. 
Wrangel, Rev. J. F. JIandschuh and Rev. J. C. 
Hartwig an examining committee, and requested their 
opinion in the case. These bretiiren gave the matter 
mature deliberation, examined the catechist, and in 
writing gave their resolution to the effect that inas- 
much as the catechist had creditably sustained himself 
in the examination, I, as Prcese.s, should authorize 
him, until further probation, to perf(jrm ministerial 
acts in those congregations. That authority I con- 
ferred u|)on him, in a certificate in English, and dis- 
missed him and the delegates, with earnest admoni- 
tions.'^ To this Muhlenberg significantly adds : 
** Since those congregations (located in Virginia) were 
admitted into our Union, ()ur own congregations, 
poor as they are, gained the occasion to help those 
distant ones, by their contributions to the erection of 
church buildings. 

Scarcely a year had passed after Mr. Wildbahn 
bad returned to Winchester, when an Indian outbreak 
burst upon that place and surrourjding country, ac- 
companied with the murdering of the settlers, and 
burning of homes. As he was married and had a 
young family, he determined to leave, and move 
within less exposed parts. Accordingly, he accepted 
a call to congregations in Adams and York counties, 
in Pennsylvania, and settled at Hanover. But as he 
had not presented himself at the subsequent meetings 
of the Ministerium, his license had expired, and was 


not renewed. So, at the Synodical meeting in Phila- 
delphia, in 1771, a delegate from these congregations 
appeared, requesting their minister be allowed to 
continue performing ministeiial acts. To this Synod 
consented, provided he would be under the supervision 
of the Lutheran pastor at York, and that the York 
pastor should administer the Lord's Supper for him. 
With this, he and his congregations were satisfied, but 
as the York pastorate soon became vacant, the arrang- 
ment could not be carried out. He, however, con- 
tinued to serve them, and other congregations along 
the border of Pennsylvania and Maryland, his license 
being renewed year after year, on petition of the 
churches he served. 

In 1772, an effort was made to have him remove to 
Nova Scotia, and take charge of our churches there. 
It seems that Muhlenberg had presented his name to 
them, and expected he would accept the call, but he 
declined to go. 

After ten years of service as a licensed candidate, 
Mr. Wildbahn appeared before the Ministerium in 
1778, for his final examination, and was then ordained 
as a miju'ster of the gospel. He enjoyed the 
esteem of his brethren, and was considered a man of 
solid attainments and worth. Rev. H. E. Muhlen- 
berg, ])ast()r of Trinity Church at Lancaster, and a 
competent judge, in a letter addressed to his father, 
the patriarch Muhlenberg, in 1782, took occasion to- 
speak of Mr. Wildbahn in high praise. 

In what way Mr. Wildbahn's name came before 
this congregation we cannot say, but he must have 
visited Reading and preached for the congregation in 
the spring of 1782. He was elected, and a carefully 


worded call was (rivt'ii him. Wc have a copy of that 
call U'i'ore us. It rcquiios of him to preach the word 
of God, instruct the young and administer the sacra- 
ments, '* in accordance with the doctrine of Jesus 
Christ, as contained in the Holy Sciiptnres of the 
j)rophets and apostles and set forth in the Augsburg 
Confession and Book of Concord." His annual 
salary was fixed at \\\() pounds, and he was to be fur- 
nished with a good house and stable, rent free, and 
ten cords of fire-wood. The call is dated March 30, 
1782, and signed by twenty -eight names. 

When 'the Ministerium met that year, on June 2, at 
Lancaster, delegates of the congregation appeared, 
bearing this call with them. Mr. Wildbahn was not 
present, but the petition of the congregation, that he 
be allowed to accept the call and remove to Reading, 
was granted. 

He moved here with his family during the next 
month, as we find the following entry in his own 
handwriting : 

'' In the year 1782, on the 28th of July, Charles 
Frederick Wildbahn, as the regularly called pastor, 
preached his introductory sermon on I Peter V: 1-4.'' 

Thus began a pastorate which was to continue over 
fourteen years. As we have seen, all the former pas- 
torates, excepting Mr. K rug's, which lasted seven years, 
were very brief. For some reason, either the minis- 
ters they called did not suit the congregation, or the 
congregation did not suit their ministers, and after a 
year or two the tie was broken. These frequent 
changes must have been very discouraging to the peo- 
pie, and detrimental to the stability and growth of the 
congregation. But now a new era of peace and pros- 


perity was at hand. The Revolutionary war was just 
closing at this time, and the independence of the 
country secured. In the affairs of both their consjre- 
gation and their country the tide had changed, bring- 
ing joy and hope to their hearts and homes. 

Although Mr. Wildbahn was competent to officiate 
in English as well as in German^ the public services 
continued in the latter language. A few of his min-. 
isterial acts are recorded in English, from which we 
infer he performed marriages, baptisms, &c., in Eng- 
lish whenever it was desired. 

Among his first weddings were some which remind 
us those were times of war. We copy several entries : 

"Joel Reed, a soldier from Congress Regiment, to 
Elizabeth Lewis ; married August 10, 1782, by order of 
P. Cadey, lieutenant." 

"Henry Hennicke, a soldier who came from Bruns- 
wick Corps and enlisted in Congress Regiment, to 
Susanna Gebfert, a widow, born Kissinger, from York ; 
married September 15, 1782, at my house, by order of 
Anthony Selin, Captain." 

" John Kretzer, born in Anspaeh ; was in the Ameri- 
can service as a Light Dragoon, but is now free ; to 
Anna Maria Bechtold ; married February 16, 1783." 

" William Welsch, formerly in the Continental ser- 
vice, to Eva Magdelena, eldest daughter of Andreas 
Shaaber ; married on Palm Sunday (1788) at my house." 

Mr. AVildbahn was very exact and careful in keep- 
ing the record of his ministerial acts, and being an 
excellent pensman, his entries are as distinct to-day 
as when they were written. If all his predecessors 
had been as careful, it would have saved much 
trouble in compiling this history. He states an in- 
teresting fact that at the first Communion he held 
here, September 15, 1782, among the communicants 
was " Henry Reichardt, a resident of Shamokin, who 


was taken ('a|)tivo hy (lie Indians last May, hut had 
snnglit and regained his liherty through flight.'^ 

li> recording the names of eoinninnieants he fre- 
fjuently states whether they were nianied or single, 
widow or widower, ttc. He was the first to record 
the nninber and names of those confirmed, and from 
these lists we can see how rapidly the membership 
grew under his ministry. Forty-four were con- 
firmed on Good Friday, 1783, and 184 others com- 
muned that Easter. P^ifty-two were confirmed in 
1784, forty-two in 1785, fifty-eight in 1786, sixty in 
1793, and forty-seven in 1794, the year the church 
was dedicated. 

We cannot find any description of his appearance 
or manner of preaching, ex('ej)t what JNIuhlenherg 
stated wdien he first knew him as a young man. He 
was now forty-nine years old, and his family consisted 
of hiniself, his wife and six children. Among his 
members and hearers were some of the leading citi- 
zens of the place. In his record of burials we find 
one of the congregation thus described : 

"John Dietrich Metzner, born November 30th, 1714, 
in the Electoral Palatinate. His father was Rev. Ben- 
jamin Metzner, and his mother Maria Soemering, daugh 
ter of an olTicer of tlie German army. The sponsors at 
his baptism were Baron Von Zylienhard and the wife of 
one of the High Consistory of Mosbach. He was edu- 
cated at Nuremburg, where he studied Latin and the 
history and doctrines of Christianity. In his loth year 
he became a pupil of his uncle, a druggist in Saxony. 
In this profession he spent some years in Germany ; 
three years in St. Petersburg, Russia ; and ten years in 
Surinam, in South America. In 1753 he came to Phila- 
delphia and established the first German Apothecary in 
that city. In May, 1767, he was married to Mrs. Cath- 
arine EHzabeth Reiter (born Leitheiser). He became 


a citizen of Reading in 1784, and died January 30th, 

He gives brief biographical sketches of nearly all 
the persons he buried, and we could readily fill 
several pages with extracts from them. 

As a })reacher, Mr. Wildbahn's style must have 
manifested considerable originality, if the instance 
mentioned bv Rev. Schierenbeck in his Notes concern- 
ing Lutheran Clergymen, be founded on fact. In 
his brief notice of Mr. Wildbahn, he states that at 
the funeral of a blacksmith, he drew a parallel be- 
tween that occupation and a Christian life, e.g., the 
bellows represents the work of the Holy Spirit; the 
anvil, the power of endurance ; the tongs, his chari- 
tableness, etc. 

During Mr. Wildbahn's pastorate in the church, it 
is stated that in the year 1784, on the holy festival of 
\A^hitsundav, thealtar was beautified with a handsome 
black cloth, presented by the aged Dr. Bodo Otto, 
and also the window over the pulpit, with a green 

Also, the widow Catharine Witman presented a pall 
with which to cover the coffins at funerals, and Peter 
Weimer, the deacon, fitted it up. 

In the year 1786, jNIr. Nicholas Brosius presented 
a black cloth for the pulpit ; the fringe for it was 
given by Mr. Martin Hausman, and the work upon 
it was done, without compensation by Peter Weimer, 
a deacon.'^ 

The financial condition of the congregation at the 
beginning of Mr. Wildbahn's pastorate, is brought 
out in the following statement of the settlement on 
March, 1783: : 



Anno 1783, March 15tli, the treasurer, John Kendal, 
in the j)resence of the old as well as new members of the 
Vestry and the Rev. Mr. Wildbahn, i)resented his report 
of receipts and expenditures from August, 1781, to date. 

Received in all contributions, _ _ - £G1, Is, Id 
Paid oT\. order of the elders and deacons 
and according to the receipts, '- - 42, 13, 1 

Showing a balance of 18, 8, 

Further, there follows here the receipts and expendi- 
tures of Deacon George Schumacker, from backstand- 
ing organ money, from tiles taken from the roof of the 
church, and from house rent; likewise allowance for 
the old schoolmaster, Fleischer, and burial of the poor 
schoolmaster Fuegner, as follows : 

Receipts were .---__ £23, Os, 4d 
Expenditures, ------ 24, 15, 2 

Leaving the" congregation indebted to 
Schumacker, 2, 14, 10 

Of the above mentioned balance of contributions, 
viz.: £18, 8s, Od, there has been paid to Balthaser Mey- 
erle for the parsonage, £10, 0, 0, and the remainder paid 
into the hands of the new treasurer, Henry Hahn, jr. 

Signed by 
C. F. Wildbahn, Pastor. Samuel Homan, 
Peter Filbert, George Pflieger, 

Henry Hahn, Adam Ege, 

John Reifschneider, Peter Rapp, &c. 

This statement has a special interest in showing 
that the roof of the first church was originally 
covered with tiles, as were some of the old log houses 
which remained on our streets until within a few 
years. As these tiles were sold, it would seem that 
the roof was deemed too heavy, and they were taken 
off and shingles probably substituted. 

The statement about the schoolmasters, receives ad- 
ditional light from the following extract from the 
church record : 


"Anno 1782, April 29th, George Schum acker, at that 
time deacon, borrowed from Henry Hahn the sum of 
£5, 5s, Od, in specie, and satisfied therewith the old 
schoolmaster, John Fleischer, for a claim against the 
congregation, as he was not willing to vacate the school 
house to the new schoolmaster, Paul Fuegner, This 
money was repaid at the first settlement." 

The reason why a change was made in schoolmas- 
terSj appears from the following extract from the 

diary of H. M. Muhlenberg: 

" Wednesday, August 31, 1783. In the afternoon had a 
call from Mr. John Fleischer with his young son. 
Twenty-one years ago he was schoolmaster here in 
Providence (Trappe), and subsequently for twenty-one 
years schoolmaster and organist in Reading. He has 
lost his hearing altogether and has no means of sup- 
port, because no longer able to serve. He has a letter 
of recommendation, and wishes to secure contributions 
for himself from benevolent people." 

The following item also appears in the church 
record : 

" Anno 1784, on the sixth Sunday after Trinity, a vol- 
untary public collection was made in the church, 
amounting to four pounds and sixteen shillings, for the 
benefit of the old schoolmaster, John Fleischer." 

Mr. Fleischer died March 16, 1787, after long 
continued illness, and was buried on the 18th "at- 
tended by a large funeral procession. ^^ His age is 
recorded as " 67 annos, 3 menses, et 3 hebdom.'^ 

His successor, Paul Fuegner, died after one year's 
service, as we learn from the following entry of 
burials by Mr. Wildbahn : 

" February 7, 1783. John Paul Fuegner, schoolmaster 
of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation ; born August 
35, 1750, in Hesse Cassel ; came to America whilst a 
little child ; attended school in Philadelphia, where he 
was instructed and confirmed by H. M. Muhlenberg ; 
came to Reading April, 1783, as schoolmaster and 


orf^aiiist, and died the following year, February 0, from 
a cold contracted at (yliristiiias." 

The next school master was Daniel Staiult, who 
served in that capacity until his deatli, in 1820. 

Thus far the groiuuls of the church yard had been 
used for buiial purposes, according to custom. But 
after thirty years use, it was found necessary to secure 
additional ground, and an unoccupied plot lying one 
square north (northwest corner of Sixth and Walnut 
streets), was selected and purchased on September 12, 
1785. The deed, given by the agent of the Penns, 
recites that it is " conveyed to Heniy Christ, Fred- 
erick Gensel, Godfrey Baker and Henry Hahn, ves- 
trymen of the Evangelical Lutheran congregation, 
who adhere to the inviolable Augsburg Confession, at 
the town of Eeading, for the sum of five shillings, on 
payment of a certain annual ground rent, etc.'' This 
ground, after the dead were removed, was conveyed, 
in 1860, to the German portion of the congregation, 
and on })art of which St. John's German Lutheran 
Church is built. 

We do not know that the patriarch Muhlenbei'g 
visited Reading during Mr. Wildbahu's ministry, 
but it must have cheered his heart to learn of the 
peace and prosperity now enjoyed by the congregation 
which had given him so much anxiety and trouble, 
and in which he felt so strong an interest. Muhlen- 
berg died at his home at the Trappe on October 10, 
1787, and Mr. Wildbahn journeyed thither to take 
part in the funeral services. It is probable other 
friends and relatives accompanied him from Reading, 
but we have no record of it. 


-While Muhlenberg never resided in Reading, he 
had been the constant adviser, counsellor and friend 
of the congregation from the beginning. H. M. Muh- 
lenberg, and his name and work should be held in 
grateful remembrance. 

Henry Melchior Muhlenberg was born in Eim- 
beck, Germany, on September 6, 1711. He was ed- 
ucated at the University at Goettingen, and for a time 
was a teacher at Halle, and became associated with 
Francke, professor of theology in that university, and 
head of tlie Orphan House located there. In 1742 
he accepted an appointment to go to America and 
take charge of the Lutheran congregations at Phila- 
delphia, the Trappe and New Hanover, and have a 
general supervision of oiir scattered congregations in 
this country. He proved to be a veritable bishop and 
apostle. Like St. Paul, the care of all the churches 
fell on him, and he was oft in journeys, labors, watch- 
ings and weariness. He was a man of great wisdom, 
earnest piety and practical common sense. Under 
his administration, many churches were established, 
and others set in order, and built up in the faith. 
The Lutheran Church owes more to him than to any 
man who has ever lived in this country. His work 
was well done, and his death a great loss. 

It was during this year, 1787, the congregation 
decided to become incorporated so as to secure title to 
the several properties belonging to them. Whether 
by an oversight or purposely, the original name, 
'' Holy Trinity Church,'' was dropped, and the title 
" German Lutheran Congregation of Reading,'' sub- 
stituted for it. This act of incorporation or charter 
will be found in Appendix B. 



Zbc ^Erection ot the present Cburch JEMfice 

The growth of the congregation under Mr. Wild- 
bahn's ministry was so great, that the church became 
too small for the public services. From the statement 
we give below, it seems the building was also showing 
signs of decay, and both facts suggested the necessity 
of erecting a larger and stronger building. 

By the close of the year 1790, the matter had 
reached a definite decision, and subscriptions to the 
erection of a new church were drawn up, with the 
following statement : 

*' Whereas the Present Church of the Lutheran Con- 
gregation in the Borough of Reading, and County of 
Berks is much Decayed ; which makes it Necessary that 
a New Church or House of Worship Should be built in 
said Borough. And as all those belonging to the said 
Congregation, as others, Avho have found the Necessity 
of Supj)orting Religious Societies and Houses of Wor- 
ship, for Promoting Christianity in this World, but 
much more for our Happiness in the next, would not 
only commend such a Laudable undertaking, but will 
willingly contribute thereto agreeable to their Circum- 
stances and Abilities. We, the Sul:>scribers, Members 
of the Congregation, as others, being willing, not only 
to Encourage the Building of the Church or House of 
Worshii^ in the Borough of Reading aforesaid, but to 
contribute thereto agreeable to our Circumstances and 
Abilities, do hereby promise and engage to pay, or 
cause to be paid, unto the Trustees, Elders and Dea- 
cons of the aforesaid Congregation, or to such Person 
as shall or may be hereafter appointed by the said Con- 
gregation to Receive the same. Such Sums of Money as 
we shall annex to our Respective Names, as follows : 



one-fourth part thereof on the first day of August, Next 
ensuing, and one-fourth part thereof on the first day 
of August in eacli and Every of the tliree then next 
Successive Years. And in order that the design of the 
Said Congregation may not be frustrated, and they 
may be enabled to carry on their undertaking, We, aud 
each and Every one of us, the Subscribers,dotli bind him- 
self, His Heirs, Executors and Administrators, unto the 
said Trustees, Elders and Deacons of the Said Congre- 
gation and their Successors, for the true payment of 
the Sum of Money to his Name annexed, in payments 
as above Mentioned. 

Reading, December 28th, 1790. 

This subscriDtion is sij>ned by over 400 names. 
Among them are the following: 

Peter Filbert, £100. 
Mrs. Cath. Witman, £100. 
John AVitman, £87i. 
Jacob Weineg, £35. 
John Strohecker, £30. 
Michael Rapp, £37. 
John Otto, £30. 
George Ege, £30. 
Daniel Clymer, £30. 
Joseph Hiester, £37^. 
Daniel Hiester, jr., £22i. 
John Schonfelder, £20. 
John Christ, £20. 
Matthew Babb, £15. 
Henry Hahn, £16. 
Henry Hahn, jr., £10. 
Philip Kremer, £12. 
George Merkel, £10. 
Rev. C. F. Wildbahn, £10. 
Thomas Wildbahn, £15. 
Thomas Dundas, £12. 
Alex. Murray, D. D., £6. 
Jacob Graul, £14. 
Fred. Heller, £15, 
Philip Zieber, £5. 
Daniel Stout, £7^. 

James Diemer, £10. 
Peter Weimer, £12. 
Michael Madery, £6. 
George Wunder, jr., £6. 
John Ludwig, £7?. 
James May, £6. 
John Adam, £10. 
Fred. Gentzel, £12. 
John Cunius, £15. 
John Reitmeier, £37. 
James Collins, £30. 
Peter Stichter, £9. 
Peter Nagle, £4. 
Marks Biddle, £15. 
• Franciska Brosius, £16. 
John Reifsneider, £10. 
Jacob Geist, £15. 
Philip Fuchs, £7^. 
Callison Kind, £15. 
Dr. Metzner, £10. 
John Baum, £10. 
Jacob Leitheiser, £12. 
Michael Fichthorn, £12|. 
Michael Krause, £20. 
Daniel Levan, £10. 
Conrad Brown, £7^. 


William I^I(.ljr, tG. 
William li»'ll, CD. 
Abm. ]»liillii)pi, tlO. 

SamiK'l Homan, £6. 
John Kaiitner, £15. 
Henry Maternis, £9. 

It would occupy too much .space to insert tlic entire here. The others will be found in the Aj)pendix 
C. Efforts were made outside of Reading also to 
obtain contributions. A committee was ap[)ointed of 
citizens of Philadelphia to .secure funds there, as we 
learn from the following iicading of the subscription 
book whi(;h was sent to that city : 

We, who have subscribed our names, have taketi into 
consideration the circumstances of the EvangelicalGer- 
nian Lutheran Congregation, of the Borough of Read- 
ing, in the county of Berks and the State of Pennsyl- 
vania, and their laudable intention to build a church 
for the honor of Almighty God, and to perform divine 
service therein for the comfort of their immortal souls, 
and edification of their youth, do hereby promise to 
pay, or cause to be paid, unto thehonoral^le Frederick 
A. Muhlenberg, Esquire, Charles Biddle, Esquire, and 
Col. Jacob Morgan, or either of them, the several 
sums of money to each of our names respectively sub- 
scribed, in order to assist said congregation towards 
finishing said house of God. 

December 14th, 1791. 

This is written in the familiar handwriting of Pas- 
tor Wildbahn, and in the same distinct and careful 
manner as when he wrote in German. This sub- 
scription is preceded by a statement and })etition for 
help, and is signed by Mr. Wildbahn and the Vestry, 
and attested by " Benjamin Spyker, jr., clerk of the 

The committee was not very prompt in attending 
to this duty, and the following summer must have re- 
ceived a reminder, as we infer from the following 
letter : 


Philadelphia, August 14, 1792. 

Dear *S^/r.'— Messrs. Morgan and Muhlenberg have 
never called on me to go with them, and now it must be 
deferred until October, as most of the people we may- 
expect anything from, are in the country. 

I have paid Britton & Massey seventy-four pounds 

for the shingles, which, when it is convenient, you will 

please send to me. I am your friend, &c., 

Charles Biddle. 
To P. Philbert, Esq. 

A later letter ^ives the result of their effort : 

Philadelphia, December 5, 1792. 
Dear <S'ir.-— Colonel Morgan, Mr. Muhlenberg and my- 
self have been, with Mr. Krown to several gentlemen to 
collect for your church. Mr. Muhlenberg not being 
able at present to attend, and Colonel Morgan out of 
town, has prevented anything from being done at this 
time. I have no doubt but we shall be able to collect a 
good deal for you in a short time. You should w^riteto 
the Berks members, to collect what they can from the 
members of the Legislature. I send you at the foot of 
this what has been subscribed and paid, — for what is 
13aid you may draw an order on me, which will be paid 
at sight. You may assure the gentlemen who wrote to 
us, that it will always give me pleasure to serve them 
on this or any other occasion. I am your friend, &c., 

Charles Biddle. 

F. A. Muhlenberg, £%. 
Charles Biddle, £3. 
Samuel Powell, £3^. 
Robert Morris, £3j. 
Edward Burd, £3. 
William Bradford, £3. 
Francis Johnston, £li. 
Henry Sheaff, £1. 
Tench Coxe, £2. 
Wheler & Miller, £1^. 

Several signers of the Declaration of Independence, 
and other eminent persons, will be noticed in this list. 

At the meeting held December 28th, 1790, when 
the new church project was adopted, a building corn- 

Thomas McKean, £3^. 
C. Febiger, £3. 
Thomas Mifflin, £3^. 
Edward Shippen, £3. 
John Nicholson, £^h. 
Daniel Broadhead, £1. 
Henry Seckel, £1. 
Lewis Farmer, £U. 
Lawrence Seckel, £1|. 

1 1 4 THE EDI FIVE. 

mittcc was ai)p()int('(l, consisting of Peter Filbert, 
John Witninn, John Reitmeycr, Michael Krause, 
Michael Kapp and AFatthias Babb ; and Henry 
Ilahn, jr., was appointed treasurer and accountant. 
We also learn froni Dr. H. H. IMuhlcid^erg's letters in 
The 3Iissiona)'^, ih'di John Cunnius was the carpenter 
and John Strohecker the mason, in the erection of the 
building. Who was the-architect or designer of the 
building is unknown, which is to be regretted, as he 
deserves to have his name perpetuated. In its stately 
proportions, corresponding dimensions, massive 
strength, and elegant simplicity of its colonial style, 
it is not exceeded by any public building of that day. 
And it reflects great credit on the pastor, vestry and 
congregation that they were disposed to erect such a 
large, stately and expensive building, at a time when 
Reading was but an insignificant town, the country 
just recovering from the distresses and devastations 
of the Revolutionary war, and the congregation com- 
posed principally of laboring people, possessed of but 
little wealth. 

The church was not only the most stately building 
in the town, but became its chief feature. In 
Guthrie's geograph}', published in Philadelphia in 
1795, we find in vol. ii, p. 450, the following descrip- 
tion of the town of Reading : 

"Reading, the capital of Berks county, is situated 
about sixty miles northwest from Philadelphia. It is a 
flourishing town, chiefly inhabited V)y Grermans. An 
elegant Lutheran church was erected in 1793." 

The cost of the building (not including the steeple 
above the brick work, which was not erected until 
1833), is given in the settlement of accounts, held in 
the school house on December 26, 1795. when the 


total amount paid was stated to have been 2,810 
pounds, IGs, lOJd (about $7,028) and tlie contribu- 
tions received were 2,696 pounds, 12s, 3Jd (about 
16,741), leaving a debt of 114 pounds, 4s, 7id (about 
$287). This does not incktde contributions of ma- 
terial or free labor, but only contributions in money. 
The church was located not on the site of the first 
building, but on the corner of Sixth and Washington 
streets, its dimensions being 60 feet on Sixth street 
and 100 (including the towei) on AVashington street. 
The building covered some graves of persons who 
had been buried there, which were not disturbed as 
no cellar was })nt under the church. There was no 
basement, but the entire building was in one room, 
with the ceiliiiii' forty feet above the floor. Tliere 
was one door of entrance on Sixth street, and two on 
Washington street. The pulpit was on the north 
side, with a sounding board suspended over it. A 
shelf projected beyond the front of the pulpit, on 
which the Bible rested, and on its under side a large 
eye was painted. This old pulpit was used in the 
lecture-room until twenty years ago, and is now stored 
away in the belfry of the church. Very large gal- 
leries were on the east, south and west walls of the 
church, which, with the seats on the main floor, ac- 
commodated great congregations. The organ and 
choir were on the west gallery. Two rows of win- 
dows were placed in the building, those above the 
gallery being somewhat smaller than those below. 
The walls were of brick, and how solidly and well 
they were constructed these hundred years bear tes- 
timony, with the assurance that they will stand for 
many years to come. 


W'oik was hogiin in llie erection of the hnildini^ in 
\~\)\\ Iml the ceremonies connected witli tlie laying 
ol' the corner-.stone, did not take place until the 
Nveatlier had settled suflieiently for (»nt-door services, 
and were held on ThMisd;iy, May 10, 1792. We 
cannot ascertain who odlciated or assisted Pastor 
\\'ildl)ahn on that occasion, as the only notice of it 
left on record, is that the collection amounted to £37, 
7 s, 5d. 

It is very likely the building was substantially 
completed that year, at least it was under roof before 
winter. The old church was still standing and used, 
and work was not pushed faster than the funds 
would allow, and as these came in slowly, the church 
was not ready for dedication until Trinity Sunday, 
1794. In anticipation of this great event, the Synod 
or Ministerium had been invited to be present and 
hold its annual convention that year in the new 
church. These two events made the occasion one of 
the most marked that had occurred since Reading ex- 
isted. Rev. Justus H. C. Helmuth, D. D., the suc- 
cessor of Muhlenberg as pastor of St. Michael's and 
Zion's churches at Philadelphia, preached the dedica- 
tion sermon on Trinity Sunday, June 15, 1794, before 
the Synod, congregation and a great throng of citi- 
zens, on 2 Cor. VI : 16, and Rev. P^manuel Shultze, 
president of the Synod, performed the act of dedica- 
tion, giving the new church the same name as the 
old, '' Holy Trinity Lutheran Church." The col- 
lections at the dedication amounted to £260, 9s, 8d. 
When it is remembered that none of the modern arts 
of raising money at dedications were then used or 


known, it will be seen that this was a remarkably 
liberal collection. 

Dr. Heimuth not only preached the sermon, but 
had composed an anthem specially for this occasion. 
The late Jonathan F. W. Deininger found several 
copies among the papers of his uncle, E. Jonathan 
Deininger. One copy was sent to X^wq Archives of 
Synod, and another is before us. 

The title page has a picture of a one-story church 
with a steeple upon it, and some have thought it was 
a picture of the old church. The title reads: 

Praise A^D Prayer 


The Day of Dedication 


The Germax Evaxgelical Lutheran Church 



June 15, 1794, by 

J. H. Ch. Helmuth, 


Printed and to be had at No. 163 N. 3d St., Pliilada. 

The anthem consisted of a solo, duet and chorus. 

The latter was as follows : 

" IIAuf, ruehmet den Heyland und preist seine Liebe, 
Empfindet der Dankbarkeit feurigste Triebe, 

Vergisz niclit, O Reading, was Gott an dir tliat.H 
Singt heute vornehnilich, verbundene Brueder, 
Dem treuen Erbarmer erhabene Lieder, 

Der gnadenvoll heute sich zu euch genaht. 

Er hat euch gesammlet ; Er hat euch gebauet ; 
Seht, wie euch der Segen des Hoechsten bethauet : 

O, seht Ihn, Er wahrhch ist heute selbst da, 
Bewillkomtut den Braeut'gam mit Thraenen der Busze, 
Fallt alle voll Liebe Ihra glaubig zu Fusze, 

Und singet empfindungsvoll Halleluia." 


The first tlirec linos of tho first verse were ropoatcd 
nt the end of hoth verses. 

It will he iiitcrcstinfT here to insert some extracts 
and information, taken from the minntes of that con- 
vention of the Ministeiinm, or Synod. 


"Sunday, June ir>tli, 1794. At 9 o'elock a. m, the 
ministers, together with the lay delegates of the differ- 
ent congregations, met at the old ciiurch, and moved 
thence in procession to the new church, to take part in 
the dedication of the same. Rev. E. Schultze, the 
president, standing before the altar, stated the new 
church is to be called ^'Trinity," and performed the act 
of dedication, and offered the prayer. Dr, Helmuth 
preached the dedication sermon on 2 Cor. VI : 16. Dr. 
H. E. Muhlenberg (of Lancaster) preached in the after- 
noon on 2 Tim, I : 15. In the evening there was English 

Services wese again held on Monday at 9 a. m., when 
the president, Rev. E. Schultze preached, (this was the 
Synodical sermon,) after which the Synodical conven- 
tion was opened with prayer. 

The following ministers were present : 

Rev. William Kurtz, of Jonestown ; Rev. E. Schultze, 
Tulpehocken ; Rev. J. H. C. Helmuth, Philadelphia; 
Rev. J. Fred Schmidt, Philadelphia ; Rev. H. E. Muhl- 
enberg, Lancaster ; Rev. J. Van Buskirk, Grwynedd ; 
Rev. C. Roeller, Old Goshenhoppen ; Rev. C. F. Wild- 
bahn, Reading; Rev. William Carpenter, Culpepper, 
Va ; Rev. George Ellison, Upper Milford ; Rev. J. George 
Schmucker, Quickels ; Rev. A. Luetge, Chambersburg ; 
Rev. V. Melsheimer, Hanover ; Rev. J. F. Weinland, 
New Hanover ; Rev. Fred D. Schaeffer, Germantown ; 
Rev. H. Moller, New Holland ; Rev. J. Goering, York ; 
Rev. D. Lehman, Mosillim; Rev. Fred Ernst, Hudson, 
N. Y ; Rev. Daniel Schraeter, Hanover ; Rev. G. Weig- 
and, Taneytown ; Rev. Conrad laeger, Williamstown ; 
Rev. Peter Bentz, Mt. Joy ; Rev. Casper Dill, Jordan ; 
Rev. Charles Espig, Sunbury ; (Catechist) J. Stauch, 


The following lay-delegates were present : 

From Philadelphia, Fred. A. Muhlenberg and Henry 
Kae merer. 

From Lancaster, B. Hubley, George Hoff, Philip 
Klein and Henry Gross. 

From Reading, Peter Filbert and Michael Krause. 

From New Hanover, S. Reifschneider and M. Wartman. 

From Chambersburg, Michael Eberle. 

From Sunbury, Paul Baldy. 

Rev. Dill preached on Monday evening and Rev. Elli- 
son on Tuesday evening, both as licensed candidates for 
ordination. Rev. D. Lehman (former pastor) preached 
on Wednesday evening." 

At the election of officers, Rev. E. Schultze was 
chosen president, and Rev. J. Fred. Schmidt, secre- 
tary. Mr. Schmidt was associate pastor with Dr. 
Helmutli, in Philadelphia, and was the great-grand- 
father of Fred. Leaf Smith, Esq., of this city, wdio 
placed a window in our Memorial Chapel to his 

At this convention Rev. Fred. Wm. Geissenhainer, 
father of the late Mrs. Rev. Jacob Miller, and great- 
grandfather of Hon. G. A. Endlich, was examined 
and licensed to preach, together with Rev. George 
Loch man. 

Among the ministers present, Rev. F. D. Schaeffer 
was the grandfather of Charles H. Schaeffer, Esq., 
and Rev. H. E. Muhlenberg was the grandfather of 
Rev. Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, both of our congre- 
gation ; Rev. J, G. Sell mucker was the grandfather of 
the late Rev. Dr. B. M. Schmucker; and the presi- 
dent. Rev. E. Schultze, was the son-in-law of Rev. 
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, and the father of John 
Andrew^ Schultze, who became governor of Pennsyl- 


It must liavc hoen [rrntifyiiig to the congregation 
to see, among the iniiiislcrs present two of tlieir former 
pastors, Rev. IF. Moller and Rev. ]). Lehman ; but 
also a matter of regret, that amotjg the al)sentees was 
Rev, John Andrew Krng. He was still residing at 
Frederick, Md., whither he had removed from Read- 
ing in 1771. As his ministry here had been in those 
tuibnlent times, it would have cheered his heart to 
see the great change in the congregation, and to take 
part in these interesting services ; and many who had 
enjoyed his faithful n)inistry, would liave been de- 
lighted again to see his face and hear his voice. 

Among the parochial reports made at that conven- 
tion, Rev. C. F. Wildbahn gave the following sta- 
tistics of the past year of Trinity congregation : " ^Q 
baptisms, 42 confirmations, 413 communicants and 
21 deaths." 

As Rev. Dr. Helmuth took so prominent a part in 
the dedication of the church and in the proceedings 
of the Synod, it will be interesting also to give some 
extracts from his diary of this date : 


" Saturday, June 14, 1794. Arrived in Reading a little 
after three. Ate dinner at AVitman's tavern. The 
X)reachers have nearly all arrived. I was asked to 
preach the morning sermon. Pastor Muhlenberg gave 
me a text. Pastor Goering advised me not to take it, 
but to preach on 2 Cor. VI : 16. Meditated over it in ray 
lodgings at Dr. Otto's. Pastor SchmkH was with me. 
My heart was very poor and miserable. 

Sunday, June 15. A quiet night. Walked for a time 
in the garden in the rear of my lodging and meditated. 
The Messrs. Moller and Ott here for a few minutes ; also 
Goering and Schmucker, with whom we went to the 
church. A' very large assembly of people. First was 


sung, ' Komm Heiliger Geist, Herr Gott.'' Then Pastor 
Schultze performed the service and read a prayer out 
of Seller. After this the singing school sang. (This 
must have been the anthem composed by him for the 
occasion). Then followed the hymn, ' O, Jesu Christe, 
Wahres Lichf.'' I ascended the pulpit and offered a 
diffuse, dry prayer, though it afforded here and there 
a few glimpses of grace. Preached on 2 Cor. VI : 16, ' Ye 
are the temple of the living God. ' Serious and declama- 
tory, as I had got into the habit of preaching for some 
time. Hymn, ' Lobet den Herrn.'' 

Ate dinner. Took a walk with Pastors Schmidt and 
Pauli (Reformed pastor in Reading) to the Schuylkill. 

Went to church and heard Pastor Muhlenberg preach 
on I Tim. I : 15. Edifying and thorough. 

Drank tea. Bernhard Hubly there. Bentz and Goer- 
ing with me a long time ; afterwards Schmucker. 

Then went to church, where an English preacher 
preached on Godliness. Did not come out of church 
until after ten. Had a cordial talk with Pastor Schmidt. 

Monday, June 16. Rose at five. Ate breakfast at Mr. 
Jacob Hubley's. From here to Mr. Wildbahn's ; then 
to church. 

President Schultze preached on thestory of Zaccheus, 
in Luke. Then followed the election of president and 
secretary, Schultze and Schmidt. The papers were 
handed in. 

Went with Pastor Goering up the mountain near 

Pastors Wildbahn and Pauli dined with us at our 
lodging. In the afternoon Mr. (Frederick) Muhlenberg 
made a long speech against persons brought into the 
ministry without sufficient education ; appealed to the 
corporation in Philadelphia, which is entirely against it. 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ V* 

Had a serious talk with Gilbert, the opponent of Pas- 
tor Weinland, at Pastor Wildbahn's. Drank coffee 
there, and heard Candidate Dillon, Ps. 50 : 15. Con- 
nected and serious. 

Mr. Ernst accused me of having driven him out of 
Pennsylvania, and of having murdered Dr. Kunze's 

1 2 2 II i:l m I ' Til ' .s' I) I. \i:y contin ued. 

liymiis in tho now Hymn IJook. Told ni«* of tho tr<)uble 
in wliich he is also in liis present congregation. 

A resolution concerninj^ the jjuhlieation of a ])ook 
with notes was passed. Muhlenljer^, Moller and my- 
self are to make the necessary annonnfementsconeern- 
in}^ this in the papers. Singing school in my lodgings 
till eleven o'clock. 

Tuesdatj, June 17. Up early. Messrs. Kaem merer, 
Sell mucker and Herre ; then Frank, a lawyer, with a 
petition. Dined with Mr. Clynier, but left as soon as I 
had eaten ; the other gentlemen soon followed and then 
we resumed business. Mr. Weinland's case came \x\} 
again. I took him aside and spoke seriously with him, 
and he yielded. An outward reconciliation between 
him and Gilbert was effected. Mr. F. Muhlenberg had 
a great deal to say again on the admission of unedu- 
cated candidates. I answered him to-day, but not as 
vigorously as necessary ; no one helps and that tends 
to make one weary. Was very nervous and embarrassed. 

Had tea with Pastors Schmidt, Goering, Schaeffer, 
Lochman and Schmucker at the house of General Hies- 
ter. From there went to church. A half-intoxicated 
doctor wanted to engage me in a dispute at Wildbahn's 
concerning reason and Christ, but I did not answer 
much. Took, with the above-named ministers and 
General Hiester, a pleasant walk through the lovely 
valley, and then went to church. Candidate Ellison 
preached on John 17 : 3. 

Wednesday, June 18. Rose after five. The children, 
together with Messrs. Moller, Ott and Dickhaut, left 
this morning for Philadelphia. I gave them a letter 

Candidates Geissenhainer, Lochman, Obenhausen 
and Stauch were recommended for ordination. Cate- 
chetes Ruthrafif, Graeber and Grob were advised to study 
diligently. The examination was in the afternoon. 
Geissenhainer and the rest passed creditably, the Cate- 
chetes middling. President Schultze closed the meet- 
ing with an excellent prayer, wliich moved me greatly. 
In the evening Pastor Lehman preached on ITim. 4 : 7. 
I was obliged to give thanks in pastor Wildbahn's 


place, who led the singing of the children. Left church 
at 10.30. Took leave, because I go in the morning to 
Lancaster. Wrote the above after twelve." 

It will be noticed that in Dr. Helmuth's account 
of the services on Sunday evening, he simply states, 
like the secretary in theSynodical miuutes/'there was 
English preaching," but does not state who it was 
that preached the English sermon. We would like 
very much to know who it was, and why neither of 
these writers gives his name. Could it have been 
some one not connected with the Ministerium, whose 
name was unknown to them? This is improbable. 
It looks rather like a mark of disapproval that the 
congregation wanted and had a service in English on 
that occasion. 



Darious Cbanocs. 


Tlie old cluircli was left .staiuliiijT nearly a year 
after the new building was completed and was not 
torn down until the following s[)ring. It was put up 
in sections and sold at public sale, as we learn from 
the following paper : 

"The condition for the sale of the old Lotheran 
Church, in borough of Reading, is such that the highest 
bidder for each lot tliat shall be put up shall be the 
buyer. All stones, bricks and sand is to be left on the 
premises ; the purchasers are to clear their respective 
shares from the ground in one fortnight from this date; 
the purchasers are to have three months' credit by giv- 
ing security when required. 

April 18, 1795. Ben.jamix Spykhr, Jr., 

Clerk for the Incorporated Lutheran 
Congregation of Reading. 

£. s. d. 
All pews on the ground floor, Frederick 

Rapp, paid, - ----- 2, 1, 

Gallery floor and front at the north end, the 

organ bellows stool is excepted, George 

House, paid, - - - - - -1, 8, 

Gallery floor, pews, and breast on the west 

till to the southernmost pews, Frederick 

Rapp, paid, ----..-_ 
Gallery ditto southernmost, George House, 

paid, -.-.__-_ 
Northernmost half of the church timber and 

frame, John Hartman, paid. 
Southernmost frame, Nicholas Dick, - 

40, 0, 6 











Some things belonging to the old church \vere also 
sold privately, the treasurer's books showing the fol- 
lowing : 

1795, April 24, from Adam Hahn 12 panes 

glass, ----___ 
May 2, from Peter Filbert for an old 

window, - - - - - - 

May 2, from Peter Ermold for one 

plank, -----_. 
May 12, from John Witman, 3 small 

sandstones, . - _ _ _ 

August 20, from Greorge Haas for 

boards from the old church, 
August 22, from John Wildbahn for 

boards from the old church, - 
August 22, from Adam Hahn for a rope, 
"93, April 15, from John'Strohecker for an 

old stove, --___. 

December 23, from Peter Filbert for 

scaffold poles at the church, - 

The organ, which had been extensively repaired in 
1789 by Mr. Tanneberger, its builder, was doubtless 
transferred to the new church and placed on the west 
gallery. A subscription also was started in 1794 for 
a new bell, which, with the two bells which had 
been on the old church, made a set of three bells with 
which the larger churches were usually sujiplied. 

