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BY Rev. p. a. Sjrobel, 





COPYRIGHT, 1 88 1. 








DansvilU, N. V., bth April, 1881. 


" The Jubilee Memorial Volume " is lai<l 
before the pastors and laymen of our churches 
with no small measure of apprehension that jt 
may not fully meet the expectations of those 
who have encouraged its publication. The 
book has been compiled amidst many embar- 
rassments and discouragements. It was found 
in some cases that the church record^ had 
been lost or destroyed; in others, that they 
had been very loosely ^nd irregularly kept. 
Hence the difficulties of obtaining reliable 
data in many cases have been found insur- 
mountable. It is therefore very probable that 
the critical and intelligent reader may discover 
not a few blemishes and .inaccuracies. Never- 
theless, it is confidently hoped that the book 
has sufficient merit to commend it to the 
favorable consideration of all who may read 
with an eye to profit and not to criticism. 

The Editor tenders sincere thanks to the 
friends who have encouraged him in his wprjc 
by contributing valuable articles to this volume. 



It is not necessary to mention their names, as 
these will appear in connection Avith their re- 
spective contributions. He is also under obli- 
gations to Revs. Hull, Stover, Delo, Heck, 
Daniels, and others, for data which have 
materially aided him in preparing a number of 
the biographical and historical sketches. All 
this will be noticed in the proper place. 

The Editor sends forth this ** Memorial 
Volume" on its humble and unostentatious 
mission with the earnest desire and hope and 
the fervent prayer that it may, under the 
Divine favor, prove a benediction to our pas- 
tors and all our people. This wUl be the case 
if it shall stimulate all who may read it to 
emulate the zeal and devotion of the emi- 
nently godly and self-denying pastors and 
their pious people, who laid the foundation of 
our Lutheran churches in the State of New 
York. In the earnest piety, the untiring zeal, 
and the superabounding labors of those pioneer 
pastors ; in the holy living of themselves and 
their flocks ; in the moral heroism which they 
displayed amidst the severest trials of their 
faith and patience, and in their peaceful and tri- 
umphant dying, we have the most encouraging 


and inspiring illustrations of the excellency of 
the doctrines of the Gospel as held by our 
Evangelical Lutheran Church. Let us then, 
like them, be true to God and to duty, and to 
the noble Confession of our Church. Then the 
blessing of the God of our fathers will abide 
upon us, as it abode upon them, as we shall ap- 
prehend and shall endeavor to accomplish our 
great mission, as pastors and churches called 
of God and set apart to the great and glorious 
work of extending the kingdom of Christ. 

The Editor. 
DansvUte^ New York, April 6, 1881, 


At the meeting of the Hartwick Synods 
held at Johnstown, N. Y., in September, 1873, 
it was resolved that a committee of five be 
appointed to collect historical data of the dif- 
ferent churches belonging to this Synod. The 
Chairman of the committee was named in the 
resolution, the information desired was care^- 
fuUy outlined, and the pastors of the respec- 
tive churches were requested to render all 
practical assistance to said committee. So far 
as we are able to Jearn, nothing came of this 

Three years .later, at Canajobarie, in *i87^, 
it was 

Ji^solvedt That some suitable person be appointed 
to prepare for publication a memorial volume of 
Hartwick Synod, to embrace a brief history of the 
organization of the Synod, and short historical sketches 
-of all the churches in the bounds of the Synod, the 
names of die pastors who have served them, with short 
sketches of said pastors, and any other items whijU;! it 
m^ be deemed necessary to incorporate, 


Rev. P. A. Strobel was elected Historian to 
carry out the provisions of the resolution. At 
a subsequent meeting of Synod the historian 
reported some progress, but the assistance ren- 
dered was so meagre that, except for an event 
of more than usual interest, the day of publi- 
cation of the proposed Memorial would, no 
doubt, have been long delayed. 

At the session held at Middleburgh, in Oc- 
tober, 1880, the Synod was to celebrate its 
semi-centennial anniversary. The fifty years 
of its history had witnessed most of the im- 
portant events in the experience of the Luth- 
eran Church, while the record of many of its 
individual churches reaches back to the times 
of the planting of the Church in this country. 

It was fitting, therefore, that some special 
importance should attach to this fiftieth session 
of Synod. Accordingly a special service was 
arranged for a semi-centennial anniversary on 
the Sunday evening*of the Synodical Conven- 
tion. Rev. P. A. Strobel delivered an histor- 
ical address on the occasion, Rev. Wm. N. 
Scholl, D. D., delivered a memorial address, 
and Rev. V. F. Bolton, a general address. 
.The exercises, introduced with devotions and 


interspersed with suitable music, were of great 
interest and profit. The address of Mr. Stro- 
bel was so rich in historical information that 
the Synod, at a subsequent business session, 
recognizing the importance of having these 
facts in permanent shape for future informa- 
tion, requested him to publish the discourse in 
such form as he should deem most expedient. 

It was now evident that the time for the 
publication of the proposed Memorial Volume 
had fully come. To the preparation of the 
material, Mr. Strobel now devoted his time 
and energies, and with what success the fol- 
lowing pages will give ample proof. The 
imprint of our own Lutheran Board of Pub- 
lication is an assurance that the mechanical 
feature of the book is all that can be desired. 

May it meet with such a reception as it 
richly merits. James Pitcher, 

Secretary of Synod. 



I. Dedication, 3 

II. Advbrtisbment, .... .5 

III. Preface, 9 

IV. Historical Address, 15 

V. Biographical Sketches, .... 83 

VI. Historical Sketches, .... 195 

VII. Sketch of Hartwick Seminary, . . 407 





Portrait of Rev. P. A. Strobel, . Frontispi 



" Rev. Geo. A. Lintner, D. D. 



** . " Rev. Adam Crownse, 



" Rev. J. Z. Senderling, D. D.. 



" Rev. Levi Schell, 



" Rev. James Lefler, 



" Rev. Wm. H. Emerick, 



" Rev. Jas. Pitcher, A. M.. 



Engraving of St. Mark's Eng. Luth. Church, 

Canajoharie, .... 



Engraving of Evan. Lutheran Stone Church 

of Palatine, .... 



Engraving of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 

West Camp, .... 



Engraving of Hartwick Seminary, 



The appointment to write an historical 
sketch of our Synod, to be read at its semi- 
centennial convention, was accepted with many 
misgivings, being apprehensive that the duty 
might not be performed with entire satisfaction, 
either to the writer or to the brethren of 
Synod. The sketch has been prepared after a 
rather short notice, and amidst many embar- 
rassments. It may therefore not attain the 
standard which is desirable, and which may 
have been expected in such a document. 

It is manifestly no small task to collate and 
throw into proper shape and to compress into 
the small compass of an essay, even a moiety 
of the leading facts and incidents which have 
marked the history of an ecclesiastical body 
running through a period of half a century, 
and that too one of the most eventful periods 
in the history of the church. 

Besides, the duty assigned me is one of 
great delicacy, because in writing such a his- 


tory one has to deal not only with facts, but 
to a certain extent with men, or, if you please, 
with character. For men's motives are neces- 
sarily blended with and give complexion to all 
their actions. Especially is this true in all 
movements of a moral or religious character. 

The mere narration of facts is not writing 
history in the proper meaning of that word. 
For if it be true that " history is philosophy 
teaching by example," then much of the value 
of all history is found in the developments 
which it makes of the good or evil traits that 
are made manifest in the characters of those 
who have borne a conspicuous part in those 
movements which have exerted a marked in- 
fluence upon the affairs of the state, and 
especially of the church. But, as far as this in- 
vestigation may involve motives, it will be con- 
ducted in a spirit of impartiality and Christian 

Let it be borne in mind that this discus- 
sion is not to cover the general history of 
the Lutheran Church during the last half 
century, nor is it to include any topics beyond 
those which are legitimately embraced in the 
history of a particular Synod, and that the 


Hartwick Synod. It shall therefore treat the 
following topics : i. Its organization. 2. Its 
confessional position. 3. Its relation to inter- 
nal church work, such as education, home and 
foreign missions, church union, and Sabbath- 
schools. 4. Church work outside of our own 
denomination, such as Temperance, the Evan- 
gelical Alliance, and Tract and Bible distribu- 
tion, with such practical reflections as our 
theme may suggest. 


The Hartwick Synod had its inception in 
the Western Conference of the New York 
Ministerium, which at the time was the only 
Lutheran organization in the state. By a res- 
olution of said Conference, adopted during its 
session at Brunswick, N. Y., on September 8th, 
1830, a convention for forming the Synod was 
held in St. Paul's church, at Schoharie Village, 
on October 26th, 1830. It does not appear by 
what authority this convention was called, be- 
yond the resolution of the Conference. But 
the convention was held at the time and place 

Let us now go in imagination to the venera- 


ble old church at Schoharie, and look in upon 
that assembly. We are moving over historic 
ground and amid historic scenes — scenes made 
grand and hallowed by the presence and labors 
of godly men, who by their talents and piety, 
and by their devotion to Christ and their fidel- 
ity to the doctrines of our Evangelical Lutheran 
Church, have erected for themselves a monu- 
ment that shall survive long after the memory 
of worldly heroes shall have been buried in 

But let us survey that Convention. We will 
see at a glance, that it is composed of men of 
mark, both amongst the ministry and the laity. 
There we behold the commanding and digni- 
fied form of the able and resolute Dr. G. A. 
Lintner ; that of the learned, modest and judi- 
cious Dr. G. B. Miller; the genial face of J. Z. 
Senderling, with his courteous bearing and 
amiable and John-like spirit; the sober and 
thoughtful Adam Crownse, noted for his plain, 
but forcible and unctious preaching; the robust 
and vigorous Philip Wieting, whose voice and 
energy, ivith his bold and fiery enunciation, 
mark him as a modern Boanerges ; the eccen- 
tric John D. Lawyer is there, who, despite his 


erratic views and actions, still possessed talent 
and eloquence; Thomas Lape, with his up- 
turned eye and smiling face, always foremost 
in his love and labors for the children, and for 
the Sunday-school ; Charles A. Smith, with his 
classic &ce, his classic mind and his polished 
rhetoric, and equally polished manners; and 
Eisenlord* and Kilmer, whom the writer did 
not know. Alas ! alas ! they have all passed 
away ! The Master has called them up higher 
— and they walk no more amongst us, and 
Zion mourns because they stand no more upon 
her walls. Yet, thank God, they have be- 
queathed to us memories of their zeal, ability 
and piety, and of their conscientious devotion 
to Christ and to his church, which will ever 
breathe a precious fragrance. They had their 
imperfections, and may have made mistakes ; 
but no one should question their fidelity to the 
truth and the uprightness of their purposes. 
They are sleeping their last sleep, but we are 

* This brother retired from the ministry about the 
year 1835, and died at Fort Plain, Nov. 17th, 1880, 
aged 85 years, 2 months. He was born in the town of 
Palatine, Montgomery county. N. Y., educated at 
Hartwick Seminary, and graduated at Union College. 


comforted, for they "sleep in Jesus," and shall 
surely be awaked at his second coming, clothed 
with immortal and glorified bodies, like unto 
their glorified Redeemer, and thus " enter into 
the joy of their Lord." So much for our 
brethren of the ministry, who took a conspic- 
uous part in that Convention. 

Nor must we overlook the lay brethren who 
figured so notably in that movement. Amongst 
these were the honored names of William 
Mann, of Schoharie, and Joseph Borst, of Mid- 
dleburgh ; Peter I. Livingston, of Guilderland ; 
John Sternberg, of Sharon ; C. F. Vogel, Dan- 
iel Wolfard, Michael Swobe, Albert Lintner, 
Abraham Sternberg, Lawrence Van Alstine, 
and David Ottman; all household names in 
the Lutheran Church — all worthy of the con- 
spicuous positions which they occupied in the 
convention. General William Mann, of Scho- 
harie, was unanimously chosen President ; an 
honor very fittingly bestowed. The Rev. 
Adam Crownse, of Guilderland, was appointed 
Secretary. The proceedings were opened with 
prayer by Rev. J. Z. Senderling. 

The discussions in the convention show that 
there was some opposition to the organization 


of the Synod by sqme of the most judicious 
members (notably Dr. G. B. Miller and Rev. 
J. Z. Senderling), who declined to co-operate, 
regarding the movement as premature and 
somewhat irregular, inasmuch as the ministers 
who composed the convention had not been 
dismissed from the New York Ministerium, of 
which body they were all members, nor had 
the sanction of that body been asked. Never- 
theless, after a full and fraternal interchange 
of views, the resolution to organize the Synod 
was adopted by a vote of i8 ayes to 4 nays, 
and thus the Synod came into being on 
27th October, 1830. The Rev. G. A. Lintner, 
D. D., was chosen President; Rev. Adam 
Crownse, Secretary, and Rev. PWlip Wieting, 
Treasurer. A committee was appointed con- 
sisting of Revs. Lintner, Lawyer and Lape, 
and Messrs. J. Sternberg, Van Alstine and 
Livingston, to frame a constitution for the 
Synod and report at the next annual conven- 

There was, perhaps, a necessity for forming 
a new Synod, in view of the great extent of 
territory embraced in the New York Minister- 
ium — including, as it did, the state of New 


York, a part of New Jersey, and even a portion 
of Canada. This field was too extensive, the 
congregations too much scattered, and the 
pastors too much isolated, for efficient church 
work. Large Syiiods may be best under cer- 
tain conditions, but smadl ones also have some- 
times their advantages, in the opportunity af- 
forded for concentration of efifbrt, and by conse- 
quence, an increase of efficiency. But it would 
have been wiser and more expedient if, in the 
organization of the Synod, due regard had been 
had to church order, and letters of dismission 
had been obtained by the brethren who in- 
augurated this movement, from the New York 
Ministerium, and if the assent of that body had 
been previously asked. Besides these omis- 
sions. Synod erred in attempting^ arbitrarily, to 
mark out its territorial limits without any con- 
ference with the New York Ministerium. To 
these mistakes we may, perhaps, trace, in some 
measure, other similar irregularities which sub- 
sequently occurred in the Lutheran Church in 
our state, from which the Church and the cause 
of Christ have suffered serious damage. 

It is difficult to ascertain precisely all the 
<:auses which really Jed to the organization ot 


our Syaod. At the time of its formation there 
was considerable controversy in the New York 
Ministerium on the subject of a union of that 
body with the General Synod. It is not a 
secret that some of the leading men in the Min- 
isterium at this time were by no means evangel- 
ical in their doctrinal views ; and the majority 
of the Ministerium did not £avor the union with 
the General Synod, because that body had 
adopted, the Augsburg Confession as its doc- 
trinal basis, and also because of its supposed 
Presbyterial proclivities. The New York Minr 
isterium had not, until 1859 or *6o, made any 
recognition whatever of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion as the creed of that body. The brethren 
who organ i;jed our Synod were in full sympa- 
tiiy, doctrinally, with the General Synod, and 
also regarded that body with much favor, be- 
cause it furnished a bond of union for all Lu- 
theran Synods in the United States, and might 
be made a most efficient agent in the prosecu- 
tion of all the benevolent operations of the 
Church. The Hartwick Synod also owes its 
formation, in some good measure, to a desire 
on the part of its founders to encourage revival^ 
in the churches, and to engage in Home an4 


Foreign Missions. The New York Minister- 
ium, as a body, was not in sympathy with any 
of these measures to the extent that the found- 
ers of our Synod deemed desirable, and they, 
therefore, determined upon a new organization, 
in which they could carry out their views with- 
out being embarrassed by the restraints which 
they felt in the New York Ministerium. 

As was to have been expected, the New 
York Ministerium took exception to the 
course of the Hartwick Synod, and some un- 
kind feeling was engendered between the two 
bodies. Happily, however, for both, this state 
of things was not of long continuance ; for as 
early as 1832 the New York Ministerium ap- 
pointed the Rev. Dr. Wackerhagen a corre- 
sponding delegate to the Hartwick Synod, thus 
establishing friendly relations between the two 

The first regular convention of our Synod 
was held in St. Paul's Church, Johnstown, 
New York, commencing on the 24th of Sep- 
tember, 1 83 1. The Rev. Thomas Lape was 
the pastor lod. The parochial reports present 
the following exhibit : Pastors, 1 1 ; congrega- 
tions, 32; infant baptisms, 602; additions by 


confirmation and otherwise, 185; communi- 
cants, 2087; Sabbath-schools, 7; missionary 
societies, 5 ; contributions to the Synodical 
Treasury, JI98. 

This may be regarded as really the first 
regular business convention, and a glance at 
the proceedings will show how large a degree 
of enlightened zeal actuated the founders of 
the Synod. Amongst the measures inaugu- 
rated were (i) the publication of a Lutheran 
religious periodical. A monthly periodical 
called the Lutheran Magazine was at this time 
published at Schoharie, but it did not seem to 
meet the wants of the Church ; (2) the estab- 
lishment in the city of Troy of a depository 
for the sale of Lutheran books ; (3) the ap- 
pointment of a committee to further the inter- 
ests of Hartwick Seminary; (4) pledging 
Synod to the cause of total abstinence; (5) the 
appointment of a committee on Home Mis- 
sions and Beneficiary Education; (6) the 
division of Synod into conferences for more 
systematic and efficient' church work. It was 
at this convention that Synod resolved to 
unite with the General Synod. The Rev. G. 
A. Lintner, D. D., and Hon. Wm. C. Bouck, 


were the first delegates elected to that body. 
From that time to the present, our Synod has 
been unswerving in its allegiance to the 
General Synod, amidst all the controversies 
and struggles which have marked the history 
of our Church. 