After the new church was successfully completed 
and occupied, we might suppose Mr. Wildbahn would 
have coiitinued pastor of the congregation until the 
close of his life. He was now sixty-one years of age, 
when men are indisposed to make changes. But we 
find he continued to preach in the new church but a 
year and a half, when he accepted a call to Frederick, 
Md., and removed there on November 23d, 1796. 
His wife died the year previous, and was buried in 



















12G liEV. Wn.D]]M[X Jn'STGNS. 

the Uefoniicd cliiircli yaid. We have not been able 
to ascertain the cause of his resiirimtion. There i« a 
tradition anion*; his descendants, that he served several 
years \vitht)nt receiving any salary. W'iiether this 
was a vobmtary gift on his part towards meeting the 
heavy expense in building the church, or whether 
this was the cause of his resignation, can only be sur- 
mised. It seems certain he had not been paid what 
was due him at the time of his removal, in November, 
1796, as the following later receipt shows: 

" This (lay, the 11th of July, 1797, received of Andreas 
Fich thorn, deacon, on this account, the sum of fifteen 
pounds, fifteen shilhngs, specie, which I hereby acknowl- 
edge in the i:)resence of Messrs. Peter Fiil)ert, John 
Otto, John Strohecker and John Schoenfelder. 

42 dollars. C. F. WILDBAH^^ Minister. 

He did not remain long at Frederick. Dr. Mann 
states he also went for a short while again to Virginia, 
'then returned to Reading and served country congre- 
gations, and finally accepted a call to Centre Square, 
in Montgomery county, where he died on January 31st, 
1804, and was buried there. The tombstone may 
mark the place of his sepulchre, but the best monu- 
ment of his life is Trinity Lutheran Church at Read- 

Rev. Sehierenbeck, in \\\^ Notes, already referred to, 
states that Mr. \Vildl)ahn's long residence in America 
gave him much information concerning the various re- 
ligious opinions and sects found here, and that he was 
engaged in preparing an American church history, but 
his laudable undertaking was interrupted and pre- 
vented by his death. 

After Mr. Wildbahn's removal, the congregation 
was served for a time by Rev. Adam Nicholas Mar- 

REV. A. N. MARCARD. 127 

Card. Who lie was, or whence he came we cannot tell, 
as we have searched in vain for information concern- 
ing him. In the church records he styles himself 
the ^'regularly called minister of the Evangelical Lu- 
theran Church at Reading," and we infer he was duly 
elected, from the wording of the following subscrip- 
tion fjr his support : 

"We, the undersigned, members of the EvangeHcal 
Lutheran congregation in and around Reading, promise 
to contribute and pay to the salary of the Rev. Preacher 
Nicholas Marchard, the called teacher and pastor, for 
one year, to Avit, from November 14, 1796, to November 
14, 1797, according to the ability and circumstances of 
each one. AVe obligate ourselves also hereby that we 
will pay the money hereunto subscribed to the properly 
appointed deacons of the congregation — the one-half 
when half the year has expired, the other half, however, 
when the w^hole or full year is closed. 

Readixg, November 14, 179G." 

This was signed by about one hundred names,— » 
several of wliich aj)pear fur the first time, but subse- 
quently became prominent in the congregation, — e. g.^ 
John Sj)ayd, Frederick Smitii, jr., Conrad Henry, Sic. 

Mr. ]\Larcard's (or Marchard) ministry lasted but 

seven months, from November, 1796, to June, 1797. 

Why he left, or whither he went we do not know. A 

single circumstance may give a hint, in the action of 

Synod. When that body met on June 11, 1797, in 

Baltimore, Mr. Marcard applied for admission — but 

the following action was taken, which we translate 

from the minutes : 

"A certain Mr. Markard applies to be received into 
the Ministerium. Resolved, That Mr. Markard be not 
admitted, but the advice be given him to return to Ger- 


Wlicthcr lie took this advice we cannot say, but 
fVoin this time his name disappears. It seems piol)- 
al)Ie his connection wltli the conj^regation liad already 
terminated, as at this meeting of the Ministeiinm the 
congregation petitioned that a minister be sent them, 
and tiie Rev. Mr. Jung (Young) was recommended. 
He was at that time located at Martinsburg, Virginia, 
but whether he declined to come, or did not suit tlie 
congregation, the advice came to naught. 

The attention of the contjregation was then directed 
to Rev. Daniel Lehman, a former pastor who had so 
suddeidy departed from Reading and taken up his 
abode at Moselem in 1780, and an effort was made to 
secure his return to Reading. A regular call was 
drawn up and given him, which stated that the offi- 
cers of the church hereby called him to the vacant 
pastorate, *' not doubting that he will not only accept, 
but speedily enter u})on its important duties and per- 
form them with all diligence, preaching the true doc- 
trine of God's word, and administering the sacraments, 
as revealed in the j)r()phetical and apostolical Scrip- 
tures, and set forth in Augsburg Confession and Book 
of Concord ; that he shall visit the sick, instruct the 
youth, etc., and in such a manner order his office, life 
and walk that he can answer, first of all before God 
and the civil authorities, and next to these that the 
congregation be influenced and advanced in their 
Christian devotion, holy living and spiritual growth.'' 
His annual salary was fixed at 150 pounds, specie, 
together with the use of the parsonage and lot, and 
twelve cords of fire wood, and that he should have 
every fourth Sunday free, and also the afternoon of 
the second Sunday after this free Sunday. The 


salary was to be paid semi-annually, and in case either 
party should not be satisfied during the fiist, second 
or third year, they must give the other party three 
months' notice before termination. 

The call was dated September 30, 1797, and was 
accepted, and Pastor Lehman entered on his second 
term as pastor of this church the following December, 
In the baptismal record of that year he made the fol- 
lowing entry : 

^'On December 13, 1797, Daniel Lehman came to 
Reading, following an unsought written call." 

Mr. Lehman's second term lasted from December, 
1797, until April, 1801, the date of the last entry 
made by him in the church records. Altogether he 
served the congregation about five years and seven 
months, his first term lasting two years and three 
months, and this second term three years and four 
months. Nothing of special mention occurred during 
this time, nor can any reason be given for his resig- 
nation. From the fact that his call gave him leave 
of absence for every fourth Sunday, and also the sub- 
sequent second Sunday afternoon, we infer he retained 
charge also of the church at Moselem during these 
years. At auy rate he returned there again after 
leaving Reading, and remained until his death, in 
October, 1810. His funeral sermon was preached by 
Rev. H. A. Muhlenberg, then pastor of Trinity 

The vacancy which followed Mr. Lehman's removal, 
was not speedily filled. As already stated, Mr. Wild- 
bahn had returned to Reading and was serving one 
or more congregations in the neighborhood. He offi- 
ciated at several baptisms, performed in 1801 and 


1802, wliicli arc entered in liis liandwrilinj]:; in our 
records. Two others are stated to liave been per- 
formed by Rev. Panli, the Reformed minister, and 
one by Pa.-tor Geissenhainer, on September 21, 1802. 
From this we infer tlie pnl|)it was snpplied by vari- 
ons elergymen for more tlian a year. 

\\v were somewliat surprised to find that during; 
this vaeaney, Synod met at Reading, June 13tli to 
16th, 1802. On Trinity Sunday morning President 
J. F. Sehmidt preaehed on 1 Cor. 1 : 23-24, in the 
afternoon Rev. Moeller on Luke 15:2, and in the 
eveniu": Candidate Endress on Isa. 53 : 1-3. On 
Tuesday, at 6 ]). m., Rev. George Loelunan, D. D., 
preaehed in the En2:lish language on I Cor. 2 : 4. 

In the minutes of the first business session it is 
stated that '' two delegates were present from the con- 
gregation of the place (Reading), whicli is vacant, and 
it was Resolved, That one delegate should have a voice 
and vote." The delegates were Frederick Schmidt 
and John Strohecker. 

At the first ministerial session, June loth, at 3 p. 
m., certain papers concerning Frederick, Md., and 
Heading were presented and adopted, recommending 
Rev. Jasinskv to the latter, and Rev. Grob to the 
former position. But the delegate from Frederick 
was not willing to accede to this action of the Minis- 
ter! um with regard to that congregation, as they iiad 
expected Rev. Jasinsky,and had made a written ap- 
plication to have him assigned to them. 

At the next session of the Ministerium, on the fol- 
lowino- dav, at 9 a. m., after all the business had been 
transacted, just before adjournment, it was moved, 
and agreed to, that the Ministerium give Rev. Jas- 
iusky permission to accept a call to Frederick. A 

BEV. W. H. SCRIBA. 131 

copy of this resolution was furnished the delegate 
from Frederick. This left the Reading church va- 
cant, but the minutes mention that a member slated 
that Mr. Hubley had requested him to ask the Min- 
isterium to afford the congregation at Reading the 
pleasure, as it is without a pastor, of having the pul- 
pit supplied. In response to this request eleven 
ministers promised to visit Reading and preach. 

In the beginning of 1803 a temporary supply was 
secured in the person of Rev. William H. Scriba, 
who served the congregation from New Year till Easter. 

All we know of him is from the following extract 
from the minutes of the Synod for that year : 

^' Resolved, That Mr. Scriba (who came last fall from 
Germany as a candidate of theology with good testi- 
monials, and has been licensed by the officers of the 
Ministerium, and was engaged as preaclier at Reading 
until Easter), be requested tomakea visit toTuscarora.'^ 

For some years he was thus sent on missionary 
tours, and afterwards became pastor of congregations 
in York county. * 

One of the baptisms performed by him is thus en- 
tered in the church record : 

"Carolus Spyker was born January 11, 1803, and re- 
ceived baptism on February 13, Sunday afternoon, be- 
tween four and five. Tlie parents Avere John Spyker 
and the mother, Elizabeth. Tlie sponsors were Matthias 
Reichard and his wife, Sara. Candidate Mr. Muhlen- 
berg, eldest son of Minister Muhlenberg, of Lancaster, 
was present." 

Whether the ''Candidate Mr. Muhlenberg," 

preached here on that Sunday we cannot tell, but this 

is the first mention of the man whose ministry was 

soon to begin, and under whom the congregation was 

to enter upon a new era in its history. 



IRcw 1b. B. /IDublcnbetQ, H). ID. 

Rev. Henry A. Muhlenberg, of whose ministry we 
we are now to write, was the eldest son of Rev. Henry 
Ernestus Muhlenberg, D. D., pastor of Trinity Lu- 
theran Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a son of the 
patriarch Henry Melchior Muhlenberg. He was born 
in that city on Monday, May 13, 1782, and was bap- 
tized on the 26th of the same month. The full name 
given at his baptism was Henry Augustus Philip 
Muhlenberg. His elementary instruction was received 
immediately under the direction of his father, who 
was an eminent scientist, especially in the department 
of botany, as well as a distinguished theologian. His 
education was very thorough in the languages and 
mathematics, and his progress wa^ much in advance 
of his years. Under such thorough personal, private 
instruction, he completed the usual course of collegiate 
studies at an age when most young men begin them. 

He became in his youth very much attached to his 
uncle. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg, and from him, as well 
as from his father, he inbibed strong republican sen- 
timents, and deep interest in national affairs. Long 
before he had a vote, he used his pen in writing on 
national affairs, and especially after the passage of the 
sedition laws, under which the Pennsylvania Germans 
were so greatly tried, he became their youthful, but 
ardent champion. 


After his confirmation as a member of Trinity con- 
gregation at Lancaster, his attention was turned toward 
the ministry, and he went to New York to pursue his 
theological studies under his uncle, the Rev. John C. 
Kunze, D. D., one of the most eminent of our earlier 
theologians, who was filling the double position of 
pastor of the German Lutheran congregation in that 
city, and professor of Oriental languages in Columbia 
College. He thus became thoroughly equipped for 
the calling he had chosen. 

As has already been stated, he was visiting relatives 
in Reading and was present at the baptism of a child 
of John Spyker, on Sunday, February 13, 1803. He 
was now nearly twenty- one years of age and had com- 
pleted his theological studies. It is very probable he 
preached for the congregation on that day, and the 
congregation saw in him the man they wished to be- 
come their pastor. AV^e have before us a letter ad- 
dressed to him by seven members of the Vestry, bear- 
ing date of February 28, 1803, stating that a meeting 
of the congregation had been held the preceding Sun- 
day, and by resolution the Vestry was instructed to 
inform him it was the wish of the congregation that 
he should become their pastor. It specified in general 
the duties they would expect him to perform, and the 
support he could expect from them, and asking him 
to fix a day wdien he would visit them again, and 
preach as a candidate. 

It is likely he complied with this request, and the 
result was his election to the pastorate, and the fol- 
lowing call was extended to him : 

" Inasmuch as the Evangelical Lutheran congregation 
at Reading, at a regular election held, elected Rev. 
Henry Augustus Muhlenberg as their teacher and 

134 niS CALL. 

preaclier, tlu^rcfore we, the trustees, elders and deacons 
of tlie congrej^ation, hereby call the Rev. H. A. Muhl- 
enberg to be our regular teacher and i)rea(^her. We 
desire and expect of him that he will preach in this con- 
gregation the pure and simple Word of God, administer 
the holy sacraments in a Scriptural manner, visit the 
sick when desired, and serve the flock of Jesus which is 
in Reading, with all possible diligence by word and ex- 
ample, as can be expected from a faithful and conscien- 
tious pastor who hopes to give a good account before 
the great Judge of all. 

We particularly desire of him that on the morning of 
three successive Sundays he shall i^reach in German, 
and on the fourth Sunday following, also in the morn- 
ing, he shall have an English sermon ; and that we con- 
sent that he shall have the afternoons for preaching the 
Word of God in other neighboring congregations. We 
expect that if no instruction of the children can be held 
on (Sunday) afternoons, he will ai)point some time dur- 
ing the week for such instruction of our youth, so they 
may early learn what belongs to a holy walk and life. 

On the other hand, we promise for ourselves and our 
congregation, so long as he remains our pastor and 
faithfully performs his duty, the following : 

Free residence in the parsonage and the use of the 
grounds attached thereto. 

Six cords of hickory and six cords of oak wood. 

Five hundred dollars i^er annum, payable every half 

Also the customary perquisites. 

And especially all love and friendship which a faith- 
ful and conscientious pastor should have, so that he 
may fulfill his office among us with joy and not with 

With the best wishes that our chosen pastor may dis- 
charge his office among us for many years with mani- 
fold blessings and mutual benefit, we subscribe and 
transmit this call on this 21st day of March, 1803." 

John Gossler, 
Peter Stichter, 

Conrad Heinrich, 
Henry Hahn, 


John Strohecker, 
Peter Weiiner. 

George Marx, 
Henry Reithmeier, 
Peter Filbert, 

The call was accepted and the prayer with which 
it closed was fulfilled, as his ministry continued ^' for 
many years with manifold blessings.'' Mr. Muhlen- 
berg came as pastor the latter part of April, 1803, 
and his first official act was the baptism of John 
William, son of Matthias and Sarah Richards, born 
April 18, and baptized April 28. Little did he think 
he was then baptizing a future pupil, and successor in 
the pastorate of this congregation, the Rev. John W. 
Richards, D. D. 

We see in the wording of his call how anxious the 
members of the congregation were to av^ail themselves 
of his ability to preach in both languages, by arrang- 
ing that he should preach in English every fourth 
Sunday morning. It shows how rapidly the use of 
the English language was growing in this very 
German district, that such an arrangement should be 
made, and reflects great credit on our German fathers 
of that date, that they should consent to have every 
fourth sermon in English. Already nine years 
before, when the Synod met here at the time of the 
dedication of the church, on Trinity Sunday, 1794, 
the congregation, if not the Synod, arranged the 
evening sermon to be in the English language, and 
the same was done at the Sy nodical meeting in 1802, 
and now it had its recognized place in the regular 
services of the congregation. As the erection of so 
large and commodious a church showed our fathers 
built for the future, so this provision manifested a 
commendable wisdom in caring for those who under- 

1 3 G SJyL' I 'J( 'ES IN KNGL LSI I. 

stood Kn<:;lisli better tlum (ieiinaii. We liave seen 
tlint Knglisli services were held in this church as 
enrly as 17;")8, l)Mt were not certain for whose benefit 
this Di'ovision was made ; whether for any nieinbers 
oftliis congregation who .])referred English, or fur 
such citizens of Heading as were not familiar with 
Geinian. The same question arises now. At this 
time there were no churches using the English lan- 
guage in Reading. The Church of England's effort 
to establisli a cliurch here, ceased in 1772, and the 
Protestant Episcopal congregation was not organized 
until about 1825, wlien, on the 8th day of June, the 
corner-stone of their church was laid, the services 
connected with wiiich were held in Trinity Church. 
The Presbyterian congregation began possibly with 
the ordination of Mr. Greer, who for several years 
had been teaching in the Reading Academy, which 
took place on November 22, 1814. They had, how- 
ever, no church building until 1823, when the corner- 
stone of their first church was laid at Second and 
Penn streets, the services connected with which were 
also held* in Trinity Church. The Methodists had 
no congregation here befi)re 1827, nor the Baptists 
until 1829, In the German Reformed Ciiurch the 
services were exclusively German, as they were in 
the Lutheran Church, with some exceptions, until 
this time. 

It is, therefore, very likely that the spiritual needs 
of those citizens who did not understand German, 
rather than the needs of any part of the membership 
of the congregation, prompted this provision for 
English preaching. We are the more confirmed in 
this opinion by the fact that we find a *' German con- 


gregation '' and an '^ English congregation" spoken 
of, as if they were separate, rather than one congre- 
gation using two languages. Not that there were 
two separate organizations, but consisted of different 
classes of people. 

In evidence of this we copy several receipts given 
to the treasurer by Pastor Muhlenberg for salary : 

Read'iag^ December 22d, 1S04. Received of Henry 
Hahn, treasurer of the Lutheran congregation of Read- 
ing, seventy-five pounds, being half a year salary from 
the German congregation, due on November 1st. £75, 

Henry A. Muhlenberg. 

Reading, December 22c?, 1804. Received of Henry 
Hahn, thirty-six dollars, being salary in part for six 
months from the English congregation, due November 
1st. $36.00. Henry A. Muhlenberg. 

The last of these receipts of money coming from 
the " English congregation" is dated February 7th, 
1806, for salary due November 1st, 1805, from which 
we infer the arrangement did not continue over three 

Whether the German portion became dissatisfied, 
or whether the English-speaking citizens failed to 
support the arrangement, we cannot say ; but we infer 
the latter, from the statement made in a resolution of 
the Vestry concerning the pastor's salary, as follows : 

"At a meeting of the Vestry of the Lutheran congre- 
gation in Reading, held August 12, 1804, it was 

Resolved, That from May 1, 1805, the salary of our 
minister, Rev. Henry Aug. Muhlenberg, instead of $500 
per year, as specified in his call, shall be 1600 per year. 

Or if the English sermon be discontinued on the 
fourth Sunday,'the German congregation will pay $500 
per year and allow their minister to take one or more 
congregations in the neighborliood of Reading, and 
preach to them on that specified fourth Sunday." 

1 38 TJIK ENGL IS 11 I > I,S( 'OX TJN LJKD, 

Henry Saetle, 
Jolm M. Baldy, 
Jolm Ht'i^litniire, 


John Strolu'cker, 
Geor^»^ Marx, 
John Schonfelder, 

Jolin Gosslpr, 
Fred. Heller, Elders. 

This does not sliow the congregation wislicd to get 
rid of the English service, or to have a Gernuin ser- 
vice on that day. It simply intimated the Elnglish 
part, or people, should raise $100 towards the pastor's 
salary, which was perfectly fair and just. 

Outside of the sermon, it is probable the singing 
and service were weak, the people who attended were 
of diverse creeds, o})inions and religious customs, 
and, therefore, after a few years' honest effort, for 
which Pastor Muhlenberg and the congregation de- 
serve great credit, the project appears to have been 
abandoned, and the services were again entirely in 

At the meeting of the Ministerium, held in Baltin)ore 
on Trinity Sunday, 1803, shortly after Mr. Muhlen- 
berg had taken charge of the congregation, the Ves- 
try decided not to send a delegate, but a letter instead, 
as follows : 

"Readixg, May 28, 1803. 

''''Reverend President : — The circumstances of our 
congregation and the great distance explain why we ask 
you to excuse us from sending a delegate to this Synod- 
ical meeting. 

" We have elected and called, as you well know, the 
Rev. Henry Augustus Muhlenberg, candidate of theol- 
ogy, to be our minister. We hereby bear testimony 
that during the short time he has been \yith us, he has 
been untiring in fulfilling the duties of his office as an 
Evangelical minister, and we petition the reverend 
Ministerium, through you, to receive our minister into 


your full connection, and if you would see proper to or- 
dain him, as our regular pastor, it would be esteemed 
by us as a favor. 

" With high regard, and wishing all timely blessings 
for this Sy nodical convention, we are, Rev, President, 

"Your Obedient Servants. 

" To Rev. John Fred. Schmidt, 

President of the Ministerimn. 
"Action of the Vestry, certified by 

Frederick Schmidt, Secretary y 
Mr. Miihlenberjjj had been licensed as a candidate 
of theologv the previous year, and according to rule 
his ordination could not take place this year ; but as 
he handed in a sermon and his pastoral journal for 
examination, it shows he was reo^ularlv on the roll of 
Synod as a licensed candidate. 

He was finally ordained to the ministry by the 
Ministerium at its meeting at Easton, in 1804. Fred. 
Heller was the delegate from the congregation at that 
convention, and Mr. Muhlenberg reported the num- 
ber of communicants to be 250, that he had baptized 
122 children, confirmed 52, and buried 14 members 
that year. 

At this time the question of language was agitating 
many of the congregations, and likewise the Synod, 
which was a German-speaking body. Other congre- 
gations besides Trinity, were wisely introducing the 
use of English in some of their services, and this lan- 
guage was occasionally heaid on the floor of Synod. 
The fathers fought hard for their native tongue, but 
felt that English-speaking pastors and congregations 
could not be excluded, on that account, from the Min- 
isterium. At the next convention, held at German- 
town in 1805, the following resolutions were adopted : 


"1. The LtitlK'nin ^riiiist<'rium of l^cnnsylvaiiia arnl 
adjacent states iiiust remain a (rernian Ministeriuni, 
an<l can entertain no proposition tointroduee any other 
lanj^iiavre except the (jerman in its annual meetings and 

2. Englisli-speakinj; Lutherans who do not under- 
stand services in German, may form themselves into 
their own con f2:ret'at ions. 

3. Should such English Lutheran conj^regationH be 
formed, the German Lutheran Ministeriuni will regard 
their members as brethren, and will acknowledge their 
delegates, and also, after previous examination, their 
ministers, as members of Synod, provided they submit 
to its rules and attend the Synodical conventions." 

This was a sort of compromise, but did not settle 
the matter. It was inevitable in this country that 
the number of Eiiirlish-speaking pastors and coni^re- 
gatious would increase, and within two generations 
after that fiist resolution was passed, the Ministeriuni 
had become so strongly an English-speaking body, 
that the word " German " was dropped from its offi- 
cial title. 

In the year 1805, Pastor Muhlenberg was married 
to Mary, daughter of General Hiester, of this })lace, 
who afterwards became Governor of the State. He 
had some alteration made in the parsonage, as the fol- 
lowing item in the minutes of the Vestry meeting 
held April 20, 1805, shows : 

'^ Pastor Muhlenberg informed the Vestry that he 
had made an alteration in one room in the parsonage, 
which he found necessary. Whereupon it was re- 
solved that the expense incurred thereby be paid out 
of the church treasury. ^^ 

This union was of short duration, as she died in 
child-bed on the 21st of March, 1806. Two years 
later on June 7, 1808, he married her sister, Rebecca 


Hiester^ who proved to be a loving and efficient help- 
meet to him in hissubseqnent career. Tiiis marriage, 
forming a union between two distinguished families, 
was not only a happy occasion, but increased still 
more the influence of Mr. Muhlenberg in this com- 
munity, and added to his poj)ularity and j)ower. 
Under his preaching and administration i\\Q congre- 
gation grew in number, intelligence and influence, 
with nothing to disturb its peace or development 
during the twenty-six years of his pastorate. 

We quote the following description of him from 
another writer : '' As a pulpit orator it has been said 
by enlightened and competent judges, that Mr. 
Muhlenberg was the subject of general and deserved 
admiration. Indeed the many invitations he received 
from the churches of large cities, would indicate his 
contemporary reputation in this respect. The favor- 
able judgment of the people was confirmed by the 
severe criticism of the ministry, — his eloquence was 
alike acceptable to both. A commanding presence, 
a deep sonorous voice, a manner earnest but graceful, 
prepossessed the senses of his hearers. His mastery of 
all the rich resources of the German language, his 
evidently intense interest in his subject, the copious 
learning with which he informed the mind, the glow- 
ing warmth with which he touched the heart, achieved 
the rest. Always instructive, he was never merely 
didactic. His power over the feelings was never 
exercised in such a way that the judgment could not 
sanction the emotions excited.^' 

The only sermon of his which was published, as 
far as we know, was one delivei*ed on the National 
fast-day, appointed by Congress and the President of 

142 A FA ST DA \ ' SERMON. 

tho United States, An<rust 20tl), 1812. It was pul)- 
lislicd at \\\v solicitation of a large number of citizens 
who iicard it. His text was Jcr. vi : 8 : '' Be thou 
iiistrnctcd, () Jerusalem; lest my soul depart from thee ; 
lest I make thee desolate, a laud not iuliahited." It 
was in no sense political, but a most practical and 
earnest presentation of the favors God had shown our 
country, and the danij:;er of losing those favors by 
reascm of our sins. In one passage he exclaimed : 
" Think not, my friends, that what I say is in the 
interest of this or that party. I belong to no party ; 
I am a teacher of the truth." This discourse gives 
proof of the statement quoted above, that Mr. Muhl- 
enberg appealed to men's emotions as well as to their 
intellect, a fact confirmed also bv some of our oKler 
members who have distinct recollections of his ])reach- 

As the church property was now complete, there 
were no important improvements made during Mr. 
Muhlenl)erg's pastorate. We find a record, however, 
of a subscription taken in 1809, for the erection of a 
brick wall around the church grounds. The sub- 
scription amounted to nearly 100 pounds, and speci- 
fied it should be five feet high, and extend from the 
church to the alley, now known as Church street, and 
northward from the church to the grounds belonging 
to the society of Friends. This wall remained until 
part of it was taken down when the present parson- 
age was built, in 1866, and the remainder in 1874. 

Another subscription was taken in 1822 for the 
purpose of enclosing tb.e new burying ground (at 
Sixth and Walnut streets) '* with a good and substan- 
tial pale fence." The subscription amounted to $120,90. 


Several years previous to this, we find a subscrip- 
tion paper without date, but likely about 1818-19, 
with the following heading : 

" It being necessary to make important and expensive 
repairs to the German Lutheran Church in Reading, 
and also to have the organ in the church tuned, the 
Vestry sohcit the aid of the members of said church, 
and of others incUned to promote public worship, that 
the expenses incurred and to be incurred may be liqui- 
dated. We, the subscribers, promise to pay, &c." 

It is signed by about 200 names, the subscription 
amounting to 300 dollars. 

On April 1, 1820, Daniel Staudt, the schoolmaster 
of the congregation since 1786, a period of thirty- 
four years, died, aged QQ years. His grave lies be- 
side the path leading from the pastor's study to the 
church. From bills among the church papers, we 
infer the congregation bore the expenses of his 
funeral. These bills included those for a variety of 
groceries and flour used for the meal furnished on 
such occasions. Mr. Staudt was succeeded by Chris- 
tian Deiniuger, as schoolmaster and organist of the 

A fourth subscription paper we have found, be- 
longing to Mr. Muhlenberg's time, bears the date of 
February 10, 1824, and was for the extinguishing of 
certain debts of the congregation. In the several 
improvements, repairs, (fee, made at various times, 
the expenses, as is generally the case, exceeded the 
special collections, and deficits remained unpaid. It 
was, therefore, determined to make another eftort to 
wipe them all out, which was done by this subscrip- 


Tlic r()ii(rrog^;iti()!i liad fnllcii in arrears in paying 

the annual ^lonnd rent npoii their various projx'rties, 

but at this time secured a reh'ase from this debt. 

The i'onowing letter refers to this: 

!'Mrs. Colkman's, Reading, 10th May, 1824. 
Sir : Heiii^ uiiwillinf^ to re(iiiire payment of tlie ar- 
rears of (f(l. Rent, due from the Lutheran Churcli on 
the lots in this Borougli, Nos. 406 and 407, held by the 
church, I beg leave to inform you that I am. ready to 
execute a Release or deed of Extinguishment of the 
Ground Rents to the proper Trustees. 
I am Very Respectfully, Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 

J. Cadwalader, 

Attorney in fact for John and Williain Penn 

and wife. 

Rev. Henry Muhlenberg. 

The deed of release is dated May 18, 1824, and 
covers not only lots 406 and 407, on which the church 
stood, but also Nos. 93 and 94, on which the school 
house was erected, and lots 145 and 146, where the 
parsonage was then located, on Penn street above 

I<ot No. 94, which adjoined the school house lot on 
the south, as has been previously stated, was secured 
from tlie Penns by Rev. Henry Melchior Muhlen- 
berg, and was held by him for some years before it 
passed into other hands, and finally became the prop- 
erty of the congregation. 

On July 7, 1824, the young people of the congre- 
gation started a si)ecial subscription among them- 
selves to raise money for painting tlie outside of the 
cliurch. Among the names on the list we were in- 
terested to find some who became prominent in the 


congregation in after years, and some who were still 
livinjj and active members when we took charge of 
the congregation, such as Wm. Arnold, Geo. Boyer, 
Geo. Heller, John Kutz, John H. Fox, Fred. Rein- 
hard, Wm. Leitheiser, David Fox, James Quinter, 


While speaking of these special collections, we may 
state that the collections at the church services were 
liberal. For instance, we note that the treasurer's 
account states the collection on Good Friday, 1829, 
amounted to $21.69, and on Easter morning to 
$50.28. This was at the close of Mr. Muhlenberg's 
ministry, and shows the liberality he had developed in 
the congregation. 

One of the last acts of Mr. Muhlenberg while pas- 
tor of the congregation, was the organization of the 
Sunday School. A union Sunday School of all de- 
nominations had existed for some years previously, and 
was held in the Old Academy, at Seventh and Chest- 
nut streets. Rev. Dr. Richards, who was a child of 
this congregation and studied theology with Pastor 
Muhlenberg, states in his diary that " the Lutherans 
and Reformed withdrew from that union school, and 
organized a separate school on April 5, 1829. This 
school was held at first in Major Medary's school- 
room, northwest corner of Fifth and Cherry streets. 
On the thiid Sunday it was removed to Trinity 
church, and numbered 250 scholars. The school oc- 
cupied the spacious galleries of the church. It was 
organized by Mr. Muhlenberg just one month before 
the close of his pastorate." 

After a few Sundays, this Lutheran and Reformed 
school was transferred to the Court House, 


Ill addition to hi.s labors in Trinity congregation, 
Pastor Miildenherg served the eongregations at 
Selr.vartzwald, Sinking Spring and several other 
neighboring ehiirehes, preaching for them on Snnday 
afternoons, as permitted in his call. 

It was not only in Trinity congregation, however, 
that his labors, services and inlluence were felt, but 
extended to the whole church in this country. He 
soon became one of the leaders and most influential 
members of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and 
adjacent States. His extended correspondence, now 
in possession of his grandson, Henry A. Muhlenberg, 
Esq., of this city, and which we were permitted to 
examine, shows how his advice, counsel and help 
were sought in every important church question and 
undertaking. Those were times of great changes and 
important movements in the Lutheran Church in 
America, and in all of them we find him taking deep 
interest and an active part. 

In 1813 the Synod met in Reading, and it must 
have gratified the pastor that his father was elected 
president at that meeting. 

About the vears 1818-1820, tliere was a movement 
to unite the several Synods in this country in a gen- 
eral body. The convention to effect this met at 
Hagerstown, Md., on Oc:tober 22, 1820. Among 
the delegates sent by the Ministerium of Pennsylva- 
nia were Rev. H. A. Muhlenberg and Peter Stichter, 
an elder of Trinity Church. Mr. Muhlenberg was 
elected secretary of the convention, was on the com- 
mittee to draft a constitution, and on another to form 
a plan for a seminary, and took a prominent part in 
its proceedings. There was some delay in printing 


the minutes, as we find a letter of Rev. P. F. Mayer, 
of Philadelphia, dated February 5, 1821, btating, 
" We liave such conflicting reports that we are solicit- 
ous to see tlie printed journal of the conference at 

The prejudice and opposition excited in many con- 
gregations against the formation of such a general 
Synod was so great that the Ministerium of Pennsyl- 
vania decided, in 1821, not to send delegates to the 
next convention. The Ministerium met that year in 
Chambersburg and Mr. Muhlenbeig was elected 
secretary, and served in that capacity for three years. 

In 1825 the Ministerium again met in Trinity 
Church and honored its pastor by electing him presi- 
dent. At that meeting Revs. J. Albert, J. J. Strein, 
G. A. Reichart and G. F. J. laeger (father of the 
late Rev. T. T. laeger) were ordained to the 

In 1828 the Ministerium met here for the third 
time during Mr. Muhlenberg's pastorate, having 
been for some reason changed from Baltimore to 
Reading. At this convention Rev. Jacob Miller, 
who afterwards became his successor, was elected 

During Mr. Muhlenberg's presidency, Gov. Schultz 
had frequent correspondence with him concerning the 
Rodelscheim legacy, bequeathed to the Ministerium 
for the relief of p'^>or pastors, and the correspondence 
shows how much he had to do with securing the ben- 
efits of the bequest to the Ministerium. 

He was also one of the trustees of Franklin Col- 
lege, at Lancaster, as long as he was a member of 


A letter iVotn Kev. Dr. Endress, at Lancaster, 
dated Decern her, 1825, iirirod him to convene the 
New Hymn J^ouk Committee, at Womel.sdorf, as 
a convenient center, and reproved him for not being 
at a former meeting at Harrisbnrg, from which we in- 
fer he was a member of tliat committee, and possibly 
its chairman. 

On July 2, 182.'^, he received tiie degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from Allegheny College at Meadville, 
bnt declined the honor. Kev. Dr. Mayer, of Phila- 
delphia, in a letter commended him for so doing, as 
the institution was too young to confer honorary de- 
grees, and informed him that at a previous meeting 
of the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, 
Bishop White had put his name in nomination for 
that honor. The degree was shortly afterwards con- 
ferred by that institution and accepted by him. 

During the year 1828, owing to declining health, 
Mr. Muhlenberg decided to resign his office, and re- 
move to a farm he owned on the outskirts of Readinor. 
ye accordingly tendered his resignation, but con- 
tinued to act as pastor until a successor could be se- 
cured. This step was deeply regretted by the entire 
congregation, which had enjoyed unbroken peace and 
prosperity under his ministry for a quarter of a cen- 

Others, however, saw in this act an opportunity 
to place a suitable man to represent the Pennsylvania 
German element in the Congress of the United States, 
and accordingly in the fall of that year, 1828, he 
was nominated by the Democratic party, and subse- 
quently elected to represent Berks county in the 
national House of Representatives. How much this 


change was regretted by his ministerial brethren, and 
in what esteem he was held by them, is seen in the fol- 
lowing extract from a letter addressed to him by 
Rev. J. G. Sch mucker, D. D., of York, dated 
November 12th, 1828 : 

" My Dear and Much Respected Brother : — I am truly 
sorry that you have relinquished your episcopal 
charge, for one of vastly less importance in the 
kingdojii of God. There are thousands qualified for 
congressmen before you find one fit for a truly aV)le 
messenger of the glorious gospel of Christ. Besides all 
this, you are perfectly acquainted with the state of our 
church in this country, and how much we stood in need 
of your first rate and superior abilities and labors. 
When I consider the loss your Synod sustains, I cannot 
but pronounce it irreparable. You are the only one 
who possessed a sufficient weight of character, around 
whom the brethren formed a rallying point of union ; 
and thus by proper exertion and judicious management, 
you might, like your worthy father and grandfatlier, 
have proved a vast blessing to the church. * * * * 

J. George Schmucker." 
Dr. Muhlenberg continued acting as {)astor of the 
congregation until the following spring, when his 
successor, Rev. Jacob Miller, came to Reading. 

Wlien the Ministerium met tiie following June, he 
sent his resignation and withdrawal from the minis- 
try, in a letter of which the following is a translation : 

Reading, June 11, 1829. 

Most Honored President .-—A number of causes, with 
the enumeration of which I shall not consume time, 
moved me to resign my office as a preacher of the gos- 
pel. I hope that you and my other former colleagues 
in the sacred office, will be persuaded that I would not 
take this step without sufficient reasons. The reasons 
moving me justify me before my own conscience, and, I 
trust, will on the day of the final decision justify me be- 
fore our common Judge, the great searcher of hearts. 


Since the aooeptance of another office, entrusted to 
nie by the people, entirely dissolves, as it ou^jht to, our 
connection, I would petition in the kindest manner 
that my name be no lony^er continued on the list of min- 
isterial members. 

With painful feelinj^s I sever a connection of twenty- 
seven years, during wriich my brethren, time and again, 
by electinji: me treasurer, secretary, i)resident of 
Synod, y^ave me accumulated proofs of their forbear- 
ance, good will and confidence. The remembrance of 
these and many other proofs of your friendship and es- 
teem will, under all the changing events of life, be a 
histing source of real enjoyment. Never shall my grat 
itude cease— never my high respect for men who are 
sincerely endeavoring to improve the condition of their 
fellowmen, to make their brethren wiser, better, hap- 
pier ; and thereby also doing their share to preserve in- 
tact the inestimable civil and religious hberties of our 
blessed country. 

Sincerely wishing that you and all the brethren in 
our association may be spared for long-continued use- 
fulness, that the good Father of the human family may 
abundantly crown with success your efforts in behalf 
of the well-being of our race, and indulging in the 
blessed hope of meeting you all, if not here on earth, 
certainly in a better world, where there will be neither 
death nor separation, 

I remain respectfully and submissively, 

Henry A. Muhlenbkrg. 
Rev. Jacob Miller, 

President Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Pa. 

This communication was no surprise to the mem- 
bers of the Ministerium, as it was known he had 
been elected to Congress the preceding- fall, and would 
not think of holding a secidar and sacred office at the 
same time. 

The letter was referred, with other papers, to a 
committee, who made the following report, which we 
take from the minutes: 


"No. 9 is an excellent letter from Rev. Dr. Muhlen- 
berg, in which he notifies the Synod that he has found 
himself impelled to lay aside the ofHce of a minister of 
the gospel hitherto filled by him ; expressing the hope 
that his ministerial brethren will give him the credit of 
not taking this step without satisfactory reasons ; re 
spectfuUy tendering his resignation as a member of the 
Synod, and bidding them adieu with the hearty good 
wishes of a friend. 

Your committee thinks the letter should be read pub- 

Resolved, That this be done. After the reading of 
the letter, on motion of Rev. laeger, and seconded by 
Rev. Hecht, it was Resolved^ That Synod grants Rev. 
Dr. Muhlenberg's request and accepts his resignation ; 
that Synod expresses its heartfelt thanks to him for the 
many services which he, during the twenty-seven years 
of his connection with it, rendered to it and to the 
chui'ch at large, and that Synod inv^okes the divine 
blessing tipon him in his future labors in another 

Wliile this step ended Mr. Muhlenberg's ministry, 
it did not end his connection with Trinity congrega- 
tion. He took his place as a private member, serv- 
ins: for many years as a member of the Vestry, and 
was tiie unswerving friend and supporter of his suc- 
cessor, Rev. Dr. Miller, until his death. This is so 
rarely found as to deserve this special mention, and 
will be again referred to when we give the history of 
Dr. Miller's ministry. 

This is not the place to speak of ^l\\ Muhlenberg's 
political career, but as he remained in active member- 
ship in the congregation, a few words will not be out 
of place. He was twice re-elected to Congress, and 
occupied his seat there for nine years. In 1835 he 
was the candidate of one branch of the Democratic 
party for the office of governor of Pennsylvania, but, 

I i32 3/ I'JfLENIiERCrS DEA TH. 

the party being divickd, was not elected. When 
Van I5uren heranio president of tlie United States he 
tendered (o Mr. Mnhlenbejg', in 1837, a seat in his 
Cabinet as seiM'etarv of the navy, and snliseqnently 
the mission to Ilussia, l)oth of wliieh were declined. 
ViWi when, in 1838, the president appointed him min- 
ister to Austria, lie accepted the appcjintment. It 
was nnanimonsly confirmed by the Senate, and in the 
latter part of March in that year he sailed for Europe, 
takinir bis wife and chui":hter with him. He remained 
abroad nearly three years, and returned to Readinjj^in 
December, 1840. 

Here he lived in retirement for several years, until 
he was again nominated for governor of the State by 
the Democratic convention, on March 6, 1844, but 
died before the election took j>lace. While sitting on 
his door step at his residence, at the corner of Penn 
and Fouith streets, on Saturday evening, August 10th, 
he was stricken with apoplexy. He lingered in an 
unconscious condition until the next day, when he 
died. The funeral was fixed for the following Wed- 
nesday, but so fresh and life-like was the a})pearance 
of the body on Tuesday evening, that a doubt was 
raised in the minds of many persons who viewed it, 
as to whether life was certainly extinct, and the 
services were postponed. By Wednesday evening, 
however, undoubted signs of dissolution were evi- 
dent, and on Thursday the burial took place. The 
services were held in the church and were attended 
by an immense concourse of relatives, citizens and 
friends, and as a mark of respect all places of business 
were closed from 10 to 1 o'clock. The funeral ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. Jacob Miller, D. D., pas- 


tor of the church, and his life-long friend and suc- 
cessor in this pulpit. Dr. Miller's sermon was on 
the text I Thess. ivilS, and was published. In it 
he bore witness of the great worth and esteem in 
which Mr. Muhlenberg was held, and mentioned that 
^' more than once he had told him that nothing but 
the state of his health induced him to resign the pas- 
toral office.'' 

His death necessitated the re-assembling of the con- 
vention that nominated him, so another could be 
put in his place before the election. Accordingly the 
State convention assembled at Harrisburg on Septem- 
ber 2, 1844. The father of the writer of this history, 
who had been Mr. Muhlenberg's associate in Congress, 
from Montgomery county, was president of the con- 
vention that nominated him ; and on calling the pres- 
ent convention to order, prefaced his announcement 
of the purpose of this meeting, with these words: 


" Gentlemen : — The occasion which iias made it neces- 
sary for the re-assembling of this convention is one both 
extraordinary and melancholy ; extraordinary because 
of its being the first instance of the kind which has oc- 
curred in this State, and melancholy because it has 
been brought about by the sudden and unexpected 
demise of one whose memory is dear to all who knew 
him, and one in whose welfare, from the relations in 
which he stood to us, we had a paramount interest. 

Little did we expect when we separated in March 
last, that time, in its onward course, should so soon 
blast the result of our labors, and little indeed did I 
expect, while on my return from the convention, when 
for the last time I gave him the right hand of fellow- 
ship and brotherly affection, that a few short months 
should terminate his earthly career and leave the coun- 
try to mourn his loss ; that those eyes, which then 


beamed witli fjratitiide for the bi^li lionor conferred 
upon him, should so soon l)e closed forever ; tliat those 
lil)S, that were then wont to express his hij^h ref^ard for 
every niend)er of this convention, shouhl so soon be 
sealed in death. But the decree liad gone forth, the 
summons had issued, and although apparently in the 
enjoyment of every earthly blessing and surrounded by 
kindest friends, the fell destroyer, as if waiting his op- 
portunity, suddenly arrested him and hurried him down 
to the narrow cell which he now occui>ies. Peace to 
his ashes, peace to his grave, peace to his memory." 

At the same convention, on motion ot Mr. Welsh, 
of York, it was *' Resolved, That a committee be ap- 
pointed to procure the erection of a tablet in honor of 
Henry A. Muhlenberg in the Lutheran Church at 
Reading, of which he was for many years a mem- 
ber.'' The following gentlemen were appointed the 
committee : Messrs. Welsh, Magraw, Frazer, Doh- 
nert and Espy, but, like many other resolutions 
passed in conventions, it was never done. 

A monument, suitably inscribed, covers his grave 
in the Charles Evans Cemetery, he being the first of 
Trinity's pastors who died and was buried at 



1Re\>» Jacob /iDiller, W. W. 

When it became known, in 1828, that Dr. Muhlen- 
berg had tendered his resignation as pastor of Trinity 
Church, many names were suggested for the place he 
so long occupied. Among these were some of the 
most prominent ministers of the Lutheran Church 
in this country, residing in New York and Mary- 
land, as well as in Pennsylvania. But tiie man upon 
wiiom most eyes were fixed was Rev. Jacob Miller, 
pastor of the churches in and around Falkner Swamp, 
in Montgomery county, and president of the Minis- 

When the position was first offered to him, he de- 
clined it, preferring to remain in the field he had so 
long served, and which included the Goshenhoppen 
congregation, in which he had been reared. Ex- 
tended correspondence between him and Rev. Dr. 
Muhlenberg followed, in which Reading was aided 
by Mr. Miller's wife, who was desirous he should 
move to Reading, and he finally consented to come, 
provided Dr. Muhlenberg would continue as pastor 
until the following May, as he was unwilling to make 
the change before that date. 

Dr. Muhlenberg consented to this, and a formal 
call was written, dated January 15, 1829, and sent to 
him. As its language is almost identical with that 
given to Mr. Muhlenberg in 1803, we need not give 
it in full. It was a sign of the times that in neither 

1 oG UE \ \ J A ( 'OB MILLER. 

of tliese calls was tlicrc any mention of the Confes- 
sions of tlie Lutlieiati clmrcli, wiiicli were always 
mentioned in the calls of the pastors durinjj^ the 
preceding centnry. The specification for En^zilish 
services given in Mr. Muhlenberg's call was omitted 
in this. The salary promiseil was $G00 per 
annum, together with parsonage, perquisites and the 
usual supply of fire-wood. In compliance with Mr. 
Miller's wishes the call was to go in effect on May 5, 
1829. It was signed by George Boyer, Henry 
Boyer and Anthony Bickel, 6*i^s^ef^/ John Cleaver 
and Jacob Fritz, elders ; and John H. Fox, William 
Weimer, Jacob Goodman, Jacob Gossler and John 
Kissinger, deacons. 

A brief sketch of his life before coming to Reading 
will be interesting. Jacob Miller was born Decem- 
ber 11th, 1788, in Goshenhoppen, Montgomery Co., 
Penna. His parents were John Jacob Miller and 
wife Hannah, prominent members of the old Luth- 
eran congregation at that place. Under his pas- 
tor, Rev. Dr. Fred W. Geissenhainer, he received 
thorough instruction in the doctrines of the Christian 
religion, set forth in Luther's catechism, previous to 
his confiimation. Being possessed with strong men- 
tal gifts, Dr. Geissenhainer urged him to prepare for 
the ministry, instead of the medical profession, towards 
which he was at first inclined. The consent of his 
parents being obtained, he commenced his studies 
under Dr. Geissenhainer, and continued to do so for 
a period of five years. When Dr. Geissenhainer re- 
moved to New York, in 1808, Mr. Miller went to 
Philadelphia and continued his studies under Drs. 
Helmuth and Schmidt, who, in connection with their 


pastoral work, conducted a private Seminary for the 
education of young men for the ministry. 

Whilst thus engaged, the congregation forming the 
charge Dr. Geissenhainer had recently left vacant by 
his removal to New York, gave him a call to become 
their pastor. This was a high honor, not only because 
a prophet seldom has honor in his own country, but 
because it was one of the oldest and most important 
parishes within the Synod, and had been served by 
distinguished pastors. It showed the high esteem 
and confidence in which he stood among those who 
knew him from childhood. After some hesitation, 
and with the advice of his teachers, he consented to 
supply them temporarily, and to preach for them once 
in four weeks until the completion of his studies. 
After he had been licensed as a candidate of theology 
by the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the call was re- 
newed and accepted by him, and he entered fully on 
his duties. Besides Goshenhoppen and Falkner 
Swamp, he had charge also of Boyer's church, now 
Boyertown. His residence was at the Swamp, and 
while there, on April 3d, 1827, he officiated at the 
marriage of the writer's [parents, the Trappe parish, 
where they resided, being then vacant. 

In this large district he labored with energy and 
success for twenty years. 

In the year 1813 he married Anna Maria, the 
daughter of his former pastor and preceptor. Rev. Dr. 
Geissenhainer. Three sons and one daughter were 
born to them. The sons died each as he was corning to 
manhood, a great loss not only to the family, but also 
to the church, as each one proposed entering the 
ministry. The daughter still survives, the widow of 

1 ') 8 7/Y TJIJ': P I U.PIT. 

tlio late Ildii. Joliii Kndlicli, lonnei ly U. S. Consul 
at Basic. 

Mr. Miller was a worthy successor of Dr. Miilil- 
eiibcrg ill the pulpit ot" Trinity Church. He was 
now in his j)rinje, haviuf^ passed his fortieth hirtliday 
a few mouths before coming to Reading. He was a 
born leader, a man of positive views, and j)ossessed 
of great determination and decision of character. In 
the shape of his foreiiead and general appearance, he 
is said to have had a striking resemblance to Daniel 
Webster. He possessed a strong voice, and other 
oratorical gifts, and with a well stored mind, and 
deep conviction of the truth of the doctrines he 
taught, he was a preacher of extraordinary power. 
His church was always filled with large congregations, 
and his influence over his peoi)le was unbounded. 
The only sermon of his that was published, to our 
knowledge, is that preached in 1844, at the funeral 
of his predecessor, Henry A. Muhlenberg, to wdiich 
reference has already been made. But even that is 
said by those who sat under his preaching to be in- 
ferior in its printed form to many of his regular dis- 
courses. It was especially on Reformation to])ics, 
and when combatting error and false religions, that 
he rose to his height as a preacher. He was clear, 
comprehensive, and yet practical in all his sermons. 

Outside of the pulpit he was rather reserved, and 
to strangers might appear stern, but he was a faithful 
and sympathizing pastor and friend. To those who 
gained his confidence he was of a frank, genial and 
cheerful disposition. He was repeatedly honored 
with the high office of president of the Ministerium, 
but honors had but little attraction for him. In 1838 


he had the degree of Doctor of Divinity conferred 
upon him by the University of Pennsylvania, but 
never acknowledged it, preferring to be known simply 
as '^ Jacob Miller, Lutheran minister." His congre- 
gation and Synod were the only public places in which 
he desired to be present. 

In 1862 Dr. Hiester H. Muhlenberg was requested 
to give his recollections of Dr. Miller for publrcation 
in Sprague^s Annals of Lutheran Clergymen, and as 
he was so competent a witness, we here re- produce 
his letter. 

Reading, January 18, 1862. 
Dear Sir : — On the resignation of my father as pastor 
of Trinity Church in this place, Mr. Miller was chosen 
his successor. I had then just concluded my college 
course, and I commenced my acquaintance with him by 
finding him my pastor on my return. I was one of his 
first class of catechumens, and well rememl^er the in- 
terest with which I listened to his explanations of the 
catechism, and of the principles of natural and re- 
vealed religion. Although, after a college course, I 
found myself rusty in the German language, I managed 
to take down imperfectly his lectures, and write them 
out at home, from time to time, for my own benefit 
and the convenience of my friends in the class, some of 
whom were growing up with an imperfect knowledge 
of the Gferman. His lectures and explanations were al- 
together in that language ; and, if my recollection serves 
me, but one of the class, of perhaps sixty or seventy, 
used the English catechism and recited in the English 
language. His lectures were adapted to the humblest 
capacity, and were at once easily comprehended and 
easily remembered. His arguments, and in some in- 
stances his very words, are vividly in my memory to 
this day. If any doubt remained in any mind in re- 
sj^ct to anything in his public lectures, there was no 
hesitation felt in asking him for an explanation ; and it 
was always given so promptly and kindly and satisfac- 


torily, tliat it ))ecaiiie reaJly a pleasure to ask him ques- 

He soon acquired the confidence and affection of both 
tile old and the youn^, and we felt that in our pastor 
^ve had also a faithfid and devoted friend. He made it 
a practice to visit all the members of his church, ]K)th 
hi^di and low, at least once a year; and he was deeply 
imi)ressed with the idea that it was essential to a minis- 
ter's hif^hest usefulness that he should have a personal 
acquaintance with those who constitute his pastoral 
charge. By his social disposition and winning candor, 
he made personal friends of all who had the opportu- 
nity of becoming well acquainted with him. Although 
there was a great disparity of years between him and 
myself— he being in the prime of life and I a mere 
youth— I soon learned to look upon him as a friend, and 
one of my greatest pleasures was to spend as much time 
as I could in chatting with him in his study. He always 
seemed disengaged, and just as ready to converse with 
me on religion, politics, or the occurrences of the day, 
according to the mood we happened to be in, as if I had 
been, in all respects, his equal. 

By years of intercourse of this kind, I learned that 
his opinions w^ere fixed and positive, but he was always 
willing to explain his own views, and to listen patiently 
to the arguments that were brought against them. 
One of his strong prejudices was in favor of the Ger- 
man language, as excelling the English in copiousness, 
clearness, and facility for expressing ideas. He ac- 
knowledged the English as the language of the land, 
but nothing more ; and thought that every person of 
liV)eral education, especially every one of German de- 
scent, should learn and use the German language. He 
Avould never hear it sneered at or decried with- 
out an instant word in its defence, and, as he was a 
man of very decided talents, it required some degree of 
courage to attack his opinions on any subject; for 
there was more than an equal chance that the assailant 
would not come off victorious. 

Another strong prejudice that he cherished was that 
his own church was vastly superior to any other, in re- 


spect to both faith and government. Not that he 
thought other churches were out of the jDale of salva- 
tion, or denied that they had their good points, and 
were instrumental of promoting the Redeemer's cause 
in the salvation of souls ; but he thought them exceed- 
ingly imperfect as compared with our own. Ours he 
maintained was the real trunk, while others were mere 
branches, and the Catholic a decayed stem. 

Still another of his strong prejudices was to be seen 
in his opposition to the General Synod, which he looked 
upon as a mere scheme for religious and even political 
influence. Whether this view originated in personal 
distrust of the men who were at the head of the enter- 
prise, or in general views of human weakness, or both, 
I am not able to say. He was always in favor of the 
amplest individual and congregational liberty of relig- 
ious opinion and connection, consisteiit Avith his views 
of Scriptural truth. I have repeatedly argued this 
point with him, and could never even get him to agree 
to the expediency of the General Synod, as a bond of 
closer union to our churches. Nothing, in his judg- 
ment, but similarity of religious faith and principle 
could be permanent. In this connection I may state 
that, although he received the degree of Doctor of Di- 
vinity from the University of Pennsylvania, henever rec- 
ognized it or called himself any thing else than Jacob 
Miller, Lutheran Clergyman. Any other title than this 
was decidedly distasteful to him. 

Notwithstanding the fixedness of his opinions, when 
he became convinced that the young people of his 
charge in Reading were growing up without such an 
acquaintance with the German language as to render 
it a suitable medium for conveying to them religious 
knowledge, he yielded his strong prepossession in its 
favor, and consented to the introduction of the English 
into his congregation. And he used his influence to 
procure the election of a son of an old friend as English 
pastor ; and he was actually chosen by an overwhelm- 
ing majority, and Mr. Miller labored in great harmony 
with him so long as God spared his life and health. 


And when, durinj^ a jn'otracted illness, which turned 
out to be his last, he sent in his resignation, the con- 
|:^re^ation se«Mned to feel as if liis ))la('e could never be 
more than partially iilled. Ifcnce the dillicidty of find- 
inj^ a successor ; for, in the alTectionate hearts ()f his 
flock, every one who was compared with liim was 
found wanting. And he will never be forj^otten, never 
cease to be loved by those who sat under his preaching 
or enjoyed his friendship. 

Yours truly, H. H. MrHLENBKRG. 

Mr. Miller preached in Trinity Church every Sun- 
day morning, and in the afternoons in the country 
churches he also served at Schwartzwald, Spies', 
Alsace and Sinking Springs. In later years, when 
evening services had been introduced by other 
churches which had been started in Reading, he ar- 
ranged with Rev. Pauli, pastor of the German Re- 
formed Church, to have services also on alternate 
Sunday evenings in their churches. The young peo- 
ple from the countiy congregations came to town to 
attend catechisation, and Good Friday, the day of 
confirmation, was a great occasion, the church scarcely 
holding the crowds which came to witness the solemn 

Christian Deininger, who had been the school- 
master and organist of the congregation for the past 
ten years, died on August 15, 1830, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son, E. Jonathan Deininger, who served 
in the same capacity until June, 1834, w^hen he mar- 
ried Mary E. H. Mulilenberg, daughter of the former 
pastor, and resigned the position. He was succeeded 
in turn by his brother, J. Constantine Deininger, who 
retained the office until 1861, after the separation of 
the German and English' portions of the congregation 
took place. 


The secretary's book for some yeai's contains noth- 
inoj but the result of the annual election of vestry- 
men. In 1833, Henry A. Muhlenberg's name ap- 
pears as a trustee of the congregation, and Mr. Miller 
found in his predecessor in the pulpit, now a strong 
friend and helper in the vestry. It was customary 
in those days for the members of the vestry to sit in 
a body in a prominent place near the pulpit, and it 
was an unusual and noble thing to see one who long 
had been the occupant of the pulpit, sitting among 
the chief members of the congregation, listening to 
the instructions of his pastor, and serving in the sub- 
ordinate position of a trustee. ' 

In the year 1833, the congregation entered on 
the completion of their church edifice by erecting a 
steeple on the tower. Pastor Miller did not favor 
the project, but the congregation had made up their 
minds to it. When anyone would allude to his un- 
bounded influence over his congregation, he would 
tell, with a quiet humor, the fact that when the con- 
gregational meeting was held to decide the matter, he 
attended and made a long and exhaustive argument 
against the project, because of its great expense, the 
danger of its falling, the better use that could be made 
with the money, &c., &c. He also persuaded his 
friend Mr. Muhlenberg to follow with a speech on the 
same side. Against two such opponents the proposed 
steeple had no chance, and no one felt competent to 
speak in its favor, but when the vote was taken it 
was unanimously decided to erect it. His daughter 
informed us that he stated, privately, it would be much 
wiser to take that money and erect an English Lu- 
theran Church on the school house lot, than to build 

164 Tiri': STEi:VLE ERECTED 188.3. 

a steeple. W hen nsked why he did not j)r(»j)(>se this 
|nii)liely, his icply was that as he was caHed as (ier- 
man pastor it woidd liave been improper, but the 
proposition .sliould iiave eoine iVoin those wisiiing 
P^n^lisli services. 

There are no minutes of tliat meeting, nor any 
mention of tlie pi'ojeet in the church records. But we 
have found the treasurer's account of money paid out 
on the erection of the steeple, and fiom this we learn 
that George Boyer, John Bickel and Anthony Bickel 
were the building committee, and Conrad Henry, 
William Henry and Joseph Henry were the ^'join- 
ers," or carpenter-contractors. The following items 
in this account are interesting: 

"The Lutheran congregation, in the Borough of Read- 
ing, due to Greorge Boyer, John Bickel, Conrad Henry 
and Joseph Henry, the expense for going to Philadel- 
phia, to ascertain the best plan and in what manner the 
steeple on the Lutheran Church in Reading is to be 
built, ------.--- $20.67^ 

[The steeple on the Arch Street Presbyterian Church, 
near Tenth, Philadelphia, was selected as the best model. 
Its general style of architecture was adopted, but greatly 
improved by making it a story higher and with a more 
graceful terminal.] 

'"'•January 28, 1833. Anthony Bickel received fifteen 
dollars, the expense for going to Schuylkill county with 
George Boyer and Conrad Henry for getting the timber 
for said steeple." 
1833, May 8, Daniel Bechtel for hauling boards 

from Columbia, -----$ 14.72 

*' May 23, Joseph Hemmich for hauling boards 

from Columbia, - - - - - 16.00 

*' May 18, Stuart Malone for drying planks for 

steeple, ------- 5.00 

" August 14, Daniel Schoner for making caps 

for steeple, - 100.00 


1833, December* 19, John Fox for hauling two new 

bells from Philadelphia, , . _ f 8.78^ 

1834, January 8, John Fox for hauling one bell 

from Philadelphia, ----- e.oo 

" January 21, Jacob Weitzel for taking a bell 

to Philadelphia, ----- l.eo 

" January 26, Conrad Henry, expense going 

to Lancaster, ------ 6.00 

" April 2, Samuel Fasig for jiainting at the 

steeple, ------- 50.00 

" April 4, John B. Conkling for painting at 

the steeple, - - - - - - 50.00 

" April 4, F. W. Witiuan for painting at the 

steeple, ------- 117.50 

" April 5, Chas. Phillippi for gilding ball, &c., 50.00 

The account is too lengthy to give in full, but may 
be itemized as follows: Lumber, $742.25; carpenter 
work, $1,216.50; carved work, $236; hardware and 
iron work, $532.60; painting, §267.50; otherwise, 
S505.15. Total cost, $3,500. 

From certain statements in this account, we infer 
half of this money was borrowed, and remained for 
soQie years as a debt on the Cong-relation. We have 
several subscription books before us of contributions 
for the steeple. The larger amounts were from Mary 
E. H. Muhlenberg, $100; George Boyer and John 
Bickel, each $30; Benneville Keim, $40; Joseph H. 
Spayd and Catharine Spayd, each $15; and John 
Stouch, Wm. Schoener, M. S. Richards, P. Schenfel- 
der, Geo. D. B. Keim, John B. Otto, John A. Ottoj 
Wm. Manneibach, And. Kepner, G. Eberle, Joseph 
Shirey, A. Shenfelder, J. M. Keim, G. M. Keim, 
George Nagel, Jacob Boyer, John Hanold, H. Hahs, 
Robert Porter, J. Walter, H. Spangler, J. Gehr, J. 
W. Frill, F. Witraan, each $10. All the others are 
in smaller sums, 


TIk? two new hells, ordered at the same time, cost 
$5J>2. A se])aiat(; suhseiiptiou was started for this — 
hut seareelv half the sum needed appears to have 
heen ohtained. The (Mily hell retained of the former 
set, was the small one east in 1755. The other two 
mav have heen sold and the proceeds used in pur- 
chasino: these new ones. 

The steeple thus tinished was over two hnndicd 
feet high, including tower and spire, and at that time 
was the highest and most graceful and heautifnl in 
the State. It added greatly to the imposing aj)pear- 
ance and heauty of the edifice, and hecame the chief 
landmark and piide of the town. 

While the steeple was heing erected, the huilding 
was repaired and repainted outside, and whitewashed 
inside, as we find in the above mentioned account this 
item : 

" 1833, June 21, paid Fred. Nachtrieb for white- 
washing three days in the Lutheran 
Church, - $3.75^' 

A number of women are also mentioned as paid 
for washing and cleaning the church. A new^ pave- 
ment was laid the following year around the prop- 
erty, for which John Getz delivered the sand, Jacob 
Hill, George Nagle, Henry Setley and Daniel Homan 
laid the pavement, and Jacob Madera set the curb- 
stones. A new kitchen was also erected at the par- 
sonage, the work being done by Jacob Fritz, at a cost 
of $250. 

On Trinity Sunday, of this year 1834, the Synod 
again met here. As the same body had met here in 
1794, on the occasion of the dedication of the church, 
it was fitting to hold this year's convention in Trinity 

THE SYNOD IN 1834. 167 

Church, and participate in the joy and thanksgiving 
of the congregation at tlie successful completion of 
the building by the erection of its splendid steeple. 
At this meeting of Synod, Rev. John C. Baker, pres- 
ident, preached on Trinity Sunday morning on Gal. 
4:18; Rev. Conrad Miller, a brother of the pastor, 
preached in the afternoon on Matt. 25 : 46 ; and in 
the evening Rev. George Lochman preached in Eng- 
lish on Matt. 28 : 5. On Wednesday evening Rev. 
H. S. Miller preached, also in English, on Eph. 4 : 6. 

The debt which remained after all subscriptions 
made for the steeple, new bells and other improve- 
ments had been collected, could not have been less 
than §2,500, and was a heavy burden on the congre- 
gation. To liquidate this, a special subscription was 
started on May 16, 1836, but from the list before us 
we judge it was not very successful. The contribu- 
tions were in small amounts, and did not materially 
lessen the load. 

Four years later another effort was made to remove 
the debt, and subscription books prepared with the 

following statement : 

"It is not generally known that the German Luth- 
theran congregation of this place is still indebted to the 
amount of more than two thousand dollars, caused by 
the erection of their steeple some years back. Now, in 
order to be enabled to pay off this debt, or at least the 
greater part thereof, the said corporation has passed a 
resolution lately, to make another trial of raising money 
by way of subscription, and to invite all the members 
and friends of said congregation to take an active part 
by subscribing such sums as will effect this desirable 

All those, therefore, willing and able to contribute 
their share, are politely requested to pay the same, 
either directly, or if this cannot be, at least before the 


flrstof July next, to eitlu-r of the coininittees appointed 
for tliat i)iir|)ose. 

l^Y riiK Vkstry of thk Gkkman Luthkiian 


RKADiNfi, May 4, 1K40. 

What success this effort met with \vc cannot tell. 
It is worthy of note that this subscription appears 
written in English, as well as German, showing the 
gradual increase of the use of the former in this com- 
munity. While our fathers may have been slow in 
making contributions to pay off their debts, be it said 
to their credit, tliey never resorted to the lottery sys- 
tem, tlien generally used to raise money for church 
purposes. In all the papers, records and accounts we 
have examined, from 1751 to the present time, we 
have found no mention of any lottery or similar 
scheme to raise money. 

Some years before this, the question of introducing 
the common school system caused considerable ex- 
citement in Reading, and met with strong opposition. 
Our fathers must not be judged too harshly for this, 
as it was not so much a question of change of lan- 
guage as a change of responsibility. They looked 
with no small misgivings at taking the education of 
the young out of the supervision and control of the 
church and its congregations, and putting it in the 
hands of the State which was too often controlled by 
mere politicians. 

But the establishment of the ^' free schools'^ soon 
affected the congregational school, and the attendance 
was greatly diminished and its revenues decreased. At 
a meeting of the Vestry, held October 31, 1837, 
Hon. H. A. Muhlenberg, Anthony Bickel and John 
Hanold, were appointed a committee to confer with 


the directors of the free schools and endeavor to 
obtain an appropriation from their funds towards the 
support of tlie schoolmaster of the congregation. 
Tliere is no evidence that thev met with any success. 
To meet the deficiency in the support of the school- 
master, the Vestry, in 1839, made an additional ap- 
propriation of twenty dollars, and in 1840 of eighty 
dollars to his salary. 

Wiien Hon. H. A. Mulilenberg went to Vienna, in 
1838, he resigned his office of trustee of the congre- 
gation, and Anthony Bickel was chosen to fill the 
unexpired term. 

In 1839 a movement was made to haye the Minis- 
terium resume its connection with the General Synod, 
which will explain the following : 

Reading, April 20, 1840. 

The Vestry and members of the congregation met in 
the church. The president of the Vestry, the Rev. 
Dr. Jacob Miller, informed the congregation that he 
was instructed by the Reverend Synod to take the vote 
of the congregation whether they desired to join a 
General Synod or to remain as they now are ? 

The vote was then taken and was unanimous against 
making any change. So testifies, 

John Hanold, Secretary. 

D:-. Miller, personally, was opposed to the return 
of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania to the General 
Synod, and at the subsequent meeting of that body 
offered the resolution that for the present it was not 
advisable, which was adopted by a vote of 33 to 28. 

We have already stated that the first Sunday School 
was a union school of all denominations. In 1829 
the Lutherans and Reformed withdrew, and formed 
one for these two denominations. This Lutheran 
and Reformed school met in the old Court House, 


wliich stood ill (lie piihlitr s(|nan' at Fifth and Ponn 
streets, until it was sold and taUcii down in 1 -S 1 1 . 
J>v this time each coniiic'tiation formed its own school, 
and ii bt'camc necessary to provide a [)hicc of meeting 
foi- so hu'u^o a school as the T^ntherans liad. In the 
minntes of the Vestry meeting, held Jnne 15, 1841, it 
is mentioned that at a previons meeting the teachers 
of the Snnday School had a})plied for the use of a 
portion of the «^chool house lot on which to erect a 
building to be used exclusively for Sunday School 
purposes, to which pi'oposition the Vestry had agreed. 
At the present meeting it was further decided to. 
appropriate the northwest ccjrner of said lot for this 

We have found no other statement about that 
building, but it was probably erected in 1841, and 
the necessary funds were collected and raised by 
the Sunday School. The building stood at the corner 
of Washington and Church streets, directly opposite 
the present parsonage. It was built of brick, was 
one story high, about thirty feet wide and sixty or 
seventy feet deep. In it the Sunday School was 
held until 1852, when the church was remodelled and 
the first story or basement was fitted for Sunday 
School puiposes. 

At the December meeting of the Vestry in 1841, it 
was determined to call a congregational meeting on 
the 29th of that month, to decide whether they would 
sell the lot adjoining the school house lot on the south, 
which originally belonged to Henry Melchior Muh- 
lenberg, and afterwards came into possession of the 
congregation, or whether they should sell the parson- 
age, which stood on Peun street above Seventh. In 


case the latter was sold, the money obtained was to be 
used in erecting a new parsonage on the first-men- 
tioned lot, and the remainder to pay off the debts of 
the congregation. 

Accordingly such a meeting of the qualified voters 
of the congregation was held in the school house on 
that date, and was largely attended. Hon. H. A. 
Muhlenberg (who had returned from his foreign mis- 
sion) was chosen chairman, and John Hanold secre- 
tary. After the chairman had stated the object of 
the meeting, Mr. Wm. Schoener arose and called at- 
tention to the fact that, according to the charter, the 
president of the Vestry (the pastor of the congrega- 
tion) had too much power ; since, according to the 
eighth section the Vestry could not proceed in any 
undertaking without his consent, and that it was nec- 
essary to have an amendment to the charter passed in 
which this section should be stricken out. He there- 
fore offered a resolution to have the charter thus 
amended, which was agreed to. 

Mr. Schoener then moved that some part of the 
property belonging to the congregation be sold, and 
the proceeds applied to purchasing an addition to the 
graveyard, as there was an opportunity now to do so. 
To this the chairman replied that for himself this 
seemed not only unnecessary, but would be very 
foolish, and, on motion of Anthony Bickel, it was de- 
feated. The question was then taken simply whether 
the Vestry should be authorized to sell a part of the 
property of the congregation, and it was agreed to by 
a vote of eighty in favor, to thirty who were opposed 
to it. It was also agreed to that the Vestry should 
attend to the proposed amendment to the charter. 

The r(ill()\vil)<J^ AMKNDMKNT TO TIIK (^IIARTER waS 

passed hy (lie Lc^i^^latme in 1842: 

Section 1. li( it enacted t»u the Senate and Jlonne of 
liej^rescntativcH of the Conummwcalth of I^cnnsyhania^ 
in General AHseinbli/ inet^ and it is hereby enacted by the 
authority of the satne. That the persons compo.sing the 
Vebtry of the "German Lutheran eon^n^f^ation, of the 
Borough of Reading, in the county of Berks," be and 
they are hereby authorized and empowered to make 
such rules and by laws for the government of the said 
congregation, as they, or a majority of them, shall from 
time to time deem proper to adopt. 

Section 2. And the said Vestry, by and with the con- 
sent of the majority of the male members of said con- 
gregation, are hereby authorized to sell and convey to 
the purchaser, or purchasers, in fee simple, either a cer- 
tain two-story brick house and lot of ground, situate on 
the north side of east Penn street, near the corner of 
Seventh street, or a lot or part of a lot of ground, situate 
on the west side of North Sixth street, adjoining the 
Lutheran school house, and apply the money arising 
from such sale to the payment of the debts due by said 
congregation, and to repairing their buildings. 

James Ross Snowdeiv, 
Speaker of tht House of Representatives. 

JoHx Strohm, 
Speaker of the Senate. 
Approved the 19th day of February, 1842. 

David R. Porter. 

It was about this time Dr. Miller built a residence 

for himself on Penn street, above Sixth. The old 

parsonage property was not sold f )r some years, but 

was leased to other parties until finally sold in 1851. 



TLbc /IDov>ement tor Enalt^b Sennces. 


The year 1842 was a memorable one in the history 
of Trinity congregation, in other ways besides what 
we liave just narrated. For some years articles had 
appeared in the pn])ers urging the introduction of the 
English language in some services in those churches 
where they were exclusively German. This aroused 
discussion and some bitter feeling. We cannot, in 
this brief history, enter into all the conflicting state- 
n[?ents about the struggle in Trinity congregation, 
which resulted in the withdrawal of a number of 
families, and the organization of an English 
Lutheran (St. Matthev^'s) congregation. Whether 
Dr. Miller and the majority of the Vestry were too 
unyielding, or the advocates of English services were 
unwise in the measures they used to bring it about, 
is a question we have neither space, time, nor dispo- 
sition to discuss. In the excited state of feeling, 
there may have been faults on both sides. It was 
not exclusively a question of language. What were 
known as " new measures,'^ had been introduced into 
other parts of the Lutheran Church, were strongly 
advocated by the editor of the Lutheran Observer ^ 
and had some influence in causing this separation. 

The minutes of the Vestry meetings make no men- 
tion of any petition or request of the English party 
for English services, nor any action of the Vestry 


disc'oiiiitcnanciiig siicli movement. The single item 
refening to it, is a resolution ndoptcd hv the Vestry, 
on May ID, IS^'J, addressed to the Ministeiinm, 
statins: that *' a candi(hite oi' theolonry bclonti-inir to 
the West Pennsylvania Synod, iiad intruded himself 
into this eongregation in an irregidar way, and ap- 
})arently with the connivanee of the president of that 
Synod, and was creating dissatisfaetions and dis- 
turbances, cte., and asking whether this was accord- 
ing to the agreement entered into between the 
Synods ?" To this, the Ministerium replied '' it was 
not," and an extended correspondence between the 
presidents of these two Synods followed. 

This is the only record we have found concerning 
this movement. But whatever may have been its 
manner or purpose, it brougiit Trinity congregation to 
see the necessity of providing English services for the 
benefit especially of the younger members, many of 
whom could not undeistand a German sermon. 

At a meeting of the A^estry, held July 11, 1842, on 
motion of Hon. H. A. Muhlenberg, it was resolved 
that the deacons, in getting subscriptions to the salary 
of the pastor, should ascertain whether the members 
favored the calling of an assistant pastor wdio should 
officiate in (he English language, and what additional 
contribution they would make for his support. 

Accordingly we find in the subscription books for 

that year the following heading : 

"We, the undersigned, members and friends of the 
Evangelical Lutheran congregation of Reading, prom- 
ise to pay to the Vestry of said congregation or its 
agents the sums annexed to our names in the fii'st col- 
umn, in half-yearly payments, as salary of the clergyman 

BEV. F. A. M. KELLER. 175 

for the year commencing on May 1, 1842, and ending on 
the same date, 1843. 

We also promise to pay in addition and in like man- 
ner the sums attached to our names in the second col- 
umn, in case the congregation should deem it proper to 
call an assistant clergyman to preach the Word of Grod 
in the English language." 

Sufficient encouragement was given to this to lead 
the Vestry, at a meeting held Angust 29, 1842, to 
appoint a committee, consisting of Hon. H. A. Muh- 
lenberg, Anthony Bickel and Asaph Shenfelder, who, 
in connection with Rev. Dr. Miller, should seek to 
obtain a proper person as English assistant pastor. 
It was also resolved that his salary should be §300 — 
and that the English services should not interfere 
with the present arrangement of German services. 

The attention of the committee was directed to 
Rev. F. a. M. Keller, a son of Rev. Benjamin Kel- 
ler, of Gettysburg, and who, after completing his 
theological studies, had taken charge of a school at 
Waynesborough, Pa. He accepted the invitation to 
preach here, and did so in the early part of October. 
On the 12th of that month the Vestry met and or- 
dered an election to be held on the 23d. At this 
congregational election 113 votes were cast, and all 
in his favor, Mr. Keller's formal call was dated 
November 3, 1842, and stated his office was to be 
'^ assistant preacher in the English language for one 
year, beginning December 11, 1842." It required 
him to preach, in the English language, on Sundays 
and festivals when there were no German services, 
the pure Word of God, ^'according to the confessions 
of our church and the command of Christ," regularly 
to visit the Sunday School, comfort the afflicted and 

J "^J ins CA LL. 

iullill conscientiously tlic usn;il dntics of liis ofiicc. 
His SMiary was fixed at %'.\K)i)^ tojrctlicr with the cus- 
tomary j)ei-(jMisites. TIjg call further state<l that, 
while it .specified only one year, it was hoped the re- 
lation between them would [)i'ove so mutually profit- 
able that it would be continued. J5ut if either party 
desired it to terminate, six weeks' notice before the 
end of the year must be given the other party to that 
effect. In case no notice to that effect was given, 
this call should continue from year to year until such 
notice was given. 

Mr. Keller acce})ted the call and entered on his duties 
at the date specified, and continued in this position 
until the death of Dr. Miller, in 1850. The second 
year his salary was increased to $350. He was 
faithful and diligent in fulfilling the duties of his 
office, and exercised a strong influence over the young 
people of the congregation, both as the Englisli pastor 
and as superintendaiit of the Sunday School. 

Dr. Mil lei' preached every Sunday morning in 
German as heretofore, and Mr. Keller held English 
services in the evening. In the autumn season he 
organized English catechumen's classes and confirmed 
them at the time of the Christmas cummunion. 

On December 9th, he received an acZ-zVi^er/m license 

from Rev. Conrad Miller, the })resident of Synod, as 

ap})ears in the following item of the president's report 

to Synod, in ] 843 : 

'' December dth, 1842. Mr. F. A. M. Keller arrived, 
provided with a call from the Lutheran congregation 
of Reading, as an assistant to Dr. Miller in the English 
language ; also letters from his Rev. father and the 
Hon. Mr. Muhlenberg, desiring nie to give him a license 


ad-interim^ until the present convention. It was 

This license was renewed by the Synod at its meet- 
ing in Phihidelphia, in 1843, and he was finally or- 
dained to the ministry, at the meeting in Pottstown, 
in 1844. On March 28th, 1848, he was married to 
Susan H., daughter of J. V. R. Hunter, of this place. 

The matter of making certain repairs and improve- 
ments to the church came before the Vestry, in 
March, 1844, and a large committee was appointed to 
canvass the congregation and see what contributions 
could be gathered to this end. The following were 
appointed : Michael Fritz, Nath. Hoff, Michael 
Kramer, AVilliam Weimer, John Fox, Franklin 
Shalter, William Arnold, Jacob Malsberger, C. Eyler, 
George Fichthorn, Fred Lauer, Richard Bickel, 
Charles Fichthorn, Eph. Armstrong, Charles Boyer, 
Charles Ribble, Geoi-ge Boyer, Jacob Young, Adam 
Deem, David Eisenhauer, Daniel Borger, Peter Stro- 
hecker, John Potteiger and Abm. Kissinger. 

From the report presented subsequently, it appears 
they collected $886.25, and that the improvements 
were made the same year, and consisted in a new roof 
put on the church, the painting of the entire building, 
and a new pavement put around the property, at a 
total cost of 11,322. 

It was in August of this year that Hon. Henry A. 
Muhlenberg, formerly pastor of the congregation, and 
now candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, died, as 
already stated. His funeral took place in the church 
on August loth, the sermon being preached by Dr. 
Miller, before a great congregation of relatives, friends 
and citizens. It will be noticed that Mr. Muhlenberg 

17 H //. //. M inij:Mu:h'a's OFFER. 

was a incinlxT of the vest rv at tlic time of" liis death, 
and coiitiiHied t<» take an active part in tlu; affairs of 
the C()n»^re^ation to the ch).se of liis life. His hi^h 
position and great influence made him a i)inar of 
stren^rth to the congregation, especially in the recent 
trials and changes which had taken j)lace, and his 
sndden death was a great loss to the ])ast()r, vestry 
and entire congregation. 

Fortnnatelv there were those in his family who 
were c()m])etent and ready to take their father's place. 
His two sons, Hiester H. Mnhlenberg, M. D., and 
Henry A. Mnhlenberg, jr., were noble sons of an 
honored father, and fidl of love for the chinch in 
which they had been reared. 

In proof of this we copy from the minntes of the 

Vestry, held Jannary 18, 1845, the following letter 

of the first mentioned of these sons: 

Reading, January 18th, 1845. 
To THE Vestry of the GtErmax Lutheran Congre- 

Oentlemen : — I have long been desirous of freeing the 
teachers of our Sunday School from the disagreeable 
task, of begging money for the necessary expensesof the 
school, and at the same time of putting it in the power 
of the congregation to add something to the salary of 
Mr. Keller, our English preacher. 

I, therefore, make the following proposition to you : 
Allow me to build three frame offices on the school house 
lot, on Sixth street, which, I think, from their situation, 
nearly opposite the court house, will rent for ^50 each, 
or x^ei'haps more. Of this sum say flO per year to be 
paid to the schoolmaster for depriving him of the 
ground, which is more than he can ever make out of 
it. One hundred dollars to be paid to the English 
clergyman of the congregation yearly as an addition 
to what he now gets from the Vestry ; and the balance 
to the necessary expenses of the Sunday School. The 


rents of these offices to be collected and paid out by the 
treasurer of the Sunday School, in the manner and 
for the purposes already mentioned. If they yield a 
larger rent, the balance to be paid me for my advance- 
ment of money for building. 

By agreeing to my offer you will not increase the 
debt of the congregation, for I will ask no bond nor 
will I charge you any interest, being willing to wait for 
my money, and to get it back in such amounts, as the 
rents, more than the above purposes will allow. And 
you will be able to retain Mr. Keller by giving him an 
increased salary without burdening the congregation. 

I make this proposition from love to the congregation 
in which my father labored for so many years, and for 
the sake of harmony and continued prosperity, and 
for no other reason ; and it is my wish that the Vestry 
say as little about it in public as possible. 

Respectfully your friend, 

HiESTER H. Muhlenberg. 

This offer was accepted with a vote of thanks and 
permission was given for the erection of the build- 

They were located on Sixth street, next below the 
school house, and were used as lawyers' offices until 
1855, when they were injured by fire, and torn down 
to make room for the parsonage which was erected 
on their site. 

At theannual election held April 7th, 1845, Hiester 
H. Muhlenberg was elected an elder of the congrega- 
tion, and tliereby took his father's place in the Vestry. 
He had relinquished the practice of medicine, and 
was now cashier of the Farmers' Bank, a position he 
held until his death. From this time he became the 
recognized leader of the congregation, and to his in- 
fluence may be traced much of the safety and success 
with which the congregation passed through repeated 
trials to its present position. This great influence 

1 80 J A CKSON MEMOli L 1 L SER \ ^ICE. 

was owinu:, not only to liis intt'lligonce, lihenility and 
social position, Imt diirfly to liis ronsistent religious 
cliaracter, and the conviction that lie never songlit his 
own advantage but alwavs the welfare of the congre- 

The Ministerium of Pennsylvania met in Trinity 
Church, on Trinity Sunday, 1845. Dr. Miller was 
the i)resid(Mit, and Rev. J. W. Richards, who became 
his successor in this church, was secretary. William 
Weimer was the delegate who represented the congre- 
tration in this convention. 

On Monday, June 30th, of the same year, a mem- 
orial service in memory of ex- president Andrew 
Jackson, who died on the 8th, was held in Reading. 
A parade of the military and civic associations, bor- 
ough and county officials, and citizens generally ))assed 
through the principal streets to Trinity Lutheran 
Church, where the services were held. A dirge was 
sung by the choir, a prayer was offered in the German 
language by Rev. Dr. Miller, and the eulogy was 
then delivered by Hon. J. Glancy Jones. 

Dr. Miller's influence in the Synod was equally as 
great as in his congregation. He was chosen presi- 
dent for two terms of three years each ; was chair- 
man of the Examining Committee for a number of 
years, and was repeatedly sent as its representative to 
the New York Ministerium. When the Synod cele- 
brated its Centennial, at its meeting in Zion's Church, 
Philadelphia, in 1847, Dr. Miller, by appointment, 
preached the Jubilee sermon. 

In 1846 the matter of securing ground for a new 
cemetery was discussed in the Vestry. Several 
causes determined that a better location was needed 


than that at Sixth and Walnut streets. Charles 
Evans, Esq., had recently given twenty-five acres on 
the Pottsville pike for a general cemetery, and this 
influenced the vestry to select some spot outside tlie 
town, where tlie grounds could be laid out in family 
lots and properly ornamented. Negotiations were 
first entered into to secure a place known as Hoch's 
Garden, located on the northeast corner of Sixth and 
Wahiut streets, opposite the old grave yard. This 
was subsequently abandoned for the site on Never- 
sink mountain, facing tlie town. The ground was 
finally purchased and remains to-day in possession of 
the congregation. It was laid out in sections and 
lots in 1849, and the first burial in it took place in 
1850. A brick cottage was erected near the gateway 
for the residence of the man who has charge of the 
grounds. The cemetery is now used as a general 
burial place for any families who purchase lots, but sub- 
ject to the regulations and the control of the vestry. 