The second convention of Synod was held 
at Schoharie, commencing on 20th October, 
1832. During the year most of the congrega- 
tions had been visited with extensive revivals, 
resulting in the addition of 105 by adult bap- 
tism, and 1057 by confirmation, being an in- 
crease of nearly 1 200 to the membership. In 
view of these revivals. Synod recorded, in a 
resolution, an expression of gratitude for these 
signal manifestations of the Divine presence 
and power in the churches. At this meeting 
it was reported that the book depository had 
been successfully established in Troy, under 
the superintendence of Mr. Wm. S. Parker, 
with a full supply of hymn-books and all the 
most popular Lutheran publications. 

The third convention was held at Dansville, 
N. Y., in October, 1833. Number of minis- 
ters, 14; congregations, 36; additions to tlie 
churches, over €00; communicants, 3659. 


The contributions, except those for the Synod- 
ical treasury, are not given. 

The fourth convention was held at Guilder- 
land in September, 1 834. Number of minis- 
ters, 16; congregations, 37; additions, 460; 
communicants, 4000. The contributions did 
not exceed $\^o. 

The Synod met in its fifth annual convention 
at Sharon, in Schoharie county, on 3d October, 
1835. Number of ministers, 16; congrega- 
tions, 38; communicants, 3988, being a de- 
crease of 12, although over 450 accessions by 
confirmation and letter were reported, showing 
great irregularity in keeping church records 
and in making out parochial reports. The 
collections this year for missions and education 
amounted to nearly $^QO, A resolution was 
passed at this convention favoring the estab- 
lishment of a foreign mission by the Lutheran 
Church in the United States. Two benefici- 
aries, Messrs. G. W. Lewis ^nd N. Van Alstine, 
were taken under the care of Synod, to each 
of whom an annual grant of $7$ was made. 
It was ilot as expensive to educate beneficiary 
students then as it has become since. 

The sixth annual convention was held a.t 


Sandlake, September 24th, 1836. Number of 
ministers, 13, a decrease of two from the pre- 
vious year; communicants, 4074, being an 
increase of only 86 from the previous year; 
although 300 additions were reported, chiefly 
by confirmation. The contributions this year 
for missions and education amounted to 
nearly ;^ 1,000, being an increase of one hun- 
dred per cent, over the previous year ; showing 
very clearly that as a spirit of heartfelt piety 
pervaded the churches, it developed the liberr 
ality of our people. When Christians are 
truly consecrated to Christ, as to their inner 
spiritual life, the consecration of their sub- 
stance will follow as a natural result. The 
early Christians first gave theinselves and then 
their substance to the Lord. 

This brings the history of Synod down to 
the termination of the sixth year. The seventh 
year opens upon a mournful page of our his- 
tory, to which reference will be made hereafter. 
The statistics for this period are given to show 
the earnestness and zeal of the founders of our 
Synod to promote all the various operations of 
the Church, and how successful all their labors 
had been until the spirit of contention and 


schism crept into our midst. Neither time 
nor space will permit a canvass in detail of the 
proceedings of all the conventions of Synod 
during these fifty years. Attention, however, 
will be called to some particular facts at the 
proper time. 


Having said thus much in reference to the 
organization of the Synod, the measures which 
it inaugurated and its progress during the first 
six years of its existence, it will be proper now 
to notice its confessional status at the time of its 
organization, and the position it has always 
maintained since. It need hardly be stated 
that Synod, without a dissenting voice, adopted 
the venerable Augustana, or Augsburg Confes- 
sion, as its creed or doctrinal basis. At the 
convention held in 1832, the following resolu- 
tion was passed : 

Resolved, That the seal of this Synod and Minister- 
ium shall be a circle containing " Hartwick Synod, 
Lutheran Church, New York," and a semi-circle con- 
taining "Augs. Confess.,** and within the circle an 
open Bible with rays of light reflecting from it. 

The sense in which Synod received the 
Augsburg Confession is determined by its 


action in uniting with the General Synod and 
adopting the Formula of Government prescribed 
by that body. The doctrinal basis of the Gen- 
eral Synod at that time is set forth in the two 
questions which were to be propounded to all 
applicants for licensure and ordination, viz.: 

I. " Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old 
and New Testament to be the Word of God, 
and the only infallible rule of faith and prac- 
tice ? " 

2* " Do you believe that the fundamental 
doctrines of the Word of God are taught in a 
manner substantially correct in the doctrinal 
articles of the Augsburg Confession ? " 

In the year 1836, because of certain contro- 
versies which sprang up in some of our churches 
in reference to the interpretation which this 
Synod gave to certain articles of the Confession, 
a committee was appointed to publish an edi- 
tion of the Confession, with explanatory notes. 
The committee was. Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D., 
Rev. A. Crownse, Rev. D. Eyster, and Messrs. 
Peter I. Borst and Martin Springer; all men of 
sound understanding, and admirably qualified 
in every respect for the work assigned them. 
This committee presented their report at the 


Convention of Synod held in 1 837. This re- 
port was unanimously adopted, and by this 
action Synod endorsed the exposition of the 
Confession which the committee had prepared, 
thus making that exposition its doctrinal basis* 
A few extracts are subjoined. In the preface, 
the committee say : 

It is well-known to all who are acquainted with the 
difficulties and troubles that have lately been excited 
in several churches in connection with the Hartwick 
Synod, that an assault has been made on the Augs- 
burg Confession. It has been charged with teaching, 
" that children are condemned to everlasting torment 
for original sin. That Baptism is a saving ordinance. 
That Ministers are authorized to forgive sin,'' etc., etc* 
These charges against the Augsburg Confession have 
been extensively circulated throughout the bounds of 
the Hartwick Synod ; and although they are un- 
founded, they have been the means of misleading the 
minds of some people, and causing an unhappy divis- 
ion in the Church. The Synod, therefore, thought it 
necessary to order a new edition of the Confession to 
be printed, with such notes and explanations as the 
present peculiar crisis seems to require. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United 
States professes to adhere to the Augsburg Confession. 
The General Synod has adopted it as a doctrinal 
standard; although it does not require the Ministers 
and Churches in its connection to believe every senti- 
ment it contains on those unessential points, which 


caused so much contention when it was first adopted. 
The pledge which the Constitution requires at the 
licensure of candidates, and ordination of Ministers, is 
** Do you believe that the fundamental doctrines oi the 
Word of God are taught in a manner substantially cor- 
rect in the doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confes- 
sion ?" 

From this, it will appear that we are not bound to 
receive the unessential parts of the Confession. All 
that is required is, an acknowledgement that on 
essential points of doctrine it agrees with the Word of 
God. And this we do believe. We hold that Xh^fufp- 
damental truths of the Gospel and the essential doc- 
trines of salvation are correctly set forth in the Augs- 
burg Confession ; and in this declaration, the com- 
mittee know that they agree with the body of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church in the United States. 
Though some have turned aside into strange paths, 
the Evangelical Lutheran Church in this country, as a 
body, has constantly and faithfully adhered to the 
fundamental doctrines of our Confession of Faith. 

On the 9th Article of the Confession, which 
relates to Baptism, the committee say : 

In the German copy of the Augsburg Confession, 
published in the works of Luther, as early as the year 
1567, and which was a faithful transcript from the 
original, as read before the Diet, this Article states, 
"that baptism is necessary, that grace is thereby 
offered, and that children ought to be baptized, who 
are by such baptism dedicated to God, and made ac- 


ceptable unto him." The above is a literal translation 
from the original German, This translation is inserted 
in the work of Doct, Lochman, entitled *« The History, 
Doctrine, and Discipline of the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church," published at-Harrisburg, in 1818. Now this 
is the Article which is represented as teaching that 
baptism is a saving ordinance. We have referred to 
the original German copy to show that it will not bear 
such an interpretation ; and the proof which we have 
brought is decisive on this point. The Article does 
not say that baptism is a saving ordinance. It only 
states, that it is necessary — ** Dasz die Taufe ftoetig 
seyT And this necessity arises from the institution 
and command of Christ ; not from the supposition that 
all who are baptized shall be saved, and those who 
are not baptized must be lost. The idea that we be- 
lieve baptism to be a saving ordinance, and that this 
doctrine is contained in our Confession, has doubtless 
arisen from the Latin copy, which states, •' that baptism 
is necessary to salvation" — **De baptistno docent, quod 
sit necessarius ad salutimr Several translations from 
this copy have been printed and extensively circulated. 
But even these translations will not warrant such an 
inference. They state that baptism " is necessary to 
salvation." From this we must not infer that it has in 
itself a saving effect, and that there can be no salvation 
without it. The expression undoubtedly refers to the 
declaration of Christ : " He that believeth and is bap- 
tized, shall be saved." Mark xvi. 16. 

In their exposition of the loth Article of the 


Confession, which treats of the Lord's Supper, 
the committee say : 

In relation to the subject of this Article, the com- 
mittee would observe, that the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church does not now materially differ from other Pro- 
testant denominations in this country. We believe 
that the Lord's Supper is a commemoration of the suf- 
ferings and death of Christ, and that in this sacred or- 
dinance every worthy communicant receives the body 
and blood of Christ under the emblems of bread and 
wine ; that is, he is made a partaker of the benefits 
which Christ purchased for him, when he suffered and 
died on the cross. 

Exception might be taken by some to this 
position of the Committee and of the Synod, 
that it did not bring out more fully the dis- 
tinctive doctrine of the Lutheran Church in 
reference to the Lord's Supper. It is main- 
tained that the Lutheran Church does differ 
materially from other Evangelical Churches in 
her views in regard to the presence of Christ 
in the Eucharist. And yet, when the Luth- 
eran view is explained, does it differ materially 
from other Evangelical Churches ? We think 
this question would not be answered affirm- 
atively even by Lutherans of the strictest sect.* 

* Since writing this address, the author has read an 


Such was the confessional position of Synod 
in 1837. 

The Evangelical Lutheran Magazine , at that 
time published at 'Gettysburg, thus speaks of 
the doctrinal position of our Synod : "The new 
Synod is based on the orthodox principles 
which are confessed and inculcated by the great 
body of Lutherans in the United States ; and 

address delivered by Rev, J. A. Seiss, D. D., in Bos- 
ton, on 22d November, 1880, in which occurs the fol- 
lowing passage : 

" Lutherans are sometimes represented as holding 
views of the sacraments akin to some of the erroneous 
doctrines of Romanism ; but an attentive and discrim- 
inating observation of their teachings, he was sure, 
would completely exonerate them from any deviation 
from proper evangelical ideas, and from any depar- 
ture from the clear teachings of the Divine Word 
on these points. Certainly the gross and offensive 
ideas of the presence of Christ's body and blood in 
the Lord's Supper, often attributed to them, are quite 
as abhorrent to them as to any others. We may differ 
somewhat from those who make but little of the sac- 
raments, and may hold more firmly to the doctrine of 
the true presence and impartation of Christ our salva- 
tion in the holy communion than many others, but in 
no sense to the damage or weakening of the great and 
all-conditioning doctrine of justification by faith only, 
wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost." 


we trust, with the Divine blessing, it will be- 
come an efficient auxiliary in the work of 
spreading the evangelical principles of our ven- 
erable Church throughout the United States/* 
In their notes on Article XL of the Confes- 
sion, which treats of " Confession and Abso- 
lution," the committee say: , 

This article is referred to in order to show that our 
Confession gives to ministers the power to forgive sin. 
To prove that this is a misrepresentation, we observe 
that this power has never been exercised in the Luth- 
eran Church. It was customary before the Reforma 
tion, in the Roman Catholic Church, for the people to 
make confession of their sins to the priests, and ob- 
tain absolution. This abuse first roused the spirit of 
Luther^ and led to the commencement of the Refor- 
mation. ****** 

The Lutheran Church still retains in her liturgy a 
form of confession, but it will be seen by reference to 
this form, that it is far from an absolution. It is only 
a declaration of the officiating minister, of what all 
Protestant denominations believe, viz., that God will 
grant remission of sin to all who are truly penitent, 
and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. " The rite of 
private absolution," says Doct, Schmucker, in his 
Popular Theology, which is a standard work in our 
Church, " has been entirely rejected by the Lutheran 

In the year 1856, when the Symbolical ques- 


tion was agitating the Lutheran Church in this 
country, Synod adopted a confessional basis, 
in which were embodied, in a more succinct 
and compact form, and with some modifications, 
substantially the same doctrinal views which 
it had promulgated in 1837. The following is 
the doctrinal basis adopted in 1856. After re- 
affirming its adherence to the doctrinal basis of 
the General Synod, and specifying those articles 
in the Augsburg Confession to which the Synod 
gave its unqualified assent, the Synod said : 

*• As, however, there are articles in our Confession, 
which are susceptible of different constructions, this 
Synod, without stopping to argue the question, whether 
or not these articles, ' when fairly and properly inter- 
preted,' teach the objectionable views which have 
been deduced from them, hereby adopts the following 
testimony as expressive of the doctrinal position of 
this body, viz.: 

" That this Synod, resting on the Word of God, as 
the sole authority in matters of faith, on its infalli- 
ble warrant rejects the doctrine of baptismal regener- 
ation ; rejects the Romish doctrine of the real presence 
or transubstantiation, and with it the doctrine of con- 
substantiation ; rejects the mass, and all ceremonies 
distinctive of the mass ; denies any power in the sac- 
raments as an opus operatunit or that the benefits 
resulting from the sacraments can be received without 


faith ; rejects auricular confession and priestly abso- 
lution ; holds that there is no priesthood on earth ex- 
cept that of all believers, and that God only can for- 
give sins ; and maintains the sacred obligation of the 
Lord's day, as of divine appointment, to be sacredly 
regarded by all Christians." 

The General Synod, at its convention held 
at York, Pa., in May, 1864, through a com- 
mittee of which the Rev. Dr. Passavant and 
other leading founders of the General Council 
were members, made a confessional deliver- 
ance, embodying even in stronger language 
the views which this Synod had expressed in 
1856, eight years in advance of the action of 
the General Synod : 

Whereas, The General Synod of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church in the United States has recognized 
the Augsburg Confession, both in the Constitution of 
the Theological Seminary and in the Constitution 
recommended to District Synods, as well as in her 
Liturgy: and 

Whereas t Our churches have been agitated by the 
imputation of grave and dangerous errors in this Con- 
fession, so that amid conflictmg statements many who 
are sincerely desirous of knowing the truth are dis- 
tracted, knowing not what to believe, whereby the 
danger of internal conflict and schism is greatly in- 
creased : and 


Whereas, The General Synod, according to its Con- 
stitution, ** shall apply all their powers, their prayers 
and their means, towards the prevention of schism 
among us,** we, therefore, in Synod assembled, in the 
presence of the Searcher of hearts, desire to declare 
to our churches and before the world our judgment in 
regard to the imputation of these errors and the alien- 
ation among brethren which may arise from them : 

Resolved, That while this Synod, resting on the 
Word of God as the sole authority in matters of faith 
on its infallible warrant, rejects the Romish doctrine of 
the real presence or Transubstantiation, and with it the 
doctrine of Consubstantiation ; rejects the Romish mass 
and all the ceremonies distinctive of the mass; denies 
any power in the sacraments, as an opus operatum, 
or that the blessings of Baptism and the Lord's Supper 
can be received without faith ; rejects auricular con- 
fession and priestly absolution ; holds that there is no 
priesthood on earth but that of all believers, and that 
God only can forgive sins ; and maintains the divine 
obligation of the Sabbath ; and while we would, with 
our whole heart, reject any part of any Confession 
which taught doctrines in conflict with this, our testi- 
mony ; nevertheless, before God and his Church, we 
declare that in our judgment the Augsburg Confes- 
sion, properly interpreted, is in perfect consistence with 
this our testimony, and with the Holy Scriptures, as 
regards the errors specified. — Minutes of the General 
Synod, York, Pa,, May, 1864. 

This is the doctrinal position of the General 


Synod to-day. We cheerfully accepted this 
platform, as this Synod has always been will- 
ing to recognize the authority of the General 
Synod on all questions of doctrine, so long as 
its utterances are in harmony with the Word 
of God, and do no violence to our consciences. 
So much for the confessional position of our 
Synod. It has always been conservative and 
consistent, and we should firmly adhere to its 
position. Let us take no step backward. 


The Hartwick Synod, as has been intimated, 
felt itself under a necessity to publish the 
Augsburg Confession with notes, in 1837, be- 
cause of certain charges which had been pre- 
ferred against the Synod and the Confession 
by the Franckean Synod. In 1837 four mem- 
bers of the Hartwick Synod, viz.: Revs. 
Philip Wieting, J. D. Lawyer, William Ott- 
man and L. Swackhamer, withdrew from 
Synod, and organized the Franckean Synod. 
This movement on the part of these brethren 
was irregular, as they had not asked for letters 
of dismission, nor had they, as far as is 


known, assigned any cause for their procedure. 
The Hartwick Synod, however, had " es- 
topped " itself from making any protest on the 
ground of the irregularity of this action, inas- 
much as its organization was effected under 
somewhat similar circumstances, the founders 
of our Synod not having obtained letters of 
dismission from the New York Ministerium. 