In the year 1849, Dr. Miller's health beo^an to 
decline, beginning with attacks of vertigo, one of 
which occurred while preaching the sermon at a ser- 
vice preparatory to the Holy Communion. A com- 
plication of disorders followed, and his sufferings at 
times were very great and compelled him to suspend 
his official duties and labors. He secured the services 
of his nephew, Rev. A. T. Geissenhainer, to take his 
place in the German services of the congregation. 
Mr. Geissenhainer entered on these duties in October, 
1849, and continued until after Dr. Miller's death. 
As no prospect of recovery appeared. Dr. Miller 
decided to tender his resignation, which he did at the 

1H2 Ijli. MILLER RKSIUjS:^. 

nieotii^g (.A llii' Vestry uii April 24, 1850. It was 

as follows : 

*'To THE Honorable Members of the Vestry of 
THE Evangelical Lutheran Church of the City 
of Reading: 

Beloved Brethren .'—Through the merciful providence 
of God I am nearing a i)eri()d of 21 years as your 
preacher and pastor. If the Lord shall prolong my life 
until the 5th of May of this year, this sum of years will 
be full. The age I have reached, and especially the 
illness I am now suffering, leave me no hope that I can 
ever appear again as your preacher and attend to the 
duties of my calling as they should be performed, and 
as I would wish they should be fulfilled. 

I feel myself constrained, therefore, to send herewith 
my resignation as pastor of your congregation, and to 
return the call given and entrusted to me by your 
fathers, into j'our hands as their rightful successors. 

Finally I hereby express to you and the entire congre- 
gation my heartfelt thanks for all the friendship, love 
and confidence shown to me and to mine, and wish you 
the aid and blessing of the Lord in your future welfare 
and prosperity. 

And now the grace, &c. Jacob JJiller. 

Reading, April 24, 1850. 

This resignation filled all hearts not only with sad- 
ness, but with perplexity as to the status in which it 
left Mr. Keller. He was present at this meeting, and 
after a lengthy discussion it was resolved that all ac- 
tion concerning the ministers of the congregation be 
postponed until the next meeting. 

The meeting was held one week later, when on mo- 
tion it was 

Resolved^ That the resignation of Rev. Dr. Miller be 
accepted, and the secretary be instructed to convey to 
him by letter our thanks, in the name of the congrega- 
tion, for his faithful service as our preaclier and pastor. 

Resolved^ That Rev. Mr. Keller be instructed to invite 
such ministers to preach trial-sermons, whom the Vestry 


shall designate, and to fix the dates for such trial-ser- 

Resolved, That besides Rev. A. T. Greissenhainer, 
Revs. Gr. F. Miller, of Pottstown ; Rev. J. W. Richards, 
of Easton ; Rev. Thomas laeger and Rev. C. F. Welden, 
of Kimberton, shall be thus invited through Mr. Keller. 

Resolved^ That the annual salary of the German pas- 
tor to be chosen shall be $600, payable half-yearly, and 
that a new call be given Rev. F. A. M. Keller, after he is 
chosen as English pastor by the congregation, with an 
annual salary of |;500, payable quarterly." 

Dr. Miller died on May 16, aged 61 years, 5 
montlis and 5 days. His death was j^reatly mourned 
not only by the congregation, but by the entire com- 
munity in which he had so long lived. The Vestry 
met the following evening and passed resolutions ex- 
pressive of their sorrow, of submission to the Divine 
will, and of condolence with the family. They deter- 
mined to drape the church in mourning for three 
months, to attend the funeral in a body, and appointed 
Messrs. Ritter, Spang and Muhlenberg a committee 
to convey the action to the family, and to offer any 
assistance the Vestry could furnish. Messrs. Shaker, 
Knop and Fink were appointed to obtain places of 
entertainment for any ministers coming from a distance 
to attend the funeral. 

The body was kept one week and the burial took 
place on the 23d. The church did not hold all the 
people who attended the services. Tiie sermon was 
preached by Rev. Dr. Demme, of Philadelphia, from 
the text in John 14 ; 2-4. Besides Dr. Demme, 
the following clergymen were present : Revs. F. W. 
Geissenhainer, Conrad Miller, C. F. Welden, H. S. 
Miller, G. F. Miller, D. Ulrich, J. W. Richards, J 
Schindel, W. Meunig, J. C. Schultze, S. K. Brobst, 


1\. S. \\':i^iuM', A. T. (icisscnlwiincr and F. A. M. 
Keller, and the pastors of other churches in this 
citv. He was buried in tlie old ixiavevard at 8ixth 
and Walnut streets, hnt the l)ody was subsequently 
removed to the new cemetery on Neversink hill, 
where a ])lain monument covers his grave. His 
widow survived him thiity-one years, and was one of 
tile motiiers in Israel who assembled at the parson- 
age to greet the present pastor and his family on their 
a !• rival in Readinjx. 

The Synod met at Pottsville within a few days af- 
ter Dr. Miller's funeral, and passed suitable resolutions 
expressing the great loss tiie church and Synod had 
sustained. Among the addi'esses made, special men- 
tion is made of one by Rev. P. F. Mayer, D. D., of 

Dr. Miller's death left a vacancy hard to fill. But 
few men possessed talents equal to his, or could com- 
mand the respect, influence or affection he always en- 
joyed. While some might covet the position, they 
would shrink from being compared or rather con- 
trasted with him. We are not surprised, therefore, 
that at the meeting of the Vestry held June 5, Mr. 
Keller reported that all the ministers who had been 
invited declined to preach trial sermons, except Rev. 
A. T. Geissenhainer, who had been supj)lying the 
German preaching for the past six months. It may 
have been also because no one wished to interfere 
with his possible election, — and the fact that the two 
pastors were hereafter to be co-equal may have been 
a serious hinderance in the way. 

At this meeting it was resolved that Mr. Keller's 
increased salary should begin with the next quarter. 


Heretofore he was only an assistant, but henceforth 
the English and German pastors were to be alike in 
authority and position, differing only in language. 
Experienced ministers knew how hard it,would be to 
avoid conflicts and to work harmoniously, and de- 
clined to be candidates under such an arrangement. 
It was this that determined the Vestry, at their meet- 
ing on June 13, 1850, to rescind their former action 
and abandon the plan of having two pastors. They 
passed a resolution to this effect, and another that 
there should be but one minister who was competent 
to preach equally well in both languages. Also that 
it should be his duty to preach twice every Sunday 
and also take charge of the Sunday School. As this 
would cut off the serving of country congregations, 
the salary was increased to one thousand dollars. 

From this time the pastors have served no other 
churches, but confined their labors exclusively to 
Trinity congregation. 

Another meeting of the Vestry was held on July 

8, at which the following was adopted : 

'"''Resolved, That, in order to enable the Vestry to 
comply with its previous action, the Vestry hereby 
gives notice, respectfully, that the call or agreement 
existing between the Vestry and Rev. F. A. M. Keller, 
as the assistant pastor, in the English language, be dis- 
solved, to take effect from December 11, 18o0, and this 
notice shall be deemed as in accordance with the pro- 
visions of said agreement." 

This gave offence to Mr. Keller and his adherents 
in the congregation, and resulted in the withdrawal 
of a number of members, and the organization of St. 
James' congregation, of which Mr. Keller became 
and remained pastor until his death, in 1864. 




The first choice of the conojregation for a pastor 
able to preach in both languages, fell upon Rev. 
George F. Miller. He was a nephew of the late 
pastor, Rev. Dr. Miller, was pastor of the Pottstown 
charge, and was one of the rising young men of the 
church. He, however, declined the call, and at an 
election, held September 1st, Rev. John W. Richards 
was chosen pastor. He was a child of this congrega- 
tion, was a grandson of the patriarch Muhlenberg, 
and was at this time pastor of St. John's Church at 
Easton. He was induced not only by a visit from a 
committee of the Vestrv, but bv the advice of many 
ministerial brethren to accept the call, as it was 
thought his intimate acquaintance with the history of 
the congregation, and his mild manners and spirit 
fitted him specially to heal the troubles which had 
distracted the congregation here. The embittered 
feelings which had been occasioned by the separation 
of St. Matthew's congregation, in 1<S42, were already 
allayed, as is seen in the fact that Rev. J. A. Brown, 
the pastor of that congregation, supplied the vacant 
pulpit of Trinity Church, by invitation of the Vestry, 
on Sunday evening, October 20th. It was hoped 
that a few years would also allay the present storm, 
especially if a man of Mr. Richards' spirit became 
pastor. He accordingly removed to Reading and 

REV. J. W. RICHARDS, D. D. 187 

preached his introductory sermons on Sunday, March 
16th, 1851, not being able to leave his congregation 
at Easton at an earlier date. Mr. Richards was 
educated in Rev. Dr. Grier's Academy, and pursued 
his theological studies under his pastor, Rev. Y)\\ H. 
A. Muhlenberg. He entered the ministry in 1824, 
and the following year became pastor of the New 
Holland charge, where he remained until the spring 
of 1834, when he removed to the Trappe, the scene 
of his grandfather's (H. M. Muhlenberg) labors, and 
where the patriarch is buried, and remained pastor 
there for several years. On May 21st, 1835, he 
married Miss Andora Garber, who had been one of 
his catechumens, who proved to be an admirable help- 
meet to him in his work, and who remained an exem- 
plary member of our congregation until her death, 
on May 26th, 1892. Four children were born to 
them, Mrs. Adalaide S. Craig, Mrs. Dora McKnight 
(deceased). Rev. Prof. Matthias H. Richards, D. D., 
of Muhlenberg College, and H. M. M. Richards, the 
superintendent of our Sunday School. 

Mr. Richards was pastor at Germantown, from 
1836 to 1845, when he was called to Easton, and re- 
mained there until his removal to Reading. 

Previous to Mr. Richards coming, the subject of 
altering the church to a more modern style was agi- 
tated, and at a meeting of the Vestry, held Noveniber 
2, 1850, was agreed to; and the matter was put in 
the hands of a committee consisting of H. H. Muhl- 
enberg, F. B. Shalter and A. \V. Kauffman on part 
of the Vestry, and Anthony Bickel and Joseph Henry 
on part of the congregation. The alterations were 
made during the first part of the year 1851. A 

188 CllVliCJl m: MODE] .EI). 

second lloiii' was j)ii( in the biiiMinji;, inakiiiir m hase- 
nient tlierohy l<»r Simday School pinposes. Addi- 
tional wall.s were erected on citliei* .side of the stecph', 
to allow stairways and form vcstibnies. The npper 
windows were lengthened, and tiie lower windows 
shortened to correspond with the rooms to which they 
belonged, and frosted glas'^ put in all windows. All 
the interior parts of the church, pulpit, j)ews and gal- 
leries, were made new. The dcjors of entrance 
were placed at the west end, and the i)ulpit at 
the east. The walls were beautifully frescoed 
by an Italian artist; the floors carpeted and 
pews cushioned. A marble baptismal font was pre- 
sented by Dr. H. H. Muhlenberg, and a covering for 
the altar, beautifully embroidered in gold, was the 
gift of his sister, Mrs. Rosa C Nicolls. By the 
middle of July these improvements were completed 
and the renovated building ready for le-dedication. 
These services were held on Sunday, July 27, 1851, 
and were attended by great congrea:ations. \y\\ 
Richards (like \)\\ Miller) was president of Synod 
when he removed to Reading, and as such performed 
the act of dedication. The morning service was in 
German and the sermon was preached by Rev. C. R. 
Demme, D. D., of Philadelphia, on / Veier 2:5. 
The afternoon service was in English, when the ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. P. F. Mayer, D. D.,also of 
Philadelphia, on Fs, 102 .'13-15. In the evening 
English services again were held, and the sermon 
preached by Rev. H. S. Miller, of Tra])pe, Pa., on 
John 4 ; 24. 

For the first time in the history of the congrega- 
tion the pews were rented. The rates were very low, 


and the slight dissatisfaction it first created soon dis- 
appeared. The Sunday School, of whicli George W. 
Oakley was now superintendent, removed into their 
new rooms in the basement on July 6th, and the old 
Sunday School house was rented to the Readiuir Rifle 
Company. This building was in subsequent years 
occupied as a private school taught by Rev. William 
Good, and afterwards by Charles H. Schaeffer. 

During the time the church was undergoing these 
alterations, seivices were held in the court house, and 
it was in this building Mr. Richards preached his 
introductory sermons. When Mr. Richards came to 
Reading, the old parsonage on Penn street, above Sev- 
enth, was advertised for sale. It was sold in Novem- 
ber, 1851, to Dr. H. H. iVIuhlenberg for $4,900, and 
the proceeds used to meet the expenses in renovating 
the church. Mr. Richards occupied the house on 
the southeast corner of Fourth and Court streets, as 
his residence until his death. 

Hitherto the morning service had always been in 
German and the evening in English, but a change 
was now made by which on every fourth Sunday the 
morning service was in English and the evening in 
German. At this time E. Jonathan Deininger was 
leader of the choir, and his brother, J. Constantine 
Deininger, was the organist. Pastor Richards intro- 
duced week-evening services, and the first was held on 
Wednesday evening, October 7, 1851. These ser- 
vices were always in the English language. 

The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred 
upon the pastor, by Jefferson College, in 1852. He 
did not possess the natural oratorical gifts of his 
predecessor. Dr. Miller, but his preaching was per- 


siinsivc, and L-ininciilly practical and spiritual. Under 
it the congregation, which had recently been divided, 
grew, not onlv in nuinhers, hut in religions life and 
benevolent works. The Sunday School, which had 
been very considerably depleted by the withdrawal of 

» • 1 * 

Rev. Mr. Keller, resumed its former appearance. 
The infant department was organized by Mrs. Rich- 
ards on Apiil 18, 1852. In 1854 the school num- 
bered 746 scholars, of whi(;h 140 were in the infant 

Under Dr. Richards' ministry the first Dorcas So- 
ciety was organized, to look after the poor of the con- 
giegation and to take care of the furniture of the 
church. It was organized October 13, 1 853. Its first 
president was the pastor's wife, with Mrs. Rev. Dr. 
Miller and Mrs. Elizabeth Kendall as vice presidents, 
Miss Kate S. Hunter (now Mrs. H. H. Muhlenberg) 
secretary, and Mrs. Rosa C. Nicolls tieasnrer. The 
directors were Mrs. Elizabeth McElroy, Mrs. Eliza 
Ritter, Mrs. Hariiet Kutz, Mrs. Anna H. Muhlen- 
berg, Mrs. Augusta McLenegan, Miss Kate Weimer, 
Miss Elizabeth Smith and Miss Eliza Deem. The 
purchasing committee were Mrs. Wm. Weimer, Mrs. 
Mary Eaber and Mrs. Fredericka Craig. The visit- 
ing committees included Mrs. F. Lauer, Mrs. F. B. 
Shalter, Mrs. Sal lade, Miss Jane Seyfert, Mrs. M. 
Rightmyer, Mrs. Sol. Snyder, Mrs. S. Buch,Mrs. H. 
B. Boyer, Mrs. Daniel Miller, Miss Sauerbier, Mrs. 
Maria Esterly, Mrs. — Fichthorn, Mrs. John 
Moyer, Mrs. — Lutz, Mrs. Jacob Malsbei-ger, Mrs. 
Mary Garber. 

At the same time a '^ Young Ladies' Domestic 
Missionary Society" was organized, with Mrs. Mc- 


Elroy as president, Mrs. Rev. Richards and Miss 
Elizabeth Smith vice presidents, Miss A. S. Richards 
seci'etary, Miss Eh'zabeth Stahle treasurer, and the 
following managers: Caroline Brookman, Mary 
Boyer, Jane Seyfert, Louisa Ritter, Annie Shultz and 
Sarah Boyer. 

Collections now began to be taken in church and 
Sunday School at stated times for benevolent purposes, 
and every practicable method employed to develop 
interest and help in the educational and missionary 
operations of the church. 

Dr. Richards had been one of the founders of the 
Missionary Society of the Synod of Pennsylvania, 
which, in 1841, sent Rev. C. F. Heyer to India ; and 
had for some years been establishing mission churches 
in various parts of this country. In this work Dr. 
Richards took deep interest and a very active part. 

The writer vividly recalls, when sitting as a Sun- 
day School boy in the old Augustus Church at the 
Trappe, the interest he felt while listening to Father 
Heyer's letters from India, forwarded by Dr. Rich- 
ards to be read to the school. 

Another personal allusion will here be pardoned. 
On October 10, 1852, the writer preached his first 
sermon in Trinity Church. He was then a student 
of theology, eighteen years of age, and was visiting 
Dr. Richards, between whom and his father a strong 
friendship existed. On Saturday evening Dr. Rich- 
ards complained of pain about his heart, and it was 
this that induced the youthful student to comply with 
his request to preach in his stead on Sunday morn- 
ing. Little did Dr. Richards think, or the student 
know, that was within five days of the centennial an- 


iiivcrsarv of tlic first sernioii ])i('a('Ii('(l in the first 
church, by Henry Mclchioi- Miililciibcrg, on October 
15, 1752. 

The Miiiisteriiim of l*cnnsylv;min, met in Trinity 
Church, now renovated, durinjjj Easter wceU, lh5o. 
The time had been changed to this early (hite so as 
to elect delegates to the General Synod, which was to 
meet at Winchester in May. This step had been 
decided on at the previous meeting in 1852. Among 
the delegates elected and who re})resented the Minis- 
terium in tlie Geneial Synod at Winchester, were 
Rev. Dr. Richards and H. H. Muhlenberg, M. I)., 
both of whom were advocates of this re union. 

It was at this meeting of the jMinisterium in this 
church, the writer ai)|)eared for examination and 
licensure, and at the services held on Thuisday even- 
ing, April 7, 1853, he was received into the Minis- 
terium and was licensed as a minister of the g(>spel. 
Two of his associates, who were received at the same 
time, are still living, Revs. B. W. Schmauk, of Leb- 
anon, and G. F. Gardner, of Allent«)wn. In June, 
of the following year the Ministerium met in St. 
James' Church, Reading, — and he then received his 
final ordination. On both occasions he was enter- 
tained by Henry B. Boyer, at his j)resent residence, 
633 Walnut street. 

Dr. Richards was a model pastor, and the poor and 
afflicted found in him a sympathizing friend. While 
his manner was serious, he was always affable and 
pleasant. He took deep interest in his catechumens 
and the children of the congregation. He was uni- 
versally esteemed by the community and beloved by 
his people. 


In Synodical and other general cliiireh work he 
was active and prominent. He was cliosen secretary 
of the Ministeriuni in 1843, and served for three snc- 
cessive years, and in 1850 was elected president of 
that body, and re-elected in 1851 and 1852. He had 
a deep reverence for sacred places, and when Synod 
met in Trinity Church in 1853, he had the business 
sessions held in the lecture room instead of the 
church. He planted the beautiful willow trees which 
adorned the church yard, until cut down a few years 
ago. He was fond of gathering statistics, and had a 
high regard for old ways and customs. He was 
gjreatly interested in the Reports sent by the patriarch 
Muhlenberg and his associates to the fathers at Halle, 
in Germany, and had begun a translation of them into 
English, which were published in the Evangelical 
Revieiu. A sermon of his, preached at the centen- 
nial of the Augustus Church, at the Tra})pe, on May 
2, 1843, entitled ''The Fruitful Retrospect," was 

At a meeting of the Vestry, held December 12, 
1853, Mr. E. Jonathan Djininger resigned as secre- 
tary of the Vestry, a position he held since May 16, 
1842, and Jacob S. Li vingood was chosen his suc- 

It was shortly before the close of Dr. Richards' 
ministry, that he and the congregation sustained a 
severe loss in the unexpected death of Hon. Henry 
A. Muhlenberg, jr., who was the younger son of the 
Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, a former pastor. He was an 
active member of the church, and a strong supporter 
of his pastor, and had been one of the leaders of the 
congregation through the troubles which came after 


Dr. Miller's dcatli. He was elected a member of ill 1852, and shortly after the i)[)e:iing uf 
tlie session, in December, 185;^^ he was taken seriously 
ill and died at Washington, on .January 9, 1854. 
His body was brouixht to Ueadin<r and l)uried here on 
the 13tli. Jfe was the father of Henry A. Muhlen- 
bero^, p]sq., a member of this congregation. 

J^ut a deeper sorrow to the congregation followed 
within two weeks — the sudden death of Dr. Richards 
himself He had suffered at different times with 
some weakness or trouble at his heart, but the symp- 
toms had never been specially alarming. On Jan- 
uary 24, he preached the sermon at the funeral of 
Mrs. Elizabeth, wife of Benjamin Fink, and during 
the service felt his trouble was becoming serious. He 
was taken to his residence, on Fourth street, and as- 
sisted to his bed. Medical aid was summoned, but it 
was too late, as he died within fifteen minutes after 
he reached his house. His sudden death was a great 
blow to his affectionate family, and to the congrega- 
tion, who had learned to love him as a father. On 
the following day the Vestry met and adopted reso- 
lutions similar to those at Dr. Miller's death, and 
bore their testimony to '^ the excellence of his charac- 
ter as a true and pious Christian — a shepherd who 
endeared himself to the congregation by the benevo- 
lence of his heart and nobleness of his nature.'' It 
was also decided to drape the church in mourning for 
a period of six months, and that the expenses of his 
funeral should be paid by the congregation. 

His funeral took place on January 27, and again 
the church was too small to hold the great gathering 
of mourners and friends, Two funeral sermons were 


preached, one in German by Rev. C. R. Demme, 
D. D., and the other in English by Rev. John C. 
Baker, D. D., the president of the Synod. A large 
number of the members of Synod and other clergy- 
men were also present, and the Synod at its next 
convention passed suitable resolutions in his memory. 

Dr. Richards was in his 51st year, just in his 
prime, and his death was greatly mourned, not only 
in Reading^, but throughout the entire church. 
While thoroughly orthodox and devoted to the con- 
fessions of his church, he was a man of liberal and 
loving spirit, and was regarded as a link to draw to- 
gether and unite the various parties into which the 
Lutheran church was divided. His })astorate here 
was short, scarcely three years in extent, but it had 
been long enough for him to unite the congregation, 
calm the troubled waters, and set in operation various 
organizations and movements for the development of 
church life and work, which it might have required 
many more years for other men to accomplish. 

He was the first of Trinity's pastors with whom 
the writer was personally acquainted, and we can 
bear no better testimony to his memory than to quote 
the savino; of St. Luke concernino; Barnabas : '' He 
was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of 


After Dr. Richards' death the pulpit was supplied 
for some months by various clergymen, until the meet- 
ing of Synod which met in St. James' Church, on 
June 11th, 1854. The gathering of so large a 
number of ministers in this city, gave an opportunity 
for the congregation to see and hear different men 

lOG iiVvr. ./. ^V. JIOFFMAN. 

who IkuI been spukcii oi" as .snilahlc I'ur Trinity's va- 
cant ptilpit. Several hretlircn who had been thonglit 
of, preached on Snn(hiy. Kcv. John X. Hoffman, a 
new member of" Synod, who had hitely taken charge 
of Salem's Cluirch, at I^'banon, was present and took 
some part in the Snnday morning service. He made 
a favorable impression and was asked to pieach on 
Wednesday evening. The writer was in attendance 
at the Synod and heard Mr. Hoffman's sermon. It 
was able and eloqnent, and decided the case. An 
election was ordered and held on the 24th of Jnne. 
One hnndred and sixty-eight votes were east, of 
which (jne hundred and thirty-seven were for Mr. 
Hoff'man. He accepted the call and preached his in- 
troductory sermons on September 3d, 1854. 

Rev. John N. Hotlf'man was born in Adams county, 
Pa., on January 16th, 1804, and studied theology 
with Rev. David Fred Schaeffer, at Frederick, Md. 
He entered the ministry in 1825, and was called to 
Taneytown, thence to Chambersburg, thence to Car- 
lisle, and thence to Lebanon, where he remained but 
one year on account of the call to Reading. Tlie 
writer became his immediate successor at Carlisle. 
Mr. Hoffman was a man of talent and extensive 
reading, and strongly attached to the distinctive doc- 
trines and usages of the Lutheran church. Although 
many ministers in the West Penna. Synod favored the 
so-called new measures, he was elected president of 
that body during his residence at Carlisle. After Mr. 
Hoffman came to Reading, the whole churcli was 
^greatly agitated by the appearance, in-^ 1855, of an 
anonymous pamphlet, called The Definite Platform, 
intended to be a substitute for the Augsburg Confes- 


sion, tlie time-honored creed of the Lutheran church. 
Mr. Hoffman was among the first to take up liis pen 
and expose the real purpose of this movement and the 
dangers it threatened. His work appeared in book 
form, and was entitled The Broken Platform. It was 
published in the early part of 1856, and helped to re- 
assure the church, and to make the Definite Platform 
effort a signal failure. He was a champion for the 
truth at a time when, and in situations where, it re- 
quired unusual ability and courage to maintain it. 
He was an accotnplished and graceful speaker, in 
both English and German, and had it not been for 
the bodily weakness he suffered, would have been a 
recoo^nized leader in the church. 

The only change made in the church services when 
his ministry began, was to equalize the two languages 
by making the morning service English on every 
other Sunday, and subsequently the use of the clerical 
robe or gown by the pastor at the public services in 
the church, which had fallen into disuse for many 
years. The exact date when Mr. Hoffman began its 
use we cannot ascertain. 

The old parsonage on Penn street having been sold, 
a house was rented for Mr. Hoffman's use until a new 
parsonage should be built. This was hastened by a 
fire in Januaiy, 1855, which burned out the frame 
law offices on Sixth street, which H. H. Muhlenberg 
had built for the benefit of the Sunday School. The 
congregation received §450 damages from the fire 
insurance company, but they were not rtbiiilt. At 
the meeting of the Vestry on February 12tli, it was 
decided to erect a parsonage on the lot these offices 
occu])ied, and to obtain subscriptions thereto without 

1 98 THE I \ 1 1! SON A ( / /v O X sr.Y TIT S TR EET. 

(U'lay. Tlic rent received fVoin the military C(»nij)Miiy, 
for the use of the old Sunday iSchool building, was 
appiopi'iated to the Sunday School, iu lieu of the rents 
forrneily received from the offices now destroyed. 

The parsuiKiire, No. 38 Norlii Sixtli street, was 
erected in the fall of 1855, and was a substantial and 
elegant brick building, thice stories high, and fur- 
nished with every convenience. It was built by vol- 
untary contributions, l)ut we have found nt) statement 
of its cost, nor the amount the contributions reached. 

Mr. Hoffman was a widower when he came to 
Reading, his first wife dying and was buried while he 
lived at Carlisle, On August 18, 1856, he married 
Mrs. Ann Craig Parker, then of Philadelj)hia, but 
formerly of Reading, and brought his bride to the 
new parsonage. 

Besides this expensive undertaking of erecting a 
new parsonage, the steeple of the church was repainted 
in the fall of 1856. The work was done by Charles 
Foster, of Philadelphia, and the cost, including the 
gilding'of the ball and vane, amounted to $573. 

\\\ June, 1856, it was decided to issue no further 
permits for burials in the oKl graveyard at Sixth and 
Walnut streets, and the following January a commit- 
tee was appointed to procure an Act of Assembly 
authorizing the sale of this ground. This act was 
passed on March 31, 1857. On June 7 an election 
was held to obtain the consent of the congregation for 
such sale, and resulted in sixty-two votes in its favor 
to sixteen against it. It was never sold, but trans- 
ferred to St. John's contrreo^ation after the bodies in- 
terred theiein had been removed to the new cemetery 
on Neversink hill, as will be further explained. 



It was in the year 1856 the name of Amos W. Pot- 
teiger first appears in the minute book as a vestry- 
man of the congregation, he being chosen one of the 
deacons at the spring election. With several inter- 
vals of a single year only, he has continued in the 
Vestry from that time to this, a period of thirty-eight 
years, the longest that any present membtsr of the con- 
gregation has served in that capacity. 

During Mr. Hoffman's pastorate a special meeting 
of the Ministerium was held in Trinity Church, on 
Wednesday, August 1, 1855, for further consultation 
and action concerning a professor to fill the German 
professorship the Synod had established at Gettys- 
burg. At the regular convention at Harrisburg, Rev. 
Dr. C. F. Schaeffer had been nominated, but de- 
clined. At this special meeting his declination was 
not accepted, but the duties of his position were more 
clearly defined, and he was induced to accept. The 
meeting lasted one day. An ordination service was 
held in the evening, when, after a sermon by Rev. J. 
T. Vogelbach, Candidate Ferd. Berkemyer was or- 

On the 14th of May, 1857, the General Synod, 
with which the Ministerium had re-united, met in 
Reading. Rev. J. A. Brown, pastor of St. Mat- 
thew's Church, secured the holding of the business ses- 
sions in that church, which gave offence to Mr. Hoff- 
man and the Vestry of Trinity Church, as they 
claimed 'Hhe invitation to the General Svnod to hold 
its sessions in this place originated with and was ex- 
tended by the pastor of this congregation." It was 
decided, however, that ^' this fact should not prevent 
the members of this congregation from performing 


tlu'ir pait in the duly of ciitcitaiiituctit of rneinI>L'rs of 
said Syiiodj" and that the cimrcli .should hu ottered 
lor the aniiiversai'v ol tlie foreiirii niissioiiju'V soeietv. 
'J'his was hehl on Monday evening:, May 18, and the 
addiesses were made l)y Revs. C. W. Sehaetfer, G. F. 
Krotel, A. C WedeUind and \V. A, Passavant. (Jn 
Snnday afternt)on the General Synod held its commun- 
ion seivice in Trinity Cliureh, conducted by Rev. Drs. 
A. H. Lochman, C. F. Schaeifer and J. G. Morris. 
Durintj: the convention the Lutheran Historical Soci- 
ety held its meeting also in Trinity Chuich, and an 
addi'ess was deliv^ered by Rev. George Diehl. 

The congregation prospered under Mr. Hoffman's 
ministry and iiiereased in its membership. On Good 
Frida}^ 1855, he confirmed 108 persons (25 in Ger- 
man and 83 in P^iiglish), the first time in the history 
of the congregation that the number exceeded one 
hundred. The missionary societies established by 
Dr. Richards continued their good work, and in 1855 
boxes were put up at the five vestibule doors for con- 
tributions for the education of worthy young men for 
the ministiv. With the contents of these boxes, a 
student was suppoited in the theological seminary un- 
til he had completed his studies. 

Peace and prosperity rested on the congregation, 
and everything was apparently reaching the zenith of 
prosperity, when Mr. Hoffman's work was airested 
by his serious illness. He never possessed a strong 
constitution, and the work he had to perform in so 
large a congregation as this, was too great for his 
strength. About the middle of July, 1857, he was 
taken with a complication of disorders, affecting the 
liver and heart, and after an illness of ten days died 


on Sunday morning, July 26, in the 54th year of his 
age, and after a pastorate in this congregation of not 
quite three years. It is remarkable how nearly alike 
he and Dr. Richards were, in the years of their life, 
and also in the length of their service in this church. 

The Vestry met the following day and took the 
same action thev did when Dr. Richards died, ex- 
pressing their appreciation of his labors ami sym- 
pathy with his family, and ordered the church draped 
in mourning for six months, and that the funeral ex- 
penses sliould be paid out of the church treasury. 
They subsequently also purchased the furniture he 
had put in the parlor of the parsonage, for the use of 
his successor. 

The funeral took place on the 30th. The services 
were held in thecliurcli, where a sermon was preached 
in German by Rev. C. F. Welden, and Rev. C. VV. 
Schaeffer, D. D., spoke in Englisli. He was buried 
in the cemetery of the congregation on the Never- 
sink, close by the grave of Rev. Dr. Miller, and the 
burial service was read by Rev. F. A. M. Keller, of 
St. James' Church. 



(I. 1RiGbtm\?cr. 

After the ileatli of Mr. Hoffman, the heaits of the 
congregation were set on securing Rev. G. F. Krotel 
as his successor. Dr. Krotel hat! been pastor at 
Lebanon before Mr. Hoffman went there, but since 
1853 was pastor of Trinity Cliurcii at Lancaster. 
His reputation as a pulpit orator and successful ])astor 
was very great, and the congregation seemed willing 
to accede to any conditions he would make, to secure 
his removal to Reading. An election was a])pointed 
for August lb, and his name was put in nomination 
by the Vestry. The meeting was enthusiastic, and 
189 votes were cast, all in his favor. A committee, 
consisting of William Weimer, F. Laucr, Joseph 
Henry and M. K. Boyer, was appointed to convey 
the call to Lancaster and urge its acceptance. 

On August 21, they reported that *' he would ac- 
cept the call and preach for the present in both lan- 
guages, provided the congregation would now decide 
to erect a second church, so that the services in one 
should be entirely in English, and in the other in 
German, and that this arrangement should be carried 
into effect within two years. They further stated 
that he had no occasion or desire to leave Lancaster, 
but that the unusual vote and extraordinary unani- 
mity of the call, indicated to him it was his duty to 
accept, provided the above conditions were complied 

BJEV.^F. J. F. SCHANTZ. 203 


A. congregational meeting was called to consider 
these conditions or propositions, which met on Au- 
gust 25, and resulted in 83 votes in favor of comply- 
ing with these conditions, and 18 against them. The 
committee was sent to Lancaster to inform Pastor 
Krotel that his conditions were accepted, but on Au- 
gust 28, a letter was received from him declining the 

The expectations of the congregation being thus 
disappointed, and the Vestry not being able to agree 
on any other name to put in nomination, it was de- 
termined to get some one to supply the pulpit for 
some months until a decision could be reached. 

Inquiries were made concerning those just graduat- 
ing from the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, 
and F. J. F. Schantz was recommended as a suitable 
person for such supply. 


Franklin J. F. Schantz, son of Jacob and Sarah 
Schantz, was born in Lehigh county, Pa., January 8, 
1836. He graduated at Franklin and Marshall 
College in 1855, and at the Theological Seminary at 
Gettysburg in 1857. The AVest Pennsylvania Synod 
met that fall in the church at Carlisle, of which the 
writer was then pastor. Among the young men who 
came to that convention and applied for examination 
and licensure, was Mr. Schantz, and on September 
28, 1857, he received license to preach and adminis- 
ter the sacraments. Having accepted the offer to 
supply the pulpit of Trinity Church, he came to 
Reading, and entered on his duties in the early part 
of October. It was a great undertaking for a young 


mail just hcijjimiiiii:; his ministry, l)ut liis prcacliiii^ 
and pastoral work were so satisfiu'torv, tliat by the 
close ot" Xovc'iiibcr the \"i'stry (leteiiiiiiicd to put his 
name in nomination as the; rcjrular pastor of the con- 
^ivgation, and on Xovcmljer 28 be was unanimously 
elected. He accepted tlie call and pleached his intro- 
ductory sermon on January 10, 1858. 

The congregation continued its growth under Mr. 
Schantz's ministry, both in numbers and in activity. 
Regular quarterly collections for benevolent ])uri)oses 
were now established, and the contributions of the 
congregation for synodical and otiier church enter- 
prises and objects materially increased. 

The oidy impediment in the way was the heavy 
debt resting on the congregation, which had been ac- 
cumulating for a number of years, owing to the ex- 
traordinary expenses connected with the establish- 
ment of a new cemetery, the renovation of the church, 
and the erection of the parsonage, and amounted to 
over $10,000. The interest on this debt absorbed no 
small part of the congregation's income, and to meet 
its demands was the most urgent business at the 
monthly meetings of the Vestry. 

During Mr. Schantz's ministry, Hon. John 
Schwartz, a menlber of the congregation, was honored 
in being elected to Congress in 1858, and took his 
seat on March 4, 1859. He was a man of fine ap- 
pearance and recognized ability, and did credit to the 
position he filled. Like one of his predecessors, 
Henry A. Muhlenberg, jr., he was destined, however, 
not to complete his term of office, but to die at his 
post. He became ill while attending to his duties, 
and died at Washington on June 20, 1860, in the 67th 


year of his ao^e. His body was brought to Reading 
and buried on the 23d, tlie services being held in the 

During the second year of his office, Mr. Schantz 
began to realize the labors of the pastorate were too 
heavy to be performed without assistance. At the 
meeting of the Vestry on October 12, 1859, resolu- 
tions were introduced proposing 'Hhe employment of 
an additional minister to preach in the German lan- 
guage.'^ On October 31. at a congregational meeting 
held in the lecture room, the following resolutions, 
proposed by the Vestry, were adopted : 

Resolved^ 1. That an assistant to preach solely in the 
German language be called, and that the Vestry make 
the necessary arrangements for his salary and arrange 
the services in a proper succession. 

2. That the assistant be allowed to serve country con- 
gregations, until the Vestry notify him that all his time 
will be required in this congregation. 

3. That we recommend the employment of Mr. Kuen- 
dig for the purpose mentioned in the preceding reso- 
lutions, until further arrangements are made. 

4. That this arrangemient commence as soon as pos- 

Without any further election in the usual form, 
the Vestry deemed this action sufficient and issued a 
call, dated October 31, 1859, to Mr. Kuendig, to be- 
come assistant pastor in the German language, which 
he accepted in a letter dated at Gettysburg, Novem- 
ber 7, 1859. 

John Jacob Kuendio; arrived in this country on 
October 24, 1858. He had been a student in the 
Mission Institute at Basel, and on his arrival in this 
country, proceeded to Gettysburg to complete his 

200 nr.V. J. J. KVKNDIQ. 

tlieologicnl .stiulles. The followiii*; .suniiiier he visited 

Reading during iiis vacation, and preached in Ger- 
man several times at the invitation of Pastor Scliantz, 
This brought him to the favorable notice of the con- 
gregation, and when it was determined to call a Ger- 
man assistant, he was elected to the position as above 
stated. His salary was fixed at ^400, and he entered 
on his duties in the beginning of December, 1859. 
As he was not yet ordained, he coidd oidv assist in 
preaching and visitation, — all ministerial acts being" 
performed by Mr. Schantz until at the meeting of 
Synod in Philadelphia in June, 1860, he received his 
ordination. The congregation rejoiced with him on 
this occasion, and when he returned from Synod a 
number of friends greeted him at the parsonage, the 
gentlemen presenting him with a gold watch and 
chain, and the ladies with a clerical robe for his use 
when preaching. Within a few days, on June 12th, 
he was joined in marriage to Emily S., daughter of 
F. B. Shaker, a prominent member of the congregation. 
Mr. Kuendig, however, was not content with existing 
arrangements, and already the following month gave 
notice to the Vestry that he was not satisfied with 
his present salary and call, and that if no satisfactory 
arrangement would be made, he would resign at the 
end of his year. 

This gave occasion to a division of sentiment, one 
party favoring an increase of salary and thus retain- 
ing Mr. Kuendig, and the other favoring the accept- 
ance of his resignation rather than increase the debt 
of the congregation. An attempt had been made to 
raise the rate of pew rents, but met with so much 
opposition in the congregation that it was abandoned. 


At the meeting of the Vestry, on Angust 6, 1800, 
action was taken on Mr. Kuendig's letter and the 
following ado[)ted : 

" Resolved, That we regret the determination of Rev. 
Mr. Kuendig, who has apparently been doing much 
good in the congregation, but that his notice, accord- 
ing to the call, be accepted, and that at the end of his 
year his services as pastor shall cease." 

The vote stood 11 in favor and 4 against it, the 
number of vestrymen having been increased to fif- 
teen by an xA.ct of Assembly, passed March 21, 1860. 
Another meeting was called at the request of Mr. 
Kuendig the following week, and he gave his views 
in full upon the whole situation of the congregation. 
This resulted in the appointment of a general com- 
mittee, consisting of the two ministers and thirteen 
members of the congregation, to take into considera- 
tion the present state of the congregation and to pro- 
pose action. All seemed to agree the time had come 
when the two elements or parties in the congregation 
must and should separate, and the congregation be 
divided, but the terms or conditions of the separation 
was the point of difference. Partisan feeling got 
uppermost and a war of words followed, which there 
is no occasion now to recall. Meetings weie held 
nearly every week. Petitions and counter-petitions 
w^ere presented and read, and resolutions and counter- 
resolutions were offered, passed and rescinded. They 
look very innocent now as they lie quietly side by 
side on the pages of the Vestry's minute book like 
sleeping children, and we are not disposed to wake 
them up. It is hard to realize that they produced 
such strife and contention a generation ago. Feel- 
ings were roused to fury, and it seemed as if the 


foil iitni lis of the great deep liad broken up. But 
there were some wise men who cared for the safety and 
good of the church, rather tlian for tlie triumph of a 
party. It took forty days for the waters to assuage, 
and then they sent out the dove which found tlie 
olive leaf. It was proposed to sell the old grave 
yard at Sixth and AValnut streets, after the dead were 
removed, and with the proceeds build another church 
for the use of t'hc German party. To this the Ger- 
mans objected that the expense of removing the dead 
would consume too much of the money, and there 
would be too little left to build the church. On the 
other side, the English party objected that the money 
derived from such sale was intended and needed to 
pay off the debt of $12,000 resting on the congrega- 
tion for many years, and that this debt should be 
wiped out before any separation or division took 
place. It was finally compromised that the old con- 
gregation should bear tlie expense of removing the 
dead, and that the new congregation should refund 
$3,000 out of the money received from sales of the 
ground as their share of the old debt of ^12,000. 
Other equitable arrangements were made in the divi- 
sion of the new cemetery, etc., etc. The use of the 
church was given to the German i)arty on Sunday 
afternoons for public services, and the old Sunday 
School building for Sunday School and week-even- 
ing meetings for one year, until their new building 
was completed. The agreement was as follows : 


I. The Vestry of Trinity Church agrees as follows : 
In case such of its members as are willing to form a 
new German Lutheran congregation in connection 


with the Synod of Pennsylvania, &c., should organize 
and elect a Vestry and a clergy man ; and the Vestry so 
formed shall promise to separate j^eaceably from the 
old congregation and bind themselves to make no fur- 
ther claims on the old congregation and its property, 
to-wit : 

II. The Vestry of the Trinity Church, on their part, 
in consideration of the foregoing, and as their contri- 
bution to the building of a new church, will sell to the 
new congregation the lot of ground at the corner 'of 
Sixth and Walnut streets, known as the old burying 
ground, for the sum of three thousand dollars, payable 
in -two years from April 1, 1861, without interest, and 
will convey the same to , in trust for the new con- 
gregation, on the receipt of an individual bond, satis- 
factory to the said Vestry of Trinity Church ; said sura 
to be applied to the reduction of the debt of the old 
congregation, and will also remove the dead bodies in 
said lot at the expense of Trinity Church, during the 
coming winter. 