The action of the brethren who formed the 
Franckean Synod must have been somewhat 
hasty and inconsiderate, inasmuch as they all 
took part in the proceedings of our Synod in 
1836; and it does not appear from the records 
that there had been any action which would 
warrant the supposition that any alienations 
had arisen between the brethren, except per- 
haps the refusal of Synod to adopt a resolution 
strongly condemnatory of American slavery, 
introduced by Rev. L. Swackhamer. 

To justify this rupture, it was subsequently 
alleged that the attitude of our Synod in refer- 
ence to Temperance, the Confessional question. 
Revivals^ the Slavery question, and Educational 
Qualification {ox ^^ ministry, was unsatisfactory 
to the brethren who separated from us, and 
they felt the organization of a new Synod to be 


a necessity, to meet their convictions of duty 
In reply to these allegations, it may be confi- 
dently asserted that as early as 1832, this 
Synod had planted itself unequivocally upon 
the Total Abstinence pledge, and in nearly all 
the congregations Total Abstinence Societies 
had been organized. So too in regard to the 
subject of Revivals. From its very organiza- 
tion in 1830, this Synod, although adhering to 
the good old Lutheran custom of catechisation, 
had always favored revivals when properly 
conducted. From 1831 to 1836 there had been 
marked and extensive revivals in many of the 
congregations, and in most of them the Rev. 
P. Wieting, one of the chief founders of the 
Franckean Synod, had borne a very conspicu- 
ous part. These revivals occurred at the four 
days' meetings which were then in vogue in 
all the churches in our Synod. 

In regard to the Confessional question, it has 
been asserted, that "as early as 1832 the 
Augsburg Confession had become an occasion 
of dissatisfaction in some of the churches in the 
state of New York, not because there was any 
want of unity of faith amongst the ministers, 
but because there was a difference of opinion 


as to the extent to which the Augsburg Con- 
fession should be adopted as a standard of 
faith." * Yet in this same year (1832), four 
years before the Franckean Synod existed, the 
Hartwick Synod, by a unanimous vote, adopted 
the seal to which reference has already been 
made, with the words " Augsburg Confession" 
inscribed upon it, as the symbol of its doctri- 
nal basis. Revs. P. Wieting and J. D. Lawyer, 
the two principal founders of the Franckean 
Synod, voting for this measure. Mr. Lawyer 
was Secretary of Synod. This same year, upon 
motion of Rev. P. Wieting, Synod adopted the 
" Formula of Government," recommended by 
the General Synod, including, of course, a sub- 
scription to the Augsburg Confession. It may 
be that between the years 1832 and 1836 con- 
troversies had arisen in regard to the Confes- 
sion which do not appear in the records of 
Synod. Or it may be that the brethren who 
went out from us felt their consciences bur- 
dened, even by the qualified subscription to the 
Augsburg Confession which was then required. 
But it does not appear from the Journal of 

* Rev. H. L. Dox, in Memoir qf Rev. P. Wieting, 


Synod, that between 1832 and 1836 these 
brethren had expressed any dissatisfaction with 
the doctrinal position of the Synod. All the 
proceedings at the convention of 1836, at which 
time Rev. J. D. Lawyer was President, appear 
to have been harmcmious, although upon the 
slavery question there was, as before stated, 
some diversity of opinion. 

The majority of the Synod did not regard 
the question of slavery as one which, espe- 
cially in its political aspects, was exactly 
within the jurisdiction and legislation of any 
ecclesiastical body, and it was deemed most 
expedient to lay the resolution on the table. 
This fact is stated as a matter of history, with- 
out passing any opinion as to the propriety of 
Synod's action in this matter. It may however 
be confidently assumed that the action of 
Synod, whether expedient or not, furnished no 
manner of justification for the schism and the 
organization of a new Synod. 

On the subject of ministerial qualification, 
it may be said that in the very outset Synod 
took very decided ground in favor of a high 
standard of education for the ministry. At 
one of its first sessions it rejected a candidate 


for the ministry because he was deficient in 
literary and theological attainments. To this 
attitude of our Synod exception was taken, 
and it was assigned as a reason for the new 
organization. It was assumed that the de- 
mand for ministers was so great that the 
churches needing .them should be furnished, 
even though in doing so the standard of min- 
isterial qualification should have to be lowered. 
As a result of this mistaken policy, men with 
very ordinary attainments, " unskilled work- 
men," were thrust into the pastoral office, very 
much, in many cases, to the detriment of the 
ministry, and especially of the churches. An 
illiterate ministry, though it may be a pious 
one, seldom commands much consideration or 
much influence. So thought the sagacious 
founders of our Synod ; and they were unques- 
tionably right. It is to be regretted that in 
too many instances there has been a departure 
from this position. 

From all that appears upon the Minutes of 
1836, Synod adjourned seemingly in a har- 
monious spirit, and there was no intimation of 
even a remote cause for any rupture beyond 
the discussion of the slavery question. The 


purpose to organize a new Synod must, there- 
fore, have been very hastily formed, and as hast- 
ily executed. But the Synod was organized ; and 
although we would not impugn the motives of 
the brethren who originated this movement, they 
were clearly mistaken (as even the wisest and 
best of men some times ar.e) as to their views 
of duty. It must be added that this rupture, 
as might have been anticipated, was attended 
with the most disastrous consequences. Bitter 
controversies, marked by unseemly criminations 
and recriminations between ministers of the 
gospel, ensued. Congregations, and even fam- 
ilies, were divided. Ministers claiming to be 
of the same church were arrayed against each 
other in violent antagonisms, and the demon of 
discord seemed to hold undisputed control 
over the minds and hearts of, alas ! too many 
who called themselves Christians. In many con- 
gregations there were open ruptures, ending in 
schismatic and rival organizations. This led to 
vexatious and expensive lawsuits, and the ban- 
ishment of all concord. These lawsuits, how- 
ever, were all decided in favor of ourchurches by 
the highestjudicial tribunals in the state. These 
things certainly did not enure to the glory of 


God and the salvation of souls. On the con- 
trary, these discords checked not only the de- 
velopment of spiritual life in the churches, but 
retarded most manifestly the growth of the 
Lutheran Church in the state of New York. 
Had this schism never occurred; and had the 
time, the talent, the energy and the money 
which have been expended in this unfortunate 
and indefensible controversy (in which, perhaps, 
even our own Synod was not faultless) — had it 
all been consecrated to Christ, and concentrated 
in harmonious and united effort to build up the 
Lutheran Church in this state, there is reason 
to believe we might have been half a century 
in advance of what we are to-day, in our nu- 
merical strength, and in all the aggressive 
forces which are needed to give the Church 
moral power, efficiency and success. But one 
gladly turns from this dark, sad page in the 
history of our Church. Some good may, no 
doubt, have resulted from this movement in 
certain localities — for under God's over-ruling 
providence, even the wrath of man is made to 
praise Him; but as it affected the whole 
Church in this state, it has been productive of 
great harm. Of the founders of the Franckean 


Synod, the Rev. John D. Lawyer, was in after 
years deposed by that body for heresy; the 
Rev. L. Swackhamer returned to the Hart- 
wick Synod, and continued a member until his 
death ; the Rev. William Ottman is known to 
have admitted* that this movement was a mis- 
take ; the Rev. P. Wieting remained the Nestor 
of the Synod until his death. In 1864, how- 
ever, he carried his Synod as a body into the 
General Synod, thereby putting himself and his 
Synod into more harmonious relations with 
other Lutheran Synods in the state of $iew 
York. It is to be regretted, however, that thus 
far all efforts to effect an organic union have 
failed through the want of proper action on 
the part of the Franckean Synod. 


The Synod, as has been stated, at a very 
early period in its history took a decided posi- 
tion in favor of the education of pious young 
men for .the ministry, and a high standard of 
educational qualification was adopted. Synod 
also pledged its cordial co-operation with the 
Trustees of Hartwick Seminary in all judicious 
measures to improve the condition of that in- 


stitution. It was felt, however, that the loca- 
tion of the Seminary was not the most advan- 
tageous, and in 1832 Synod, hy a unanimous 
vote, recommended its removal to Coopers- 
town. In 1838, after six years experience, the 
Committee on the Seminary declared that the 
best interests of the institution required that it 
should be removed to some " more popular 
location." The committee said; "The able 
professors are making untiring exertion to 
raise its standard, but talents and learning fail 
when location is against them." At its con- 
vention in 1838, Synod appointed a committee 
to confer with similar committees of the New 
York Ministerium and the Board of Trustees, 
to consider the best means to promote the 
welfare of the Seminary, still having in view 
this matter of its removal. Such was the 
judgment of Synod from 1832 to 1838. If 
the recommendation to remove the institution 
to Cooperstown or some other " popular loca- 
tion " had been adopted, and had the churches 
in the State of New York acted wisely and 
liberally in giving it an adequate endowment, 
the Seminary and the cause of education in 
the Lutheran Church in our state might have 


had a very different history. At every annual 
convention this Synod has appointed a com- 
mittee to attend, not only the commencement 
exercises, but also the annual meetings of the 
Board of Trustees, to confer with said Board 
as to the best means to be devised to build up 
and make efficient this " school of the proph- 
ets.*' Had the Board of Trustees, and all 
other parties who should have been interested, 
sustained the Hartwick Synod in its well- 
intentioned efforts to promote the welfare of 
that Institution, by changing its location, as 
well as amending its charter, endowing it and 
giving it due prominence amongst the educa- 
tional institutions of the state, it might have 
exercised a very much greater influence in 
moulding the intellectual characters of our 
pastors, and in elevating the intelligence of our 

It will not be forgotten that in Aijgust, 
1870, a convention was held at Hartwick to 
promote the cause of education in the Luth- 
eran church in the state of New York, and to 
improve the condition of Hartwick Seminary. 
The call for this convention embraced delega- 
tions of five representatives from each of the 


Synods in the state of New York, viz.: The 
New York, Hartwick, and Franckean Synods. 
When, however, the convention met, by cer» 
tain '^managements' delegates were, for a cer- 
tain end, brought in from the New Jersey 
Synod, and from the Board of Trustees. At 
that convention the delegates from the Hart- 
wick Synod submitted a memorial, which was 
endorsed by the delegates of the Franckean 
Synod, in which, amongst other suggestions, it 
was proposed to so change the charter of the 
Seminary as to erect it into a collegiate insti- 
tute of high grade, and to raise an endowment 
of ;^ 1 00,000 for this purpose. At that time 
the endowment fund was about ^^ 15,000. A 
liberal-minded Lutheran, who has since died, 
had proposed that as soon as this endowment 
was raised to ^^40,000, by contributions from 
the Synods or churches, he would give 
;^ 10,000, thus creating an endowment of 
1150,000. This proposition to erect Hartwick 
Seminary into a collegiate institution did not 
receive, as it should have done, the cordial 
endorsement of the convention. Even several 
prominent members of the Board of Trustees 
stoutly refused their sanction, and the oppor- 


tunity to establish a college at Hartwick was 
very unwisely lost — it is to be feared, not to 
occur again in our generation. 

Again, in 1876, Synod appointed a commit- 
tee of three to confer with similar committees 
from the New York and New Jersey and 
Franckean Synods, to devise means to erect 
Hartwick Seminary into a college ; but in this 
effort our Synod received no co-operation. 

This Synod has annually appropriated 
money for the beneficiary education of young 
men of piety and intelligence for the ministry. 
In this way Synod has furnished our churches 
with some of their most intelligent and useful 
pastors, and the foreign mission field with one 
or more of its most earnest and devoted labor- 
ers. The positions occupied by some of them 
are indicated below. The following is a pretty 
accurate list of the beneficiary students who 
have been aided by Hartwick Synod. The 
list was furnished by Rev. M. J. Stover: 

* George W. Lewis. 

N. Van Alstine, President of the Franckean Synod. 

David Rosenberg. 

Jacob Moyer. 

* Deceased. 


Henry Selmser. 

E. Deyoe, Pastor at Ramsey's, N. J. 

P. M. Rightmyer, Pastor at Saddle River, New Jer- 

W. R. McChinsey. 

* Walter Gunn, Missionary to India. 

Henry Larsen. 

♦Albert Waldron, Pastor at Dansville, N, Y. 

Alfred Hiller, Pastor at German Valley, N. J. 

Wm. Ruterman. 

Wm. I. Cutter, Foreign Missionary. Now Pastor 
in Kansas. 

Ira S. Porter. 

James H. Roney. 

Eli Clough, 

Laurent D. Wells, Pastor at Canajoharie, N. Y. 

J. G. Slater. 

F. G. Fairfield. 

James Pitcher, Principal Hartwick Seminary. 
J. Shultes. 

G. W. Enders, Pastor Christ Church, York, Pa. 
Augustus Shultes. 

Sylvanus Stahl, Pastor St John's Church, Lancas- 
ter, Pa. 

Henry Sharp, Pastor in St. Lawrence county, N. Y. 
E. P. Mickel. 
t I. P. Emerick. 

* Deceased. f Now at the Seminary. 



From its very organization, this Synod took 
an active part in Home Missions. As early as 
1832, in concert with the New York Minis- 
terium, a mission was undertaken in the city 
of Buffalo, to which the Rev L. Sternberg was 
appointed. Missionary societies were organ- 
ized in nearly all the pastoral charges. Dr. 
Lintner reported in 1834, three such societies 
in his churches. From time to time mission- 
aries were employed in various counties in 
Western New York, and the churches at Lock- 
port, Freidens, Dahsville, Sparta, Bearytown, 
Canajoharie, Maryland in Otsego county, and 
perhaps others, have been established in whole 
or in part by the missionary committees of our 

But our efforts in the cause of Home Mis- 
sions have not been commensurate with our 
opportunities and the resources of our congre- 
gations. The mission at Buffalo was allowed 
to languish and fail, though under the care of 
a most worthy and efficient missionary, and 
ostensibly fostered jointly with the New York 
Ministerium, chiefly because the churches did 
not furnish the funds necessary to sustain it. 


The missionary may have made some mistakes, 
by which he failed to secure the sympathy and 
hearty co-operation of the German pastors in 
Buffalo. Still, this was no adequate cause for 
the failure. There were mission stations at 
Royalton and Shelby, in Niagara county, one 
or two in Monroe, Onondaga, Wayne and 
other counties in Western New York, which 
were temporarily occupied, but were abandoned 
and have been lost to our Church. This is true 
of Saugerties and other points in Eastern New 
York. The mission in Troy, begun seemingly 
under very favorable auspices, was relinquished 
after an expenditure of several hundred dollars, 
and this failure has very materially impaired 
the prospect of ever establishing a Lutheran 
church in that important and prosperous city, 
though we might have gathered there the 
material for a large and self-sustaining congre- 
gation. Inaction or misdirected action, and the 
illiberality of our churches, are the principal 
causes of failure here. Whether any future 
effort to establish a church in this city shall be 
deemed expedient, is yet to be determined. 
The question is worthy of prayerful considera- 



In the work of Foreign Missions the Synod 
has made a much more creditable record. The 
first Woman's Synodical Missionary Society in 
the United States was organized at Cobleskill, 
in 1839, by the wives of Lutheran ministers, 
and other Christian women belonging to 
churches of the Hartwick Synod. This Wo- 
man's Missionary Society has the honor of 
having educated the Rev. Walter Gunn, of 
precious memory, and of having furnished in 
part the means to send him to India, and to 
sustain him during his labors amongst the 
heathen. Brother Gunn was ordained and set 
apart for the foreign mission field by this 
Synod at Johnstown, N. Y, on the 6th of Sep- 
tember, 1843. The Rev. J. Z. Senderling, who 
was always so deeply interested in foreign 
missions, was very appropriately selected to 
preach the ordination sermon. Brother Gunn 
was the first Lutheran minister in the United 
States who had been specially educated as a 
missionary to the heathen. 

In this connection it may be said that the 
organization of women's missionary societies 
is no new thing in the Hartwick Synod. The 


existence of such societies is mentioned as 
early as 1832, when the Womaii's Missionary 
Society of Dansville sent $2$ to Synod; and 
by the year 1838, similar societies existed in 
a majority of our congregations. In 1837 
Synod contributed iJsoo to the Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society of Germany, to aid its missions 
in India. In 1839 our contributions to foreign 
missions were upwards of ;J 1,000, and at every 
annual convention the foreign missions of our 
church have been very liberally remembered 
by our congregations. In 1854 the Rev. J. Z. 
Senderling collected in our churches ^800 for 
foreign missions. 