III. The Vestrj^ of Trinity Church also agrees to 
lease to the Vestry of the new congregation, the use of 
the church every Sunday afternoon, the lecture room 
every Thursday evening, and the church for prepara- 
tory services, and for funerals during the week, for the 
term of one year, to commence January 1, 1861, for the 
sum of five dollars on a lease in usual form, and in 
which the new congregation agrees to remove there- 
from peaceably, at the end of said term if required to 
do so. It is understood that the old Sunday School 
house, now used for a German Sunday School, is also 
to be allowed them for the same space of time on Sun- 
days and in the evenings, provided there is no interfer- 
ence with our tenant in possession. A fair proportion 
of the cost of fuel and light in using the church to be 
borne by the new congregation. 

IV. The cemetery on the Neversink is to remain to 
the old congregation, and its rules to be altered so that 
in future present lot-holders may call in the services of 
the clergyman of the congregation to which they ad- 
here, and be not in future required to contribute to the 


old congregation if tliry l)»'l(>ng to tlu^ new. Four 
acres additional ground to be bought, if possible, on 
the east side adjoining, at the joint expense of the two 
congregations, for the use of tlie new, and free access 
to this ground to be allowed through the first ground, 
and the fence to be removed so that the whole be in 
one enclosure. 

These articles were adopted by the Vestry, with 
some opposition and against a remonstrance numer- 
ously signed, at tlie meeting on December 3, 1860. 
The committee representing the German party was 
then called in, and the record states, ^' the i)resident 
of the Vestry informed them of the action taken — 
and there was mutual satisfaction that said articles 
of agreement have been finally passed." 

The value of the property thus given to the new 
congregation was fixed at $15,000 by the Vestry at 
its meeting, May 2, 1859, a year and a half previous 
to this action. 

The work of removing the dead was put in charge 
of H. H. Muhlenberg, J. Henry and J. Young, as a 
committee of supervision, and was done during the 
winter months. The new congregation organized 
under the name of ^' St. John's German Lutheran 
Church/' and with Rev. J. J. Kuendig as its pastor ; 
and as soon as the ground was cleared, work was be- 
gun on the erection of their church building at the 
corner of Walnut and Church streets. The corner- 
stone was laid on Trinity Sunday, and the church 
dedicated on December 1. 1861, on which occasion 
Trinity Church was closed to allow its pastor and 
members to participate in the services. 

At the same meeting at which the articles for a 
peaceable separation were adopted, on December 3d, 


1860, the following cuminuiiicatioii was received from 

the pastor of the church : 

To THE Vestry of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran 
Congregation : 

Brethren .*— Although my call requires me to give 
notice three months before the end of my official year if 
I should desire to resign as pastor of your congregation, 
I consider it my duty under existing circumstances re- 
spectfully to request you to release me from my engage 
ments at tlie end of the present year, January 6th, 1861, 
by accepting of my resignation, which is hereby 
tendered. Hoping that by my resignation arrangements 
can be made to meet better the wants of the congrega- 
tion for whose welfare I labored, and wishing you per- 
sonally and the whole congregation Grod's richest bless- 
ing, I remain yours, 

F. J. F. Schantz. 
Reading, Pa., November 27, 1860. 

A motion to comply with this request and accept 
the resignation was lost, and the meeting adjourned. 
Two days later another meeting was held and the 
resignation was then accepted. 

At a meeting of the Vestry, held December 18th, it 
was decided to apply for an Act of Assembly author- 
izing the congregation to sell the graveyard property, 
so as to cover any possible defect in title, and also the 
old school house property at the southwest corner of 
Sixth and Washington streets, and to substitute the 
original name Trinity Lutheran Church, instead 
of "The German Lutheran Congregation of Reading,'^ 
under which it had been incorporated. This act was 
passed on February 28th, 186L 

Mr. Schantz closed his ministry in this church on 
January 6, 1861, after serving three months as a sup- 
ply and three years as pastor. From Reading he re- 
moved to Catasauqua, where he served for five years, 

212 HEV. C. liKniTMYER. 

ulic'H lie accepted a call to tlie M)er."st(>\vii cliarge, in 
18C)7, Mild where lie still continues. He has occn])ie(] 
numerous positions of influence and responsibility in 
the Ministeriuin, and received the degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from A ugustana' College in 1893. 

As some misunderstanding grew out of Mr. 
Schantz's lesignation, the Rev. Di". Mann, president 
of the Miiiisterium, declined to recommend any suit- 
able pei'sons for the vacant pulj)it. A committee of 
the Vestry was therefore appointed to secure sup- 
plies. Among otheis, Rev. Cyrus Rightmyer, who 
had distant relatives in the congregation, preached 
and greatly i)leased the people. An election was or- 
dered to take place on March 9th, and resulted in his 
favor, 156 votes being cast for him, to 54 against 
him. Mr. Rightmyer accepted the call and entei'ed 
on his duties the 2;3d of May, 1861. He was born 
at Saugerties, New York, on Septembei' 16, 1831 — 
his parents being Abraham and Catharine Right- 
myer. His studies were pursued at the institutions 
at Spi'ingfield, Ohio. He was licensed to preach by 
the Allegheny Synod, in 1854, and previous to his 
coming to Reading had been actively identified with 
the new-measure party in the church. His first pas- 
toial charge was in Huntingdon county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and for the last five years he was pastor of the 
Lutheran Church in Mechani(*sburg, Cumberland 
county. He was of a nervous tempeianient and not 
very robust constitution. He was a ready speaker, 
and possessed popular gifts as an orator. He came 
to Reading at the beginning of the rebellion of the 
Southern States, when the community was greatly ex- 
cited about the war. On several occasions he made 


public addresses at meetings called to raise troops, and 
always created enthusiasm by his appeals. 

His call specified tiiat he was " to preach to this 
congregation the pure and simple Word of God every 
Sunday, and on the holidays of the church, in the 
morning and evening, in the English and German 
languages, according to the present and future ar- 
rangements of the Vestry of said congiegation, and to 
preach the same after the comniands of Christ our 
Saviour, as explained in the Unaltered Augsburg 
Confession and the Catechism of Luther, and also in 
accordance with the usages of this congregation/' 

Mr. Rightmyer appeared to have no difficulty in 
complying with these requirements, excepting the use 
of the German language, with which he had a very 
limited acquaintance. After depending on others for 
this service for some time, it was abandoned, and from 
that time the ordinary services of the church have 
been conducted only in English. 

On the 1st of July, Mr. Constantine J. Deininger, 
who had been the organist and schoolmaster of the 
congregation for over a quarter of a century, ten- 
dered his resignation, which was accepted with a vote 
of thanks for his long-continued and faithful service. 
Miss Amanda Rightmyer (now Mrs. Dr. J. B. 
Sterley) was chosen organist in his stead, and no ef- 
fort was made to continue the congregational school. 
Extensive repairs and additions were made to the 
organ at this time by Mr. Samuel Bohler, of this 
place. After two years service Miss Rightmyer re- 
Signed, and Rev. J. H. Eberman became organist for 
cue year, and in turn was succeeded by Ed. A. Berg. 

2 1 1 VA RIO U&' CHANGES. 

Til tlic l)('(j^imiino; of Marcli, 1862, Mr. AVilliam 
Wt'imcr, one of the oldest vcstrvnien and inembeis of 
the coiiij^regntioii, died. lie was a ^fjiiidsoii of Peter 
Weimer, the deaeon mentioned on j>a<^e 105, and was 
l)orn but two years after the present einireii was com- 
pleted. The Vestry attended his fnnerai in a body 
and passed ajipropriate resolntions to his memory. 

In the letter })art of 18G2 tiie old school house 
property was sold, Daniel Miller puichasing the lots 
facing Washington street, and Thomas Swenk those 
on Sixth street. With the proceeds of this sale thp 
remaining debt, which had been hanging on the con- 
gregation like a mill-stone for more than ten years, 
was at last removed. 

In the month of December, 18G3, the staircase was 
put in the church leading from the basement to the 
chancel. Previous to that time the clergyman had to 
pass up the aisle to reach the pulpit. In April, 
1864, B. Frank Boyer resigned the office of secretary 
of the Vestry he held for a number of years, and D. 
B. Brunner was chosen in his place. 

It is very unfortunate that Mr. Rightmyer ne- 
glected to record his ministerial acts, such as bap- 
tisms, marriages and funerals, during the last two 
years of his pastorate, in the church records. It is 
the onlv blank in these records for over a hundred 
years, and may w^ork gieat inconvenience to many 
families in proving ages, marriages, &c., of which such 
record is always the first })roof in law. Tlie elders of 
every congregation should make an annual inspection 
and to see that these records are properly kept. 

In the minutes of the Vestry meeting, held Sep- 
tember 5, 1861, we find this entry : ''Mr. Rightmyer 


sent in his resignation^ which was accepted by the 
Vestry, and the trustees were appointed a committee 
to inform Mr. Rightmyer of its acceptance, and to 
write to the president of Synod and inform him of the 
vacancy and receive his advice." 

After leaving Reading, Mr. Rightmyer returned to 
Springfield, O., where his family still resides. 

For some reason, before Mr. Rightmyer's resigna- 
tion, the Vestry decided to offer for sale the parson- 
age in which he resided, which had been erected in 
1855. It was sold in October to William H. Livin- 
good, Esq., for ^^9,000 — and thus all the real estate 
once owned by the congregation was sold, excepting 
that on which the church is located, and the cemetery 
on Neversink hill. 

In the minutes of the Vestry meeting held Octo- 
ber 19, 1864, we find the following concerning a suc- 
cessor to Mr. Rightmyer : '' Resolved, That an elec- 
tion for pastor be ordered on Monday, November 7, 
between the hours of two and eight o'clock, for or 
against the Rev. William M. Baum, and in case he is 
not the choice of the congregation or declines to 
come, that another election be ordered for or against 
such other person as would seem to be suitable for 
the position. The resolution was adopted.'' A ma- 
jority of votes was in his favor and a call was sent 
him, but was declined. 

For several Sundays during the latter part of the 
year, the pulpit was supplied by Rev. F. A. Muhlen- 
berg, of Pennsylvania College, at Gettysburg, and 
subsequently by Rev. M. H. Richards, the son of a 
former pastor, and who had been ordained at the last 
meeting of the Ministerium, 



Z\K present ipastoratc. 

The ])reseiit pastor was elected on Decemher 19, 
1864, and entered on liis duties February 1,1805. 
He was born at the Tiappe, Montgomery county, on 
February 9, 1834, graduated at Union College, New 
York, in 1851, and at the Theological Seniinaiy at 
Gettysburg, in 1853. He entered the ministry the 
same year, being licensed to preach by the Minis- 
terium of Pennsylvania, at its convention in this 
church, on the 7th of April. He accepted a call to 
the English Ijutheran Church at Cailisle, and entered 
on his duties there, Febiuary 1, 1854. On Septem- 
ber 13. 1855, he married Eliza J. Wattles, of Gettys- 
burg. He remained pastor at Carlisle eleven years, 
until he accepted the call to Reading. He occupied 
No. 542 Court street, which had been secured as a 
pastor's residence. He preached his introductory 
sermon on February 5th, and was formally installed 
by Revs. G. F. Krotel, of Philadelphia, and B. M. 
Schmucker, of Easton, on the 5th of March. 

Shortlv after liis removal here, the war of the Re- 
bellion closed with the surrender of Lee, and on April 
14th the country was plunged into mourning over the 
assassination of President Lincoln. Menjorial ser- 
vices were held in the church at the hour of his 
funeral, at noon on Wednesday, the 19th, participated 
in by a congregation which crowded every part of the 


Previous to the present pastorate, a Lutheran Mis- 
sion society had been ori^anized among the teachers of 
Trinity, St. Matthew's and St. James' Sunday 
Scliools, for the establishment of Mission Schools in 
various parts of the city, and such schools had been 
started in the public school houses at 10th and Green, 
Franklin and Peach, and Laurel near 4th street. 
Ground had been purchased for a building for the 
first named, on 9th street beyond Buttonwood, but 
very little money had been paid on it, and there was 
danger of its being lost to the church. His first at- 
tempt at collecting, was to secure the amount neces- 
sary to pay for the lot, and have it transferred to the 
trustees of Trinity congregation, as it was evident the 
society was on the point of dissolution. This disso- 
lution took place that summer, and Trinity Sunday 
School Association took charge of the North 10th 
street, and Laurel street schools. A. W. Potteiger 
had charge of the latter, and Solomon L. Moser, who 
had been superintendent of Trinity Sunday School for 
some years, was put in charge of the first. 

The main school needed a thorough re-organiza- 
tion, and to effect this, the pastor took personal charge 
of it, and superintende 1 it himself for two years. He 
obtained $400 from six members of the congregation 
and bought a new set of books for the library, and 
secured the attendance of regular committees from 
the Vestry to assist in maintaining good order, and 
also enlisted a number of well-qualified teachers in 
the work. A new life soon developed in the school 
which became very prosperous, and furnished a large 
class of catechumens in the winter of 1865-66, out 
of which 8o were confirmed, 


As tlic house oil Court street had heeu rented only 
until a parsonage was purchased or built, the Vestry 
derided at its meeting in March, 1866, to erect a par- 
sonage on the western part of the church yard, where 
(he first church had stood. The dead bodies which 
had been buried there were removed to the Neversink 
Cemetery, and operations on the building were com- 
menced. Joseph Henry was made superintendent of 
its erection, and Henry Heckman was employed todo 
tlie carpenter work. The material was purchased by 
the conoretration, and tlie work was done bv the day. 
The pistor m:ide a paper model of the house he 
wished, and Architect Durang, of Phila., completed 
the designs and drew up the specifications. It was 
erected that summer and finished leisurely, and the 
pastor's family did not take possession of it until 
March 12th, 1867. The house is of brick, two stories 
high, 40 feet wide by 59 deep, with summer kitchen 
in the rear. It has a cottage roof, with porches on 
the east and west sides, and a portico in front. The 
$9,000 received from the sale of the former parsonage 
were expended upon it, and a number of valuable 
gifts made to it. H. H. Muhlenberg and wife gave 
the west porch ; Kutz, Arnold & Co. the front 
portico; Joseph Henry the sand-stone base; David 
McKnight the marble mantel in the parlor ; G. A. 
Nicolls the slate mantel in the dining room ; L. B. 
Smith the chandelier in the parlor ; W. H. Clymer 
the book case in the library ; Horatio Trexler the 
gas pipes for the building ; and John McKnight the 
heater which was in the front part of the house before 
the brick one was put in the cellar. 


On December 11, 1866, the convention to discuss 
the advisability and })racticability of organizing the 
General Council met in this church. At its last 
meeting the Ministerium of Pennsylvania finally 
dissolved its connection with the General Synod, and 
appointed a committee to call this convention of Syn- 
ods favorable to another geneial body. An invitation 
to hold it in Trinity Church was accepted, and the 
convention was opened on Tuesday evening, Decem- 
ber 11, with a sermon by Prof M. Loy, of Colum- 
bus, Ohio. The convention remained in session but 
three days, — but it brought a number of the leading 
theologians of the church together, and resulted in 
the organization of the General Council. 

After the completion of the parsonage, the atten- 
tion of the congregation was directed to the necessity 
of sundry repairs to the church building, and it was 
determined to give it a general renovation. This was 
done throuirh the summer and fall of 1867. The 
pastor, accompanied by H. H. Muhlenberg, made a 
canvass of the congregation and obtained liberal sub- 
scriptions. The proceeds of the Sunday School ex- 
cursion to Lititz Springs, and a congregational excur- 
sion to Central Park, N. Y., helped to increase the 
fund. A tin roof was put on the church, and new 
sash with stained glass put in the windows. The 
church was repainted within and without, and new 
carpets were put down. Some alterations were made 
in the church yard, and the a})pearance of the prop- 
erty greatly improved. The total cost of these im- 
provements amounted to $4,700. 

While these repairs were made, the Court house 
was secured and used for public worship, and was 


thus occupied fiom An<; 11, until tlie close of 

The cluirch was re-o|)one(l on Novcrjibcr 3, with 
special services a|)pi()pi iate, not only to its restoration, 
hut also to the Seventh Jubilee or ooOtli anniversaiy 
of the Reformation. Rev. Dr. Krotel, of Philadel- 
])hia, preached at the morning service, and liev. Dr. 
Passavant, of Pittsburgh, in the evening. Tlie Sun- 
day School hehl its festival in tlie afternoon, at which 
time jubilee medals, made of white metal, were given 
to all teachers and scholars. 

On August 27, 1867, Mr. G. A. Nicolls, general 
superintendent of the Philadelphia and Reading 
Railroad, j)resenled a lot of ground belonging to him, 
on North Eighth street beyond Oley, to Trinity 
congregation, for a future church or Sunday School 
building, in memory of his deceased wife, Mrs. Rosa 
C. Nicolls. She was the daughter of H. A. Muhlen- 
berg, a former pastor, and during her lifetime a 
faithful and liberal member of the congregation. 
She died on the 15th of May, greatly mourned by a 
large circle of friends. As the congregation had 
already secuied lots on Ninth street for this purpose, 
and it was not deemed wise to erect another so near, 
this lot was subsequently sold, with Mr. Nicolls' 
consent, and the proceeds used in })urchasing ground 
for Grace chapel, on Eleventh street. 

An efficient superintendent for the Sunday School 
having been obtained in the person of P. S. Erniold, 
the pastor organized a Bible class of confirmed mem- 
bers of the congregation, which met in the galleries 
of the church, and he continued their instructor until 
1874, when the Bible department of the Sunday 
School was organized. 


The Synod having requested special offerings to 
be made dining this Reformation jubilee, for the en- 
dowment of the The(jlog:ieaI Seminary at Philadel- 
])Iiia and Muhlenberg College at Allentown, New 
Year day, 1868, was set as the time to receive such 
offerings. The pastor remained at the altar in the 
church durinu: the afternoon, and received offerincrs 
amounting to over |3,000 for these purposes. One 
thousands dollars of this was from G. A. Nicolls, 
Esq., given from the estate of his deceased wife. 
As Rev. C. F. Welden, agent, had obtained about 
$5,000 in subscriptions to the seminary duiing the 
first year of the present pastorate, the bulk of these 
gifts went to the college. 

Among the contributois who came that day to lay 
their gifts on the altar, was Charles M. Roeder. 
After making his money contribution, he added that 
then and there he wished to give a son to the Lord 
and consecrate him to the ministry. That boy is now 
Rev. Robert D. Roeder, of Norristown. 

Another memorial of this jubilee of the Reforma- 
tion was the erection of a chapel, on the ground pur- 
chased fortius purpose, on Ninth street beyond But- 
ton wood. It was undertaken and carried to success- 
ful completion by the Sunday School. Plans w'ere 
adopted and work begun in the spiing, and the corner- 
stone laid by the writer, assisted by Revs. B. M. 
Sclimucker and T. T. laeger, on July 26, 1868. The 
building was of frame, 30 by 50 feet in dimensions, 
and surmounted \\\i\\ a steeple. It was called the 
Chapel of the Reformation, and cost about ^.'3,000. It 
was dedicated on the festival of the Reformation, 


cjirncii iU)()K iSTh'onrcKi). 

Siiliiiday, October .'H, llic scniioii Ix'iiig preaclicd by 
\\v\\ ,1. V. Falls, of Allciitowii. 

The iMi.ssion Scliool on North Tenth street was 
transferred to this ehaj)el, and [)ul)lic' services were 
held in it every other Sunday afternoon by the pas- 
tor of" Trinity, assisted by other lu.'ighboring min- 

One of the first results of the oiganization of the 
General Council, was the completion and publication 
of the Church Book, which, with its responsive ser- 
vices, was introduced into this congregation on the 
first Sunday in 1869. For some weeks previous the 
pastor met the choir and many of the congregation 
in the lecture room repeatedly, to ex[)lain the service 
and practice its music as selected and arranged by 
Mr. Berg, the organist. Notwithstanding this prep- 
aration, the pastor felt it was an experiment and risk 
to attempt so radical a change in their mode of 
worship in so old a congregation as this. 

He was more than a little nervous, therefore, when 
he entered the chancel to beo-in the service that morn- 
ing. With some trembling of voice he began: '' In 
the name, etc." '' Amen,'^ full and clear, came back 
from a thousand li[)s. TIjat decided the matter, and 
from that day this congregation has been celebrated 
for the heaitiness with which it participates in the 
service. To help the congregation and others to un- 
derstand and apj)reciate this service, the pastor pub- 
lished, the following year, a pamphlet entitled the 
Church Book Explained. 

The Synod of Pennsylvania met in this church on 
May 30, 1869, and the pastor was re-elected secre- 
tary. The president, Rev. C. W. SchaefFer, D. D., 


preached on Sunday morning, and Rev. J. A. Seiss, 
D. D., in the evening. Revs. F. J. F. Schantz and 
J. B. Riemensnyder addressed the Sunday School in 
the afternoon. Rev. J. Kohler preached the ordina- 
tion sermon, after which thirteen young men were or- 
dained, one of whom was Rev. F. K. Huntzinger. 
Other sermons during this convention were preached 
by Revs. E. Greenwald, D. D., and E. Belfour. 

It was at this meeting of Synod the plan of appor- 
tioning the amounts to be raised for benevolent pur- 
poses was begun, and systematic plans of raising 
money recommended to the congregations. This con- 
gregation was among the first to adopt such plans, 
and with surprising results. Before this we were 
gratified to raise three or four hundred dollars for 
such purposes, but by the next meeting of Synod we 
were able to report $1,200 secured. At first sub- 
scription cards were sent out, and each signified what 
their monthly contributions would be. These were 
paid to the treasurer at the lecture room. After two 
years these cards were discontinued, and the present 
envelope system substituted. 

By the beginning of 1869, the demand for pews 
led to some changes. When the renting of pews was 
first adopted, the three front rows across the church 
were kept free for the use of old members. These 
pews had been rented to families, and an additional 
row was now added, as sufficient space for communi- 
cants at the chancel still remained. 

At a meeting of the Vestry, held in July, 1869, it 
was resolved that hereafter no member should be re- 
nominated at the expiration of his term of office, but 
should remain out of office at least one year. This 

- - * I • i:.s rn r comm i rrEEi^. 

does not prevent the con^retjjation from re-eleetiiii;' 
iiiiy if" tlieysee proper to do so, but prevents tlie Vestry 
from le nominating itsown members. Before this oppo- 
sition tickets weie ficfjnently nsed niid some strife en- 
gendered, bnt sinee tljis rule is in foree, tlie ticket 
nominated l)y the Vestry has always been eleeted 
without opposition. At the meeting held in the 
spiing of 1870, the [)astor suggested the effieiencv of 
the Vestry would l)e inereased by the ap[)ointment of 
five stanfling committees, to whom the various items 
of business could be referred, — one on the general 
state of the congregation ; a second on pews ; a third 
on church pioperty ; fi fourth on finances, and a fifth 
on benevolence. Tiie suggestion was adopted and 
then introduced, and has proved of value in the 
transaction of business. The duties of these com- 
mittees will be found in the by-hiws given in the 
appendix D. 

On the 9th of October of the year 1870, the con- 
gregation sustained a great h)ssin the death of Joseph 
Henry. His name first appears as one <jf the car- 
j)enter-contractors, who, with his father and brother, 
erected the spire in 1833. P^rom that time he be- 
came one of the most active and useful members the 
church ever had. Nothing enlisted his interest as 
did Tiinity congregation. We never knew a layman 
to take the same trouble and care to see that every- 
thing was right and in order fi)r every public service. 
He was a busy man, undertaking large contracts, but 
always found time to be at every service, and in time 
to correct anything which might be wrong. His ser- 
vices were invaluable to his pastor. 

By the beginning of 1871. the congregation which 


had been gathered in the chapel of the Reformation 
by Rev. Y. K. Huntzinger, who had been preaching 
there since September, 1869, was snfficiently large 
and established to make a separate organization ad- 
visable. Accordingly, a meeting was held in the 
ciiapel on January 12, for this purpose. The pastor 
of Trinity presided, and the form of constitution 
recommended by the Synod of Pennsylvania was 
adopted, and the name St. Luke's Lutheran Church 
given to the new organization. Rev. Frank K. Hunt- 
zinger was chosen pastor, and continues unto this day 
with undiminished success in his labors. 

Altiiough St. Luke's was the fourth branch from 
Trinity, it was the first directly planted by her. The 
others went out in disruptions, and with more or less 
ill feeling occasioned thereby, but St. Luke^s was a 
mission from the mother church, started and aided 
until able to support herself. 

On February 23, 1872, the congregation sustained 
a loss by the death of Mrs. Elizabeth S. McElroy. 
She was a granddaughter of Henry Melchior Muhl- 
enberg, and a sister of Rev. Dr. Richards, a former 
pastor of the congregation. She was one of the oldest 
members of the congregation, having passed her 78th 
birthday. For many years she was president of the 
Doi'cas Society, which kept the church furni- 
ture in proper order and good repair, and in many 
ways was one of the most useful members of the con- 

During this year the wall around the parsonage 
property was repaired, and the house repainted, the 
expenses amounting to §700, which was raised by 
special contributions. 


The festival of (lie Tlefoi'matioii, on October 31, 
1872, was eelebratcd by a imidii .serviee of all Luth- 
eran (•()n<!;rej^atinns of the city, held in Trinity Clnirch. 
All the choirs were united into one, and the Ringgold 
Orchestra aided the organ in the instrumental part. 
Addresses were delivered by Itevs. Dr. V). M. 
Schinucker, of St. James', and J. J. Kuendig, of St. 
John's Church. Every part of the building was 
crowded with people, and great interest and enthusi- 
asm manifested. It was so successful that it was de- 
termined to continue these union services in the vari- 
ous churches ou each Reformation anniversary, which 
was done for a number of years. 

The year 1873 began a new era in the history of 
this church, and extensive improvements were made 
to its property. The s})ecial features were the order- 
ing of a large and powerful organ to lead the music 
in the public services, the erection of a chapel near 
the church, and an entire reconstruction of the rooms 
on the first floor or basement of the church for the 
better accommodation of the Sunday School. 

The following action was taken by the Vestry on 
May 5 : 

'^ The propriety of getting a new organ and build- 
ing a chapel on the ground beside the church, was 
fully discussed, during which the pastor gave a state- 
ment about the cost of a chapel and of the powers 
and prices of organs, received from various builders, 
whereupon he was authorized to inquire fuither, and, 
if necessary, go to Boston and consult with organ 

A committee, consisting of H. H. Muhlenberg and 
S. Buch^ aided by the pastor, was appointed to can- 


vass the congregation and see whether a sufficient 
amount of money could be collected for the purchase 
of an organ and the erection of a chapel, and, if so, 
the enterurise shall be undertaken." 

At a special meeting, held on the 19th, this com- 
mittee reported they had received great encourage- 
ment, and it was decided to proceed at once with the 
erection of the chapel, and Messrs. S. Buch, C. M. 
Roeder and W. A. Arnold were appointed the build- 
ing committee. 

When the subscription committee started out, the 
pastor suggested they go first to Kutz, Arnold & Co., 
who had been manifesting great interest in the wel- 
fare and prosperity of the congregation". We well 
recall the astonishment and delight of Dr. Muhlen- 
berg, when, after a brief consultation, they headed 
the list with a contribution of §1,500. It was some- 
thing new in the history of the congregation to re- 
ceive such an amount from a single firm. It was a 
new departure, which was attended with happy effect 
on the entire congregation, — and which culminated, in 
1891, in the erection by two of this firm at their 
own expense, of the magnificent Memorial Chapel, 
which now occupies the site of the one then erected. 

The chapel was located on the northeast corner of 
the church yard. No graves were disturbed, except 
those which were in the line of the foundation walls. 
A marble slab, containing the names and dates of 
those buried beneath, was inserted in the wall of the 
building. W. A. Fink was the architect, and J. H. 
Cheetham the contractor. The corner-stone was laid 
on Sunday evening, July 6, by Rev. E. Greenwald, 
D. D., of Lancaster, president of the Synod, and the 


scrnion was proaclicd by liiin in the clmicli after the 
cei'cinoiiy was perfoirned. Tlie building was of brick, 
61 by ;^5 feet in dimensions, and two stories high. 
On the first floor, besides the hall and stairways, was 
a room for Vestry and other business meetings, and 
another for the infant department of the Sunday 
School. The second story was a large room, seven- 
teen feet high, for the week evening services, catechu- 
men's meetings, and was also used by the secondary 
department of the school after it was organized. In 
the front was a stained glass window in memory of 
John Fred. Schmidt, D. D., j)laced there by his 
grandson, F. Leaf Smith, P^sq., and which was after- 
wards removed to the new ^Memorial Cj^apel. Other 
gifts were made to the building, Jacob Hoffa giving 
all the joists used in its construction. 

While the chapel was in the course of erection, ex- 
tensive alterations were made in the basement of the 
church. The biick wall, which separated the Sunday 
School room from the lecture room, which had also 
been used by the infant department, was taken out 
and an open partition, with sliding sash of glass win- 
dows, put in its place. The old pews n'ere taken out 
of the lecture room, and large circular seats for Bible 
classes put in. The ceiling and walls were papered 
and the whole repainted. The library was divided 
and two new cases constructed. On Sunday, Septem- 
ber 14th, the school took possession of these rooms 
with appropriate services, the address being delivered 
by Rev. F. J. F. Schantz, a former pastor. 

Two weeks later the church narrowly escaped de- 
struction by fire. After the Sunday School was dis- 
missed, several scholars discovered smoke issuing from 


the building, and immediately informed the pastor, 
wl¥0 opened the church and found a number of pews 
in the northwestern part of the church ablaze. Word 
was sent to the Junior Fire Company^s house, and 
the fire was extinguished with water in buckets. 
The discovery was fortunately made in time before 
more damage was done than the destruction of four 
or five pews, the burning of the carpet and floor under 
them, and the disfiguring of the ceiling under the 
gallery by smoke. Its origin was supposed to be the 
throwing of a lighted match upon one of the cushions 
carelessly, rather than purposely, by some one pass- 
ing through the building. 

As the new organ had been ordered and would be 
placed in the church before the close of the year, the 
old organ was offered for sale, and was purchased by 
the Lutheran congregation at Tinicum, Bucks 
county. It was taken down on November 6, and re- 
moved the following day. The pastor was asked to 
preach the sermon after it was set up in the church at 
Tinicum, which he did at a special service on Satur- 
day, November 29. 

In the meantime Albert Ritter had become organ- 
ist in place of Ed. A. Berg, and a cabinet organ was 
used in the church services until the new organ 
arrived on December 10. It took nearly two weeks 
to erect it, as it was found necessary to remove part 
of the ceiling above it, and to put additional iron col- 
umns under the gallery on which it was placed, on 
account of its great weight. It was not used until at 
the organ recital given on New Year evening, 1874. 
The organ was built by Johnson & Co., of Westfield, 
Mass. It cost $6,000, and the hydraulic motor, with 


which the hollows was operated, ^300 additional. It 
is twenty feet wide, twenty high and thirteen deep. 
The sides and base are enclosed in a walnut case, 
while the front is open pipe work in white metal 
and sfold colors. It has three manuals with a com- 
pass of 58 keys, from CC to A3, and the pedals 27 
keys, from CCC to D2. It has 30 speaking, 9 me- 
chanical and 5 combination stops, making 44 together. 
It has 1,882 speaking pipes, consists in its mechanism 
of over 10,000 separate pieces, and weighs 20,000 

At the recital given on New Year evening, 1874, 
Mr. Ritter was assisted by Hon. John Endlich in 
playing, and by Mrs. J. C. Brown and George W. 
Klock, who, with the choir, rendered the vocal selec- 
tions. The following Sunday, January 4, 1874, the 
instrument was dedicated with appropriate services, 
Rev. Dr. G. F. Krotel, of New York, preaching in 
the morning, and Rev. C. Koerner, of Pottstown, in 
the evening. 

The chapel was completed about the same time, 
and was dedicated to its religious uses at a special ser- 
vice held in it on Thursday evening, January 15, 
1874, the dedication being performed by the pastor, 
and the sermon preached by Rev. J. B. Rath, of 

In July of this year, Dill man Worley was elected 
sexton of the church. Previous to this, after the res- 
ignation of Peter Geiger, Wm. Lockwood and Samuel 
L. Daily had served for short periods. Mr. Worley 
retained the position until 1802. 

The year 1874 witnessed the largest addition to the 
membership of the church in its history, the pastor 


confirming one hundred and twenty-two persons, be- 
sides adding a large number by transfer from other 
congregations. Immediately after Easter a vacation 
was granted him, and he spent six weeks in an ex- 
.tended trip through the Southern states. 

As the regular expenses of the congregation had 
greatly increased during the past few years and 
the increase of membership made it necessary to put 
two families into one pew wherever practicable, it was 
determined at the Vestry meeting, held September 7, 
to add fifty per cent, to the pew rentals, to go into 
effect on January 1, 1875, whicli was done. 

In the year 1875, the pastor began the preparation 
and editing of the Church Lesson Leaves, which were 
published by the Lutheran Book Store at Philadel- 
phia. They appeared on the first Sunday in Advent, 
and were immediately introduced into the Sunday 
School. On January 1, 1881, he resigned the work 
to other hands, having accepted, in 1879, the office of 
treasurer of the Ministerium. 

On October 7, 1875, the Vestry lost another useful 
member by the death of Solomon Deem. He was 
also the superintendent of the cemetery of the congre- 
gation, in which position he was succeeded by \Vm. 
S. Young. 



Ubc BMcacnt pastorate Continucb. 

The year 1876 was celebrateil throughout the coun- 
try as tiie Centennial of American Independence. As 
tlie seventh Jubilee of the Reformation had been 
made memorable by the erection of the Chapel of the 
Reformation, on North 9th street, it was suggested 
this year should be marked by a similar work in the 
eastern section of the city. A debt of $5,000 re- 
mained on the congregation from expenses incurred 
in the erection of the chapel beside the church, the 
purchase of the new organ, and the alterations in the 
Sunday School rooms. At the meeting of the Vestry 
in February, it was determined first of all to obtain 
contributions to remove this debt, and then to assist 
the Sunday School in procuring ground and erecting 
a church or chapel for the establishment of another 

Before the latter was undertaken it was determined 
to erect an additional wing to the parsonage, to be 
used as the pastor's study, so as to allow the use of 
the former study as a dining room. The work on 
this was begun on April 6th, and completed by May 
18th, when it was occupied. It was built of frame, 
with windows extending from the floor, and cost, 
with some alterations to the dining room, $500. 

At the Vestry meeting held April 3d, the follow- 
ing resolutions, offered by the pastor, were adopted : 


" Whereas, Througli the efforts of the Sunday School 
Association, a desirable lot of ground, situated on the 
northeast corner of Eleventh and Franklin streets, has 
been secured to our congregation ; therefore 

Resolved, That the officers of the Vestry be hereby 
authorized to purchase tlie property above mentioned, 
at the price of |!6,000 ; that the treasurer pay $1,000 on 
account of the purchase, and that the president be au- 
thorized to execute a mortgage for the balance, at the 
best terms to be obtained. 

Resolved^ That, for the accommodation of the large 
number of Lutheran families residing in that portion of 
the city, a suitable church be erected thereon, to be 
known as Grace Lutheran Church of the city of Read- 
ing, and that a congregation be organized therein, 
which, until it becomes self-supporting, shall be a mis- 
sion of Trinity Lutheran Church, and in it the same 
doctrines shall be taught and customs observed as in 
the mother church. 

Resolved, That A. W. Potteiger, H. J. Rhoads and J. 
L. Boyer, representing the Vestry ; P. S. Ermold, repre- 
senting the Sunday School; and W. A. Arnold, repre- 
senting the congregation at large, be hereby appointed 
a committee to secure funds (for which they may ap- 
point sub-committees), obtain an approved plan and 
estimate of cost of construction, and proceed with the 
erection of the chapel part of said church, as soon, 
within this Centennial year, as a sufficient amount of 
subscriptions therefor has been secured. 

Resolved, That A. W. Potteiger is hereby appointed 
treasurer to receive all contributions for the purchase 
of said lot and the erection of said chapel, and to make 
all payments thereon when so ordered by said commit- 

The sumuier was consumed in securing subscrip- 
tions and in deciding upon the best plan, and building 
operations were not begun until the following spring. 

In the meantime this enterprise, and the whole 
congregation, suffered a severe loss in the sudden 
death of Adam Kutz, who died on Sunday morning, 

234 MEETING OF SYNOD, 187«. 

the 30tli of April. lie was ineiiibor of the Vestry 
and a liberal and active member of the congregation. 
Residino; near the site of the pro[)Osed new church, he 
manifested great interest in the enterprise, and his 
death deprived it of his support. The Vestry passed 
ap|)r()priate resolutions, and attended his funeral in a 

This year, 1876, another large accession to 
the membership of the congregation was made, the 
nund)er confirmed reaching one hundred and seven, 
and furnished additional evidence of the necessity of 
organizing another congregation. 

This year was also signalized by the meeting of the 
Ministerium in Reading, which held its annual con- 
vention in Trinity Church, June 10-15. On Trinity 
Sunday morning, the president, Rev. E. Green wald, 
D. D., of Lancaster, preached, and in the evening, 
Rev. G. F. Krotel, D. D., of New York, Revs. W. 
A. Schaeflfer and F. A. Kaehler addressed the Sunday 
School in the church in the afternoon. On Wednes- 
day evening the ordination sermon was preached by 
Prof. H. E. Jacobs. Among those ordained was 
William H. Myers, who subsequently was called to 
take charge of Grace Church. 

On Sunday, July 2, the services were made appro- 
priate to the Centennial of American Independence. 
The chancel was elaborately decorated with flags and 
flowers. In the morning the pastor preached on Lev. 
25 : 10 : "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land 
unto all the inhabitants thereof,'^ the motto on the 
old bell in Independence Hall, Philadelphia. Rev. 
M. R. Minnigh, who was visiting in Reading, preached 


in the evening. The clay was exceedingly iiot, the 
temperature reaching 94 degrees inside the church. 

Although busily occupied in securing contributions 
for the new chapel, the congregation did not neglect 
to contribute liberally to the various benevolent 
operations of the church at large. On December 3, 
Prof. T. L. Seip preached and presented the needs of 
Muhlenbertr Colleo^e, which the Synod had estab- 
lished at Allentown. Liberal gifts had previously 
been obtained by President Muhlenberg, especially 
one of $3,000 from A. W. Potteiger. Prof Seip's 
efforts were verv successful, and he obtained .?5,000 
in subscriptions to scholarships in the institution. 
W. A. Arnoid and S. L. Kutz each took a $1,000 
scholarship, and three others were obtained for the con- 
gregation, bv thirty individuals subscribing $100 each. 

In the beginning of 1877, the pastor organized 
two beneficial societies in connection with the congre- 
gation, known as the Brotherhood and Sister- 
hood of Trinity Church. The purpose was to 
provide a fund for relief of their members in times 
of sickness and for their families in case of death. 
These societies have continued in existence and have 
been of great service to their members. Members of 
other Lutheran congregations are received as well as 
those who belong to Trinity Church. 

As soon as the spring opened work was begun on 
the foundation of Grace chapel, at the corner of 
Eleventh and Cherry streets, and on Whitsunday, 
May 20, 1877, the corner-stone was laid in the after- 
noon with appropriate services. The Sunday School 
marched in procession from Trinity Church, and the 
mission school from the public school house at Ninth 


and Spruco streets, and, notwitlistaiiding the ^reat 
lieat, the ceremonies were witnessed by a very hirge 
concourse ol members of tlie congregation and citi- 
zens generally. The |>astor was assisted by Piof. M. 
II. Richards, of Muhlenberg College, a son of a 
former pastor. Woik was tlien [)ushed rapidly. E. 
F. Durang, of Philadelphia, was the architect, and 
Benneville Hemig the superintendent in the erection 
of the building. Its dimensions were forty feet wide 
and fifty feet deep, two stories high, the first being 
fitted for Sunday School })urposes and the second 
story for j)ublic services. It was built very solidly 
of brick with sandstone trimmings, and with two 
towers in front. It was elegantly finished, and 
cost §12,000 without the ground or the parts pre- 
sented to it. Samuel H. Kutz put a handsome 
stained glass window in the front in memory of his 
brother, the late Adam Kutz ; Jerome L. Boyer 
presented the other windows, also of stained glass ; and 
William A. Arnold paid for the frescoing and paint- 
ings of Christ the Good Shepherd and Jesus in the 
temple, which adorned the walls ; the pulpit of solid 
walnut ; the iron fence in front of the grounds, and a 
fire insurance policy on the building. 

Ten years previous the Sunday School had or- 
o-anized a mission school in the school house at Ninth 
and Spruce streets, and this schot)l was transferred to 
the new chapel on the Sunday before Christmas, 1877. 
Henrv J. Rhoads was then its superintendent and has 
retained the position ever since. He and the pastor 
led the procession and made addresses after the classes 
had been assigned their places. 

BEV. W. H. MYERS. 237 

The next step was to obtain a suitable man to take 
charge of the chapel and the new congregation to be 
organized in it. The pastor entered into correspond- 
ence with Rev. W. H. Myers, who was ordained in 
1876, and was now serving the congregation at North 
Wales, in Montgomery county. He preached in 
Trinity Church on January 13, 1878, and at the 
Vestry meeting held January 28, the following action 
was taken : 

^'Resolved, That the pastor of the church be au- 
thorized to secure the services of Rev. William H. 
Myers for the purpose of holding services in Grace 
chapel and gathering a congregation therein, and that 
he offer him a salary of $600 per annum ^ov a period 
of three years (if necessary), wliich amount the 
Vestry guarantees to raise for that purpose.'^ This 
action was communicated to Mr. Myers, and in 
February his reply was received accepting the call. 

To assist in this work it was thought best he should 
act as assistant to the pastor for a time and preach 
once each Sunday in Trinity Church, so that he and 
the congregation could become acquainted before 
regular services were commenced in the new chapel. 
He accordingly came to Reading on March 16, and 
the following day preached at the morning service, 
and continued preaching once every Sunday in the 
mother church for six weeks, until after Easter. 
On Sunday, April 7th, the pastor celebrated the 25th 
anniversary of his entrance in the ministry, and on 
the afternoon of that day performed the act of dedi- 
cation of Grace chapel to its sacred purposes. The 
following account is taken from the Reading Times 
of the following day ; 


"Tlif (hMlioatory services began at 3 o'clock with an 
anthem sung by the choir of Trinity C'hurch. The 
Scri|)ture lesson was read by Rev. Dr. B. M, ychmucker, 
of St. James' Church, after which the consecration 
ceremonies were performed l)y Rev. J)r. J. Fry, of 
Trinity Church, when tlie handsome new building was 
solemnly consecrated to the service of Alniighty God. 

After the singing of a hymn, an address was delivered 
by Rev. W. H. Myers, who will hav^e pastoral charge of 
Grace Church hereafter. Dr. Fry followed with an 
address, in which he referred to the fact that the conse- 
cration of this church was the cap-stone of his quarter- 
century experience in the ministry, which was com- 
pleted this day, behaving been ordained to the ministry 
on April 7, 1853. He urged the citizens residing in the 
section of the city where the chapel is located to sustain 
this enterprise, both by attending the services and con- 
tributing liberally to its support. The services closed 
with the benediction by Rev, F. K. Huntzinger, of St. 
Luke's Church." 

On Sunday, April 28, Mr. Myers began holding 
services regularly in this chapel. The Vestry ap- 
pointed Isaiah Hoyer, H. E. Eisenhise and Daniel 
Ermold to act as deacons, and H. J. Rlioads as treas- 
urer at these services, until a congregation was organ- 
ized. Such organization was effected on October 31, 
the festival of the Reformation, when the pastor 
transferred those who desired to form the nucleus of 
the new congregation. A Vestry was chosen and Rev. 
W. H. Myers formally called as the pastor, in which 
position he remains, and under his ministry the con- 
gregation has become one of the strongest in the city. 

The use of the chapel and adjoining dwelling was 
given to the new congregation without charge on con- 
dition they would collect, in their own and 'J'rinity 
congregations, the balance due on the ])urchase of the 

ITS COST. 239 

The final report was made by the building commit- 
tee, through W. A. Arnold, at the Vestry meeting in 
March, 1882, as follows : 

'^ We, the undersigned, committee appointed to 
build Grace Lutheran Church, respectfully submit 
this their final report to Trinity Lutheran Church 
and Sunday School Association, by whom they were 
appointed, having finished their labors, and find a 
balance in hand of §205.90, which they recommend 
to be paid over to Grace Church.'^ 

Regular appropriations were made for five years to 
the salary of the pastor until in 1883, when Grace 
congregation became self-supporting. After that, 
$200 per annum was paid on the balance due for 
the ground, until that debt was finally extinguished. 
In the year 1888 the entire property was conveyed to 
Grace congregation, after, at their request, exchanging 
the part of the ground fronting on Franklin street, 
for ground in the rear of the chapel along Cherry 
street, so as to allow the extension of the chapel into 
a church at the same location. 

In the year 1879, the congregation, together with 
the people of the entire State, were called to mourn a 
great loss in the death of Hon. Warren J. Woodward, 
LL. D., one of the judges of the Supreme Court of 
Pennsylvania, who died on the 23d of September. 
Judge AYoodward was president judge of the courts 
of this county when the present pastor took charge of 
the congregation. Shortly after, he took a pew in this 
church and remained a regular attendant at its services 
for fourteen years, until his death. He took a deep 
interest in the affairs of the congregation and was a 
liberal contributor to its various funds. His eminent 


talents, wide arcjiiaiiitance witli literaturo, and sound 
judfriiient, (onretlier with his warm personal iViend- 
ship, made him an invalnahle connsellor and com- 
nanion. lie died at his snmmer residence, in Dela- 
ware conn ty, New York, and was bnried at Wilkes- 
Barre, his early home, where the last rites were per- 
formed by the pastor of this congregation, with which 
he had been so long idetitified. 

In the year 1880 sundry improvements were made 
to the })arsonage, es})ecially in the re-bnildiiig of the 
summer kitchen, making it two stories in height, and 
erecting an entirely new stone wall along the Church 
street side, and of cut stone in front surmounted by a 
light iron fence. 

It w^as during the summer of this year the pastor 
made his first visit to Europe, accompanying Rev. 
Dr. C. P. Krauth, on a special journey to all places 
associated with the Reformation and the life of 
Luther. Points in Great Britain, France, Switzer- 
land and the Netherlands were also visited. Thev 
sailed on June 26th, and returned on the 7th of Oc- 
tober. At the reception given him in the church on 
the following Saturday evening, all the Lutheran 
clergymen of the city participated, the address of wel- 
come being delivered by Rev. Dr. B. M. Schmucker. 
During the pastor's absence, his son, Charles L. Fry, 
then a senior student in the Theological Seminary, 
took charge of the services, assisted by various 
neighboring pastors. 

Within a few weeks after his return, the pastor per- 
formed the sad €luty of officiating at the funeral of 
Joseph Ritter, who died on October 27th, in the 69th 
year of his age. He had been for many years an 


efficient vestryman, and was universally esteemed by 
all who knew him, and beloved by members of the 

Another member who had reached still riper years, 
George Boyer, died the following spring, on April 
7th, 1881, in his 86th year. He had also been a 
member of the Vestry in his active years, and 
secretary of that body. He was a man of quiet spirit 
and eminently godly life, and faithful in his duties to 
the end. The loss of two such exemplary members 
must be greatly felt by any congregation, no matter 
how large it may be. 

Another link which had bound the past to the 
present was broken on July 2d, when Mrs. Anna 
Maria Miller died. She was the widow of Rev. Dr. 
Miller, who died in 1850, having survived him thirty- 
one years, and had passed her 86th birthday. She 
always retained her youthful spirits and memories, 
and amid its repeated troubles and changes remained 
faithful to the okl congregation and to her duties in it. 

P. S. Ermold, who had been the efficient head of the 
Sunday School for a number of years, resigned on ac- 
count of his temporary removal from the city, and on 
Sunday, May 15th, 1881, his successor, H. M. M. 
Richards took charge as superintendent. He is a son 
of Rev. Dr. John W. Richards, a former pastor, and 
under his control the scliool has continued to grow 
and prosper. 

When the Ministerium met this year in Pottstown, 
among the young men who were examined and or- 
dained to the ministry was Charles L. Fry, eldest 
son of the pastor. After spending several months in 
vacation he accepted a call to become assistant to Key. 


Pr. Green wald, pastor of Trinity Cliurch at liancas- 
ter, and entered on his duties on the 1st of September. 
He retained the position for five years until Dr. 
Greenwald's death, and was then eleeted hissueccssor. 


DnriiiL^ this year, 1881, extensive repairs and im- 
provements were again made to the chureh. The 
entire building was re-painted, ineluding the 
steeple ; the walls re frescoed by Mr. George 
Seiling ; stained glass ])ut in the vestibule and 
basement windows to correspond with those in 
the auditorfum ; a large ornamental ventilator placed 
in the ceilino;- the backs of the pews were uphol- 
stered and new cushions put in them ; new gas fixtures 
in blue and gold colors were purchased ; and a new 
carpet j)ut over the entire floor. The front of the 
chapel beside the church was changed and much im- 
proved, and the interior papered in panel work, and 
the parsonage also re-painted and a Reynolds' furnace 
placed in it. The expense amounted to $6,200, and 
the entire sum was obtained by subscription cards on 
Trinity Sunday, when the last services were held 
previous to the improvements being commenced. 
While the work was going on, services were held in 
the basement story of the building, both rooms being 
thrown into one. 

On Sunday, September 18th, the church was re- 
opened and special services were held, the pastor 
preaching at the morning service, and Rev. Dr. J. A. 
Seiss, of Philadelphia, in the evening. The choir was 
assisted by Mrs. J. C. Brown and Messrs. A. S. 
Boyer and W, H. Kocb at both services, 


Mr. Jerome L. Boyer, who was treasurer of the re- 
pair fiind, and very active in superintending the im- 
provements, resigned as a vestryman in September, 
as he was al)out removing to Cokimbia. After his 
final report was audited the following April, the 
Vestry acknowledged his services in the following 
action : '^ Resolved, That the thanks of the Vestry and 
of Trinity congregation are due and are hereby ten- 
dered to Mr. Jerome L. Boyer for the very deep in- 
terest, excellent iudfrment and untiring: labors mani- 
fested by him in the repairs and improvements made 
to Trinity Church last summer, and the secretary be 
instructed to communicate this action to Mr. Boyer.'^ 

In May, 1882, Mr. Albert Ritter gave notice of 
his desire to retire from the position of organist. Mr. 
J. F. Daniels served as a temporary supply from July 
to October, after which Mr. Ritter resumed the 
position as a special favor until the close of the 
year, when Mr. William Benbow, of Columbus, O., 
who had been elected, arrived and entered on his 

An interesting service was held in this church on 
the evening of Tuesday, the 3d of October, when 
Rev. F. S. Dietrich, who had been ordained at the 
last meeting of the Ministerium, was solemnly set 
apart as a missionary to India by the Foreign Mis- 
sion Committee of the General Council. About 
twenty-five ministers were present, together with a 
large congregation. 

The close of the year witnessed the death of an- 
other member of the Vestry, John McKnight, who 
died December 18, aged 45 years. He was married 
to Dora, daughter of the former pastor. Rev. Dr. 


Richardsj aiul his (lentli in the prime of his life was a 
great loss to his family and to the congregation. 

The begin II iiig of 1883 was also marked by the 
death of another old member, Mi. M'illiam Arnold, 
sr., who died February 1st, in the 85th year of his 
life. Pie had been a member of this church since his 
early youth. 

The year 1883 was celebrated by Ijuther festivals 
throughout the world, in honor of the 400th anniver- 
sary of the birth of the threat reformer. His birth- 
day, November 10, fell on Saturday, and a great 
demonstration had been arranged for that dav, in 
which all the Lutheran congregations and schools of 
the city should unite. Unfortunately the weather 
was unfavorable for outdoor celebrations, and the 
demonstration was postponed for one week. 

On Sunday, November 11, Trinity congregation 
celebrated the event with special jubilee services. 
The })ulpit and chancel were magnificently decorated 
with flowers and tropical plants, and with a bust of 
Luther placed in front of the pulpit. The singing 
was lead by a choir of boys, trained specially for the 
occasion. The pastor preached in the morning on 
Luke 1 : 14: '' Many shall rejoice at his birth," and 
in the evening lectured on his visit to the scenes of 
Luther's labors. A special collection was taken 
towards the erection of the Seminary buildings at Mt. 
Airy, and amounted to $1,500. 

The next Saturday was clear but cold. The 
various Lutheran congregations and schools of the 
city formed in procession, starting from Penn square, 
and marched up Penn street to the old fair ground, 
no\v the City Park, east of the prison, where the 


exercises were held. The procession was led by the 
Ringgold and Liberty bands. Six thousand men, 
women and children were in line, all bearing I^nther's 
name and deh'ghting to do him honor. Trinity con- 
gregation, being the mother church, led the proces- 
sion, and its pastor had charge of the services. Ad- 
dresses were made by Revs. J. J. Kuendig and M. 
C. Horine. Revs. T. C. Billheimer, F. K. Hunt- 
zinger and ^y. H. Myers also took part. The sing- 
ing of the Reformation hymns, led by the bands as 
orchestra, was enthusiastic and inspiring, and the 
celebration in every way was a great success, ^yhen 
the procession was ready to start the signal was given 
by a salute fired by the veteran, Samuel Fix, one of 
Trinity's old members, from a cannon placed at the 
fair ground. Everything passed without accident or 
any occurrence to mar the gratification of the par- 

The Sunday School continued to increase with each 
year, and the infant department already found its 
quarters in the chapel too small for the number of 
scholars. On January 6, 1884, a secondary depart- 
ment was formed out of the larger scholars of the 
infant school, as a sort of intermediate department 
between the infant and main portions of the school. 
The new department was giv^eu the use of the upper 
or main room of the chapel, and Miss Nora laeger, 
daughter of Rev. T. T. laeger, was appointed prin- 
cipal. The arrangement has continued ever since 
and adds to the efficiency of the school. 

In February of this year the pastor reached his 
50th birthday, which was celebrated by a large gath- 
ering of members of the congregation, clergymen and 

210 MKF/rrNG OF SYNOD, 1SH4. 

other citizens at the parsonnnje. Congratiih)tory 
speeches were made by Judge Ilagciimaii and others, 
and a pnrse of gold was presented to him, and val- 
uable gilts to his wife. 

When the Mijiisterinm of Pennsylvania met in 
St. tTohn's German Church, in June of this year, a 
large number of the English pastors were entertained 
by families of Trinity congregation, and the Home 
Mission services were held in this church on Friday 
evening ; and at the Sunday services, llev. Dr. Seiss, 
of Philadelphia, preached in the morning, and Rev. 
Dr. Krotel, of New York, in the evening. At the 
Sunday School festival in the afternoon, addresses 
were made by Revs. D. H. Geissinger, of Easton, 
and F. J. McCready, of India. 

On Sunday, June 15, the hour of morning services 
was changed from 10 to 10.30 o'clock, as more con- 
venient to the majority of the families of the congre- 



XTbe present pastorate Continuet)* 

The year 1885 opened with a movement which 
proved very useful and successful in congregational 
life, the organization of a society for the study and 
practice of vocal music. It soon numbered about 
three hundred members. C. H. Schaeflfer, Esq., was 
elected president, and Prof William B. Hall, of Lan- 
caster, was chosen instructor. The society was organ- 
ized on New Year evening, and weekly meetings 
were held until the month of May. 

The chief movement which marked this year, how- 
ever, was the erection of Three Mission Chapels 
at the same time, undertaken and carried to comple- 
tion by the Sunday School, with the aid of the con- 
gregation. The following circular was issued and 

sent to all members : 

Dear Brethren : — Trinity Lutheran Sunday School 
Association owns three plots of ground which have 
been secured for mission school and church-extension " 
purposes in Reading. One is located in North Reading, 
on Centre avenue near Bern street ; the second in the 
western part of the city, on Schuylkill avenue near 
Greenwich street ; and the third (donated by a member 
of the congregation) in "Wood vale, at the intersection 
of Perkiomen avenue and the Friedensburg road. We 
have flourishing Sunday Schools already in the first and 
third of these locations, meeting in public school houses, 
and are only waiting for a building in Avhich to organ- 
ize a school in the rapidly-growing part of our city along 
Schuylkill avenue. 


We propose, witli tlic blessing of (iod and tin; liberal 
help of the congregation, to erect durinj^ this sprinj^ 
neat and credital)le (Impels on each of these locations. 
Each has its special needs and friends, and none of them 
can be neglected without injury and offence. 

To erect three chapels at one time will be a new de- 
parture in the liistory of any congregation, but it will 
be a distinction of wlii(;h we will never have cause to 
be ashamed. 

These chapels will cost, by the time they are com- 
pleted and furnished, about >J>2,000 each, making a to- 
tal of tG,000 needed for this i)urpose. This amount of 
money was secured for repairing and refurnishing our 
venerable church on a single Sunday in June, 1881, and 
we purpose following the same plan then used to secure 
a similar amount now. 

We have fixed upon the second Sunday after Easter, 
the 19th ilay of April, as Chapel Sunday. On that 
day all the services, morning, afternoon and evening, 
will be appropriate to this occasion, and we ask every 
member and friend of our church and school to be at 
least at one of these services, and make lil^eral gifts. 

We are very much encouraged to hope for great re- 
sults in this matter. Several members have informed 
us they will give foOO each; several others, ^2o0 ; and 
quite a number w^e know of intend giving not less than 
f 100 each. But we want this money not only from the 
few who can give large sums, but we want and ask a 
contribution from every member of our congregation 
and school. If you cannot give large sums, give small 
ones, according to your ability, and do it willingly, for 
"the Lord loveth a cheerful giver." 

Let us all come together on " Chapel Sunday," April 
19, determined by the blessing of God, to make this ef- 
fort as successful as those we have undertaken hereto- 
fore. J. Fry, Pastor. 


H. M. M. Richards, \ Cha^jel Committee. 
E. W. Gilbert, j 

Readi2s'G, Easter-tide, 1885. 


April 19th accordingly was observed as "Chapel 
Sunday," and the pastor preached on Matt. 17:4: 
^' Let us here make three tabernacles." The subscrip- 
tion on the cards amounted to $5,500, and work was 
begun immediately by the contractor, L. H. Focht. 
The corner-stone of Peace Chapel, in North Reading, 
was laid on Sunday, May 17, at 4 p. ra. ; that of 
Faith Chapel, in East Reading, or Woodvale, on 
Whitsunday, May 24, at 3.45 p. m.; and that of 
Hope, on Schuylkill avenue, on Trinity Sunday, 
May 31, at the same hour. 

The three chapels arealike in dimensions and style, 
each being forty by forty-two feet in size, with Gothic 
roof and tower. They were built of brick laid in 
black mortar, as high as the window sills, and from 
that point to the window heads beveled siding was 
used, and from thence to the apex of the roof the 
covering consists of cedar shingles. The roof is cov- 
ered with slate. The ceiling is finished in Carolina 
pine, and the floor is divided into a main room, an 
infant room, a library and a vestibule. They cost 
about $2,100 each, besides the furniture. The Hon. 
John Endlich and family took great interest in Faith 
Chapel, and had an additional ornamental window 
placed over the altar. 

Hope Chapel was first completed, and was dedi- 
cated by the pastor on Sunday, September 20, at 3 p. 
m., the sermon being preached by Rev. M. C. Horine, 
of St. James' Church. Peace Chapel was dedicated 
the following Sunday afternoon, September 27, when 
the sermon was preached by Rev. F. J. F. Schantz, 
a former pastor of Trinity congregation ; and Faith 
Chapel on Sunday afternoon, October 11, when a 

250 REV, L. J. JUCKEL. 

Gennaii luldress was made hy Kev. A. liichter, of 
Rochester, New York, and an English address by the 
pastor. Large congregations were present at each oc- 
casion, and the mission schools, for whose immediate 
benefit tiiey were erected, took j)ossession and were 
greatly delighted with their now homes. 

A riched-toned bell was nlaced on each of these 
chapels in 188G,presented by Jerome L.Boyerand wife. 

When the chapels were completed there was a de- 
mand for pnl)lic services in them, by persons living 
in their neigiiborhood. The pastor opened corres- 
pondence with Rev. Lewis J. Bickel, of Pottstown, 
who had been ordained at the last meeting of the 
Ministerium, and, with the consent of the Vestry, se- 
cured his services. Mr. Bickel removed to Reading, 
and entered on his duties as preacher in these three 
chapels on Sunday, November L5, 1885. 

Mr. Benbow, the organist, h.aving decided to spend 
some time in Europe in prosecuting his musical stud- 
ies, resigned his position, and at the meeting held 
August 31, Mr. Edward A. Berg, who had formerly 
been organist, was again chosen to that position, and 
September 6 entered on his duties. 

At the same time the hymn boards for indicating 
the openino; hvmn were introduced and used. 

The years 1885-1886 were specially marked in the 
history of the congregation by the death of several 
of its more prominent members. Ex-county commis- 
sioner William S. Young died December 26th, in his 
65th year, and was buried January 1st, 1886. He 
was a member of the Vestry and superintendent of 
the congregation's cemetery. His nephew, Henry G. 
Young, was elected his successor. 


On May 5th, 1886, the church suffered a great 
loss in the death of Hiester H. Muhlenberg, M. D., 
cashier of the Farmers' National Bank, in the 75th 
year of his age. His valuable services as a vestry- 
man and member of the congregation have already 
been referred to, and his loss was greatly mourned. 

At its next meeting the Vestry took the following 
action : 

Whereas, Since the last meeting of this Vestry, it 
pleased our Heavenly Father to remove from us by 
death Doctor Hiester Henry Muhlenberg, an honored, 
useful and faithful member of this congregation for 
over half a century, and, with few intermissions, for 
forty years an earnest and efficient member of the 
Vestry ; 

And although not a vestryman at the time of his 
death, yet, because of long continued and eminent ser- 
vices and usefulness in the past history of the congrega- 
tion, it is meet and proper we should put on record our 
appreciation of the man and our sense of his loss ; be it 

Resolved^ 1st. That we hereby express our sincere 
sorrow, and the sorrow of our entire congregation, at 
the great loss this church has sustained in his death. 
Wise in counsel, prudent in measures, emment in in- 
fluence, and enjoying the confidence of all 'who knew 
him, he was a tower of strength in the repeated trials 
through which the congregation has passed— a leader 
in every good and useful work, and one to whose in- 
fluence and efforts much of the continued prosperity 
of the congregation is due. 

2d. That we bear our testimony to the nobleness of 
his character, the purity of his life, his unselfish devo- 
tion and fidelity to the interest of the congregation, 
his loyal and firm attachment to the doctrines and 
usages of the church of his fathers, and to his intelH- 
gent and liberal plans and contributions, so constantly 
devised and bestowed for the prosperity of the church, 
the relief of the suffering, and the welfare of his fel- 



3(1. That we express to his family our lieartfelt sym- 
pathy in their ^rief, and assure them of ourbest wishes 
an«l prayers, that our tjracious Lord, whom he so faith- 
fully served, will fulfill His sp«'cial promises to the chil- 
dren of His servants, will multiply His comforts upon 
tluMu all and strengtlien them by His grace." 

Another old meinhcr, George Ilellcr, died June 11, 
his age exceeding 86 years. Among the mothers in 
Israel who died in 1886, may be mentioned Mrs. 
Sarah Daily, Mrs. Elizabeth Clouser, Mrs. Maria Es- 
terlv, Mrs. Emeline Bovnton and Mrs. Henrietta 
Ilnglies. G. A. Nicolls, Esq., also died in this year, 
two weeks after his brother-in-law, Dr. Muhlenberg. 
He was the general superintendent, and afterwards 
vice president, of the Philadelj)hia & Reading R. R. 
Co., and while not a member of Trinity congrega- 
tion, was closely identified with it through marriage, 
and always manifested great interest in its welfare. 

Heretofore the Confessional service, preparatory to 
the holy communion, had been held on Saturday 
evenings. As all stores are kept open to a late hour 
on that evening, it was decided, at the Vestry meet- 
ing, held August 3, 1886, to change the time for such 
services from Saturday to Friday evenings, and also 
the confirmation of catechumens from Good Friday 
evening to Palm Sunday morning. From this date 
these changes went into effect. 

The spirit of missions continued to be active in 
this congregation. The three mission schools having 
now their own chapels and a pastor to serve them, 
the Sunday School Association opened another mis- 
sion school, on May 2, 1886, in the public school 
house in West Reading. J. C. Lengel and W. F. 
Wagner have been its superintendents. 


The Women's Mission Society, which has been so 
efficient and influential in the life and work of the 
congregation, was organized in Nov., 1886. 

On Wednesday evening, November 24, the pastor 
presented the subject at the usual week-evening ser- ■ 
vice, and on Tuesday evening following an enthusias- 
tic meeting was held at the pai'sonage, and the organi- 
zation effected. Mrs. H. H. Muhlenberg was elected 
president ; Mrs. J. Fry, vice president ; Mrs. J. 
Mould, secretary ; and Mrs. J. K. Righter, treasurer. 
The congregation was divided into twenty-four dis- 
tricts and two visitors assigned to each, to make 
monthly visits and collections for missions of all fami- 
lies in their district. These visitors, together with the 
officers, constitute the Board of Managers, and meet the 
first Wednesday of every month. The purpose was to 
cultivate acquaintance and sociability, and to develop 
interest and aid in mission work, and in both lines 
it has been eminently successful. To aid in the social 
feature, the society has held a congregational supper 
every winter, which has proved to be a source of reve- 
nue (for congregational purposes), as well as a means 
of bringing the families together in a pleasant man- 
ner. The society has gathered about $500 per annum 
in contributions for missions, and has netted almost 
an equal sum from their annual suppers, which has 
been expended in local charities and church decora- 
tions and furniture. 

In the beginning of 1887 a Young Men's Society 
was organized with P. S. Zieber as president, C. H. 
Muhlenberg, secretary, and S. N. Potteiger, treasurer. 
It had the same ends in view, and similar methods of 
visitation among each other, as the Women's Society. 


It was chicfl}' llnoiigli its efforts the i)iano was pro- 
cured, now used by the Sunday School and the Young 
People's Society. After several years' existence, it 
was chanjjed into a Youno; Peonle's Societv, which in 
turn was merged into the present Young People's As- 

In the month of May improvements were made to 
the parsonage. A chimney was erected with an open 
grate in the study, and the house re-papered and 

In the early summer another Mission school was 
started, located on North 9th street, in the Marion, 
school house. J. B. Weidner and Joseph H. Lutz 
served as superintendents. After St. Mark's congre- 
gation and Sunday School were started on North 10th 
street, this school was merged into that. 


At the meeting of the Vestry in April, 1887, a 
question concerning what constitutes persons mem- 
bers of this congregation was discussed, and resulted 
in the appointment of the pastor and committee on the 
State of the Congregation to revise all rules and regu- 
lations on this subject, and it was subsequently de- 
cided to include a revision of the charter itself On 
November 28, this revised charter and the new by- 
laws were read to the Vestry and approved by them, 
and ordered to be submitted to the qualified voters at 
a special election. They were read to the congrega- 
tion after the preparatory services, held on Friday, 
December 30, and approved and adopted at the elec- 
tion, held on Monday, January 2, 1888. The 
revised charter was then submitted to the court, and 


the final decree was issued on March 19, by which it 
became the established law of the congregation. 

This new charter and its accompanying by-laws 
will be found in Appendix D. 

H. A. Muhlenberg, Esq., was tlie attorney of the 
congregation in this matter, and. as he declined re- 
ceiving any compensation, the Vestry put on record 
a special vote of thanks for his services. 

Rev. Thomas T. laeger, pastor at Oley, Bern and 
other churches in this neighborhood, and a regular 
attendant at the evening services in Trinity Church, 
of which his family are members, died on Sunday, 
May 13, 1888. The funeral services were held in 
this church on the 17th, attended by a great con- 
course of people from all parts of this city and 
county. The addresses were delivered bv Rev. Dr. 
Krotel, president of the Synod ; Rev. L. Groh, of 
Boyertown ; and by the pastor, who also officiated at 
the grave. 

John L. Rightmyer and wife died within ten days 
of each other, in January, 1889. Both were mem- 
bers of the cong-reofation for many years. 

In the autumn of 1888, the congregation was hon- 
ored in the election of D. B. Brunner, a member and 
former vestryman, to represent this district in the 
United States Congress. He took his seat the fol- 
lowing spring, and was re-elected in 1890, serving 
two full terms. 

A similar honor was conferred by the election, in 
1889, of G. A. Endlich, Esq., also a member of 
Trinity congregation, to the position of associate law 
judge of the courts of this county. 


In the spring of lS8f>, (lie Vestry decided to ex- 

(•lKmi:;e tlif cliiircli hells which liiid Ixcii in iisu since 

1(S34, and the small old hell which had l)een craeUed 

and not nsed for many years, for one hir^e helh It 

was east hy MeShane, at Baltimore, and weighs 3,5U0 

ponnds (with yoke, wheel, tolling hammer, etc., 4,720 

pounds), and was placed in the hclfrv after the old 

ones were removed ; and at the close of the morning 

service on Palm Sunday, April 12, was dedicated 

with an appro|)riate ceremony. 

During this year Rev. E. S. Brownmiller began 

services in the puhlic school house at Tenth and 

Douglass streets, with the jiurpose of organizing St. 

Mark's Lutheran congregation. In 1886 William 

A. Arnold and wife had presented a lot on Oley 

street above Eleventh to Trinity congregation for a 

future church location. The pastor obtained their 

consent to exchange this lot for a larger plot of 

ground located at Tenth and Windsor streets, owned 

by Joshua Keely, and the Sunday School agreed to 

raise the money to pay the difference (about $1,600) 

in their value. This was done and the title to the 

property passed to Trinity congregation to hold it in 

trust for the new congregation until it should become 

incorporated. It had not been started as a mission 

of Trim'ty Church, but the ground was presented to 

the new congregation to encourage and promote the 


THE pastor's quarto-centennial. 

By the close of this year preparations were made 
to celebrate the approaching 25th anniversary of the 
present pastctrate. The following ciicular was issued 
by the Vestry and distributed among the congregation: 


To THE Members of Trinity Lutheran Church: 

The undersigned committee of arrangements, ap- 
pointed by the Vestry, take this method of calling your 
attention to the fact that with the close of January, 
1890, Rev. Jacob Fry, D. D., will complete a quarter of 
a century in the pastorate of our congregation. It is a 
matter of mutual congratulation and also of heartfelt 
thanksgiving to Almighty God that he has been enabled 
to serve us for such an unusual length of time. His 
life, health and strength have been unbroken, and his 
ministry has been crowned with great success. The 
membership of the congregation has been increased 
fourfold ; harmony and peace have been uninterrupted ; 
great improvements have been made to our property 
and no debt left upon it ; six missions have been organ- 
ized, two of which are already strong congregations ; 
and every department of church life and work has been 
developed with most encouraging results. 

It is fitting, therefore, that we as a congregation 
should celebrate this successful completion of a quarter 
of a century of his ministry among us in a becoming 
manner, and this we propose to do on the last two Sun- 
days in January, which will close twenty-five years of 
his pastorate. 

On Sunday, January 19, we will celebrate the occasion 
by a Memorial Communion Service at 10 a. m., when we 
hope our entire membership as far as possible will be at 
the Lord's table to celebrate with grateful hearts the 
Lord's goodness to us in the past and to receive grace 
for the future. On the evening of that day the pastor 
will confirm his jubilee class of catechumens and give 
them their first communion. The preparatory service 
to this communion will be held on Friday, January 17, 
at 7.30 p. m. 

Sunday, January 36, will be the chief day, and three 
services will be held — at 10 a. m., 2 p. m. and 7 p. m. 
At the morning service the sermon will be preached by 
Rev. Gr. F. Krotel, D. D., LL. D., president of the 
Synod and also of the General Council, and who 
preached at Dr. Fry's installation twentj^-five years ago. 

258 rilE CELEIlhW TION. 

Tlie Ktatistios of i\\e growth and work of the crongrega- 
tion within this time will also be read at this nervice. 

The service at 2 p. in* will l^e chiefly a children's ser- 
vice, when the work and progress of the Snnday School 
will be made pronn'nent and several addresses be made 
by those who have been connected with the school. 
The evening service will ])e a praise service with a num- 
ber of congratulatorj'^ addresses, interspersed with 
other interesting exercises. 

We, therefore, ask that every member of the congre- 
gation, especially those who have been brought in dur- 
ing Dr. Fry's ministry, shall make special efforts to be 
in attendance at least at one of these services, and join 
in this glad jubilee of i)raise to the great Head of the 
Church who hath done such great things for us. 


P. S. Ermold, 


Reading, Pa., New Year Day, 1890. Committee. 

Tlie pastor had for some years cherislied a hope 
and wisii to visit the Holy Land, Egypt and other 
Oriental countries, and determined to celebrate this an- 
niversary by such a tour after these services were 
held. As this would necessitate his absence over 
Easter, he organized the classof catechumens early in 
the fall of 1889, and on the evening of the Memorial 
communion, on January 19th, confirmed 90 oersons, 
and added 13 others by transfer of membership. 

The jubilee services on January 26th were attended 
by great congregations. The music and decorations 
were superior and very elaborate. The only thing 
which marred the occasion was the absence of Rev. 
Dr. Krotel, who telegraphed on Saturday afternoon 
he was too ill to come. The pastor, therefore, preached 
at the morning service, his text being Ps. 126:6. 
After the sermon, he read the following statement of 


what had been done and o^ained durino; these twenty- 
five years : 

" On an occasion so rarely reached as the twenty-fifth 
anniversary of a pastorate, it is proj^er and right that 
some statistics should be gathered and put on record, 
showing the gi'owth and progress the congregation has 
made and the work it has accomplished within this 
time. Many interesting and gratifying statistics might 
be presented, which we omit for want of time, and con- 
fine this report to three items ; those which show our in- 
crease in membership, our financial condition and our 
benevolent operations. 

In these twenty-five years 2,472 persons have been 
added to the communicant membership of the congre- 
gation, being an average of nearly one hundred per 
year. Of these 1,849 were added by confirmation, and 
623 by transfer from other places and congregations. 
In the same time we have lost 855 from our list, 460 by 
removal or dismission to other congregations, and 395 
by death. Among these will readily be recalled some 
of the most infiuental, valuable and precious names 
which have ever been on the roll of membership. 
'*They rest from their labors, but their works do follow 
them," In a congregation so old, large and scattered 
over the entire city, it is very difficult to keep account 
of every member. While these figures show the num- 
ber lost by death or dismis^ion, we can give no state- 
ment of many who, from various causes, snlTer their 
membership to lapse, or abandon their church duties 
and privileges. Taking the Easter communion as the 
best test, w^e may report our membership has increased 
five-fold in these twenty-five years, notwithstanding St. 
Luke's, Grace and Hope congregations were organized 
out of it in this time. The congregation has a con- 
firmed membership of almost 1,500 persons at present. 

It is very gratifying to report that our church prop- 
erty, now complete in all its parts, is in admirable con- 
dition and without a dollar of debt. With our spacious, 
stately and comfortable church edifice, with its great 
organ and deep-toned bell ; our convenient chapel, ele- 
gant parsonage and ample grounds, together with our 

.i<''() EXPJLXn I T VliES. 

ctMuetery and house on Neversink liill, our property is 
complete and all that could he desired. To hrinj^ it to 
its present condition required many improvementsand 
lieavy exp«_;jise. 

The spacious and elef^ant [)arsonage was erected in 
ISGC), at a cost of ^11,000, *0,()00 of which was received 
from the sale of the former parsonaj^e, and f3,000 con- 
tributed by the individual meml)ers. 

A thorough renovation of the church building was 
made in 18G8, at a cost of ^5,100, and the subse(iuent 
year the flagstone pavement and curbing cost the. con- 
gregation if<l,200 additional. 

In 1873 the present organ was procured at a cost of 
.f 6,000, and the following year the chapel was completed 
V)eside the church. Its cost was ^6,o00, and the altera- 
tions to the basement of the church, t2,500 more. 

The study wing was added to the parsonage, and the 
stone wall and iron fence erected in front of it in 1876, 
at the expense of .*1,000, and in 1880 the back building 
was enlarged at the cost of J^GOO. 

In 1881 very extensive alterations and renovations 
were again made to the church building at a cost of 

In 1889 the new bell was purchased, the frame work 
of the steeple was repaired and strengthened, and ex- 
tensive improvements made to the outside of the par- 
sonage and its grounds, and to the infant school room 
of the chapel, at a cost of J|l,400. 

This makes a total of $32,300 expended upon special 
improvements of our church property. Our current 
expenses at the same time for salaries of pastor, organ- 
ist, choir, sexton and all usual expenses for coal, gas, 
water and ordinary repairs and supplies, amounted to 
iS112,000, making a total of $144,300 raised and expended 
in supporting and maintaining this church for these 
twenty-five years. Not only has this money been raised 
and paid, but the Women's Society has $1,000 on hand, 
saved from the proceeds of their annual suppers, for 
use in jjurchasing carjjets or other church furniture 
whenever needed. 

These twenty five years have also been marked by a 
great increase in love and good works towards the 


Lutheran church and the kingdom of our Lord beyond 
our own bounds. 

Within this growing city of Reading five missions 
have been established and ground purchased for a sixth. 
In 1867, the seventh jubilee of the Reformation, St. 
Luke's chapel, first known as the chapel of the Reforma- 
tion, was erected on North Ninth street, at a cost of 
$3,000 for buildings and ground. In 1877-78 Grace 
chapel, a substantial and elegant edifice, was erected at 
Eleventh and Cherry streets, at a cost of $15,000 for 
buildings and part payment of the ground. Both of 
these missions hav^e already become large and self-sus- 
taining congregations. 

In 1885 the triple chapels, known as Faith, Hope and 
Peace, were erected chiefly for mission school purposes 
in the suburbs of Reading, at a cost of $9,000 for the 
three buildings and ground for two of them. In 1889 
ground was purchased at Tenth and Windsor streets 
for another church, as a gift to the new congregation 
there being organized. 

The money for these missions in Reading was con-^ 
tributed chiefly through the efforts of the Sunday 
School Association, and two lots of ground were donated 
by two gentlemen of the congregation. These sums 
amount to $27,700, contributed for the establishment of 
these missions, to which should be added at least $3,500 
given for the new St. Luke's and Grace churches, and 
also $5,000 for the support of the pastors who have had 
charge of these chapels, making a total of $36,200 raised 
and paid for missions in Reading. 

Our interest in mission work in our city did not pre- 
vent a liberal assistance, on the part of the congrega- 
tion in the general work of the church elsewhere. 
Within these twenty-five years we have contributed as 
follows : 

To the endowment fund and new building of 
the Theological Seminary at Philadel- 
phia, -...---- $12,500 
Endowment of Muhlenberg College, - - 12,000 
Support of Orphan Home of Synod, - - 3,500 

i?^>- SUMMAJn'. 

For Homr and For«*i^n Missions, education 
and otluT o}>jects of the Synod and Gen- 
eral Council, .f 27,500 

Other benevolent purposes, - . . . 15,000 

]\Iakin^^ a total of - - - !i<70,500 

This money has been gathered by the envelope syH- 

tern, the Women's Mission Society, the Sunday School, 

and l)y i)ersonal contributions, and speaks well for the 

Christian spirit and liberality of our people. 

AVe have, therefore, at this time a congregation of 
1,500 members. We have a church i)roperty complete 
in all its parts an<l without any incumbrance of debt. 
We have contributed and paid : 

For current expenses, - - - _ . f 112,000 

Improvements to our property, - - - 32,300 

For ]\rissions in Reading, - - _ _ _ 30.200 
For Synod ical and othei- benevolence, - - 70,500 

This makes a total of - - ^251, 000 
Or an average of over f 10,000 per year contributed 
tor religious purposes by the congregation in these 
twenty-five years. This does not include many per- 
sonal and individual contributions, but only those in 
which the congregation as such has been engaged. 
Surely these results show the labors of these years have 
not been in vain, but give us every reason to raise a 
grateful Ebenezer to-day, to thank God and take cour- 
age for tlie future. 

Better, however, than all these material results is the 
fact that the harmony and peace of the congregation 
have been undisturbed and unbroken for a quarter of 
a century ; that so many souls have been brought to 
the knowledge and confession of Christ; and that the 
whole spiritual tone and life of the congregation have 
been greatly elevated and increased. Whatever meas- 
ure of success has followed my ministry in this church, 
I owe it under God, without whose blessing all labor is 
in vain, to the fact that I have always had the cordial 
co-operation of the Vestry, the enterprising spirit of an 
indefatigable band of Sunday School woi^kers, and the 
quiet but enthusiastic efforts of the noble women who 


form our Women's Mission Society. It is because of 
Grod's blessing, and the co-oi)eration of these and other 
aids and forces, that the results have been attained 
which fill us with gratitude and joy to-day." 

At the morning service the pastor was assisted by 
his two sons, Rev\ Charles L. Fry, pastor of Trinity 
Lutheran Church, Lancaster ; and Kev. Frank F. 
Fry, who was ordained at the last meeting of the 
Ministeriiim, and for some months had been the as- 
sistant to Rev. Dr. Seiss, pastor of the Church of 
the Holy Communion, Philadelphia. 

At the children's service in the afternoon addresses 
were made by Revs. F. K. Huntzinger, AV. H. 
Myers, L. J, Bickel and F. F. Fry, and the superin- 
tendent, H. M. M. Richards. At the evening service 
addresses were made by Revs. C. L. Fry, R. D. Roe- 
der, M. C. Horine and J. J. Kuendig. 

All the young men from this congregation who 
had entered the ministry during these twenty-five 
years, were present and took part in these services, 
except Rev. Edwin F. Keever, who had been or- 
dained the previous year and was now engaged in 
mission work at Seattle, Washington, and was pre- 
vented by the great distance from being present. 

Substantial gifts were received from the Vestry, 
the Women's Mission Society, and some individuals, 
towards defraying the expenses of the pastor's tour. 
He left Reading on Tuesday, January 28, and the 
following day sailed from New York on The Saale 
for Europe. He was accompanied by Rev. T. C. 
Billheimer, D. D., pastor of St. Matthew's Lutheran 
Church, during the greater part of his tour. He was 
absent five months, and his tour extended in Egypt 
to the first cataract of the Nile ; through the whole 


i)f Palestine ; to Smyrna and l^plicsiis in Asia Minor ; 
to Constantinople; Athens ; and also the chief cities 
of Italy. 

During his absence his ])lace was supplied by his 
younger son, Rxtv. Frank F. Fry, who had been ap- 
])ointod pastor j^^'o temjwre, with the consent of the 

On Saturday evening, June 21, a public recej)ti()n 
and welcome was given the pastor on his return, and 
the pastor ^;/'0 tempore received valuable gifts as 
tokens of esteem and appreciation of his labors and 
services by the congregation. The following autumn 
he was elected pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, 
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and accepted the call. 

In June, 1890, the congregation came into posses- 
sion of two legacies bequeathed to it by Mrs. Elizabeth 
S. McElroy and Mrs. Mary C. Myers (both sisters of 
the Rev. Dr. Richards, deceased, a former pastor), 
for the relief of widows in the congregation who may 
be in need. The amount received was $3,230, and 
was invested, and the annual interest distributed ac- 
cording to the will of the donors. 

In the autumn of this year Rev. L. J. Bickel re- 
signed as pastor of the triple chapels, having accepted 
a call to Wilmington, and Rev. H. W. Warmkessel 
was called in his stead. 

The position of organist and choir master, filled by 
Edward A. Berg for the past five years, also became 
vacant on September 1st, and was not permanently 
filled until the following June, 1891, when William 
Benbow, who had returned from Europe and was 
now residing at Easton, was elected and entered on its 



XTbe present pastorate Continue^. 

As the present church edifice was begun in 1791, 
although not completed until 1794, a centennial cele- 
bration began to be spoken of in the beginning of 
1891. On January 4tli the pastor ur^ed the Sunday 
School to complete the payment of the ground do- 
nated to St. Mark's, and then to move for better ac- 
commodations for themselves. Shortly after, in a 
casual conversation about this with William A. Ar- 
nold, a hint was thrown out to see Samuel H. Kutz, 
and after a few conferences with both men, the pastor 
had the great satisfaction and pleasure of laying the 
following communication before the Vestry at its 
meeting in February : 

READiis^a, Pa., February 23, 1891. 
To THE Vestry of Tri^xity Lutheran Church, 
Reading, Pa. : 

We, the undersigned, make the following proposition 
and otfer : 

1. To take down the present chapel building adjoin- 
ing the church, and erect on its site a new and larger 
building, adapted to Sunday School and other church 
purposes for the use of the congregation, at our own 

2. Said building is to be a memorial of the centennial 
of the present church edifice, and also a memorial of 
our parents, who were life-long members of our congre- 
gation, and we are to have the right to place an in- 
scription to this effect in such part of the building as we 
may select, 


J]. The plan of llie building; shall l)e submitted to the 
Vestry for inspection and apju'oval Ix^fore work is be- 

4. We shall have the right to use any material of the 
present chapel we wish in the construction of the new 

5. This proposal refers only to the erection of the 
building, and does not include the matter of furniture 
or heating. Wm. A. Arnold, 

Samuel H. Kutz. 