It may not be inappropriate to remark just 
here that this Synod, especially during the ear- 
lier years of its existence, displayed a very com- 
mendable liberality, not only in the cause of For- 
eign Missions but also in Home Missions and 
Education. In 1836, the sum of |! 1,500 was 
raised for these two objects alone. The same 
year, |!640 were expended for Home Missions. 
In 1839, |! 1,000 were contributed for the same 
object. At that time Synod contained only 
thirteen pastors and twenty-one congrega- 
tions, with a membership of 3,775 ; and yet 


for Home and Foreign Missions alone the 
churches contributed nearly ;Ji,8oo. In the year 
1879, with thirty congregations, and twenty- 
eight pastors, and a membership of over 4,000, 
our contributions for Home and Foreign Mis- 
sions, Education, Synodical treasury. Church 
Extension, and the treasury of the General 
Synod, amounted to about ^11,675, or nearly 
J!i25 less than we realized in 1839 f^^ ^wo ob- 
jects alone. 

The question will naturally suggest itself, 
have we, as a Synod, developed a spirit of lib- 
erality proportioned to our membership, the 
multiplication of our pastors and congregations, 
and the increase of our resources ? That there 
has not been any large growth in the numeri- 
cal strength of our congregations since 1839 
must be admitted ; for it is worthy of remark 
that for nearly thirty years our membership 
seems to have been stereotyped at about 4,000, 
never rising more than a hundred or two above 
that number. And yet the wealth of our con- 
gregations has been very largely augmented. 
Have our people consecrated their substance to 
Christ, in sustaining the benevolent operations 
of the church, in proportion ** as the Lord hath 


prospered them ?" This question should be 
seriously and prayerfully pondered. The nu- 
merical and especially the spiritual develop- 
ment of a Christian community depends very 
much upon the fidelity with which we dis- 
charge our stewardship in consecrating our 
substance as well as ourselves to the service of 
Christ. Where the latter is done in due sincer- 
ity, the other will follow necessarily. The 
want of spiritual life in our churches, as mani- 
fested by their inaction and want of liberality, 
will tell with fearful effect upon all our church 
interests, for God will certainly withhold his 
blessing from us, and then comes the spiritual 
blight, and ultimately the spiritual desolation. 


In the Sabbath-school cause our Synod has 
always taken an active part. In fact, the re- 
ligious education of the youth of the congrega- 
tion has always been a marked feature in the 
jwactice of the Lutheran Church. The im- 
portance of thoroughly indoctrinating the 
rising generation in the great truths of the 
gospel has always been recognized by the 
Church of the Reformation. Long before the 


days of Robert Raikes, she was engaged in 
the work of instructing her children in the 
doctrines and precepts of true, practical Chris- 
tianity. In the very commencement, Synod 
addressed itself energetically to the establish- 
ment of Sabbath-schools. As early as 1832, a 
Sunday school Union was formed, auxiliary to 
the Sunday-school Union of the General Synod, 
and we have done our duty with some fidelity 
in this important department of church work. 
At our last annual convention, twenty-six Lu- 
theran Sunday-schools were reported, with 
nearly 300 teachers and 4,000 scholars, besides 
seven union schools, with 54 teachers and 400 
scholars; making a total of thirty-three 
schools, 350 teachers, and 4,500 scholars. 
This is certainly a creditable showing. 




Before leaving that part of our subject which 
relates to church work within our own denom- 
ination, it may not be amiss to speak of the 
efforts of Synod to effect a union between the 
Lutheran synods in the state of New York, 
especially those that belong to the General 


Synod. In 1871, Synod appointed a commit- 
tee to attend the New York Synod during its 
convention at Germantown, to lay before that 
body a proposition for a union of the two Syn- 
ods — if not for a permanent organic union, at 
least for a future subdivision, having proper 
regard to geographical boundaries. The offi- 
cers of the New York Synod knew of this 
movement on the part of our Synod, yet when 
our committee reached Germantown they found 
to their surprise that all the preliminaries 
for an organic union between the New York 
and New Jersey Synods had been previously 
arranged, and the well-intentioned purposes of 
our Synod were defeated. 

In 1877, in compliance with the recommen- 
dation of the General Synod, and with the 
concurrence of the Franckean Synod, a com- 
mittee was appointed by this Synod to meet a 
similar committee of the Franckean Synod, to 
agree upon a basis for an organic union of 
these two bodies. The two committees met ; 
a basis of union was unanimously adopted, and 
by the committees recommended to their re- 
spective Synods for ratification. The Franck- 
ean Synod at its next annual convention 


failed to ratify the action of its committee, 
because of the violent opposition of one or two 
of its leading members ; nor has it ratified it 
at either of its subsequent conventions. The 
Hartwick Synod did ratify it by a unanimous 
vote, and the failure to bring about an organic 
union between these two Lutheran Synods 
occupying so nearly the same territory docs 
not rest with this Synod. Whatever incon- 
veniences and disadvantages the Lutheran 
Church in the State of New York is suffering, 
from a want of proper territorial division, as 
well as from want of union and concentration 
of effort, in Home Missions, Church Exten- 
sion, Education, and other departments of in- 
ternal church work, the fault is manifestly not 
with this Synod. 

It is proposed now to consider briefly 




i.^ The Temperance Cause. 
Reference has already been made to the at- 
titude of this Synod in relation to the cause of 
Temperance. It has always been unequivocal 


and decided in its denunciations against the 
vice of intemperance, and has done its full 
share in awakening the consciences of our 
people to the alarming consequences growing 
out of the sale and use of all intoxicating drinks 
as beverages. Dr. Lintner, Dr. Senderling, 
Rev. A. Crownse, and other founders of this 
Synod^ as well as all our pastors, have always 
borne a conspicuous part in the Temperance 
reform. On this subject our Synod has uttered 
no uncertain sound. 

2. The Evangelical Alliance, 
This Synod was amongst the first to give its 
endorsement and to extend its co-operation to 
the Evangelical Alliance. This body, com- 
posed of Evangelical Christians of all churches 
and of all nationalities, designed to bring all 
true Christians into closer bonds of fellowship, 
and to extend sympathy and protection to 
persecuted Protestants throughout the world, 
found in our Synod a prompt and cordial co- 

3. The American Bible and Tract Societies, 
The Tract cause, as represented by the 
American Tract Society, has always had the 


sympathy and support of our Synod. And 
this is true of the great work of the American 
Bible Society. To this Society our congrega- 
tions have made liberal donations, not a few of 
them having constituted not only their pastors, 
but also their pastors' wives, life members of 
the American Bible Society — thus showing 
that this Synod has always cultivated and man- 
ifested a catholic and liberal spirit, and has 
most cheerfully extended its sympathy and its 
material aid to every religious enterprise, within 
our own denomination and outside of it, which 
gave any promise of the salvation of men and 
the spread of the kingdom of Christ. 


It may be proper now to inquire to what 
extent the Lutheran Church in this State has 
been developed through the agency of the 
Hartwick Synod. At its organization in 1830, 
the Synod contained only seven pastors. At 
its first regular convention, held at Johnstown, 
in i83i,the Synod contained eleven pastors, 
32 congregations and 2087 communicants. Up 
to 1836 there were thirteen pastors, 38 congre- 
gations and 4074 communicants, showing an 


increase in six years, of six congregations, and 
nearly one hundred per cent in the pastors and 
in the membership. In 1836 came the schism 
in our Synod, and the organization of the 
Franckean Synod, by which four of the leading 
ministers withdrew, carrying with them half a 
dozen churches and about one thousand mem- 
bers. From this time we were " a house di- 
vided against itself;" and the two parties, by 
their unnatural and uncharitable antagonisms, 
not only hindered very much the development 
of the Lutheran Church, but furnished an 
occasion for other denominations to prey upon 
our congregations, and thus many of our mem- 
bers were drawn away from us, and much of 
the material which legitimately belonged to us 
was gathered into other churches. There, they 
naturally supposed, they would be free from the 
contentions and bitter strifes, which were de- 
stroying the peace of the congregations, check- 
ing greatly the spiritual growth of the mem- 
bership and retarding very much the general 
development 'of the Church. 

Notwithstanding all these drawbacks and 
hindrances, there has been a very encouraging 
growth in our Synod. Let a few pastorates be 


taken as an illustration. At the organization, 
Dr. Lintner was serving three congregations, 
Schoharie, Middleburg and Cobleskill. Each 
of these has become self-sustaining. The Scho- 
harie church has been handsomely remodeled 
and greatly improved. At Central Bridge a 
congregation was organized and a commodious 
church built in 1844, through the efforts of Dr. 
Lintner, and added to the Schoharie charge. 
The congregation at Middleburg, which lost its 
church by fire in 1856, built another the same 
year. The church was remodeled and greatly 
improved in 1870. This congregation has also 
built a handsome and commodious parsonage, 
and is liberally supporting its own pastor. The 
same may be said of Cobleskill and of Rich- 
mondville. Until within a few years, these two 
churches formed one pastorate. Cobleskill 
purchased a parsonage in 1857. The historic 
brick church which once stood in the centre of 
the village, has been replaced by one of the 
largest and best-appointed church edifices in 
the state, costing about ^35,000. " This congre- 
gation supports its own pastor. The old, 
dilapidated, weather-beaten structure at Rich- 
mondville, which in its shattered condition had 


piteously appealed for sympathy and help, has 
been replaced by a neat and very attractive 
church — a credit to the good taste and liberal- 
ity of its members. This congregation, with 
some aid from a neighboring one, is supporting 
its own pastor. 

When the Rev. J. Z. Senderling united with 
Synod, he was serving two congregations, one 
at Schaghticoke and the other at Centre Bruns- 
wick, with a salary of ^1500. Now these con- 
gregations are self-sustaining. EJach has built 
a new church, each has a very comfortable 
parsonage, and each is paying more in the way 
of pastoral support than they did conjointly at 
the organization of our Synod. Canajoharie, 
which for twelve years was without any organ- 
ization, the congregation quite feeble, worship- 
ing in an unattractive wooden building, for many 
years a mission station, has developed into a 
vigorous and very efficient congregation, with 
a handsome and very attractive church edifice, 
with an energetic and successful pastor — the 
whole an honor to our Synod and to the Lu- 
theran Church. Synod aided very materially 
in bringing about these results, having in 1852 
contributed ;J8oo to aid the congregation. The 


congregation at Johnstown has also made very 
striking and commendable progress. The old 
wooden structure in which these worthy people 
so long and faithfully worshiped, has been sup- 
planted by an elegant and commodious brick 
church, erected at a cost of ;J33,ooo, an evidence 
of the enlightened zeal and liberality of the 
congregation, and the energy and successful 
labors of their pastor. The congregation, too, 
has been growing numerically, as well as in 
spirituality, intelligence and liberality. At 
Breakabeen we have a congregation, the out- 
growth of faithful missionary and pastoral 
effort, with a comfortable parsonage, a devoted 
people, and a faithful pastor. At Bearytown, 
Freidens, Lockport, and Richmondville, all of 
which were once missions, we have flourishing 
congregations with very respectable churches* 
At Athens and West Camp new churches have 
been erected. The venerable old historic 
church at Guilderland has sent out two colo- 
nies, each of which has built a handsome and 
capacious church, one at Guilderland Centre 
and one at Knowersville. Each of these will, 
no doubt, ere long sustain its own pastor. 
At Dansville, where, when Synod was organ- 


ized, there was a Union congregation, partly 
Lutheran and partly German Reformed, a new 
congregation, exclusively Lutheran and 'Eng- 
lish, was formed in 1847, ^^^ ^^^ present neat 
church was erected and dedicated. In 1837 
Rev. M. J. Stover, organized a congregation in 
the town of Sparta, and in 1838 a church was 
built. This congregation still forms a part of 
the Dansville pastorate. At Gallupville a con- 
gregation has been organized, a comfortable 
church and a convenient parsonage built. At 
one time forming a pastoral charge with Berne, 
it now supports its own pastor. The same 
may be said of Berne ; so that here two self- 
sustaining pastorates have grown out of one. 
In the town of Knox, Albany county, a con- 
gregation was organized in 1839, ^^ fifty-one 
members. A church was erected in 1850. For 
many years it was connected with Guilderland. 
It has an excellent parsonage built whilst Rev. 
A. N. Daniels was pastor, about the year 1866. 
It now has its own pastor, and has the pros- 
pect of permanency and development. A few 
years since, the venerable church at Palatine 
was very neatly refitted through the efforts of 
Rev. N. Wirt. At Woodstock and Pine Grove 


new churches have also been built, and this 
pastorate, though in a somewhat feeble condi- 
tion, gives much better promise than for many 
years past 

This review shows that since the organiza- 
tion of Synod, twenty-five new church edifices 
have been erected. Eight congregations have 
been established through our Home Missions 
Committee. Five pastorates, embracing eleven 
congregations, have been divided into as many 
self-sustaining charges, each charge in most 
cases owning its parsonage. 

The Synod, through its congregations, has 
contributed to Home and Foreign Missions, 
Education, and the Synodical Treasury, an 
annual average of about ;?!i500. making a 
grand total of about ;^8o,ooo. This is exclu- 
sive of the building and repairing of churches 
and parsonages, which would probably aggre- 
gate ;J300,000. How far this exhibit compares 
with the ability of our churches, cannot be 
readily ascertained. 

That we have failed to plant churches at 
many points which were opened to us, and 
that the development of our Synod has not 
been commensurate with our resources and 


our opportunities, candor compels us to admit. 
The Buffalo Mission, once so hopeful, was 
abandoned. So was Troy, and Waterloo, and 
Saugerties, and other localities where churches 
might have been built, if more liberality and 
energy had been displayed. It is true, our 
territory has been in a certain sense circum- 
scribed, and we have had to prosecute our 
labors amidst all the discouragements and 
embarrassments connected with the divisions 
in our Synods, and the distractions in our con- 
gregations ; nevertheless, we might and should 
have made in these fifty years much greater 
progress in the multiplication of our churches 
and the increase of our membership, as well as 
in elevating their intelligence and spirituality, 
and developing their liberality. But let us 
thank God for the measure of success which 
has attended our labors and the labors of our 
brethren who have been co-workers with us in 
the Lord's vineyard. Lef us be humble and 
penitent because of any unfaithfulness with 
which we may be chargeable, and in a spirit 
of renewed consecration let us go forth to 
labor and sacrifice for Him who has honored 
us by calling us into his service. 


So much for the past. What shall be the 
future history of our Synod and of our 
churches ? What is the record which will be 
made during the next half century? Long 
before the centennial anniversary of our 
Synod, every one of us now in the ministry 
will have retired from the walls of Zion. The 
destinies of the churches which we represent 
here to-day will have passed into the keeping 
of a new generation of preachers. Who they 
shall be and what manner of men they shall 
be, is known only to the Great Head of the 
Church. That he will, with the watch-care 
which he has always exercised over his 
Church, raise up and qualify by the necessary 
spiritual endowments the men who shall fill 
up the ranks of the ministry, as death shall 
decimate them, we cannot for a moment doubt. 
Be it ours to prepare the way for their coming, 
by providing the very best facilities for their 
spiritual and intellectual culture, and by devel- 
oping in our congregations a higher standard 
of intelligence, spirituality, and active Christian 
benevolence. Then we may calmly and hope- 
fully lay us down to rest, and anticipate, with 
an unshaken confidence in the Saviour's faith* 


fulness, a grand and glorious future for our 
Synod, as it shall become a potent agent in 
ushering in the kingom of God and of his 

There have been about one hundred minis- 
ters connected with this Synod at various 
times since its organization. Of these three 
were deposed by this Synod, and two by other 
Lutheran synods. One of the latter has died, 
the other has been restored to the ministry by 
another denomination. The three deposed by 
this Synod have all been called to their ac- 
count. Two have retired from the ministry. 
Eight have joined other denominations. The 
destination of several is unknown. Thirty- 
three in all have died, though not all of them 
in connection with this Synod at the time of 
their decease. This death-roll includes all of 
the seven who were the founders of the Synod, 
viz : Revs. Lintner, Crownse, Wieting, Law- 
yer, Lape, Eisenlord, and Kilmer; and Revs. 
D. Eyster, P. G. Cole, J. J. Beilhartz, and S. S. 
Klein, who became members in 1831, making 
a total of eleven. Twenty -two others must be 
added to this list, amongst whom we record 
the brethren, Senderling, Selmser, Watson, 


Emerick, R. Dederick, Keiser, Swackhamer, 
Bunnell, Gunn, Snyder, Joseph D. Wirt, 
Schell, Lefler, D. Kline, Tomlinson, and others. 
Thus fully one-third of all who have been at 
various times members of this Synod from its 
incipiency in 1830, have ceased their labors in 
the church below, and we trust are reaping in 
heaven the rich reward which awaits every 
faithful ambassador of Christ. Honored they 
felt themselves, in being called of God to the 
holy and responsible office of the ministry. 
We who survive them can bear testimony how 
faithfully those whom we knew served the 
Master. Amidst the toils and discourage- 
ments, the trials and sacrifices incident to their 
high vocation, they acquitted themselves " like 
men'* — like true men of God. Consecrated to 
Christ and to the office of the ministry, they 
counted nothing dear to them so they might 
glorify God in the conversion of men and the 
building up of the Church of the Reformation, 
which is the Church of Christ. 

As we meet to review their work, and to 
consider the results which have flowed to us 
and the churches from their sacrifices — ^their 
devotion to the doctrines and usages of the 


church of our fathers — ^their unswerving ad- 
herence to their convictions and the dictates ot 
duty — we bless God for their noble and inspir- 
ing examples, and for the benefits which have 
come to us and our churches through their 
teachings and the many Christian virtues 
which adorned their lives. Though dead, they 
yet speak. Gathered as we are in this church, 
which in other years the founders of our 
Synod and many other departed brethren 
graced and honored by their presence, and 
hallowed by their preaching and their prayers, 
may it not be, that with the " great cloud of 
witnesses that compass us about," they too 
may be hovering over us, and though unseen 
would breathe a benediction upon us? For 
although they "have crossed the river," we 
realize that they are still bound to us by the 
ties of an undying brotherhood : 

" Saints on earth and those above 
•But one communion make." 

Let us for a moment pause and listen in silence 
to the voices which speak to our souls as in 
spirit we commune with them. 

The outward eye may see not, the outward 
ear may hear not ; yet there are whisperings 


which come to the heart, voiceless, yet sweet 
and gentle and potent! Whisperings which 
bid us be comforted and even joyful ; for all 
these valiant soldiers of the Cross, having 
"fought the good fight" and " kept the faith," 
have no doubt entered into the kingdom of 
God and have received the " crown of glory ! " 
Whisperings which would inspire us to follow 
them, as they followed Christ, and to make 
"full proof of our ministr>'." Whisperings, 
which would stimulate us to toil on faithfully 
and patiently, scattering the precious seed of 
the kingdom, with prayer and faith, it may be 
amidst severe trials of our fortitude — it may 
be in sorrow and in tears; but by-and-by 
comes the rich harvest-time, and joining them 
in the kingdom of our Father, we shall 
gather all our sheaves, and amidst the acclaims 
of all the redeemed, rejoice together in the 
glory and blessedness which await all who 
have served Christ sincerely and with fidelity ! 
In these fifty years, the pastors in our 
Synod, those who have gone before us and 
those who still minister at the altars of God, 
have had an annual average of over three 
thousand souls under our spiritual instruction 


and guidance, and perhaps twice that number 
have heard the gospel from our lips. It is 
very probable that in these years not less than 
six thousand souls who have made up our con- 
gregations have passed into eternity, carrying 
with them the spiritual impressiohs received 
from our teachings in the pulpit, as well as 
from our private instructions and our social 
influence. As to-day our imagination sweeps 
over the graves of this vast multitude who are 
sleeping the sleep of death, and as we follow 
their immortal spirits as they went into the 
presence of the Great Judge, the solemn 
thought presses itself upon the conscience, 
Have we, as ambassadors of Christ, been faith- 
ful to our high commission — being " instant in 
season and out of season," entreating men " to 
be reconciled to God?" Has the gospel in 
our hands proved '* the wisdom of God and the 
power of God'* in the salvation of those to 
whom we had the opportunity to proclaim it ? 
By faithfully and earnestly preaching the great 
cardinal doctrines of repentance towards God 
and justification by faith in our Lord Jesus 
Christ, have we been -successful in directing 
the erring, the guilty, the spiritually dead, to 


him who is the way, the truth, and the life ? 
Having brought men to Christ through our 
ministry, have we sought to develop in our 
membership that true, inner, spiritual life, 
which manifests itself in an unreserved conse- 
cration of bur persons, our services, and our 
substance to him who hath redeemed us with 
his precious blood, and hath ordained that his 
people shall be " a peculiar people, zealous of 
good works ?*' In other words, have our 
churches, through the faithful exhibition of the 
great practical truths of the gospel and the ad- 
ministration of the sacraments, proved so many 
spiritual avenues by which immortal souls pur- 
chased by Christ's blood have been conducted 
heavenward, and are now rejoicing with " the 
general assembly and the Church of the first 
born, whose names are written in heaven?" 
These are the grand results to be attained 
through the Church, with its ministry and its 
sacraments. If not secured, the Church, with 
its ministry and its sacraments, exists in vain. 

We have cause for gratitude and for rejoic- 
ing, as we review the successful labors of our 
brethren in the ministry who have finished 
their labors, to know that for the most part 


they were faithful and earnest in fulfilling their 
high commission, and that with the many 
precious souls led to the cross and to glory 
through their ministry, they are to-day rejoic- 
ing together amidst all the blessed fruitions of 
their heavenly home ! 

As we review God's dealings with us person- 
ally and as a Synod, we have much cause for 
humiliation and repentance. Nevertheless, we 
have much to inspire our hearts with gratitude 
and hope. Let us, with the pious Samuel, raise 
our Ebenezer, and with full hearts and glad 
voices exclaim : " Hitherto hath the Lord 
helped us!" With the Psalmist let us say: 
" Because Thou hast been our help, therefore 
under the shadow of thy wings will we rejoice." 
Gathering a fresh inspiration from the godly 
examples and the peaceful and triumphant 
deaths of our brethren, who are now reaping 
their reward in heaven — above all, seeking the 
baptism of the Holy Spirit upon ourselves as 
pastors and upon our churches-^— let us as min- 
isters and laymen go forth, to live for Christ, to 
labor for Christ, and if need be to die for Christ! 
We can then trustingly and hopefully commit 
all our personal interests and the interests of 


the Church to him who has given us the en 
couraging assurance : " Lo, I am with you 
always, even unto the end I" Sustained by this 
promise, let us go out, in the Master's name 
and in the Master's strength, to sow the pre- 
cious seed of the kingdom. Let us sow 
wisely, abundantly and "beside all waters." 
Let us sow in faith and with prayer. In due 
season comes the grand and glorious harvest- 
time, with its ingathering of rich and abun- 
dant sheaves, and its triumphant songs of 
everlasting praise and rejoicing ! 

Middleburg, New York, October 17, 1880. 



tGeorge A. Lintner, D. D., t Adam Crownse, 
t Philip Wieting, (5) fjohn D. Lawyer,* (5) 

t Thomas Lape, fjohn J. Eisenlord, (7) 

fThomas Kilmer. 


tDavid Eyster, fS. S. Klein, (5) 

tP. G. Cole, tj. J. Beilhartz, 

tjohn Selmser, f William Ottman, (5) 
tJ. Z. Senderling, Edward Myer, (i) 

tCharles A. Smith, (2) A. F. Rumph, (i) 



fL. Swackhamer, 

L. Sternberg, (2) 
tjames Fenner, 
tjohn Fisher, 
tjames Lefler, 
fR. Dederick, 

L. Dederick, (7) 
tW. H. Emerick. 
fWalter Gunn, 
tJohn Rugan, (5) 

M. Waltemire,* 

H. Wheeler, (6) 
tH. L. Eggers, (5) 
tW. E. Snyder, 
tDavid Kline, 

C, B. Thuemmell, (5), 
John D. English, (2) 
P. A. Strobe!, (6) 

V. F. Bolton, (6) 
Lewis Hippe, (5) 
Marcus Kling, (5) 
Peter Felts, D. D., (6) 
William Sharts, (6) 
tjoseph D. Wirt, 
J. H. Heck. (6) 
S. Stall, (5) 
J. S. Harkey, (6) 
W. T. Strobel, (5) 
A. N. Daniels, (6) 

D. M. Moser, (5) 

P. M. Rightmyer, (5) 

tW. H. Watson, 
fG. W. Lewis, 
W. N. Scholl, D. D.. (6) 

E. Belfour, (5) 
t Jacob Moyer, 

Ephraim Deyoe, (5) 

H. LSchmidt, D. D., (5) 

J. G. Griffith, (5) 

A. L. Bridgman(5) 

S. Curtis (6) 

N. W. Goertner, D. D., (2) 

F. W. Brauns, (2) 
tPeter Nellis, 

N. H. Cornell, (5) 
flsaac Kimball,* 
tJ. R. Keiser, (2) 

Allen Traver, (2) 
tL. L. Bunnell, 
tHenry Roell, 
fLevi Schell, 

A. P. Ludden, (6) 

Nicholas Wirt, (6) 

James Pitcher, (6) 

J. A. Rosenberg, (6) 

W. H. Luckenbach,(5) 

Ira S.Porter, (6) 

E. H. Martin, (4) 

Henry Keller, (7) 

L. D. Wells, (6) 

D. W. Lawrence, (5) 

J. N. Barnett, (5) 



W. E. Traver, (6) 
Adam Martin, (5) 
J. C. Brodfuhrer, (5) 
G. W. Hemperly, (6) 
Alfred Hiller (5) 
J. R. Sikes, (6) 
A. H. Angle, M. D., (9) 
H. A. Strail,(5) 
P. Graif, (5) 
fB. W. Toinlinson» 
D. Swope, (5) 
Edwin Potter, (5) 
H. Sharp, (6) 

W. P. Evans, (5) 
J. R. Shoffner, (6) 
A. Martenis, (5) 
W. W. Gulick, (6) 
J. W. Lake. (5) 
M.M. Grove, (8) 
F. G. Fairchild, (9) 
L J. Delo, (6) 
U. Myers, (6) 
W. I. Cutter, (5) 
tC H. Hersh, (5) 
Luther P. Ludden, (6) 
C. P. Whitecar, (10) 
J. S. Paul. (6) 

t Deceased. 


(i) Joined P. E. church. 

(2) Joined Presbyterian church. 

(4) Joined Congregational ist church. 

(5) Joined other Lutheran Synods. 

(6) Still members of Hartwick Synod. 

(7) Retired from ministry. 

(9) Dropped. 

(10) Joined M. E. church. 


Rev. Geo. A. LINTNER. 


[Contributed by Rev. H. I. Schmidt, D. D., for the Lu- 
theran and Alissionary.'] 

Our church is again called to mourn the de- 
parture from among us of one of her most use- 
ful, most devoted, and most highly venerated 
servants. The Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D., has 
gone to that rest which remaineth for the 
people of God, and to receive that reward 
which the Lord hath in store for those who 
have been found faithful in their stewardship ; 
and now the sad and yet pleasing duty of pay- 
ing a humble tribute to the exalted worth and 
eminent distinction of our departed brother, 
devolves upon one who knew long and inti- 
mately, and loved fervently, him whose flesh 
now rests in hope. Before I proceed to such 
remarks as sorrowing friendship dictates, let 
me premise a brief statement of the most inter- 
esting facts connected with a life so unblem- 
ished, and a career so unobtrusively and yet 
so unceasingly active and so eminently useful. 
In stating these facts, I shall use, wherever it 
is necessary, the language of a full obituary 


notice furnished to the Middleburg Gazette by 
his son-in-law, the Hon. P. S. Danforth. 

George Ames Lintner was born in Minden, 
Montgomery county, N. Y., February 15, 1796. 
His parents were Albert and Elizabeth (West- 
erman) Lintner, both of whom were of German 
descent, and among the earliest settlers near the 
Mohawk River. At ten years of age, George 
was sent to a school near the village of Coop- 
erstown, and after his return home, in about a 
year, he remained in his father's family, work- 
ing on the farm, until the fall of 18 13. He 
was then placed in the grammar school at 
Schenectady, under the tuition of the Rev. 
John S. Mahon, where he remained until the 
fall of 18 1 5, when he entered the sophomore 
class in Union College, and graduated in July, 
1 8 17. While in college he took high rank, 
and at the Commencement one of the highest 
honors was assigned to him. During his col- 
lege course he also devoted some time to the 
study of theology under the instruction of the 
Rev. Peter W. Domeier, a man of profound 
learning and of great eloquence, but whose 
later life was sullied by irregular habits, and 
the sun of whose mortal day went down 
under a dark cloud, thus differing — oh, how 


widely ! — from his honored pupil. He continued 
his studies in theology with this divine until 
September, 18 18, when he was licensed to 
preach by the Evangelical Lutheran Minister- 
ium of the State of New York. After he was 
licensed, he preached occasionally in the vil- 
lage of Little Falls and other places, until he 
was called, in January, 1819, to the pastoral 
charge of the Evangelical Lutheran churches 
of Schoharie and Cobleskill. 

On the 3d of March, 18 19, he was married 
to Maria Waggoner, removed to Schoharie 
two months later, and was then ordained and 
installed as pastor of the Lutheran church, to 
which he had been called, at a special meeting 
of the New York Ministerium, his ordination 
and installation taking place on the i6th of 
June, 1819. Here, in the midst of families 
whose names had been long and honorably 
known throughout that region of country, he 
commenced a long and prosperous pastorate, 
during which he enjoyed the unbounded re- 
spect of all who knew him, and exerted an 
influence over a widely-spread community, in 
his own and the adjacent counties, such as has 
been accorded to few ministers of the Gospel 
in modern times. 


His wife died October 28, 1830, leaving him 
two children, a son distinguished as a natural- 
ist, and a daughter, the accomplished wife of 
the Hon. P. S. Danforth, of Middleburg. He 
was married again, May 30, 1832, to Mary- 
Eliza Campbell ; of this second union there has 
been no issue. 

In September, 1835, the degree of D. D. 
was conferred upon Mr. Lintner by Pennsyl- 
vania College. He soon occupied, in various 
ways, a very prominent position in the Church. 
During four years he edited, with decided 
ability, the Lutheran Magazine^ a religious 
monthly. In the palmy days of the General 
Synod, the high estimation in which he was 
held, and the confidence which his brethren 
reposed in him, were made manifest by their 
electing him thrice, in 1841-42-43^ to the 
presidency of that body, the duties of which 
office he discharged with great dignity, effi- 
ciency, and acceptance. 

On the first of May, 1849, he resigned the 
pastorate of the church at Schoharie, and now 
devoted himself to the work of preparing a 
liturgy for the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
in this country, which was published by order 


of the General Synod. Besides several other 
minor productions, he published, in 1853, ^^^ 
memoirs of the Rev. Walter Gunn, who had 
been a member of Dr. Lintner's church, and 
one of the fruits of his ministry, and was 
the first foreign missionary sent out by the 
Foreign Missionary Society of the Lutheran 
Church in the United States. 

Dr. Lintner was rather portly in person ; not 
corpulent, but tall and well-proportioned, and 
of commanding presence. The first impression 
which he made upon others was that of great 
dignity. When the present writer appeared, 
some forty-odd years ago, before the New York 
Ministerium, to be examined for licensure. Dr. 
Lintner was on the examining committee, and 
your humble correspondent inquired with some 
trepidation how we examinandi were likely to 
fare at the hands of that dignified gentleman. 
Encouraged by the assurance that no severity 
need be apprehended, we passed very comfort- 
ably through our examination, and Dr. Lintner 
himself drew up the report, which was very 
favorable to the incipient theologians. The 
acquaintance formed on this occasion was, ot 
course, and continued to be, slight, as widely 


separated places of abode precluded all social 
intercourse; in the year next following, the 
Hartwick Synod was organized; and, as Dr. 
Lintner was a prominent leader in this move- 
ment, opportunities for meeting were of rare 
occurrence. Sundry circumstances were con- 
nected with this separation which provoked 
unfriendly feelings and remarks in various quar- 
ters. Your present correspondent, who was at 
that time rather addicted to polemics, published 
some articles in the Observer which were not 
calculated to conciliate, and proved (although 
he was not personally even alluded to, certainly 
not without reason) offensive to Dr. Lintner ; 
and the consequence was such a complete es- 
trangement that when the parties did meet in 
the same place, there was no intercourse be- 
tween them. This is mentioned here merely 
to show how utterly foreign it was to Dr. Lint- 
ner to harbor unkind feelings, and to nurse 
displeasure and unfriendliness. For, several 
years later, it became necessary to consult the 
Doctor concerning a matter of general import- 
ance, and of some interest to your correspond- 
ent, who — ^as a letter which failed to reach its 
destination in time remained, apparently, unan- 


swered — resolved to proceed at once to Scho- 
harie, and to take his chance with a man whom 
he had unintentionally offended, not knowing 
that a most friendly letter had, in the mean- 
time, been dispatched in reply to the one just 
mentioned. Arrived at one of the inns of 
Schoharie, the unexpected visitor proceeded at 
once to the pastor's house, and there met with 
a reception so courteous, so kind and cordial, 
that it was instantly obvious how completely 
the last shadow of alienation had been dissolved 
into brightest sunlight : the visitor was imme- 
diately transferred, with his luggage, to the 
parsonage, and there entertained for a week 
with the most unconstrained, graceful, and 
generous hospitality. And with this visit com- 
menced a friendship which nothing could 
thereafter overcloud; a friendship which grew 
riper and stronger and closer as the years 
passed over our heads, and has made the pres- 
ent writer one of the saddest mourners over the 
decease of one whom he profoundly rever- 
enced, toward whom his heart was irresistibly 
drawn, and to whom it clung with the warmest 
affection. After this we saw a good deal of 
each other, corresponded occasionally, and were 


not unfrequently entertained, as welcome 
guests, at each other's residences. And it is 
this intercourse, kept up for nearly thirty years, 
that enables your correspondent to form an 
inteUigent and correct opinion of the character 
of this eminent servant of our common Lord, 
and its influence now guides his pen in this 
humble attempt to pay a just tribute to the 
memory of the man, the Christian, and the 

As has just been intimated, it was this friend- 
ship which fully revealed the true character of 
the man, and in consequence of this altered 
relation, your correspondent immediately dis- 
covered that beneath that dignified exterior the 
tenderest sympathies, the most winning quali- 
ties of refined and sanctified humanity, were 
ever alive, and ever producing their legitimate 
fruits in the daily intercourse with those who 
were bound to him by the tenderest ties of kin- 
dred or friendship, and on all occasions which 
brought him in contact with other members of 
society; and greatly surprised and delighted 
was the present writer to find that the man 
whom he had regarded and respected as a most 
dignified clergyman, was really one of the most 


amiable of men. As this trait of his character, 
this kindness of heart, made him a most de- 
lightful companion, and clothed all his inter- 
course with his family, relatives, and friends 
with an indescribably winning grace, so it 
restrained him at all times from passing harsh 
judgment upon those whose conduct he could 
not approve: any necessary censures were 
always characterized by charitable forbearance; 
any indiscretions committed by other members 
of the sacred profession criticised with consid- 
erate reserve, without prejudice, however, to 
his earnest condemnation of downright vice, 
which he was never tempted to shield or ex- 
cuse. Striking instances of his great kindness 
of heart might be mentioned here, did not the 
sacredness of private life, and of the retiring 
modesty of that charity which vaunteth not 
itself, forbid. Regard him in any and every 
relation to his fellow-men, the subject of this 
brief memoir approved himself an ornament of 
the society in which he moved, the true gen- 
tleman, and the cheerful, consistent Christian. 