The vestrvnieii were taken by uareeable surprise 
with this liberal oft'er, and by a unanimous vote the 
ful lowing aetion was taken : 

"Resolved, 1st. That, in the name of the congregation, 
we express our appreciation of this munificent offer, 
and return our thanks to Messrs. Arnold and Kutz for 
their generous liberality. 

2d. That we accept the terms of their proposal, and 
grant them full authority to carry out their project, at 
their earliest convenience. 

3d. That the committee on church property be in- 
structed to give their counsel and co-operation when- 
ever necessary, in the erection of the proposed ])uilding. 

4th. That copies of this action, signed by the presi- 
dent and secretary of the V^estry, be sent to Messrs. Ar- 
nold and Kutz. 

5th. That Messrs. P. S. Ermold, C. H. Schaeffer and 
J. L. Boyer be a committee to confer with Messrs. Ar- 
nold and Kutz concerning the general plan and size of 
the building, and inform them that it is the desire of 
the Vestry the building be large enough to accommo- 
date all branches of the Sunday School." 

The contract for the erection of the building was 
given by Messrs. Arnold and Kutz to I^. H. Focht, 
after designs and drawings by Samuel Orth, a young 
architect in his employ. The pastor made a paper 
model of the building he wished, which was adopted 
in its general features, but the credit for the beauty, 
symmetry and ornamentation of the building, belongs 


to (he architect. Wlien completed it far exceeded the 
pastor's plans and expectations. The building is 60 feet 
wide in front, and 100 feet deep. The side walls are 
of brick, and the front of white stone with Michigan 
redstone trimmings, elaborately carved. The arched 
ceiling is of corrugated iron, terminating in a dome 
window of stained glass. The walls, woodwork, and 
ceiling are finished in white and gold. The richly 
ornamented stair-case, pulpit and pews are of solid 
oak. Tlie stained glass windows, made by Williatu 
Reith, of Phila., are all memorial windows. The 
large front window^ was the gift of Mrs. Amanda E. 
Markley and Mrs. Emma C. Dauth, in memory of 
their parents; that on the east side of the pulpit was 
the trift of Mrs. Anna Louisa Rhoads ; and that on the 
west side the gift of Mrs. Anna Louisa Ritter, both in 
memory of their parents. On the opposite side, one 
is the gift of Samuel H. Kutz, in memory of his 
brother, Adam Kutz ; and the other the gift of W. A. 
Arnold, in memory of his aunt, Molly Homan. The 
window in the northeast part of the building is in 
memory of Rev. T. T. laeger, the gift of his daugh- 
ters ; and that opposite the pulpit is the one taken 
fi'om the former chapel, where it had been placed by 
F. Leaf Smith, Esq., in memory of his great-grand- 
father. Rev. J. Fred. Schmidt, D. D. The carved 
oak pulpit is in memory of Mrs. M. J. Snvder, bv 
her Sunday School class; and the magnificent chan- 
delier of gas and electric lights, was the gift of Mrs. 
Harriet Kutz, in memory of her mother. A double 
memorial window in the infant room is the gift of 
John W. Rhoads and wife, in memory of two children; 
and a similar window in the secondary room, is the 
gift of \yilliam A- Markley, in memory of his brother. 


Besides 1 lie vest ilmlcs and stairs in the tower wliicli 
joins the chajK'l to th(; clinreli, there is a parlor or 
Vestry room, which was furnished hy the Women's 
Mission Society, with <i;lass partitions so as to he 
thrown into one with the main room. A gallery 
runs around three sides of the hnilding for the ac- 
commodation of the adult classes of the Sunday School. 
The main room measures seventy-five by fifty feet in- 
side the walls; and the infant room, and secondary 
room above it, each forty-five by twenty-five feet. 
In elegance of style and finish, completeness and con- 
venience of arrangement, and perfect comfoit, this 
cha])el is not excelled, if equalled, in the state. Its 
cost when finished was about §25,000. The main 
room will accommodate 800; the infant room 200; 
and the secondary 150 teachers and scholars. 

Work on demolishing the old chapel was begun on 
the 1st of May. The gas fixtures and pews were do- 
nated to St. Mark's congregation for use in their 
chapel. The corner-stone was laid on Sunday, June 
28th, at 7.15 p. m., when the })astor was assisted by 
Rev. F. A. Muhlenberg, D. D., LL. D., who had re- 
moved the previous year to Reading, and had become 
a member of the congregation. 

The building was finished and furnished the fol- 
lowing spring, and on Sunday, May 1, 1892, was 
dedicated to its sacred purposes. The service began 
in the church, where the pastor preached the dedica- 
tion sermon on Ps. 50 : 2, after which a procession 
was formed, headed by the pastor, the Vestry and 
Messrs Arnold and Kutz, and entered the chapel and 
the dedication took place. 


During the meeting of the Ministerium at Potts- 
town, on May 22, 1891, the pastor was elected to the 
chair of Homiletics and Sacred Oratory in the Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Theologictal Seminary at Mt. Airy, 
Philadelphia, which had been endowed by St. John's 
congregation of that city. 

On June 1st he received the formal notice and offi- 
cial call, signed by the officers of the Ministerium. 
As it did not require him to sever his relation with 
the congregation, he was disposed to accept it, and 
laid it before the Vestry at a meeting held on June 
5th, by whom it was regarded unfavorably, and met 
with considerable opposition. After a full discussion 
and explanation, the following action was taken : 

" Resolved. 1st. That the Vestry hereby agrees that our 
pastor accept the professorship in the Evangelical 
Lutheran Seminary, to which he has been elected by the 
Ministerium, provided that such acceptance does not in- 
volve his absence from his charge for more than two 
days a week. 

Resolved., 2d. That, in the event of our pastor's ac- 
ceptance of said professorship, we hereby extend to 
Rev. Frank. F, Fry a call to become associate or assist- 
ant pastor of this church, the matter of salary to be ad- 
j usted hereafter. 

Resolved, 3d. That the above action is taken with the 
understanding that it shall not involve any increased 
expenditure on the part of the congregation. 

The secretary was ordered to forward a copy of the 
first and second resolutions to Rev. Frank F. Fry, which 
was done." 

The pastor subsequently informed the officers of 
the Ministerium that he accepted the call, with the 
ab<jve stated understanding, and woidd enter on his 
duties at the beginning of the Seminary year, in Sep- 
tember. This he did, and on Monday evening, Sep- 


tomhcr LM, was foiMiinllv installrd hv Rev. Dr. Sicss, 
president of the IJumkI of Directors, at a spoeial ser- 
vice held in St. John's (MhiicIi, rhil:idelj>hia, and de- 
liverecl Ills !n;uii;iii;d address on " 77/c Pa/pit.^^ 
Rev. 11. V. Ililprecht, Ph. I)., was at the same time 
installed as " assistant instructor in (). T. hin<2;nair('S 
and theoh)gy." 

The call to Rev. Frank F. Fry to become assistant 
pastor of this con(j!;re<:;ation was de(;lined, as Grace 
congregation at I>ethleiiem, of which he took charge 
on the first of January, refused to release him. 

On May 13, 1892, a meeting of the young mem- 
bers of the congregation was held to oi'ganize a 
Young People's Association on a new basis, somewhat 
similar to tlie Luther leaj^ues in other cono-retja- 
tions. It was largely attended and much interest 
manifested in the project. Its aim and object was 
tiie improvement of its members, socially, intellectu- 
ally and spiritually, and to render the church such 
aid as may be in its power. It has become one of 
the strongest organizations within the congregatiou, 
both in number and influence. 

As this year, 1892, was the centennial anniversary 
of the laying of the corner-stone of the church, it 
was decided to invite the Ministerium to hold i(s 
convention in this church, and a(;cordingly that body 
met here on the 9th of June. The president, Rev. 
Dr. Krotel, who had consented to preach the sermon 
on Sunday morning, was prevented from coming. 
Rev. Dr. Jacobs preached the Synodical sermon on 
Th.ursday morning; and Rev. Dr. Seiss the centennial 
sermon on Sundav, from the text Ps. 68:15-16. 
At the children's service in the afternoon, addresses 

MEETING OF SYNOD, 1892. 271 

were Qiade by Revs. G. P. Mueller, W. A. Pass- 
avant, jr., and S. H. Reck. In the evening appro- 
priate addresses were made by Revs. D. H. Geiss- 
inger and S. Laird, D. D. At the close of the 
Synod, the president, Rev. Dr. Spaeth, in returning 
thanks for the hospitalities received, congratulated 
the congregation on its condition, and stated it was 
now the strongest entirely English Lutheran congre- 
gation in the world. 


In a month's time after the Synod adjourned, the 
Vestry issued the following circular, whicli will ex- 
plain itself: 

To the Members and Friends of Trinity Lutheran 
Church, Reading, Pa. : — On Trinity Sunday of this year 
we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the laying of the 
corner-stone of our venerable church, and on Trinity 
Sunday, 1894, we expect to celebrate the centennial 
anniversary of its completion, consecration and occupa- 
tion. Since the erection of the beautiful Memorial 
chapel beside the church, the opinion has been gener- 
ally expressed that the old church should undergo a 
renovation by that time, so that the two buildings may 
stand side by side without disparagement to the vener- 
able mother. While no material alteration to the 
building is contemplated which would destroy the 
identity of old Trinity, much could be done to improve 
her appearance and add to her conveniences and 

But while we have been deliberating what these im- 
provements should be, a new and serious trouble has 
arisen which requires immediate attention. The steeple 
of the church, which is its most prominent feature and 
has been the pride of our city for sixty years, has lately 
shown signs of weakness and of losing its perpendicular 
position. When the building inspector first called 
attention to it we were disposed to treat the matter 


lif^litly, but to set at rest all (iiu'stions as to its safety, 
we employed Mr. 11. K. Leonard, enj^ineer of the 
Philadclpliia Hri<i{j;e Company, to inspect the steeple 
and j^ive us his oj»ini<>n. He did so on June 4th and 
reported as follows : 

"The main timhersof the steeple forminj^ the interi<»r 
cone are considerably bent towards Sixth street, and in 
the direction, as I understand, of the prevailing winds. 
The timbers appeared sound, but the system of l)iacing 
between the outer sliell and this cone, and of the cone 
itself, is not sufficient to make the structure work as a 
whole, nor could it in my opinion be made so. You 
will, therefore, see that at present the force of the wind 
is almost entirely exerted on the outer shell, and the 
wind, in connection with the extra weight already 
thrown to one side by the leaning of the steeple, places 
too much weight on the brick work of the Sixth street 
side. The evidence of this undue weight, which is quite 
startling, is sliown by the failure of the brick work, 
which has crumbled to a considerable extent on the 
Sixth street side, as before mentioned. While I do not 
consider there is any immediate danger of the structure 
falling, I would recommend its entire removal or de- 
molition at an early date." 

We wei-e reluctant to believe our beautiful steeple 
must be demolished, and requested the city building 
inspector to make an examination. His opinion was 
the same as Mr. Leonard's, and was confirmed by a 
personal inspection by the members of the Vestry of 
the points of weakness above mentioned. Every one 
was convinced something must be done without delay 
or the safety of the whole church would be endangered. 
After ascertaining it would cost almost as much to 
attempt to straighten and strengthen the steeple as to 
take it down and rebuild it, it has been decided to take 
it down, and to do so this summer before the danger 
becomes too great. 

But what shall be done when the steejjle is down? 
Shall the brick tower be covered with a dome, or shall 
a slated spire be substituted for the stately, storied steeple 
our fathers built, and which has been the chief land- 


mark of Reading for over a half century ? Or shall we 
rebuild the steeple as it was, putting back in its place 
whatever of the present structure is sound, and replac- 
ing whatever may be decayed or injured with new ma- 
terial of the same pattern ? The Vestry believes this 
latter to be the wish of the majority of the congrega- 
tion, and that they will contribute hberally to have 
their beautiful steeple rebuilt and thus restored. If 
this can be done this summer and autumn, the other 
contemplated improvements of the building can follow 
next summer. What these improvements shall be, de- 
pends on the amount contributed for such purpose. 
Several things must be done, such as repainting the 
entire outside of the building, putting superior stained 
glass in the windows and new carpets on the floors, and 
some altei-ations of the front entrance to the church so 
as to allow easier modes of entering and leaving the 
building ; and possibly heating the church with steam, 
and putting some lighter and more attractive front to 
the galleries. 

These are only suggestions as to what is contemplated, 
but nothing has been decided nor can be until it is 
known what funds can be secured for this purpose. 

It is estimated that the rebuilding of the steeple and 
the other improvements suggested will cost not less 
than $10,000 and for this sum we send out this appeal. 
To secure it we should have several subscriptions of 
$1,000 each, — five or six at $500 each, and the balance 
can be secured in lesser gifts. The small gifts of the 
poor are as acceptable as the large sums of the rich. 
If two of our meu)bers could pay for the erection of our 
beautiful Memorial Chapel, surely there should be no 
difficulty in securing this amount for the renovation 
and beautifying of our old historic church. 

Enclosed you will find several subscription cards or 
slips— one for yourself and the othei-s you will hand to 
other members of your household or to friends who 
will be willing to aid in this good work. These cards 
you will please fill out, putting on the dotted line the 
amount you are willing to contribute, and signing your 
name and residence to it. Sunday, July 31, has been 


flxod as tlio (lay when theso cards nliall be lianded in. 
We will have special services that day apjiiopriate to 
the occasion and h<tpc that all niendjers of old Trinity 
who can do so, will be at one of these services and 
sIk^w tiieir love to the mother church by liberal sub- 
scriptions. No money will be asked for at that time, 
but to make the payments easy they will be extended 
over the entire year, the first payment to be made in 
October next, the second in January, the third in April 
and the fourth and last in July of next year. All we 
ask for at this service on the 31st inst., is that you bring 
or send your card stating the sum total you are willing 
to pay within the ensuing year for this purpose. If the 
subsci'iptions on that day will justify it, we can assure 
you our grand steeple will be immediately re-erected in 
a substantial manner so as to stand, the chief ornament 
of our city, at least half a century longer ; and next 
summer the other renovations and improvements will 
follow. J. Fry, Pastor, 

and President (>f the Vestry. 

Reading, July 18, 1893. M. S. Palm, Secretary. 

At the service held on July 3l8t, the pastor 
preached on Luke 14:28: ''For which of you in- 
tending to l)uil(l a tower/' (tc, and the response to 
the Vestry's circular was sufficiently encouraging to 
justify the re-building of the stee})le immediately. 
The contract was given to L. H. Focht, and G. O. 
Runyeon was appointed treasurer of the repair fund. 
The steeple was taken down to the brick work, and 
rebuilt exactlv as it had been ; whatever was solid 
and in good condition was put into its former posi- 
tion, and whatever was decayed or injured w^as re- 
placed by new material of the same pattern. The old 
vane of cast iron was left off because of its great 
w'cight, and a new one of the same })attern, made of 
aluminum, put in its stead. The work was com- 


pleted by the close of the year, without any accident, 
or interruption of the services in the church. 

It being determined to substitute an electric motor 
instead of the water motor in operating the bellows 
of the organ, the contract was given to J. K. Righter, 
president of the Reading Electric Construction Com- 
pany, and the change made at the close of this year, 

Gn the 1st of April, Dillman Worley, who had 
been sexton since 1874, resigned, and F. B. Stettler 
became his successor. 


After the steeple was rebuilt the attention of the 
Vestry was directed to the other renovations men- 
tioned in their circular to the congregation. Consid- 
erable diversity of opinion existed, in both the Vestry 
and congregation, as to what these renovations and 
improvements should be. A few favored tearing 
down the church and building a new one, to corres- 
pond in style and architecture with the new Memorial 
chapel. But the great majority believed the old 
church was strong enough to continue for many 
years, and that too many sacred associations were con- 
nected with it, to tear it down before the occasion was 
imperative. The Vestry was almost equally divided 
as to the manner of renovating the building. One 
part favored removing the second floor, and restor- 
ing the church within to the same ground floor and 
height of ceiling it had prior to the alterations made 
in 1851. The other part were opposed to any ma- 
terial alteration of the building, but favored its com- 
plete renovation, whereby it might be made more at- 
tractive and beautiful, and this prevailed. 


W'illiaii) A. Arnold, Jerome L. Hover and Amos 
N\ . I'ottei^cr were appointed a coiiimitlee to .superin- 
tend the work-. An ninisnal feature was the fact that 
nearly all the improvements were gifts from indi- 
vidual meml>ers or famili(;s of the congregation. 
John Barbey bore the expense of lowering and relay- 
ing the stone platform at the western entrance, and 
painting tiie entire outside of the building. 

A dome window, representing the sun, was placed 
in the ceiling, giving a mellow light over the roon), 
the gift of Samuel H. Kutz and W. A. Arnold. 

A new front was put on the galleries, finished in 
white and gold, the gift of Jerome L. Boyer ; and 
new pews of solid oak and modern style were placed 
in the galleries, the gift of Matthan Harbster. The 
walls were painted in pink tints, the gift of Mrs. 
George F. Boyer, and the vestibules and halls re- 
painted, as the gift of Charles H. Schaeffer, Esq. 
The pews on the main floor were grained in oak to 
correspond with those in the galleries, the expense 
being borne by Messrs. H. G. Young, J. I. Kline, 
W. S. Mohr, A. N. Kissinger and G. O. Runyeon. 
New hymn boards were placed beside the pulpit by 
Messrs. Schrader & Kline. 

A beautiful marble altar was put in the chancel in 
memory of a foi mer pastor. Rev. Jacob Miller, D. D., 
by his daughter, Mrs. John Endlich, and her chil- 
dren, Miss Emma and Hon. G. A. Endlich. Beside 
it is an equally beautiful lectern of solid brass, in 
memory of Joseph and Eliza Ritter, by their daughter, 
Mrs. J. P. Sellers. The entire floor is covered bv a 
Wilton carpet of very rich pattern, and the galleries 
with carpets of similar colors, presented by the 


Wonlen\s Mission Society of the congregation. The 
beautiful combination gas and electric fixtures of 
raodern pattern at the -pulpit, organ, on the gallery 
fronts and in the vestibules, are a gift from the same 

Nine memorial windows were donated, designed by 
Mr. Frederick Wilson, of Philadelphia, and made by 
the Tiffany Company, of New York, all of exquisite 
beauty and wonderful workmanship. Three are his- 
torical, representing Christ inviting;, Paul teaching, 
and Luther protesting. Three others are allegorical 
representations of Faith, Hope and 'Charity. They 
are represented as female figures of life size, and have 
been greatly admired. Three others are emblematic, 
but without special figures. The Hope window on 
the north of the pulpit is the gift of H. A. Muhlen- 
berg, Esq., in memory of his grandfather, who was 
pastor of the church from 1803 to 1829. The Faith 
window on the south of the pulpit is in memory of 
the late H. H. Muhlenberg, the gift of his family. 
The Christ window is the gift of the living children 
of W. A. Arnold, in memory of those deceased. The 
Luther window is in memory of William Harbster, 
by his wife, Mrs. Ellen Harbster. The Paul window 
is a gift from Mrs. Emma B. Hill, in memory of her 
father. The Charity window was presented by Miss 
Katie A. Dauth. One of the emblematic windows 
was given by Dr. J. B. Sterley and wife in memory 
of her parents, the late John L. Rightmyer and wife ; 
another in memory of Daniel Miller, deceased, by his 
family ; and the third in memory of Dr. Bodo Otto, 
one of the early members of the congregation, by his 


A tenth window was snbsccjncMitly placed In tlie 
center of" the sontli .side by the Women's Mission 
Society, as a testimonial to the pastor on the occasion 
'of the 29th anniversary of his pastorate. It repre- 
sents Christ as the good Shepherd, and was designed 
by the same artist and made by the same firm as the 

F. P. Heller contiibnted most of the Inmber used, 
and P. S. Ermold presented a new clock. The old 
lecture room on tlie first floor was transformed into a 
parlor and reading room for the use of the Young 
People's Association, a larg* part of the expense beiifg 
borne also by William A. Arnold. 

Liberal gifts in money to the general expenses 
were made by Charles Breneiser, J. Mould & Co., J. 
L. Bowman, and others. Steam heat was introduced, 
and also lighting the church with electricity, and 
everything done which could add to the convenience 
and comfort of the building, and the venerable 
church was transformed into a palace of beauty for 
its final centennial celebration. 

The cost of these renovations and improvements, 
including the rebuilding of the steeple, was $16,000, 
all of which has been paid, or will be paid before the 
day of celebration. 

The church was re-oj)ened for services on Reforma- 
tion Sunday, October 29, on wdiich occasion the pas- 
tor preached on Ps. 45 : 13, " The king's daughter is 
all glorious within." 

The former altar, displaced by a new one of mar- 
ble, was donated to the Theological Seminary at 
Philadelphia, and was placed in the chapel of that in- 


Among the deaths in 1893 were those of two for- 
mer vestrymen, Jacob Young, who died August 14, 
aged 80 years; and William H. Runyeon, on Decem- 
ber 21, in the 56th year of his age. 

The year 1894 has now been reached, and every- 
thino; is in readiness for the celebration of the 100th 
anniversary of the completion and consecration of the 
old church. If nothing occurs to prevent, that cele- 
bration will take place on Trinity Sunday, May 20, 
and will be worthy of the congregation to which it 
belongs, and whose history we have written as a 
grateful pastor's tribute to the memorable occasion. 

The arrano;ements for the celebration are similar. to 
those at the pastor's quarto-centennial. Rev. G. F. 
Krotel, D. D., LL. D., of New York, has accepted 
the invitation to preach the sermon at the morning 
service ; and Revs. M. H. Richards, D. D., R. D. 
Roeder, C. L. Fry, F. F. Fry and E. F. Keever, 
all of whom entered the ministry from this congrega- 
tion, are expected to make addresses at the children's 
service in the afternoon, or at the service of praise in 
the evening. 


Before coiichuling the vohiine it wiil he interest- 
ing and useful to give the old and new eharters 
of the congregation, and several other items which 
could not be inserted in the body of the book where 
reference is made to them. They are given as appen- 
dixes, begiiuiing on the next page. 


ConraO Weiser's Ib^mn* 

Composed for the Dedication of the First Church, 1752. 

(See Page 26.) 

Jehovah, Herr und Majestset! 
Hoer uiiser kindlich Flehen : 
Neig deine Ohren zum Gebet 
Der Scliaaren, die da steheii 
Vor deinein heiligen Angesicht : 
Verschmfehe unsere Birte nicht, 
Um deines Namens willen. 

Dies Haus wird heute eingeweiht 
Von deineni Bundes-Volke : 
Lass uns, Herr, deine HerrlicUkeit 
Hernieder in der Wulfce, 
Dass sie erfuelle dieses Haus 
Und treilje alles Boese aas, 
Um deines Namens willen. 

Es halte Niemand das gemein. 

Was du fuer rein erklajret : 

Dies Haus soil eine Wohnung sein, 

Worin man dicli verehret. 

Es bleibe stets ein Heiligthum 

Fuer's reine Evangelium! 

Um deines Namens willen! 

Verleihe, dass es nie geljricht 

An treuen Kirchen-RsEthen, 

Die nacli Gewis«en, Amt und Pflicht 

Fuer su;h nnd Andere beten, 

Damit durch ihren Dienst uiid Treu 

Der Kirc-he wohlgerathen sei, 

Um deines Namens willen ! 

O Majestfet, erznerne nicht, 

Dass wir uns unterwinden, 

Zu bitten, dass dein Recht und Licht 

Hier stetig sei zu tinden! 

Drum gieb uns Lehrer, die erfuellt 

Mit deuiem Geist und Ebenbild, 

Um deines N.tmens willen! 

Wenn deine treuen Knechte hier 
In deinem Nanien lehren, 
Wenn sie erhoehen dein Panier ; 
Dann lass dein Volk so hoeren, 
Dass sich eroeffne ihr Verstand, 
Ihr VVille werde ungew^andt, 
Um deines Namens willen I 


7 lllcr (I'fTne Rich tier Holon Miiinl, 
I'lid triefc rcclit v<tm I'clte! 

Kr inurlie Flurli uml Sejjen kund, 
IjKl rliifiu in <lie Welie 
Mit (ioit uml seines (Jelstes Kraft, 
])ie itmi den \Ve^ zmii llerzen sctiafTt, 
Uni Jt'HU C'liristi wilk-iil 

8 LftSR. .Tesu, diese Quelle sein 
Kin reines Mecr der (ina<len, 
Dariiuien unsere Kindelein 
\'on Kill- und Siienden-Schaden 

Durcli dein Verdienst, lUut, Scliweias und Tod 
Errettet werden aus der Noth, 
Urn deines Namens willen! 

Lass, Majcsta't, auf diesem Platz 
Die reinste Lelire bleihen, 
Und deine Knechte solclien Schalz 
Kacli deineni Willen treilien. 
Behuete uns vor Za-nkerei, 
Vor Sicherheit und Heuchelei, 
L'ni deines Naniens willen! 

10 Das ist und hleibet ewig wahr, 
Was Christi Mund {^esprochen : 
AVer at), uud zuthut, liat ganz klar 
Des Mittlers Won gel»roelien. 
Drum irret nicht, Gott la;sset sich 
In soldier Saclie attsonderlich 
Kicht in die La^nge spotten! 

11 Lass dieses Haus die Werkstatt sein, 
Worinn viel tausend Seelen 

In Bussui'd Glaui)en nur allein 
Mit Jesu sicli vermaelilen 
Durcti deines Wortes I.ebens-Saft 
Tud deiner Sacramenten Kraft, 
Um deines Namens willen ! 

12 Gieb endlich, hoechste Majestaet 
Des Himmels undderErden, 

Dass Fuerbitt, Dank, Preis und Gebet 

Mag hier geop/ert werden 

Fuer jeden Stand der Cliristenheit, 

Damit in alle Ewigkeit 

Dein Nam' geeUret werde! 

13 Vor Fuer, Krleg und Wassers-Noth 
"WoUst du dies Haus bewahren I 
Damit nacli sel'gem Tod 

Die Nachkommen erfahren, 
Dass wir dich, wahreii Gott, geliebt 
Und uns in deinem Wort geuebt, 
Um deines Namens willen! 


tibc ©10 Cbarter, 1787. 

An Act to incorporate tire German Lutheran Congregation iyi tlie Bor^ 
ougJi of Reading, in the County of Berks. 

Section I. Whereas. The members of the German Lutheran Congre- 
gation in the borough of RenUing, in the county of Berks, have at a very 
considerable expense erected one church and one school house in said bor- 
ouglj, and divers of the members of the said congregation have prayed 
that some persons amongst them may ite incorporated for the commun- 
ity, that they may receive and hold grants of land and chatties, thereijy 
to enable said congregation to erect and repair public buildings for the 
worship of God, for school houses and for the maintenance of the ininis- 
try, and that the same as trustees, elders and deacons may plead and be 
impleaded in any suit touching the premises and to have per})etual suc- 
cession. And Whereas, It is just and right, and also agreeable to the 
Constitution of this Commonwealth, that the prayer of said petition be 
granted ; 

Section II. Be it therefore enacted, and it is hereby enacted by the rep- 
resentatives of the freeman of the Commonwealth of Penosylvania, in 
General Assembly met, and by the authority of the same : That Henry 
Ilahn, the elder; Michael Krause and Christian Merkel, Jacob Zoll, John 
Strohecker and Michael Bush, elders; Matthias Babb. Henry Spengler, 
Christopher Reightmeyer, Jacob Leitheuser, John Shoemaker'and Henry 
Hahn, the younger, deacons of said German Lutheran Congregation 
above mentioned, in the county aforesaifl, and their successors duly 
elected and nominated in their place and stead, be and they are hei"et)y 
mride and constituted a corporation and body politic, in law and in fact, 
to have continuance forever by name, style and title of : "The Trustees. 
Elders and Deacons of the German Lutheran Congregation in the bor- 
ough of Readiug. in the county of Berks." 

Section III. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
the said corporation and their successors by the name, style and title 
aforesaid, shall lorever hereafter be persons able and capable in law to 
purchase, take, hold and enjoy any messuages or tenements, houses, 
buildiug-5, lands, rents, annuities or any other hereditaments in fee simple 
and forever or for term of life or lives or in any other manner so as the 
same exceed not at any time the clear yearly value or income of five-hun- 
dred pounds, lawful money of Pennsylvania, to be taken and esteemed ex- 
clusive of the monies arising from the letting of the pews, and the con- 
tributions ijelonging to the said church, and also exclusive fi'om the 
monies arising from the opening of the burial grounds ; and further that 
the said corporation may take and receive any sum or sums of money, 
or any manner or portion of goods and chattels, that shall be 
given or bequeathed to them by any person or persons, bodies politic or 
corporate capable to make a beciiiest or gift thereof, and also that the 
said corporation and their successors shall and may give, grant, demise 
or otherwise dispose of all or any of the messuages or tenements, houses, 
buildings, lands, rents, annuities or any other hereditaments as to them 
shall seem meet (excepting the site of the house of public worship, 
burial ground or grounds, parsonage-house or houses, school-house or 
houses) for repairing or rebuilding the house of public worship, parson- 
age-house or school-house afoiemeutioned and not otherwise. 

Section IV. Provided aliccnjs, and be it further enacted by the author- 
ity aforesaid, that in making sale or disposition of any part or parcel of 
the real estate of the said corporation, the consent and concuirence of 
the major part of the regular members of said congregation, who shall 
have been enrolled as stated worshippers with said church for not less 
than the space of one year shall be had and obtained. 

-«l TJIK CllAUTEli OF 1787. 

Smtion v. Ami In.' It fiirtlicr ciuK'tcd hy the nntliority aforesaid, that 
iTll and fvtT.v Hiich lands, lenonu'iitH. htTtilitaintiiiH, money, k<m)(|8 
and chattels "whith nuiy at any time i)el<tre or alter the passiti); ol this 
Ael have l>ecn or sliuii be <levised. uiven or ^ranteil t<» the rhiin h ahove 
named In the said town (now horoiiKh) <if Ilea<linjf, or to any person or 
pt'rsoiiH in trust for tlieni. shall lie and rtiimln, and they are her.-hy de- 
elared to lie vested in and shall remain in the i i-aeeai le and (|niet pos- 
sfsslon of tlie corporation acconlin^' to llie true intent aud meaning of 
such devise or devises, jriftor gills, grant or grants. 

Section VI. And l»e it further enacted tjy the aiithority aforesaid, that 
the said corporation ami their siiccessor-i l)y the name ot •'The Trustees, 
Khlersatid l»eacons of tlie (Icrmaii (Congregation in the hor- 
ongh of Ueading, in the county of Uerks,'" shall i>e able and capable in 
law to sue and be sued, plead and lie imjileaded in any coviit or cc)urls 
before any Judge or jiMges, justice or jnsii(tes, in ail and all manner of 
suits, complaints,, niatteis and demands of whatsiever kinds, 
nature or lorm thev may be, in as full aufi ellectual a manner as any 
(tther person or persons, bodies i)oliiic and corporate in this common- 
wc ilth may or can do. 

Section VII. And be it further enacted hy the authority aforesaid, 
that the said corporation and their sucee.ssors shall have lull power and 
autiiortiy to make, have and use one common seal, with such devise or 
devises and inscripti<ui as they shall think proiier,and the same to break, 
alter or renew ai their pleasure. 

Sk'tion VHI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that the said tiustees. elders and deacons, and their sncct ssors or a ma- 
jority of them, with tlie concunence of their pastor or minister for the 
lime being, be authorized and imnowered from time to time to make 
rules, by-laws and ordinances, and to do everyihing needful for the gov- 
ernment and support of the secular adairs of said church. Pnjndid 
aiirai/s, That the said rules, by-laws and ordinmces be consonant to the 
usages and customs of said church, and not repugnant to the laws of 
this commonwealth. 

Section IX. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that the said corporation shall consist of thirteen members, namely, the 
parson or minister for the time being, tiiree trustees, three elders and six 
deacons, called and known by tlie name of "The Trustees. Elders and 
Deacons of the German Lutheran Congregation, in the borough of Read- 
ing, in the county of Berks," and who shall be chosen by a majority of 
sucli members of said congregation as have a right to vote therein, ac- 
cording to the enrolment as stated worshippers as aforementioned. 

Section X. And be it further enacted by tlie authority aforesaid, that 
the said Henry Hahn, the elder : Miciiael Krause and Christian Merkel, 
the present trustees ; .Jacob Zoll. John Strohecker and Michael Bush, the 
present elders ; Matthias Babb, Henry Spengler, Christopher Rightmeyer, 
Jacob Leitheuser, John Shoemaker and Henry Hahn, the younger, the 
present deacons, hereby incorporated, shall be and continue as aforesaid, 
until they be removed in manner following, that is to say, one-third part 
in number of each of Them siiall cease and tliscontinue, and their appoint- 
ment determine on the first Monday in the month of Ai)ril, which will 
be in the year of our Lord o le tliousind seven hundred and eighty-eight, 
upon which day a new electitm shall be had and held for so many others 
in their stead aiid place by a majority met and qualiiied agrreeabl'e to the 
purport, true intent and meaning of this act to vote and elect as afore- 
said. And on the first Monday in the month of April, in the year follow- 
ing, the second third part in number of each of the said trustees, elders 
and deacons herein named shall in like manner cease and discontinue and 
their appointment determine, and a new election to be had and hehl of 
so many others in their phu^e and stead ; and in like manner on the first 
Monday in the month of April in the year then next f(jllowing, the last 
third part of each of the said trustees, elders and deacons, shall in like 
manner cease and disconiinue and their appointment determine, and a 
new election of said ai)pointment to be had and held in manner afore- 
said on the first Monday in the month of April in each and every year for- 
ever, so that no person or persons shall be or continue a trustee, elder or 
deacon of said church for any longer time than three years together, if 
not re-elected. 


Section XI. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, tliat 
in case of deatli or a removal of the pars n\ (ir minister of said congrega- 
tion, and until another parson or minister shall be duly appointed and 
approved for said congregation, agreeable to former customs, methods 
and usage, they, the said trustees, elders and deacons, shall have the 
same powers an'i authorities as are herein vested in ihe whole corporation, 
or in case of death, refusal or removal of one or more of the trustees, 
elders and deacons, the said corporation shall at any time whenever the 
same shall happen, have power to elect, appoint and choose any other 
trustee or trustees, elder or elders, deacon or deacons, as the case may 
be, and the person or persons no nominated and appoiated to continue 
in said ottice fur ami during the time the person or persons, he or they 
were elected for, should or could have reniiiined and continued, and no 

Section' XII. Proviclfcl alvai/s, That the persons belonging to said 
church, who are in and by this act authorized and empowered to elect, 
shall and maybe ai liberty to re-elect one or more of said trustees, elders or 
deacons, wiiose time shall have expired on the <lay of the annual elec- 
tion whenever and so ofttn as they shall think fit. 

Signed by order of the House, 

Thomas Mifklin, Speaker. 
Enacted into a law at Philadelphia, on Monday, the tentii day of Sep- 
temi^er, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and elglity- 
seven. (September lOth, A. D. 1787.) 

Peteb Zachary Lloyd, 

Clerk of the General Assembly. 

appp:ndix c. 

BD^itional IRnmc^ ot Contrilnitor^ to tbc .ICuilMnfl 
ot the prct3cnt Cl.nircb EMficc. 


.](il)n Iltirtiuan, 
C'tiristiim Mi-rkel, 
fieorfrc Eckert, 
.Intiii Meyer. 
Jiilm (Jross. 
Hjirtiiiiin Wi'vl, 
Ciiiirail Fasig, 
I'tiilip Fii-iitf, 
Georpe Hauer, 
Conrad Geist, 
Genrge Shumacker, 
I'ertT Arnolil, 
William Hottenstein, 
Dewalfl Miller, 
Jacot> Stehle, 
Ahraham Witinan, 
Jac tit Bnuer, 
George Haas, 
Franz Weicherrl, 
Benjamin Leinhacli, 
Chrislopti Neidle, 
Adam Drinklians, 
John Etrle, 
Henry Homan, 
Ciinrad Schtuehl, 
Andrew FucUs, 
John Keim, 
Conrad Fejrer. 
Dainei Crist, 
William Machmer, 
William Till, 
Henry Fleisher, 
Henry Lillig, 
Adam Kantner, 
Isaac Ermel, 
Henry steils, 
John Cenle. 
Martin Sackman, 
Bastian Algeier, 
Henry Dieni, 
Georjie Ileitmyer, 
Balzer Henrici, 
Rejrina Meyer. 
Joseph Alter, 
Fred Haiissman, 
Peter R;ipp, 
Peter Felix, 
John Gntman, 
Peter Gutman, 
Peter Huber, 
Henry Hafta. 
Jacob Schwally, 
Adam Rapp, 
George ScUumacker, 

George Marx, 
George IMlieger, 
William MaTiiierback, 
Peter Feder. 
Jiihn Snicker, 
John Waller, 
Peter Miller, 
Hamiu'l Feder, 
Jacob Merkel, 
John Kidd. 
George Hauss, 
Christian Kemrer, 
Jacob Brechf, 
Benj nnin Spicker, 
Jacoi> Peteri, 
Henry \'ondershlie.-s, 
James Scull, 
Ellas Reize, 
John Frey, 
Philip Weiss, 
Daniel Lebo, 
Joiin Mesterd, 
Andre^v Fichthorn, 
Ja oi) Kless. 
Christoi)h Wiskeman, 
Christian Berrenstein, 
Jacob Hotr, 
Daniel Eister, 
,Melcher Haifa. 
Anthony Fricker, 
Gebbard Wigeman, 
George laeger, 
William Dihm, 
Lorentz Fix, 
Isaac Levan, 
Gottleib Christein, 
Philip Miller, 
Gotfried Beclffir, 
Catharine Fix, 
Jacob Kast, 
John King, 
John Fuchs, 
Gotfried Gerlost, 
Maria Fix, 
Nicholas Dick, 
Christoph Schreffler, 
George Seiiz, 
Jacob Dorst, 
Stephen Koch, 
Christian Nagle. 
Gotleilt Stroliecker, 
John Folweiler, 
John Welde, 
Christian Graft, 

Michael Brecht, 
Goifrieu Lehman, 
John <;os.sler, 
Henry Scluiltze, 
Casper Hess, 
Adam Kraiiser, 
Pliilii) Berlet, 
Jarob Hnliley, 
Martin Hausnian, 
Peter Brecht, 
Nicholas Seitzinger, 
Daniel Beuerlcy, 
Ailani Beitmeyer, 
Peter Diehm, 
Philip Ruppert, 
Henry Braun, 
John Kendall, 
Dewald Beyer, 
Conrad Slier, 
Christoph Dihm, 
Daniel Rose, 
William WMsler. 
Peter Gross, 
William Zoll, 
Philip Krug. 
('harles Biichur. 
Daniel Messersmith, 
Michael Seitzinger, 
George Fix, 
Ernst Griess, 
Henry Bitting, 
Jacob laeger, 
Casper Hiener, 
Baltzer Hotterheimer, 
John Egle, 
Henry Settle, 
John Guthard, 
Michael Bartoloma, 
Henry Baum, 
John Klinger, 
William Gross, 
Nicholas Scherrer, 
Sibila Lntz, 
George Preis, 
John S';hnell, 
John Notz, 
Jacob Dick, 
Maria Dick, 
Christina Fnchs, 
Hartmiin Leitheiser, 
Jacob Beger, 
William Boos, 
Jacob Klingman, 
Bila Shaaber, 

CONTRIBUTORS, 1790-'94. 


John Harst, 
George Herrd, 
George Wunder, 
George Funck, 
Paul Berlet, 
John Kirs, 
Adam Drinkhaus, 
Jacob Biehler, 
Abraham Clamants, 
Peter Frely, 
Jacob Maltzberger, 
Ludwig Pantzler, 
Dewald Knor, 
Daniel Schultz, 
Peter Auraand, 
Peter Baum, 
William Coleman, 
Isaac Adams. 
George Kelcbner, 
Jobn Eckert, 
Pliliip ScUmit, 
Jacob Faust, 
Rudolpli Lampe, 
Henry Spengler, 
Jolin Kloss, 
Isaac Adam, 
Ulrich Kissinger, 
Frantz Schalter, 
Henry VVetz, 
Conrad Molir, 
William Lewis, 
Jobn Gaul, 
Peter Haas, 
Jolin W. Satler, 
Henry Betge, 
Andreas Conrad, 
Jacob Wicklein, 
Conrad Mohr. 
Jobn Klingman, 
Henry Dritt, 
Jonathan Ringler, 
Nichulas Mosser, 
William Knor, 
Samuel Filbert, 
George Schrack, 
Edward Kegel, 
Martin Schreffler, 
Samuel Wullison, 
Balser Gehr, 
Martin S ;naflfer, 
George Babb, 
Joiin Halieracker, 
Peter Richard, 
Nicholas Scheffcr, 
Henry WoltF, 
Philip Emrlg, 
Peter Harrman, 
John VVeidenhamer, 
Paul Grosslob, 
Henry M. Barr, 
Michael Hartman, 
Henry Hofluieister, 
Philip Seidel, 
Jacob Schneider, 
Michael Lutz, 
Andrew Etzel, 
Michael Brobst, 
ChristoDh Geiger, 
Frederick Himminger, 

Fred Sasaman, 
Christoph Geier, 
John Borckhart, 
Ba'^iian Mereheimer, 
Christoph Dillman, 
Michael Buch, 
Michael Spatz. 
Simon Mathery, 
Philip Klinger, 
Nicholas Lutz, 
Philip Kramer, 
Henry Wolf, 
Jacob Fichthorn, 
Nicholas Arnold, 
Daniel Phillippi, 
Andrew Eisenbeis, 
Nicholas Adam, 
John Gerber, 
Philip Schatz, 
Samuel Hoch, 
Casper Thiell, 
Michael Moster, 
John Hibner, 
Samuel Schwartz, 
Adam Spangler, 
Conrad Schaab, 
Geoi'ge laeger, 
Lorentz Haas, 
John Kissinger, 
Ebrhard Rihm, 
John Zerbe, 
Ludwig Huett, 
Jacob Harris, 
Lorentz Matz, 
Philip Huett, 
Jacob Ox, 

Frederick Fuhrman, 
Bernd Wendel, 
John Prinsz, 
Michael Hoffman. 
George Hoffman, 
Jacob Steinmetz, 
Adam Gessler, 
John Sniter, 
Elizabeth Leibrandt, 
William Strunck, 
Henry Senger, 
Mathes Rolandt, 
Kraft Hiener, 
Christoph Bach, 
Thomas Beid, 
Philip Nagel, 
Benjamin Rittenhaus, 
Catharine Krauss, 
Samuel Gutman, 
Thomas Wagner, 
Frederick Strohecker, 
Nicholas Lotz, 
Engel Schreder, 
John Kachel, 
John Reitter, 
Margaret Bingaman, 
Jacob Koch, 
Frederick Stieff, 
Henry Will, 
Susanna Weitfed, 
Benhard Beyer, 
Henry Reimer, 
Jacob Brecht, 

Alexander Eisenbeis, 
Henry Phillippi, 
Mrs. M. Jung, 
Conrad Braun, jr., 
Philip Schultz, 
Casper Madery, 
Thomas Straub, 
Jacob Settely. 
Adam Koch, 
Christoph Eulers, 
William Heidekam, 
Gotlob Jungman, 
Philip Nagel, 
Val. Eilert, 
David Fuchs, 
John Spohn, 
George Engelhart, 
William Campbell, 
John Schomo, 
Anthony Musgennag, 
Christoph Gernand, 
Henry Orwig, 
Daniel Ludwig, 
John Bishop, 
Henry Schneider, 
Balzer Krauser, 
Jacob Ritchard, 
Casper Weist, 
Joseph Warner, 
Jacob Seifardt, 
George Seifardt, 
Nicholas Bauer, 
Jacob Huett, 
Dieter Fernssler, 
Ulrich Hoffer, 
Frederick Diesz, 
Christian Breidenstein, 
Adam Lodwig, 
John Puhrman, 
John Berkley, 
Isaac Diesen, 
Andrew Greiner, 
William Schoener, 
Peter Breiner, 
John Rau, 
Balser Schultz, 
Daniel Risser, 
Elizabeth Dissler, 
William Hau, 
Michael Schlonecker, 
John Gultin, 
Daniel Lembach, 
William Hiester, 
John Diessler, 
John Geist, 
Matthias Baleb, 
Henry Haller, 
Robert Copland, 
William Witnian, 
Isaac Eby, 
John Graul, 
Conrad Lutz, 
Robert McColl, 
Jacob Haack, 
Michael Jeich, 
David Rautenbush, 
William Riesser, 
Henry Gring. 