Our friend was possessed of sound, solid 
learning, and when the active duties of his 
sacred calling permitted, he spent much time 


in his study, not among^ but with his books, of 
which he knew how to make good use, as sun- 
dry published productions of his pen serve to 
show. In the discharge of his pastoral duties 
he was indefatigable, and the affectionate fidel- 
ity with which these duties were performed is 
vouched for by the warm personal attachment 
entertained for him by his parishioners. His 
preaching was decidedly textual, clear, con- 
vincing, persuasive; while never disfigured 
with the tawdry tissues of a gorgeous and 
vapid rhetoric, he never, in his faithful and 
earnest deliverances from the pulpit, despised 
the more modest graces of sacred eloquence. 
But, as a general thing, his pulpit perform- 
ances created at once the impression that the 
preacher was most solemnly in earnest in his 
efforts to win souls to Christ, and it cannot be 
doubted that many such were given him for 
his hire. 

Dr. Lintner was a Lutheran, who loved the 
great Confession of his Church, and in various 
ways contended " for the faith which was once 
delivered to the saints." Some of his pub- 
lished writings prove that he had none of that 
mixtum compositum in which it is difficult to 


discover where diluted Lutheranism ends and 
undiluted Methodism or Puritanism begins; 
in his confessional status he entertained none 
of that insipid mixture of milk and water 
which defies the acutest palate to discover 
whether it is dealing with milk, or with water, 
or with neither. Our friend was not a feeble 
undecided, negative character ; he was a strong 
and a positive man ; a man who readily and 
clearly discerned the truth, and then adhered 
to it and stood up for it ; not a halting ration- 
alist; not a man of religious opinions which 
are as liable to change as an April sky; but a 
man fully "persuaded in his own mind;*' a man 
of firm, decided, and solid religious convictions^ 
which he boldly avowed on all suitable occa- 
sions, and which afforded him a safe vantage- 
ground amid the bickerings that often dis- 
turbed the repose of the Church, and clothed 
him in impenetrable mail amidst the religious 
conflicts that harass and trouble the present age. 
Our departed friend was ever active in the 
work of the ministry, preaching regularly at 
divers places not connected with his parish, 
and by thus doing the work of an evangelist, 
laboring in season and out of season, he organ- 


ized, while he was pastor at Schoharie, three 
new churches, one at Summit, one at Middie- 
burg, and one at Central Bridge. Besides 
preaching the Gospel, he labored constantly 
and earnestly in promoting temperance and 
sound morals wherever he could make his in- 
fluence felt. After he had resigned his pastor- 
ate in 1849, his active habits of mind and body 
and his zeal for the good of mankind forbade 
his resigning himself to a life of rest and ease : 
he accepted, at once, the appointment of agent 
for the Foreign Missionary Society of the Lu- 
theran Church, and spent three years in visiting 
Lutheran churches in New York and New 
Jersey, presenting the claims of the Society, and 
collecting funds to aid in carrying on its ope- 
rations. He was thus greatly instrumental in 
giving a new impulse to the cause of missions 
among us, awakening everywhere a deeper, 
livelier, and more liberal interest in that great 
cause. While carrying on this work, he also 
preached to the Germans, who had formed set- 
tlements in that part of the State where he 
dwelt And when he had been relieved of the 
laborious duties of his agency for the Foreign 
Missionary Society, he devoted himself at 


once, with his accustomed energy and zeal, to 
the greatest cause of all, the circulation of the 
Sacred Scriptures, and was unceasingly active 
in supplying Schoharie county with the Bible^ — 
establishing societies auxiliary to the American 
Bible Society, continuing untiringly in this 
work, in the prosecution of which he visited 
the towns and villages, to address large 
audiences on this important subject, nearly to 
the close of his life. In acknowledgment of 
his valuable services in the Bible cause, the 
parent Society presented to him, not long since, 
a copy of their most expensive and beautiful 

This ceaseless activity, this noble life, termi- 
nated on the 2 1 St day of December, 1871. At 
his funeral the Rev. Mr. Heck preached an 
eloquent, feeling, and peculiarly appropriate 
discourse. Eight clergymen, assisted by a 
venerable neighbor and life-long friend, offici- 
ated as pall-bearers; and at twilight on 
Christmas eve, the body of the good man 
was borne from the church in which he had, 
for more than fifty years, preached Christ and 
him crucified, to the beautiful cemetery on the 
hillside, during singing of a hymn by the 


throng of clergymen, surrounded by the graves 
of those who had gone before him, and to 
whom he had been a faithful pastor and 
beloved friend. 

The immediate cause of his death was heart 
disease, producing labored and painful respira- 
tion, great distress in breathing, accompanied 
with a cough which exhausted his strength 
and wore away his life. Thus our venerated 
and beloved friend was in his last sickness a 
great sufferer; yet, though he often spoke of 
the pain which he endured as excruciating, his 
faith accepted it all as right; he assured his 
family and friends that he would not have it 
otherwise, and expressed himself thankful that 
his Lord thought him worthy to suffer for 
him ; for it was this that enabled him, in the 
hour of trial, to exhibit, through his own 
experience, the sufficiency of his Master's 
grace to sustain his disciples in extreme suffer- 
ing. He manifested, throughout, such uncom- 
plaining patience, such entire unselfishness, and 
such tender thoughtfulness for others, in hours 
of extreme weakness and distress, as to lead 
those around him to contemplate with wonder 
the work of grace in the soul. Truly, this servant 


of God died in the triumphs of faith, and the 
scenes of his sick-bed, so peaceful, exhibiting 
such perfect confidence in his Saviour, cannot 
fail to exert a most happy and abiding influ- 
ence upon all who were permitted to witness 

With that strict consistency which charac- 
terized him through the whole of his life, he 
remained true to his temperance principles to 
the end, and utterly refused to take the brandy 
which his physician prescribed two days before 
his death, so that when his family proposed to 
give it to him, his answer was : " No, let me 
die without it." He would not, at the end, 
swerve from a rule which had, in one import- 
ant particular, governed his conduct through a 
long life ; but, knowing that his end was near 
at hand, he wished to enter the dark valley with 
faculties unclouded, and with an undimmed 
consciousness of the presence of that Saviour 
whose rod and staff could sustain and comfort 

How impressively does the contemplation of 
so faultless and noble a life recall the words of 
inspiration: "Mark the perfect man and be- 
hold the upright, for the end of that man is 




In David's lament over the death of Jona- 
than, occurs this beautiful tribute : " I am dis- 
tressed for thee, my brother Jonathan ; very 
pleasant hast thou been to me." Change the 
characters, and I find an echo in my heart of 
said tribute to my lamented friend and brother, 
the Rev. Adam Crownse. 

Our acquaintance began at Hartwick Sem- 
inary, and continued until his death. He was 
about two years my senior, and born in 1798. 
He came among us students as a married man, 
Mrs. Crownse then residing in Sharon, the 
place of their nativity. She was the sister of 
Rev. Levi Sternberg, D. D. 

His student life at Hartwick Seminary • 
lasted about three years, his studies consisting 
of English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. To 
become a scholar in all these in so short a time 
was hardly possible. Yet his attainments were 
respectable. He had a good mind in a sound 
body, which admirably fitted him for the 



people and the locations among whom and 
where he subsequently labored. His good 
mind, sound in Lutheran doctrine, qualified 
him for the many battles he fought with his 
hyper-Calvinistic * brother Abram ; and thus 
having been tested in Biblical controversy, it 
gave him vantage ground in his subsequent 
theological course. It led him to " search the 
Scriptures diligently," to obtain clear views of 
the truth as it is in Jesus. In addition, his apt 
speech made him a powerful antagonist against 
error and false doctrine, whilst his warm Chris- 
tian heart made him a successful preacher 
against all kinds of vice and wickedness. 

With such qualifications he began the work 
of his ministry in Sharon, Schoharie county, 
N. Y., as a member of the New York Minis- 
terium, in which he was both licensed and 
ordained. Here he sowed the good seed of 
God's precious Word far and wide, with an un- 
sparing hand. His family physician. Dr. John 
Moeller, one of his flock, pronounced him a 
theologian. He certainly was an excellent 
spiritual doctor of his people, and a model 

His second pastorate consisted of the 


churches of Guilderland, Knox and Berne, a 
trio of churches among hills and valleys. 
Entering upon this charge, he found it in a 
cold and formal state. Here was work for 
travel and plain preaching. Close by the 
Guilderland church edifice was a tavern, where 
members would meet before and after sermon 
on the Lord's day, imbibing each time some- 
thing stronger than water. Against this 
wicked practice and nuisance brother Crownse 
wielded the sword of the Spirit. The practice 
was abandoned, the nuisance removed, and 
naught remained but a private residence and 
the pure, deep, and cool well of water. 

His sermons were always plain, but strong 
and mighty in the truth. Every one contained 
enough of Christ to save a soul. If they had 
any fault, it seemed to lie in this, that he ad- 
dressed himself almost wholly to the under- 
standing, as if afraid to arouse the feelings 
of the heart. In a subsequent part of his 
history an incident occurred which seemed to 
shape his course somewhat differently. He 
said to the writer, returning together from a 
distant meeting, " What is the reason I cannot 
ee the movements among my people, as they 


occur in some other churches?** "I will tell 
you, my dear brother," for I loved him as my 
own soul, " you address only the understand- 
ing, and not the feelings of the hearts of the 
people." And yet he did most faithfully open 
up and portray the evils and corruption of 
those hearts, and the power of Christ's word 
and the Holy Spirit to renew and beautify 
them. Has not the minister as much power 
and authority to move the feelings of his 
audience, as the eloquent pleader at the bar ? 
Most certainly. The prophets, all of them, 
especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, oft sent forth 
their thrilling appeals, early and late. God 
Almighty speaks through them, *' Oh do not 
this abominable thing that I hate." Jesus 
wept at the grave of Lazarus, and again on 
Mount Olivet. Paul entreated the people with 
many tears. 

Many have been the revivals since that time 
in the churches of this dear and lamented 

His third field of pastoral labor was in 
Middleburg and Breakabeen, where he re- 
mained but a few years, when he was called 
back to his old flocks in Guilderland and Knox. 


Here he toiled faithfully as usual, and here he 
closed his useful life and successful ministry. 
He married his second wife in Guilderland, 
the widow Von Valkenberg, maiden name 
Crownse, the mother of two children — ^John, 
who became a lawyer, and Kate, wife of lawyer 
Voorhees, at present in Albany, N. Y.* 

By his first wife he was blessed with three 
children, Barbara Ann, wife of Rev. E. Deyoe, 
Judith, now Mrs. Naughrightj and Dr. John. 
By his second wife three more were added to 
the domestic circle, viz. : Margaret, Christopher 
and Aurelia Lintner, the present wife of a Re- 
formed clergyman. Rev. Campbell, of Albany, 
N. Y. 

Let me close this narrative, or memoir, by 
simply saying, brother Crownse has, doubtless, 
a record in heaven, and in the churches of the 
Hartwick Synod, that he lived and labored 
only for Christ. Like Paul, he could 3ay, " For 

* He died at Athens, N. Y., on January 2d, 1879, 
having attained his 75th year. The funeral services 
were held in the Lutheran church at Hudson, and the 
sermon was preached by Rev. Wm. Hull, pastor of 
the church. He was buried in the cemetery at Hud- 
son, by the side of his two daughters, who died when 
quite young. 


me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 
Hence his death was most happy, full of peace 
and holy joy. Let us imagine his death-song 

** Bright angels are from glory come, 
They're round my bed, theyVe in my room ; 
They wait to waft my spirit home. 
All is well ! all is well !'* 


The obituary committee of Hartwick Synod, 
through Rev. P. A. Strobel, presented the fol- 
lowing tribute to Rev. Thomas Lape, at its 
convention in 1879: 

Rev. Thomas Lape was born in West Sand- 
lake, Rensselaer county, in 1801, of Lutheran 
parentage. He early gave his heart to the 
Saviour, and felt called of God to the work of 
the Gospel ministry. He graduated at Union 
College, Schenectady, and studied theology at 
Hartwick Seminary. His first pastoral charge 
was at Johnstown, in Fulton county, where he 
succeeded Rev. John P. Goertner, who had 
died after a few years labor in the ministry. 
There he toiled successfully for six years, from 
September 15th, 1829, and then accepted a call 


to West Camp and Woodstock. In 1837, he 
removed to Athens and assumed the pastoral 
charge of Zion's Lutheran church, which he 
served for ten years, after which he ministered 
successively to the Lutheran churches at 
Waterloo, at Lockport, and then again at West 
Camp and Woodstock. 

He was an instructive preacher; a gentle, 
amiable, cheerful and faithful pastor ; a good 
husband and father; a humble Christian, and 
a sincere friend. He stood well among the 
Lutheran clergy of the State. 

He was one of the founders of the Hartwick 
Synod, had been its president, and filled other 
offices of trust and responsibility in this body, 
having remained connected with it for forty- 
seven years, and until his death. 

Our departed brother used his pen effectively, 
as well as his voice, for the cause of Christ. 
He compiled the Theological Sketch Book, in 
two large octavo volumes, which had a large 
sale. He was the author of a work on Infant 
Baptism, which has for many years been cir- 
culated in the church. About twenty-five years 
ago he prepared a work on the Atonement, 
which was published in New York. He was 


the author of a Prize Tract on the Statistics of 
Intemperance, which was pubh'shed by the 
National Temperance Society. He also pub- 
lished books entitled, **The Mourner Com- 
forted," and "The Early Saved." Some of 
his sermons were published in the Lutheran 
Preacher, and some in the National Preacher, 
He also wrote for our church papers and for 
our Quarterly Review. 

He spent the passing years industriously 
and effectively in winning souls for Christ, in 
earnestly advocating the cause of temperance 
and of Sunday-schools, and in leading an hon- 
orable and useful Christian life, which was 
protracted much beyond the average of minis- 
terial labor. 

He closed his life peacefully and hopefully. 
Among his papers is one dated August 1st, 
1 876, in which he takes a retrospect of life, and 
says : " In looking over my past life, I bless 
God for allowing me to preach the gospel of 
Christ for upwards of forty years. I never felt 
better than when I was thus engaged. My only 
regret is that I have not accomplished more 
for his glory. I have often felt at seasons of 
the communion that it was actually a foretaste 


of heaven upon the earth. My prayer to God 

is — 

" ' Not in my innocence I trust — 
I bow before thee in the dust ; 
And in my Saviour's blood alone, 
I look for mercy at Thy throne.' 

" My epitaph upon the tombstone shall be, 
*The Children's Friend.' I desire these two 
hymns sung at my funeral, 'Just as I am, with- 
out one plea,' and * Rock of Ages.' " 

The fear of death had been removed. He 
contemplated his departure with satisfaction ; 
and he died in the faith, full of years and full 
of Christian hope. He now reaps the reward 
of a well-spent life, and his works do follow 

Note by the Editor. — The Rev. Adam Crownse was 
born in Sharon, Schoharie county, N. Y., in the year 
1 797. He received his first religious impressions from 
the instructions of his pious parents, and when quite a 
youth, was confirmed by the Rev. Henry Moeller, 
then pastor of the Lutheran church in Sharon. He 
entered Hartwick Seminary in 1820, and pursued a 
thorough classical and theological course under Rev. 
Dr. Hazelius. He was ordained by the New York 
Ministerium in 1828. He spent forty-one years in the 
active duties of the ministry. On several occasions 




In presenting an obituary of this highly- 
esteemed and venerable Christian gentleman 
and faithful minister of Jesus, nothing more 
touching or appropriate could be offered than 
the following very chaste tribute from the pen 
of Rev. L. D. Wells, of Canajoharie. This 
tribute brother Wells read as chairman of the 
obituary committee of Hartwick Synod, at its. 
forty- eighth annual convention, at Stone Arabia, 
in 1878: 


Your obituary committee would respectfully 
offer the following: 

"In the President's report of a year ago, 
under the item sickness, we read that ' Rev. Dr. 
J. Z. Senderling expects to be prevented from 
attending Synod by sickness, not so much his 
own, as that of his wife ;* and then follows the 
doctor's touching request, ' It would be very 

ne was elected President of Synod. He preached his 
last sermon in the church at Guilderland, on Sabbath, 
the 1st day of May, 1864; and died on the 13th of 
May, 1865, aged 68 years. He was buried at Guilder- 


soothing to her oft-troubled heart if the dear 
brethren would remember her in their prayers/ 
At that time two were grinding at the mill, still 
keeping in feebleness the post of duty and 
fidelity. But now the one has been taken 
and the other left, and after the manner of an 
oft-repeated surprise that to our wondering 
question, why? makes no answer, so in this 
instance the stronger was called away from the 
service, and the weaker was commanded to 

" The one for whom our prayers were re- 
quested still lingers, bearing the cross of 
human infirmity; while he who gave such 
promise of hearty old age was suddenly 
stricken down, and welcomed to the land un- 
touched by the breath of the destroyer. 