Zbc present Cbartcr of tlrinitv? Xutbcran Cburcb, 

IRcaMno, pa., ISSS. 

T. 'I he existi?if,' meinliers are hereby made, constituted and continued 
a corporation and liody ])olilic in law and in fa(;t, and to liave i»er|ietnal 
continuance l»y the name and style of Tkinity Lutheran Cuurcii ok 


II. The said corporation is formed for the purpose of the worship of 
Almiiihty Cod accordnig to the faith, doctrines, discipline and usages of 
the Evangelical Lutheran Church. It receives an<l adheres to the canon- 
ical books of the ()ld and New Testaments, as the revealed Word of (Jo<l 
an«l the only rule of faitli and life, and to the Confessions of the Evangel- 
ical Lutlieran Church, especially the Unaltered Aug-.sburg < onfession and 
Luther's .^laall Cateclnsm, as a correct and faithful eX{)Osiiion of the Di- 
vine Word, to which rule and confessions all Instructions in the church, 
the schfjols and family shall be conformed, and by which all <|uestions of 
doctrine shall be decided, and with which all books of worship and iu- 
stru -tion in the congregation and school shall accord. 

III. Said corporation and its successors, by the name, style and title 
aforesaid, shall forever hereafter be able and capable ni law to have, 
purchase, take, receive antl hold lands, tenements, rents, annuities, fran- 
chises and other hereditaments which at any time heretofore have been 
granted, bargained, sold, released, devi.sed or otherwise conveyed to the 
said coiigregati«JH, or to any other person or persons for their use, or in 
trust for them, and the same are hereby vested and established in the said 
corporation and its successors forever, agreeably to their original use and 
intention, and the said corporation and its successors are hereby declared 
to be seized and possessed of such estate and est ites therein as in and by 
the respective grants, bargains, sales, releases, devises or other convey- 
ances thereof, is or are declared, limited or expressed. 

And the said corporation ami its successors as aforesaid, at all t mes 
hereafter, shall be capable and able to purchase, have, receive, take, hold 
and enjoy in fee simple, or f(jr any less estate, any lands, tenements, rents, 
annuities, liberties, franchises and other hereditaments by the gift, grant, 
bargain, sale, release or devise of any person or corporation capable and 
able to make the .same; and to take and receive any monies, goods or 
chattels that shall be given or bequeathed to it by any person or corpora- 
tion cap.ible or able to make a gift or i)equest thereof. 

Provided that the yearly income of said corporation, other than that 
derived from real estate, pew rents and church contributions, shall not 
exceed the ^um of $10,0(JO. 

And the said corporation and its successors are hereby authorized and 
empowered to grant, bargain, sell, convey, demise and to farm, let, or 
otherwise dispose of the estate, real and personal, of the corporation, as 
the said «orporation may, by its by-laws, direct. 

IV'. The said cor|)oraiion and their successors, by the name and style 
aforesaid, shall be able and capable in law to sue and be sueil, plead and 
be impleaded in any court or courts, before any jud<;e or judges, justice 
or ju.stices, in all manner of suits, complaints, pleas, causes, matters and 
demands of whatsoever kind, nature or form they may be, in as full and 
effectual a manner as any other person or persons, bodies politic or cor- 
porate, within this commonwealth may or can do. 

V. The said corporation and their successors shall have full power and 
authority to make, have and use one common seal, with such device and 
inscription as they shall think proper, and the same to break, alter or 
renew at their pleasure. 

VL The said corporation shall be represented by a Vestry (or church 
council), consisting of the pastor (who shall be president ex-offlcio of the 
corporation and of the Vestry), six elders and nine deacons, all of whom 


shall be chosen by ballot from among tbe communicant male members of 
the congregation, who are n^t under twenty-one years of age. Tlie first 
election under this Charter shall l e held on Easter Monday, A. D. 1S88, at 
which time the full numiier of elders and deacons shall be chosen, viz. : 
Two elders and three deacons to serve for one year, two elders and thiee 
deacons to serve for two years, and two elders imd three dencons to ser\e 
for three years. The subsequent elections shall be held on Easter Monday 
in each and every year, at such place anl hour as the Vestry shall ap- 
point, at which time two elders and three deacons shall i e chosen by bal- 
lot, and every vestryman thus chosen shall serve for three years, and at 
the end of his term may be re-elected, and in all cases where tiie votes 
may be equal for two or more candidates, the preference shall be dec;ided 
b.v the Vestry when met for that purpose. In ( ase of a vacancy occur- 
ring from any cause in the othce of elder or ileacon, the remaining mem- 
bers of the Vestry shall have power to fill the same by the appointment of 
another person to serve lor the unex()ired term of the jierson in whose 
stead he is appointed. All vestrymen shall ite duly installed according to 
cliurch usatres before entering on tlie duties of tlieir othce, and the i resent 
Vestry shall continue in office until their successors are elected as aijove 

VII. The said corporation shall have power and authority, whenever a 
vacancy occurs in the pastorati', to elect a pastor; which election shall 
be liy ballot, for or against the person pl-iced in nomination by the Vestry, 
and two-thirds of the votes cast by the qualified members of the congre- 
gation shall be necessary to elect him ; and i\o person shall be called or 
installed pastor of the ongregation unless he is a member in good stand- 
ing of an Evangelical Lutheran bynod, and receives and adheres to the 
doctrinal basis of the congregation as set forth in Sec. II of this Charter ; 
and no pastor shall l)e dismissed except by a vote finally taken of the 
qualified mera'oers of the congregation, in which a majority of the votes 
cast shall be for his dismissal. 

VIII. All elections held by the congregation shall be conductfd by not 
less I han two inspectors appointed by the Vestry, who sliall receive the 
ballots, keep a list of the voters, count the votes and certify the result in 
writing over their signatures, and return all papers connected witii the 
election to the president or secretary of the Vestry without delay. 

IX. The memiiers of the Vestry, or two-thirds of them, shall have power 
to make from time to time such bj-laAvs and rules as in their judgment 
may prove most conducive to the good government and discipline of the 
congregation ; Provided alicoys. That such by-laws and rules be not con- 
trary to this charter, nor repugnant to the constitution and laws of this 
State or of the United States. 


I.— Of the Pastor. 

1. The pastor is the ofilcial head of the congregation, and all members 
and associations connected therewith shall show him the defference and 
respect due his position, and give pro|)er attention to his admonitions, 
recommendations, counsels and advice. 

2. He sliall have supervision and control in all matters pertaining to 
public worship and religious instruction, ^nd no innovations or impoitant 
changes shall be made in tliese things, either in the congregation or its 
schools, without his approval and consent. 

3. It shall be his duty to conduct the public worship of God, to preach 
the Word, to administer the Sacramenls, to visit the sick and comfort the 
distressed, to bury the dead, and fulfill all the oflices and duties attached 
to the ministry ot the gospel. He shall conduct his preaching, teaching 
and official acts in conformity to the doctrinal position of the congrega- 
tion as set forth in Section 11 of tiie Charter, and shall hold the same 
synodical connection as the congregation. 

4. He shall keep a correct re:;ord of his ministerial acts in books pro- 
vided by the congregation for this purpose, and shall deliver said records 
to the Vestry whenever his office as pastor shall cease. 

5. As president of the Vestry he shall attacli his signature, with the seal 
of the corporation, to such papers and documents as the Vestry may de- 
termine. He shall also have charge of the deeds, policies and other valr 
uable papers of the corporation, unless otherwise provided for. 

200 BY-LAWS. 

r>. He shall jrlve Ills undivided time and attention to the duties of lilg 
ollice, luid kIihII not have charK'' of any additional coiigre^fatlon, nor en- 
gngi' ill liny otlier occnpat-ion (i'.\<M'niiii>r hiicIi as may be iisslKiie<l bim by 
Synod) Without tlie consent of the Ve.stry. 

Jr.— Of the Veslry. 

I. The Vestry is the chief (foverninjf body In tlie congretjiitlon and 
shall have suiKTVision and jurisdiction over all schools, societies and hs- 
sociations within the coiiKreKation, wiih the rlRht to veto any acts or 
laws of su<-h orjranizations wliich they deem improper or injurious to the 
iiiteresis of the churcli. 

'2. Ill all meetinj,'s of the Vestry no distinction shall be made between 
eMcrs ami deacons, init all shall have eiiual ri^rhts and authority. Eight 
niembeis shall constitute a (|iionuii U)v the tnuisactiim nf business. 

H. KeKulHr meelings of the Vestry shall i)e held on ttie last Monday 
eveninp of eacli month. Special meetings may be called at any time by 
the president, and shall be called when reiiuested by five members thereof. 
The lirst regular meetinsr after the newly elected members have been in- 
stalled after Piaster, shall l»e the annual meeting for the ele<;tiou of ottl- 
cers. appointment of standing committees, and auditing of accounts. 

4. The jiastor shall lie the president ex-officio of the Vestry, and shall 
have a voice and vote, the same as the other members, in all (luestioiis 
aiKl business before tiiein. He shall have charge of the seal of the cor- 
lioration and attlx it to such papers as the Vestry may direct, and per- 
form such other duties as usually, pertain to his otflce. In case of a va- 
cancy in the pastorate, the Vestry shall appoint from their own number a 
president pro tenworp.. 

5. The officers to be chosen at the annual meeting of the Vest ry shall 
i)e a secretary, a treasurer of the funds of the congregation, a treasurer 
of the benevolent contributions, and a su])erintendeiit of the cemetery, 
who shall hold their oflices until the next aimual election, unless other- 
wise ordered. 

6. It shall be the duty of the secretary to keep an accurate record of the 
proceedings at all meetings of the Vestry, and an alphabetical list of 
members of the congregation (jualifled and entitled to vote at congrega- 
tional elections. He shall draw all orders on the treasury as the Vestry 
shall <lirect. 

T. The treasurer of the congregation shall have charge of all funds be- 
longing to the corporation, excepting such as shall be otherwise provided 
for, and shall deposit them in his name as treasurer of the corporation in 
such bank as the Vestry shall approve, and shall pay out money on orders 
pa.ssed by the Vestry and signed by the secretary. He .shall pre.sent a 
statement of the condition of the treasury at each regular meeting of 
the Vestry, and shall iiresent his accounts and vouchers for audit at the 
close of his annual term of office, or oftener if so directed hj the Ve.stry. 

8. The treasurer of the i enevolent fund shall have charge of all money 
contriiiuted for benevolent purposes. He shall keep them in liis name as 
treisurerin such bank as the V^estry shall apiirove, and pay them out 
only on order of the president, and siiall suiimit his accounts for audit at 
the end of each year, or oftener if so directed by the Vestry. 

9. The superintendent of the cemetery shall have charge of the ceme- 
tery on Neversiuk Hill, sell lots, receive rents and burial fees, and give 
jiermits for the digging of graves and burials, and see that the rules and 
regulations pertaining to the cemetery are oi>served. He shall receive 
such compensation as the Vestry may determine, and pay over the in- 
come of the grounds to the treasurer of the congregation, and submit his 
accounts for audit annually or whenever required by the Vestry. 

10. The Vestry shall elect or appoint the organist, sexton and other 
persons whose services may be needed from time to time, upon such 
terms and conditions as may be deemed just and best for the interests of 
the congregation. 

II. Five standing committees of three members each shall be appointed 
by the president at each annual meeting of the Vestry, as follows : 

(rt.) A Coiainittee on the Slatf of tlie Congrt-gation, whose special duty 
it shall be to see that regular services are held, and the pulpit supplied 
with proper clergymen Avhen the pastorate is vacant ; that peace, har- 
mony and order are maintained, and that the musical part of public 
service is rendered in an appropriate and proper manner, and to this end 
the organist or music director shall regard their advice and counsel. 

BY-LAWS. ■ 291 

(f).) A Peio Committee, whose duty it shall be to rent pews, and receive 
the revcQues therefrom and also the annual memberslilp dues, and pay 
the same to the treasurer of the congregation. With the consent of the 
Vestry ttiey may apponit persons to receive or collect sncb rents and 
revenues on such terms as may from time to time be agreed upon. 

(c.) A Couimittee on Church Property, whose duty it shall be to see 
that the church, chapel, parsonage, cemetery and other properties belong- 
ing to the congregation are kept in good repair ; that the sexton fulfils 
Ijis duties, and that the necessary supplies of coal, etc., are procured. 

(d.) A Finance Committee, whose special duty shall be to see that any 
deitts incurred are provided for or diminished, and that the current rev- 
enues of the congregation be sufficient to meet tiie necessary current ex- 
penses. They shall also have the right to inquire concerning the bank; 
accounts of the several funds belonguig to the congregation. 

',?.) A Committee on Bene vole) we. whose duties shall be so see that 
proper arrangements are made for collecting the benevolent contribu- 
tions of the congregation ; that the wants of any regular raemljers of the 
congregation who may be in need are relieved, and that the annual quota 
askea by Svnod be secured and sent. 

12. The Vestry shall appoint a delegate to represent the congregation 
in the annual conventions of the Synod, and his necessary expenses shall 
be paid. 

13. It is tlie duty of the Vestry to see that the pastor receives an ade- 
quate support and that it is promptly paid in regular installments, so that 
he may give his undivided attention to the duties of his office. 

14. It shall lie the duty of the Vestry to admit to membership such per- 
sons who shall make application and whom, either on the recommenda- 
tion of the pastor or after proper examination, they find possessed of the 
proper qualifications. 

1.5. It shall \>e the duty of the Vestry al^o to administer the discipline 
of the church on such members who refuse to fulfil their duties, lead in- 
consistent lives or hold fundamental errors. To this end they shall have 
power to cite l)efore them any member of the church, either to answer 
charges alleged against them, or to give testimony if the case may re- 
quire it. 

16. In all cases of discipline it shall be the duty of the Vestry, first pri- 
va'ely througli the pastor or one of the elders, to admonish the offeadnig 
meraher (excepting cases of flagrant sin) ; then to call such member to an 
account, and when these measures are found ineffectual, to suspend or 
excommunicate such member from church privileges. 

IT. It shall also be the duty of the Vestry to restore to full membership 
persons thus discipline! whom they shall judge have sincerely repented 
and reformed. 

18. The order of business at the regular meetings of the Vestry shall be : 

1. Prayer. 

2. Minutes Read and Approved. 

3. Reports of Standing "Committees. 

4. Reports of Special Committees. 

5. Unfinished Business. 

6. New Business. 

7. Orders on the Treasury. 

8. Adjournment. 

19. Besides the duties as members of the standing committees to which 
they are assigned, the elders stiall assist the pastor in the government and 
discipline of the church, in preserving peace and harmony among the 
members, and in promoting the religious ins^tructiOD of the young through 
the catechetical classes and Sunday Scliools of the congregation ; and the 
deacons shall attend all pul)lic services, assist persons in securing seats, 
lift the collections and keep an account of the same, and see that good 
order and behaviour are maintained. 

20. It shall be the duty of both the elders and deacons to set before the 
church exemplary conduct, both in their official duties and in private 
life; and for failure in either respect they maybe deprived of their office 
by a two-thirds vote of the Vestry. 

III.— Of Members. 

1. Persons possessing the proper qualifications are received into mem- 
bership by baptism and confirmation after suitable instruction and exam- 

2i>2 nVLAWS. 

Jnatlon, or, If alron<ly i;oni(lnii(Ml. hy a letter of honoraMo illsiniHsal or 
iruurtfi'i" Iroin liicri»iinit'^ati():i with wliioti lliey were foriiierly c.oniiecietl ; 
<»r, whore Micti traiirffern oiniiot lie |»r<»cureil, iiy a voe of tlie Vcfitry. 

2. Ttie rljflits ami priviletfe'i to wlilfli failliful iiierii>>erH are entitled 
sball i»e : To parti(i|iate in nil the pulillc; services of tiie<;hurfli JitiM espei;- 
lally ill the Holy < oiiiiiiiiiiloii : to act asspoiiHors in haptiHin ; t) vote at 
coiiurenHlloiial ele iioih as miei-ified in .-ettion '>; to c;ill for llie pastor's 
sei vices when m-edeil : to apply lor rt;llef in poveity or want ; to re( elve 
a certincaie of honora'ih' to a:iother connreKation ; ami the nse 
of the church for tin- funeral service and a grave within tie free part of 
congreyal ion's cemetery, when i lead. 

H. Kvery ineniher of the church shall pay one dollar annnilly to the 
treasury of the ch ircli as a nicni'icrship fee, in addition to what they may 
pay for pew rentals, or iu benevolent and other collections. The right to 
Vote, the free use of the church for funeral service or cemetery fur burial, 
and the right to a certificate of honoiai le dismissal, are forfeiteil when 
such niembership fee remains unpai<l for two or more successive years. 

4. Hesides the rciular iiaymeni of their chur(;h tlues, it shall l>e the 
duly of every member of tiiis church toatt'cjnd regularly the pniilic ser- 
vices on the Lord's day, to coinniune not less than ouce every have 
their children bai)tized in infancy and trained in the knowleige and fear 
of the Lord, to coiitriimte their proper share in the various benevolent 
enter|)rises of tiie congregation, to avoid all evil places and unchristian 
associations, and to l>e consistent and godly m their lives and conduct. 
Kir wilful and repeated violations of these duties, any inemi/er may be 
deprived of their memiiersiiip by a vote of the Vestry. 

5. The (|Ualilied voters at congregaiioiial elections shall be the male 
meiniieis of the church wIkj are not under twenty-one years of age, who 
have communed wiihin two years preceding tlie election, and are not 
iin-re than two years in arrears for their membership fee. No person 
who has allowed his membership to lapse for a number of vears shall be 
a'lowed to vote until after the second annual payment of his member- 
ship fee has been made. 

0. No certificate of honorable dismissal shall be granted any member 
until all arrearages due tlie cngregation from such member liave been 
paid, unless the Vestry shall determine. 

7. Puitlic meetings of the members of the church for the transaction 
of business niav be called at any time l>y the Vestry, when in their judg- 
ment such meeting is ailvisable, and the Vestry shall call siicli meetings 
when requested by twenty-five qualified voters of the congregation, or 
when so advised by the Synod. 

IV.— Of the Church Buiiaing and Pews. 

1. Pews or sittings therein shall be rented hy the pew committee to 
members or other proper applicants at sucii fates as the Vestry shall 
from time to time determine. Such rental, however, shall not give the 
holder absolute control thereof, iiut the Vestry re.-erves the right to set 
aiiart any pews for special purposes on special occasions, and to put visi- 
tors and others into the unoccui»ied ])arts of all pews. 

2. Pew rents and membership fees are payable to the pew committee at 
the Vestry room on the first Monday of January and Julyiu each year. 
Pews are forfeited when the semi-annual rent reaiains unpaid longer 
than eighteen months 

3. A jiermit siuueil by the secretary of the Vestry shall be required for 
the use of the church for funerals. A charge of three dollars for such 
use of the cluin h shall be made in the case of persons who are not 
members or whose membership fees have not been paid for two years 
previous to their death. 

4. The church building shall not be used for any purpose other than 
the regular meetings and religious services of the congregation, without 
the consent of the Vestry. 

v.— Of the Ceiaetenj. 

1. Burial lots in the cemetery on Neversink Hill shall be sold to mem- 
bers of the congregation, or other projier personfs, at such prices and 
terms as the Vestry shall from time to time determine. 

2. Members of the congregation who are not in arrears for membership 
fees shall have the right of burial on the free ground without other 

BY-LAWS. 293 

charge tban the sexton's fees. All other persons using the free ground 
shall pav from $1.50 to f5, according to the age of the person buried, in 
addition to the sexton's fees. 

3. Permits for burials must be obtained from thesuperintendeut before 
graves can be made, and he is authorized to receive all payments for 
graves, as well as money paid for burial lots and to deliverdeeds therefor. 

4. No burials shall take place in the cemetery on Sundays, except in 
cases of extreme necessity, of which the president of the Vestry and the 
superintendent shall be the judges. 

5. No sale or transfer of lots shall be made without the consent of the 
Committee on Church Property. 

6. Lot holders are bound to keep tlieir ground in the cemetery in cood 
order at their own expense, in failure of wiiich the superintendent is 
authorized to have such work done, and to collect the expenses thereof 
from the lot holders as a debt due the corporation. 

7. The sexton or per.son in charge of the cemetery grounds is author- 
ized to eject therefrom anv person guilty of misdemeanor or improper 
conduct within the cemetery limits, or of plucking i)lants or defacing or 
in anywise injuring anything therein. 

VI.— Of Alterations and Ameudments. 

1. These by-laws and rules may be altered, amended or changed by a 
two-thirds vo.e of the members present at any regular meeting of the 
Vestry, provided notice of such change was given at a previous regular 


Official Xi0t6 anC^ present Organisation. 

We give Uelow several lists of those wlio liave held oflice or prominent 
positions in the eoiiKref^ation, and the i)rtsent otli(;ers of the varions or- 
pmizations. 'J'he list of ]>astors has already been given in the head- 
ings of the ehapters in the Table of Contents. 


John Fleisher. 17G2-1782. 
Panl Fuegner. 17S2-1783. 
Danl. Standt, 1784-1S20. 
Christ. Deininger, 1820-18:50. 
E. Jona. Deininger, ISHO-IKU. 
Const. J. Deininger, 1834-1861. 


Miss Amanda Kightrayer, 186l-'63. 

Rev. J. H. Eberman, 1863-1864. 

Ed. A. Berg, 1 866-1873. 

Alb. Ritter, 187.^-1882. 

Wm. Benbow. 188.M8R5. 

Ed. A. Berg. 188.^-1890. 

^^■m. Benbow, 1891 


E Jona. Deininger, 18-29-1842. 
Kev. F. A. M. Keller, 1842-18.^0. 
Geo. W. Oakley. 18)1-1857. 
W. H. Livingood, 1858-1860. 

Sol. L. Moser, 1861-1865. 
Kev. J. Frv. 186.5-1867. 
P. y. Erniold, 1868-1880. 
H. M. M. Richards, 1881- 

The following have served as VESTRYMEN during the present pastorate. 

Jos. Henry, 

H. II. Muhlenberg, 

Jos. Ritter, 

D. B. Brunner, 
Sol. Deem, 
And. Plohthorn, 
I. R. Fisher, 

H. J. Rhoads, 
W. S. Young, 
John McKnight, 
J. Ki.ssinger, 
J. L. Boyer, 
L. Worley, 
W. A. Arnold, 
L. H. Liess. 
C. M. Roeder, 
M. L. Montgomery, 
C^has. Hahn, 
W. S Raitp, 
J. Hagenraan, 
J. I. Kline, 

E. W. Gilbert, 
A. N. Kissinger, 
H. G. Young, 

T. B. Illig, 
C. II. Schaeffer, 
G. O. Runveon, 
M. S. Paini, 
W. S. Mohr, 

Jacob Young, 
A. W. Potteiger, 
J. Kauffmaii, 
J. C. Strohecker, 
H. Maurer, 
G. W. Knauer, 

E. Burkholder, 
Adam Fox, 

P. S. Ermold, 
Adam Kutz, 

F. J. G rote vent, 
L. Teinplin, 

C. H. Richards. 
H. W. Swavely, 
Isaiah Iloyer, 
J. K. Grim, 
J. A. Stout, 
J. P. Sellers, 
A. Barr, 
J. H. Lutz, 
W. H. Hafer, 
H. A. Ileckman, 
W. A. Sands, 
A. S. Esterly, 

E. S. May, 

G. W. Darrah, 

F. P. Heller, 
J. H. Leippe, 

Sol. L. Moser, 
Levi Boyer, 
Isaac Dierolf, 
W. Donahauer, 
J. D. Maurer, 
W. M. Schwartz, 
W. H. Runveon, 
Saml. Buch, 
J. K. Spang, 

F. B. Laucks, 
N. Brossman, 

G. W. Grant, 

D. Ermold, 

E. C. Eben, 
J. H. Spohn, 
H. Eisenbise, 
E. F. Keever, 
S. E. Stout. 

J. D. High, 

H. J. Fisher, 

J. II. Bover, 

I. S. Fry; 

J. I). Sanders, 

J. P. Muthart, 

M. E. Roeder. 

H. F. Hahn, 

J. S. Seaman, 

H. S. Umbenhauer. 



Ret. Jacob Fby, D. D., Pastor ana President of the Vestry. 


P. S. Ermold, 
W. A. Sands, 
W. A. Arnold, 
J. L. Boyer, 
L. H. Liess, 
H. G. Young. 


F. P. Heller, 
W. S. Molar, 
J. S. Seaman, 

G. W. Darrah, 
H. F. Hahn, 
M. S. Palm, 
H. J. Fisher, 
J. H. Leippe, 

H. S. Umbenhauer. 


M. S. Palm, Sec. 

W. S. Mohr, Treas. 

H. J. Fisher, Treas. 

Ben. Fund. 
G. O. Runyeon, Treas. 

Repair Fund. 
H. G. Young, Supt. 

J. I. Kline, Receiver 

Pew Rents. 
W. Benbow, Organist. 
F. B. Stettler, Sexton. 

H. M. M. Richards, Supt. 
Piiilip S. Zieber, Sec. 
H. W. Eisenbrown, Treas. 
Geo. F. Eisenbrown, Librarian 
J. G. Longenderflfer, Ass't " 
F. F. Seidel, " " 

Ed. Boyer, " " 

H. M. i)arrab, " " 



S^m'l A. Miller, Ass't Librarian. 

Herbert Stroup, 

Hiester A. Coleman, " " 


Wm. Benbow, Musical Director. 
Emma Zieber, Organist. 


Bertie Beidler, 
Susan Brown, 
Jenny Fry, 
Mina Christoph, 
Alice Roeder, 
Emma Markley, 
George Jones, 
Sue Bristley, 
Lizzie Miller, 
Susie Ralin, 
Kate Harvey, 
Kate Feather, 
Ella Roeder, 
Lizzie Brunner, 
Amanda Heckman, 
Mary Hanold, 
Kate Muhlenljerg, 
Anna Arnold, 
Sophia Young, 
Minta Richards, 

Kate Homan, 
Hannah Wicklein, 

Julia Ely, 
Sallie Fry, 
Emma Coxell, 
Henry Heckman, 
Sallie Leitlieiser, 
Lily Henninger, 
Amanda Stout, 
Mary Worley, 
Frank B. Hain, 
Annie Fmk, 
J. Wilnier Fisher. 
Sara Bechtel, 
Henry J. Fisher, 
Sallie Filbert, 
H. W. Eisenbrown, 
Owen Wanner. 
Mary Babb, 
Philip S. Zieber, 
Reuben Heckman, 


Mrs. M. E. Roeder. 
S. N. Potteiger, 

Amos W. Potteiger, 
Mrs. E. C. Eben, 
Jerome L. Boyer, 
E. C. Ei)en, 
O. Sanders. 
Anna Bushong, 
Cornelia Fry, 
Sarah Keen, 
Barbara Rush, 
:sirs. W. S. Rapp, 
Eliza Deem, 
Kate Kepple. 
Mrs. Rev. J. Fry, 
Emma Bechtel, 
Kate W. Fry, 
]Mrs. Jerome L. Boyer, 
Kate Zieber, 
Emma Zieber, 
Wra. Benbow. 

Geo. M. Jones. 


Mrs. Sarah Setley, Principal. 
Alice H. Goodhart, Assistant. 
Hannah E. Fichthorn, " 

Mrs. Wm. Benbow. Assistant. 
Florence Singer, Organist. 


J'lnlSI'lKT oliOANlZATIONi^. 


Nora laeKcr. rrincipal. 
Mrs. Lewis I)iiiitli. ASMlstant. 
MiH. Aaron Voroiii, " 
Mrs. E<l. I'eu«elly, " 

Martlm L. Klblde, AHHistant. 
Iluniiali M. Yocoin, 
M. Ma Vocoiii, Or^aiilHt. 
Alice Murkley, Treas. 


Wm. V. Wajriier. Piipt. 

Lillle Foreiiiaii, Secretary. 

Katie Wiiiiers, Ass't '* 

Tims. .1. Urossiiian, Treasurer. 

.Mviii lleisi, Lihrariaii. 

IviKSie I'eailier, .\ss't Lilirarian. 

Mary Feather, 

Na-Jini Eschelmun, Organist. 


Will. K. Wajjiier, 
Mrs. Mary r.rovvn, 
Annie Hariier, 
Charles M. Kichanls, 
Naomi Eschelmaii. 

E. S. May. Superintendent, Peace 
Sunday School. 


Mary O. Fry, Inf. Dep't, Hope Sun- 
day School. 
















M rs. 




II. II. Miihleiiberf,'. Pres. 
Hev. J. Fry, Vice Pres. 

Mrs. J. Mould, Sec. 

Mrs. J. K. Kighter, Treas. 


E. Z. 

F. p. 

J. II. 
{'. II. 

F. C. Sraink, 
J. P. Sellers. 
.1. L. liover. 
O. E. Hiiak. 

Sell mucker, 



Jell". Snyder, 
J. Set ley, 
I). Y. .Tones, 
J. Singer, 
P. II. Ilantseh, 

G. W. Darrah, 
H. J. Fi.slier, 
.1. Mellert, 

J. II. I.eippe, 
H. P. Keiser, 


L Dauth. 


F. IJrownback, 


D. A. Yoder, 


C. E. Schroeder, 


E. Deem, 


Kate Zieiier, 


Sara lleiininger. 


Einnia Hughes, 


C. Dudley. 


J. A. Groir, 


J. A. Stout, 


W. S. Rapp, 


W. II. liunyeon, 


I. C. Becker, 


J. K. Grant, 


L. Bueh, 


W. K. Leitheiser, 


E. C. Eben, 
M. Maltzberger, 
II. M. Nagle, 
J. H. Seidel, 
J. Levan. 
R. A. Price, 
.\. S. Deysher, 
M. L. F]shelmaii, 
R. C. West. 
M. E. Roeder, 
J. N. Becker, 
W. Benhovv, 
J. Johnston, 
Sue Mohr, 
Lillie Busliong, 
Mary Caldwell, 
Mary G. Fry. 


Mrs. W. S. Rapp. Pres. 
Mrs. J. H. Lutz. Vice Pres. 
Mrs. J. Setley. Rec. Sec. 

Mrs. E. C. Ehen. Fin. Sec. 
Mrs. L. Dauth, Treas. 


J. W. rjorgas, Pres. 

J. Schroeder. Vice Pres. 

O. Sanders, Rec. Sec. 

Ed. Fry. Fin. Sec. 
T. B. O'Brien, Trea.s. 


H. C. Roeder, Pre.s. 

Miss Ella Arnold, Vice Pres. 

Miss Jenny Fry. Sec. 
C. M. Richards, Treas. 

Executive Committee : 

H. M. Frv, 
K. C. Sleath, 

Miss M. Ida Y'ocum, 
Miss Mary E. Worley. 



Arnold-Kutz Memorial 265 




Bauni, Rev 


..19, 20, 125, 166, 250, 

Bickel, Anthony. 

Bickel, Rev. H. M 

Bickel, Rev. L. J .250, 

Boyer, George 

Braun, Conra,d 64, 

Brotherhood 235, 

Brosius. Abni. . .14, 18, 

Brosius ]Nich 

Brunholz, Rev. P. .40, 
Burial Grounds 

- 108, 181, 

By-Laws 254, 


Centennial Celebra- 
tions 270, 

Chapel of theReforma- 

Chape), The former, 
226, 230, 

Chapel, The Memorial, 

Chapels, Faith, Hope 
and Peace 247 

Charity Schools 


.... 109, 172, 254, 283, 

Church Book 

Church Records 6, 

Church Edifice, The 
first 17.26, 

Church Edifice, The 
present Ill 

Church, Remodeled 

Church Renovations, 
177, 219, 241, 

Cliurch Order and 
Rules 64, 68, 













Church used as Hos- 
pital 89 

Church Clock 20 

Communion Tankards 13 

Communicants, First 
21, 86 

Conflict, German and 
English 208 

Contents, Table of. . .10-12 

Contributors to First 
Church... 21 

Contributors to Pres- 
ent Church, 111, 113, 286 

Court House Services 
189, 219 

Cunnius, John 114 


Dedication Services,26, 116 

Deem, Solomon 231 

Dfininger, E. J.... 189, 193 
Deininger, J. C. . . .189, 213 
Division of Congrega- 
tion 207-209 

Dorcas Society 109 


Ege, Adam 94 

Engel, Andrew 18 

Engelhardt, H. J 14 

Electric Motor 275 

English Services 

34, 123, 135, 173 

English in Synod 140 

Europe, Pastor in 240 

110 I ^ 

Fichthorn, Andrew... 126 

116 Filbert, Peter 113, 114 

I First Church 

227 ' ....17, 19, 26, 34, 106, 124 

First Records 16 

276 Fire, Church on 228 

Foreign Mission Ser- 

289 i vice 243 




Frv, Hon. .F., AddrVss, ir>8 
Frv, Hhv. (has. L., 241,«-20a 
Fry, K.'v. Frank F. . . . 
264, 209, 270 


Geissenhainer, Rev, F. 

W 119, 130, 15G 

Geissenhainer, Rev. A. 

T 181, 184 

General Synod 

14G, 147, 1G9, 199 

General Council 219 

German Conflict 208 

German discontinued. 218 
Gifts to first church 

30, 31, 105 

Gifts to present ch urch 

188, 276 

Gifts to Parsonage. . . . 217 

Gossler, Henry 94 

Gown, Clerical 197 

Grace Chapel 233 238 

Greenwald, Rev. Dr... 

227, 242 

Grotz, Rev. P. J.... 77, 80 
Ground presented . 247, 256 
Ground rents released, 144 


Hahn, Henrv 

18, 20, 96, 108, 114 

Halle Reports 7 

Handschuh, Rev. J. F. 42 

Hanold John 169 

Hart wig. Rev. J. C . . 33 
Hausihl, Rev. B. M.35, 38 
Helmuth, Rev. Dr.... 

67, 116, 117, 120 

Heller, Frederick.. 1.38, 139 
Henrv, Conrad. . ..127, 164 
Henry, Joseph. 164,218, 224 

High Prices 95 

HolTa, Jacob 228 

Hoffman, Jacob 39 

Hoffman, Rev. J. N. . 


Hubley, B 121, 131 

Huntzinger, Rev. F. K. 

223, 225 

Huttenstein, Wm 18 



laeger, Rev. T. T 255 

Incorporation, Act of. 
109, 283, 288 


Jasinsky, Rev 130 

Jackson Memorial Ser- 
vice 180 

Jones, Hon. J. G 180 

Jung, Rev 128 


Keever, Rev. E. F 263 

Keller, Rev. F. A. M. 

175, 182, 185 

Kendall, John. . .93, 96, 100 

Krauser, B 39 

Krotel, Rev. Dr. G. F. 202 
Krug, Rev. J. A 

42,48, 52, 64, 120 

Kuendig, Rev. J. J. 


Kurtz, Rev. N 

23, 33, 34, 85 

Kutz, Adam 227, 233 


Lancaster, Gifts from . 30 

Law-suit 76 

Legacies 264 

Lehman, Rev\ D 

92, 95, 119, 128 

Leps, Rev 97 

Letters of H. M. Muh- 

50, 53, 55, 65, 77, 79 

Lincoln Memorial Ser- 
vice 216 

Luther Festival 244 


Mayer, Rev. Dr. P. F. 

148, 184 

Marcard, Rev. A. N. . . 127 
Mann, Rev. Dr. W. J. 6 

Marion S. School 254 

McElroy, Mrs. E. S. 

225 264 

McknightVjohn.V. .~. .' fi43 
Melsheimer, Rev. F. V. 96 




Memorial Gifts. 265,267, 277 

Metzner, Dr 104 

Meyerle. B 64, 76, 106 

Miller, Rev. Dr. J. 

loo, 156, 182, 183, 241 

Miller, Rev. G-. F 186 

M oiler, Rev. H...83, 85, 88 
Montgomery's History 7 
Muhlenberg, H. M. 

.15, 22, 41, 46, 81, 108, 109 
Muhlenberg, Letters of 

50, 53, 55, 65, 77, 79 

Muhlenberg, Rev. F. 

A. C 89-91 

Muhlenberg, Rev. Dr. 

H. A.... 131, &c., 174, 177 
Muhlenberg, H. A., jr. 

179, 193 

Muhlenberg, H. H. 

159, 179, 252 

Muhlenberg, Rev. Dr. 

F. A 215, 268 

Muhlenberg College 

221, 235 

Musical Society, 247 

Murray, Rev. Alex 39 

Myers, Rev. W. H 237 

Niemeyer, Rev. F..74, 76 
Neversink Cemetery 

181 292 
Nicol'ls,' Cf. A. ..... .220', 252 

Nicolls Mrs. Rosa C . . . 220 



Order of Service 

Organ, The First 

45, 82, 125 

Organ Sold 229 

Organ, The New 

226, 229, 230 

Organists 189, I 

213, 243, 250, 251, 264, 294 

Oriental tour 263 

Otto, Dr. Bodo, 86, 88, 105 


Pastor's Power 171 

Pastor, The Present 
191, 192, 216 


Parsonages, Old 

93, 189, 198, 315 

Parsonage, The Pres- 
ent 217,232, 254 

Phila., Cont's From . . 113 

Present Organizations 
295, 296 

Professorship in Sem., 269 


Quarto-Centennial. . 


Rapp, Frederick 90 

Reformation Services 

220, 226, 278 

Renovations of the 

Church, 177, 219, 241, 276 

Revised Rules, 68 

Revolutionary War, 88, 103 
Richards, Rev. Dr. J. 

W 135, 145, 186, 194 

Richards, Rev. Dr. M. 

H 215 

Rightmver, Rev. C. . . 

'. 212-215 

Ritter, Jos 249 

Roeder, Rev. R. D 221 


St. Matthew's Cong... 173 

St. James' Cong 185 

St. John's Cong 210 

St. Luke's Cong... 221, 225 

St. Mark's Cong 256 

Schlegel, Adam 39 

Schantz, Rev. Dr. F. J. 

F 203-211 

Schoertlein, Rev. J. F. 24 
Sch mucker. Rev. J. Gr. 

119, 149 

Schumacher, Rev. D. 

29, 32 

Schumacher, Geo 106 

Schools, Free 168 

School House 39, 213 

School Masters 

.91, 106, 107, 143, 162, 294 
School, Sunday. . .145, 

169, 190, 217, 220, 245, 290 



S. S(rh<)(>l Sn])«M-iiit«'n- 

(l.'iits....lHS, 2-2(), 241, 21)4 
S. School T<'MC'h«^rs.. . 2'Jo 
S. School ill West 

Rt'ading 252, 29G 

S. School Mission So- 
ciety 217 

Schiiiidt, Rev. J. F... 

Hi), 139, 228 

Schmidt, Fred., jr 

127, 130, 139 

Schoener, W 171 

Spruce St. S. School.. 230 
Schnltze, Rev. E..118, 119 

Schwartz, Hon. J 204 

Scriba, Rev. W. H. . . 131 

Sextons 2j0, 275 

Signers of Revised 

Rules 71-73 

Sisterhood 235-290 

Sources of Informa- 

Si)ayd, John 127 

Spyker, Ben 112, 124 

Steeple ...164-100, 271, 274 

Staudt, D 108, 143 

Stichter, Peter 140 

Strohecker, John, 114, 130 
Sy nodical Connection 

21, 24 

Synod in Reading 

49, no, 118, 130, 140, 
147, 100, 199, 222, 234, 270 
Systematic Benevo- 
lence 223 

Theological Seminary 
221, 209 


Title of Congregation 

20, 83, 109, 211 

Triple Chapels 247-249 

Vestrymen -.294, 295 

Vestrymen, First.. . . .17, 20 
Vestry Committees... 223 
Vestry Nominations. . 222 


Wagner, Rev. T 

14, 15, 22, 23 

Warmkessel, Rev. H. 

W 204 

Weiser, Conrad 

18, 20, 27, 281 

Weiser, Peter 39 

Weiiner, Peter 105 

Weimer, William. ... 

180, 202, 214 

Wildbahn, Rev. C. F. 

99-105, 110, 125, 126 

Witman, Christ 18, 70 

Witman, Mrs. Cather- 
ine 105 

W om e n 's Missionary 

Society. 253, 296 

Woodward, Hon. W. 

J 239 

Word man. Rev. H. B. 

Gf 25, 28 

Young, Jacob 210, 279 

Young, Wm. S 251 

Young People's So- 
ciety. ... 190, 253, 270, 296 




V fi7W4