" He reigns in peace, and needeth not our prayers, 
Who sits enthroned as one of Christ's joint heirs.** 

* How is the strong stafif broken and the beau- 
tiful rod.* The subject of this notice, Re^. 
J. Z. Senderling, D. D., was suddenly called 
from the threshold of his earthly home to his 
rest and reward in the heavenly mansions on 
the 20th day of December, 1S77, in Johnstown, 


N. Y. On the previous day he had been seen 
upon the streets, apparently in the enjoyment 
of his usual health and spirits ; so unexpect- 
edly came the summons for his departure. 
On the Monday following his death the funeral 
services were held and largely attended in the 
Lutheran church of which he had been the 
beloved pastor for several years. His pastor, 
Rev. Dr. Felts, conducted the services, and 
preached an appropriate discourse upon John 
v. 35. The resident pastors of the village and 
several of our own denomination were present, 
to bear their respective tributes of Christian 
regard and affection for the memory of the 
sainted father in Israel. It was a day of pub- 
lic sorrow, for Dr. Senderling was one beloved 
by all who respected and revered the Master. 
From an obituary notice prepared at the time 
by Dr. Felts, and published in one of the vil- 
lage papers, I am permitted to make the follow- 
ing extracts: 

" ' The Doctor was born in the city of Phil- 
adelphia, November 12, 1800, and had there- 
fore passed the age of seventy-seven years 
at his demise. He was baptized and con- 
firmed according to the usages of the Luth- 


eran Church, by Dr. Philip Mayer, who for 
more than fifty years was pastor of St. John's 
church of Philadelphia. His pastor, observing 
his youthful thirst for knowledge and desire 
for Christian usefulness, advised him to pre- 
pare for the gospel ministry — this advice was 
promptly accepted, and its preparatory work 
begun. In the autumn of 1817, he entered 
Hartwick Classical and Theological Seminary, 
in Otsego county, N. Y., where he spent seven 
years. He was a diligent student in the Sem- 
inary, and graduated with honors. Immedi- 
ately thereafter he was licensed to preach the 
gospel, and at once took charge of a small 
church in Clay, Onondaga county, N. Y. In 
1826, two years after his entrance into the min- 
istry, he accepted a call to Centre Brunswick, 
Rensselaer county, N. Y. 

"'About this time he was married to the 
daughter of a Moravian clergyman, who, as to 
piety and culture, was well qualified for the 
responsible position thereby assumed; and 
there were passed twenty-five of the most 
eventful years of his busy life. After his 
resignation of the pastorate at Centre Bruns- 
wick, he made the city of Troy his home for 


three years, spending the most of his time 
among the churches in efforts to create an en- 
larged interest in the cause of Foreign Mis- 
sions. In him the heathen had an unwearied 
advocate and a warm, sympathetic friend. 
This Synod cannot forget the eloquence of his 
tears, which easily flowed along with his per- 
suasive appeals when the subject of Foreign 
Missions was before the house. For a num- 
ber of years he was Corresponding Secretary 
of the Board of Foreign Missions of his church, 
and in this, as in every other station he was 
called to fill, he was a faithful and efficient 
worker. In the spring of 1850, he received 
and accepted a unanimous call as pastor of St. 
Paul's Lutheran church, of Johnstown, N. Y. 
His pastorate there extended over a period of 
eleven years. Under his faithful supervision 
the church grew in numbers and in spiritual 
might. He not only preached the gospel from 
the pulpit, but carried it to the homes of the 
people also; thus fulfilling the divine injunc- 
tion, "As ye go, preach." He has left the 
record of 3,349 pastoral visits during his eleven 
years of service in Johnstown. In the spring 
of 1867, he resigned the charge of St. Paul's, 


and thereafter, until his death, lived a retired 
life, preaching occasionally for the brethren of 
his own and of other churches. He loved his 
calling as an ambassador of Christ, and on the 
Lord's day, when not in the pulpit, was a regu- 
lar and devout hearer of the Word. But he 
worships no more in temples made by hands. 
The servant has been called to stand nearer 
his Master. Using his own words, we confi- 
dently echo his faith : " Home, home at last, 
with glorified millions in the presence of Jesus, 
in the new and heavenly Jerusalem." ** We a 
little longer wait, but how little none can know." 
In the general assembly and church of the 
first-born, crowned with that sweet rest which 
faithful service receives, he now looks down 
upon us, and through the medium of his works 
which follow him, says to each and all, " Be 
faithful, and hope to the end for the grace that 
is to be brought unto you at the revelation of," 
etc. " The memory of the just is blessed." 
May that memory be to us one of the precious 
joys of our remaining pilgrimage, and when, 
one after the other, we drop out of the ranks, 
may it be with us as it was with him, loins 
girded, sword in hand, the vision of faith un- 


clouded, ready to answer, Lord, here am I, 
for thou didst call me/ *' 



A very extended and interesting memoir of 
Rev. P. Wieting, written by the Rev. H. L. 
Dox, has already been given to the church. 
As, however, he was one of the founders of the 
Hartwick Synod, it has been deemed appro- 
priate to insert a brief notice of him in this 
Memorial Volume. 

Mr. Wieting was a son of Rev. Christopher 
Wieting, and was born in the town of Minden, 
Montgomery county, N. Y., on 23d September^ 
i8cx>. Whilst but a lad, his father died, leav- 
ing him with other children to the care of a 
devoted Christian mother. She early conse- 
crated him to the ministry, and her prayers 
and teachings no doubt exerted great influence 
in forming his character. 

In 18 18 he entered Hartwick Seminary, and 
took an extended and thorough course of 
instruction under that able professor. Rev. Dr. 
Hazelius. He completed his education in 1825. 


In early life he had attended a course of cat- 
echetical instruction under his father, and had 
been admitted to the church by the rite of 
confirmation. He seems, however, not to have 
experienced any decided change in his religious 
character untij after he entered the Seminary. 
He professed to have been converted during 
his sojourn there, under a sermon preached by 
that noted evangelist, Rev. Charles G. Finney. 

During the summer of 1825, he commenced 
preaching at Le Roy, Jefferson county, N. Y., 
under the direction of his theological professor. 
On the 6th of September, 1825, he was licensed 
to preach, at the same time with Messrs. Jacob 
Berger and J. W. Eyer, by the New York 
Ministerium, at Rhinebeck, Dutchess county. 
He was ordained by the same body at its ses- 
sion at Cobleskill, N. Y., on 3d of September, 
1826. After his ordination, he spent nearly 
two years laboring as a missionary in what was 
then known as " The Black River Country," 
making his home at Lowville, in Lewis county, 

On the 1st of November, 1828, he received 
and accepted a call from the churches at 
Sharon and Durlach, afterwards New Rhine- 


beck, in Schoharie county. Here he located, 
and here he spent the greater part of his minis- 
terial life, running through a period of forty 

In 1830, Mr. Wieting took an active part in 
the formation of the Hartwick Synod, and was 
one of its chief founders. He was in ardent 
sympathy with the Synod in its efforts in be- 
half of Temperance and of Revivals. In the 
latter movement especially, he was very con- 
spicuous, and during many of the revivals 
which occurred in the first few years after the 
organization of Synod, he preached with re- 
markable power, and with great success. Very 
many were awakened and converted by his 
earnest and faithful presentation of the great 
truths of the Gospel. 

In 1836, in company with the Revs. J. D. 
Lawyer, L. Swackhamer and William Ott- 
man, Mr. Wieting withdrew from the Hartwick 
Synod, and organized the Franckean Synod, 
thus producing a serious division in our Synod, 
as well as in many of our churches. As this 
rupture is fully discussed in the " Historical 
Address," it is not deemed necessary to make 
any further reference to it here. 


On the 1st of October, 1868, Mr. Wieting 
preached what is termed his " Fortieth Anni- 
versary and Valedictory," at Gardnersville, and 
repeated it at Lawyersville the following Sab- 
bath. At both these places, Mr. Wieting had 
organized congregations and erected churches, 
and these were amongst the fruits of his min- 
istry. It was amongst these people that he 
had preached acceptably and usefully for the 
period of forty years. This, as far as is known, 
was the last sermon he ever preached. 

Mr. Wieting closed his eventful and laborious 
career at Cobleskill, N. Y., September 7th, 
1869, aged 68 years, 11 months and 16 days. 
He was buried at Slate Hill Cemetery, in the 
town of Sharon, Schoharie county, N. Y. The 
funeral services took place on the 9th of Sep- 
tember, in the presence of an immense con- 
course of people, who had come to manifest 
their reverence for the deceased preacher. The 
Rev. N. Van Alstine delivered an able and 
appropriate sermon. Rev. A. P. Ludden also 
paid a just tribute to the memory of Brother 
Wieting. Few men have labored more faith- 
fully and successfully in his sphere than he did. 
Few have exerted a greater influence, and 


few have done as much as he did in impressing 
his character upon those amongst whom he 
exercised the pastoral office. He was a man 
of undoubted piety, great integrity, and enlarged 
benevolence. Hundreds have been led to 
Christ through his instrumentality, who will 
bless God for his ministry, and hundreds still 
cherish his memory with the warmest Christian 



In the thickly-populated little graveyard at 
Hartwick Seminary, there is an unpretending 
marble slab with this simple inscription : 

Rev. L. Swackhamer. 

NOV. 2, 1857, 

Aged 52 years, 6 months and 1 1 days. 

** Thou hast been faithful over a few things, 
I will make thee ruler over many things." 

This is all the information that a strangfer 
would gather from this source concerning the 
life of an earnest but unassuming Christian 


and successful herald of the cross t)f Christ ; 
but to those who are more or less acquainted 
With the history and progress of the Lutheran 
Church in this State, this inscription brings to 
mind the greater fact that here rests only the 
remains of one of those concerning whom the 
Revelator says : " And I heard a voice from 
heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the 
dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : 
Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from 
their labors; and their works do follow 

Rev. Lambert Swackhamer was born at 
German Valley, Morris county, New Jersey, 
on the 2 1st day of April, 1805. Being fully 
persuaded that he had a call to the sacred 
ministry, he entered Hartwick Seminary to 
receive his preparatory and theological educa- 
tion, and in 183 1 graduated from that institu- 
tion, receiving the following testimonial : 

" This is to certify that Mr. Lambert Swackhamer, 
late student of divinity at Hartwick Seminary, has 
finished a regular course of theological studies at 
said Seminary, and the Professors of the same feel 
pleasure in giving him this testimonial of his diligent 


attention to study, and the excellent moral and re- 
ligious character which he has sustained. 

"George B. Miller, S. T. P.. Principal j^ 
"C. B. Thummel, Asst Professor, 
** By order of the Board of Trustees of Hartwick 
Seminary, Jos. D. Husbands, Secretary, 

"Septembet i, 1831." 

On the 9th of September of the sarne year, 
he was licensed by the New York Ministerium, 
at its session held at Schaghticoke, Rensselaer 
county. His license bears the signatures of 
Rev. Dr. Aug. Wackerhagen and Rev. Jacob 
Berger, president and secretary of the Minis- 
terium. Two years later, September 24. 1833, 
he was ordained at Dansville, Livingston 
count}'', by the Hartwick Synod. His ordina- 
tion certificate is signed by Rev. Adam Crownse, 
president, and Rev. J. D. Lawyer, secretary. 

Immediately on receiving his license, Mr. 
Swackhamer entered upon his work at Man- 
heim and " The Osquack," Herkimer* county. 
Two years later he discontinued his labors at 
The Osquack, but continued at Manheim for 
nine years, making his term of service in that 
field eleven years. In connection with his 
labors at Manheim, he formed congregations at 


Newville and Minden. After eleven years of 
laborious service in this, his first field of labor, 
he was obliged, on account of ill health, to re- 
sign his charge. 

After a respite of one year, during which he 
divided his time between South Carolina, New 
Jersey and Otsego county, N. Y., he returned 
to the active duties of the ministry by accept- 
ing a call to Lebanon, Hunterdon county, N. J. 
Here he formed a congregation and built a 
church. After five years service in this field, 
he returned to New York, and about the istof 
April, 1849. became pastor of the churches at 
Berne and Gallupville. This relation continued 
for five years and three months, when he re- 
signed to accept a call from the church at 
Rockville, near Sharon Springs. His service 
here began July 14th, 1854, and continued up 
to within six weeks of his death. 

From the dates already given, we learn that 
Mr. Swackhamer spent twenty-five years in 
the active ministry, and died as he had lived, 
with the harness on. Scores, and even hun- 
dreds of sinners had been awakened by his 
earnest preaching and exhortation, and we 
doubt not that many of these will rise up at 


the last day and call him blessed, because he 
was the means of their salvation. We have no 
record of the number of souls gathered into 
the church during his ministrations, but in his 
first charge we learn that the number was one 
hundred and fifty-one. 

On the 19th of June, 1828, Mr. Swackhamer 
married Jennet McNaughton, Rev. J. Z. Sen- 
derling being the officiating clergyman. Four 
daughters and one son were born to them, and 
except the son, who died in 1875, they all are 
still living. Mrs. Swackhamer now resides 
at Hartwick Seminary with Mrs. Charles Wit- 
beck, one of her daughters. 



The ancestors of the Rev. David Eyster 
emigrated to America from Germany, early 
in the eighteenth century; his grandfather, 
Elias Eyster, having been born in Berks county, 
Pa., in 1732. 

Mr. Eyster\s father subsequently settled in 
Adams county. Pa., where he was united in 
marriage to Mary M. Slagel — also of German 


ancestry, her grandfather, Christopher Slagel, 
having emigrated from Saxony at the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth century. 

Rev. David Eyster, the youngest son of 
George and Mary Eyster, was born June ist, 
1802, in Adams county. Pa. 

Having in his early years chosen the min- 
istry of reconciliation for the great business of 
his life, he commenced the studies preparatory 
to his high calling in the Gettysburg Academy, 
and subsequently continued them in the Acad- 
emy of York, Pa., until qualified to enter Dick- 
inson College, Carlisle, Pa., from which institu- 
tion he was graduated in 1824, and soon after 
commenced his theological studies under the 
Rev. Dr. Lochman, in Harrisburg, Pa. 

After completing the regular course of the- 
ological study, Mr. Eyster was licensed to 
preach the Gospel by the Evangelical Lutheran 
Ministerium of Pennsylvania. After his licen- 
sure he was appointed as missionary for three 
months, to the Lutheran Church in Philadel- 
phia, where he was instrumental in keeping 
together the little flock that has since grown 
into the church of St. Matthew. He was 
requested to remain longer, but declined, and 


accepted a call to several churches in the 
vicinity of Martinsburgand Shepherdstown,Va. 

Having served these congregations for some 
time, Mr. Eyster resigned all but two, and in 
connection with these acted as principal of the 
Female Academy of Martinsburg, Va. 

In 1 83 1 Mr. Eyster retired from his field of 
labor in Virginia; and after making an ex- 
tended tour among our infant churches in the 
Western States, he accepted a call to the Lu- 
theran church in Dansville, New York. Mr. 
Eyster's stay in Dansville was not long, as he 
resigned the charge in 1835. But short as it 
was, the members of the church had become 
so much attached to him, that efforts were 
made more than once to induce him to return 
to them ; and although other engagements at 
first, and afterwards declining health, prevented 
him from acceding to their wishes, he ever 
cherished a most affectionate remembrance of 
his friends in Dansville and its neighborhood. 

In January, 1835, ^^* Eyster received a call 
from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of 
Johnstown, New York ; the call being signed 
by John Hough, Frederic Plank, Michael 
Plantz, Martin Selmser, Elders ; Peter I. 


Coughnet, Nicholas Carncross, Bultis Moore, 
Deacons ; John Hillabrant, Godfrey Moore, 
Frederic Moore, and Martin Moore, Trustees. 

In Johnstown it may be said that the life- 
work of Mr. Eyster commenced. The mem- 
bers of the congregation, though worshiping 
in the village, were scattered over a large dis- 
trict of country, both north and south of the 
Church, and it required great activity and per- 
severance to visit from " house to house " to 
encourage the penitent, reprove the back- 
sliding and lukewarm, and comfort the sick 
and bereaved ; but all who knew Mr. Eyster at 
that time will acknowledge that " to his power, 
yea, and beyond his power," he " gave attend- 
ance to these things." At an early period of 
Mr. Eyster's ministry in Johnstown, a colony 
was formed of the more remote members of the 
charge, who, with the active co-operation of the 
pastor, built a church, in which he preached 
for many years, in connection with his Johns- 
town church. This church has long since 
become self-sustaining, and is known as the 
church of West Amsterdam. 

Remaining for a period of twenty years in 
the same pastorate, Mr. Eyster was enabled to 


see the fruits of his labors in an eminent 
degree. The ordinary means of grace and 
several precious seasons of revival were greatly 
blessed, and many, very many, souls were 
"born into the kingdom," who will be his 
crown of rejoicing during a blissful eternity. 
But twenty years of toil began to tell upon 
the constitution of the faithful pastor. Nerv- 
ousness and sleepless nights, as a conse- 
quence, for years had been increasing upon 
him; and in 1855 he tendered his resignation, 
which, while it was approved by most of the 
membership, was opposed to the last by friends 
who loved him too well to part with him, even 
when duty seemed to demand it Mr. Eyster's 
last discourse was, no doubt, long remem- 
bered by his deeply-affected people. It was 
based on the words of St. Paul: "Finally, 
brethren, farewell." He showed those to 
whom he had so long ministered that he 
wished them to fare well^ in the best and 
highest sense of the word. From Johnstown 
Mr. E. removed to Allentown, Pa. 

After remaining for some time in Allentown, 
Pa., Mr. Eyster, in 1856, removed with his 
family to Gettysburg, Pa., principally with a 


view to the education of his two sons in Penn- 
sylvania College, located in that place. 

Mr. Eyster never had a regular charge after 
leaving Johnstown, but he never refused an 
invitation to preach, if he thought duty was 
clear, and health permitted. His time was 
principally taken up with the duties devolving 
upon him as principal of the Gettysburg 
Female Institute. It was hoped that change 
of climate and out-door exercise would recu- 
perate his system and be of permanent advan- 
tage to his health ; but the All-wise Ruler of 
events willed otherwise ; for, notwithstanding 
all that was done to arrest the progress of dis- 
ease, his health slowly declined, and after 
being confined to his couch for several weeks, 
he calmly fell asleep in Jesus, on the 7th of 
December, 1861, surrounded by his afflicted 
family and other kind relatives and friends, 
who had tenderly cared for him during his 
protracted illness. His remains lie interred in 
the beautiful cemetery adjoining the town of 
Gettysburg. A simple marble headstone 
marks the place of sepulture, with the name 
and age of the deceased, and the all-consoling 
words of our Saviour (John xi. 25): "I am the 


resurrection and the life : he that believeth in 
me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." 
Mr. Eyster's natural reserve, as well as his 
deep humility, prevented him from alluding 
with frequency to his personal feelings on the 
near prospect of death ; but his faith was firm, 
and his anticipations joyous. In repeated con- 
versations with the late Rev. Dr. Schmucker, 
during the course of his illness, he spoke, says 
the Doctor, with deep emotion of the fullness 
and freeness of the Gospel plan of salvation ; 
and he adds : " A more peaceful end no one 
could describe or desire." 

Mr. Eyster united with the Hartwick Synod 
at its session in 1831, and until the close of his 
life retained a warm affection for it ; and that 
the Synod valued him, was shown by its con- 
ferring upon him, at different times, the offices 
of Treasurer, Secretary and President. He 
remained in connection with the Hartwick 
Synod until a year or two before his death, 
when he united with the Synod of West Penn- 
sylvania. As a preacher, Mr. Eyster was at 
the same time doctrinal and practical. He 
occasionally preached a whole course of doc- 
trinal sermons, beginning with the existence of 


an Almighty Creator of all things, and continu- 
ing through the most important doctrines of 
our holy religion. Yet he never preached a 
sermon that he did not conclude with a practi- 
cal application. He seemed to have the most 
interested and attentive of hearers, and it may 
be that his plain and instructive way of preach- 
ing had much to do with their habit of atten- 
tention. Those who heard Mr. Eyster but 
occasionally, and in the pulpits of other minis- 
ters, could not form a correct estimate of his 
abilities as a preacher. Among his own people 
his discourses were ever of a highly evangelical 
character. Avoiding all controversy, he de- 
lighted to dwell on the plain doctrines of the 
cross — justification by faith alone, and a life of 
holy obedience as evidence of the reality of 
that faith — were ever prominent themes in all 
his discourses. He never feared to deliver the 
whole counsel of God ; and so faithful was he 
in pointing out those sins which should exclude 
from the communion, that such as felt they 
were guilty would withdraw from the church, 
or, with penitential tears, acknowledge their 
fault, and promise to guard against all sin for 
the future. But diffident even to a fault, Mr. 


Eyster's self-possession often failed him when 
preaching for others, or when ministers or other 
persons of superior abilities were present, 
and thus his sermons lost much of their power. 
But, under whatever circumstances he preached, 
all that he said was on the side of plain, practi- 
tical godliness; and throughout the whole of his 
manuscript sermons (and he has left some hun- 
dreds of them), there runs the same strain of 
fervent piety. To quote from Dr. Kurtz, in the 
Lutheran Observer of February 28, 1862 : "Mr. 
Eyster was a classical, well-educated, unpretend- 
ing, sound and sensible preacher, * * * de- 
cided in his Christian faith, unaffected and un- 
assuming in his manners, distrustful of his own 
abilities, though of a high order, modest and 
diffident perhaps to a fault, yet never afraid to 
avow his convictions when duty demanded it." 

" The prostration of his nervous system in- 
creased his timidity, and rendered him doubly 
sensitive to the trying occurrences of life ; and 
if, at such a disadvantage, he was able to 
maintain a reasonable degree of equanimity, it 
is more than many good men, suffering under 
like ailments, have been able to do." 

Although Mr. Eyster was descended from a 


German ancestry, he did not understand the 
German language — at least, to any extent — 
until he commenced his theological studies; 
but he then applied himself with so much 
earnestness to its acquisition, that he became a 
good German scholar; and although he was 
not obliged to preach German in his own 
charge while in Johnstown, he occasionally 
preached with great acceptance to the Ger- 
mans in the neighboring town of Bliicher. 
Mr. Eyster has left a translation from the Ger- 
man of Semler, of Biblical and Jewish An- 
tiquities, almost ready for the press. 

Mr. Eyster occasionally wrote for the Ob- 
sewer^ and one of his sermons was published 
in the Lutheran Preacher, 

One of Mr. Eyster*s striking characteristics 
was a remarkably clear and correct judgment. 
This led him to place the right estimate upon 
men and things ; while in an age of extremes 
it kept him close to his Bible and his God, and 
made him a valuable counselor, both in eccle- 
siastical affairs and in the social and domestic 

Another prominent trait was good taste. 
No one ever heard him speak of what effect he 


had produced, or what he had achieved. To 
quote again from Dr. Kurtz, " He was no 
trifler, no retailer of stale and coarse anec- 
dotes, nor dealer in slang or vulgar sayings ; 
cheerful without levity, and habitually con- 
sistent in his walk and conversation, he was an 
ornament to his profession, and a man whom 
his acquaintances could not fail to esteem and 

At his death, Mr. Eyster left a widow and 
two sons to mourn his loss, having been united 
in marriage in 1840 to Miss Rebecca M. Rey- 
nolds, sister of the late Rev. Dr. W. M. Rey- 
nolds, then professor in Pennsylvania College. 
His two sons were carefully educated, and are 
both graduates of Pennsylvania College, and 
are at present engaged in literary and scientific 

Mr. Eyster ever retained the most affection- 
ate regard for those to whom he had so long 
ministered in Johnstown, N. Y. ; and much 
might be said, without any attempt at undue 
praise, of their sincere and intelligent piety, 
their noble generosity, and their unfailing 
kindness to their minister and his family. But 
time has wrought its changes; and many, espec- 


lally of the older members, have departed, and 
are now, we trust, re-united to their beloved 
pastor in that ** better land," where "The Lamb 
which is in the midst of the throne shall feed 
them, and shall lead them unto living fountains 
of waters ; and God shall wipe away all tears 
from their eyes." 



Although Dr. Miller was never a member of 
the Hartwick Synod, yet inasmuch as he was 
intimately identified with its interests as Pro- 
fessor of Theology in our Seminary, and the 
educator of so many of our pastors, it has 
been deemed very appropriate to insert a mem- 
oir of him in this volume. It was written by 
one of his former students. Rev. Albert Wal- 

Rev. George B. Miller, D. D., was born at 
Emaus, Pa., June loth, 1795. His father. 
Rev. George G. Miller, was a native of Ger- 
many; his mother was of French descent. 
From eight until nearly sixteen years of age, 
he attended an English and classical school. 


During the last few months ot this course, 
attention was given to theological studies. We 
next find him occupied in Philadelphia, with 
teaching, and afterwards in a mercantile estab- 
lishment. In August, 1813. he again engaged 
in teaching as an assistant of the Rev. Dr. 
Hazelius, an eminent Lutheran clergyman, in 
an Academy at New Germantown, N. J. There 
his theological studies were resumed under Dr. 
Hazelius. Dr. Miller was married July 15th, 
1 8 16. After this he taught elsewhere in New 
Jersey. In 181 8 he went to Canajoharie, 
N. Y., where he remained nine years. Dur- 
ing this time he established at that place a 
classical school, and having been ordained to 
the ministry, also laid the foundation of a Lu- 
theran congregation, both of which still con- 
tinue. In 1827 he again became an assistant 
of Dr. Hazelius, who had in 1815 become 
Principal of the Classical and Theological Sem- 
inary at Hartwick, Otsego county, N. Y. In 
1830 he was appointed Principal and Professor 
of Theology, Dr. Hazelius having accepted 
a call to the Theological Seminary at Gettys- 
burg, Pa. In consequence of ill health, and 
for other reasons, Dr. Miller resigned his posi- 


tion in the fall of 1839. He subsequently 
came to Dansville and resumed teaching. 
While here he published "The Dansville 
Grammar," printed at Dansville, N. Y., by A. 
Stevens. Dr. Miller subsequently prepared 
Greek, French and other grammars, his stud- 
ents being required to copy them. His French 
grammar would undoubtedly have been pub- 
lished, had not Ollendorf s system appeared at 
about the time the manuscript was ready for 
the printer. 

In 1844, Dr. Miller, by invitation of the 
trustees of the Seminary, returned to Hartwick 
as Professor of Theology, which position he 
continued to occupy the remainder of his life. 
He was a man of much learning, and of un- 
common accuracy in his knowledge. Many 
of his pupils will remember how well he used 
to illustrate the valueless nature of inaccurate 
learning by the story of the old lady, who, 
about to purchase some indigo, remarked that 
good indigo would sink or swim, but she 
couldn't tell which. In style, in spelling, in 
pronunciation, in whatever he undertook, accu- 
racy was sought after. As a teacher he was 
patient and thorough. " Repetition,'* he used 


to say, "clinches the nail." He loved his work. 
A daughter-in-law of the Doctor once told the 
writer that her father had said, during the pre- 
ceding vacation, that if he could always have a 
seminary full of such students as a certain one 
named it would be all that he asked for in this 
life. Of course he was speaking then of his 
occupation merely, and of his delight in it. He 
was a hard worker, although possessed of 
rather a frail constitution. Required to teach 
but six hours a day, he nevertheless, for years, 
without any extra pay, taught from eight to 
ten hours per day. Besides teaching, he 
preached regularly every Sunday morning, 
conducted the Sunday evening prayer-meeting, 
and presided at the Monday evening meetings 
of the Theological Society. He found exer- 
cise in his garden, or in rapid walks, often with 
some genial companion, who never failed to 
profit by his sociability, cheerful conversation, 
and instruction drawn from the simplest objects. 
In his family. Dr. Miller ever was, says one 
of his daughters, a kind husband, a sympathiz- 
ing father, a judicious friend. He reared a 
large and noble family of children, excellent 
examples of good training and Christian nur- 


ture and admonition. In July, 1866, the 
golden wedding of Dr. and Mrs. Miller was 
celebrated at Hartwick — an event which I 
doubt not will be remembered by those who 
were present as one of the pleasantest incidents 
in their lives. The presents amounted to 
nearly one thousand dollars. A son, Rev. 
Geo. Hazelius Miller, died soon after entering 
the ministry. Five daughters became clergy- 
men's wives, all of whom, with their husbands, 
are still living. Rev. Dr. Sternberg, one of 
the sons-in-law, will be remembered as having 
formerly been the pastor of the English Luth- 
eran church in Dansville. Dr. Sternberg was 
Principal of Hartwick Seminary from 185 1 to 
1864, and is now residing at Fort Harker, 
[188 1, Ellsworth] Kansas. 

A volume of Dr. Miller's sermons was 
published in i860. His preaching was not 
of the popular character which in the pres- 
ent day gives celebrity, but was, nevertheless, 
thoroughly orthodox and evangelical. His 
style was accurate and perspicuous. He did 
not follow creeds so much as he did the Bible. 
He was not given to denunciation of those 
who differed from him. Those who knew him 


well, will testify that his words were always 
those of good will to men. In discipline he 
was fatherly, but strict. An evidence of his 
amiability and liberal feelings may be seen, 
further, in the terms he employed when speak- 
ing of others ; thus he used to say, not " the 
Presbyterians," " the Methodists," *' the rebels," 
but " our Presbyterian brethren," " our Metho- 
dist brethren," " our Southern brethren," etc.; 
for said he, speaking of the South, " We will 
continue to call them brethren, although err- 
ing brethren, even though they may not own 
us as such." In controversy, of which he was 
by no means fond, he always endeavored to 
avoid unkind and unchristian feelings. 

Six years with Dr. Miller, in the recitation 
room and in various other relations, gave me 
an opportunity to know him well ; and I may 
say, that I have never known a man in whose 
piety I had greater confidence, or whom I 
think of with greater esteem and affection as a 
model Christian. He was always a Christian, 
in all cases and places. His piety was not of 
a bigoted nor sectarian sort, but intelligent 
faith, hope, and charity. His social qualities 
were, also, of a superior order. He exhibited 


much vivacity and true politeness which 
springs from kindness of heart. In movement 
he was sprightly. As may be supposed, he 
was beloved by all. 

His life was one of great labor, activity and 
usefulness, yet his reward pecuniarily was 
comparatively small ; but we are sure that his 
reward is great in the good he has done in the 
world, and we are assured that his reward is 
correspondingly great in heaven. Thither he 
has gone to join loved ones gone before. 
Charlotte, a daughter, one of the most amiable 
and truly polite l^ies that I ever knew, pre- 
ceded him not long since. 

Dansville, N. F., April ij, i86g. 



Rev. John Selmser was born in the town of 
Perth, in Fulton county, in the State of New 
York, on the 19th day of March, 1806. He 
consecrated himself in early life to the work of 
the Gospel ministry, in the Lutheran Church ; 
and to prepare himself for this life-work, he 
pursued classical and theological studies at 
Hartwick Seminary. 


On the 27th of September, 183 1, at a ses- 
sion of the Hartwick Synod, held in Johns- 
town, Fuhon county, he was licensed to preach 
the Gospel ; and in the following year, at a 
meeting of the same ecclesiastical body, in 
Schoharie, on the 23d of October, 1832, he 
was ordained to the Gospel ministry. He was 
then laboring at Summit, Schoharie county. 
His ordination certificate is signed by Rev. 
George A. Lintner as President, and John D. 
Lawyer as Secretary, of Synod. 

His first pastoral charge was at Summit, and 
while there he organized a Lutheran church in 
Richmondville, an adjacent village, which 
ultimately became a self-sustaining congrega- 
tion, and which has recently enlarged and 
beautified its house of worship. 

On the 24th of May, 1832, he was married 
at Hartwick Seminary to Miss Celinda B. 
Armstrong, who still survives, and who bore 
him six children, three of whom, a son and 
two daughters, are living. 

In the summer of 1835, while still laboring at 
Summit, Richmondville and South Worcester 
(at which latter place he had a short time before 
organized a Lutheran church of twenty mem- 


bers) he made a missionary tour to the western 
part of the State. Rev. Adam Crownse. the 
President of the Hartwick Synod, said in his 
report to that body in the autumn of 1835, 
" Some time in May last I received a commu- 
nication from brother Selmser, in which he 
gave notice that he intended to take a tour for 
the purpose of visiting and reviving the hopes 
of our destitute people through the western 
part of this State.*' 

Of that tour the Missionary Committee in 
their report to Synod said : " In the course of 
last summer, the Rev. John Selmser performed 
a missionary tour through the western part of 
this State, and visited many of the destitute 
congregations belonging to our Synod in that 
region. He preached at Clay five times, and 
found a very interesting state of religion in our 
Church in that place. =»'**" 

" At Oswego he spent upwards of a week, 
preached a number of times, and formed a 
congregation about three miles from the vil- 
lage, consisting of about twenty-five members. 
He states that in the village of Oswego there is 
every prospect of establishing a Lutheran 
church, if we could only obtain the services of 


a minister. There are already several Luth- 
eran families in the place, who would readily 
and anxiously co-operate in such a measure, 
and the population seem generally favorably 
inclined to the building and supporting of a 

" From Oswego^ brother Selmser passed 
through different settlements in the county of 
Wayne, where he found the people destitute of 
the means of grace, and where there is great 
need of missionary labor. * * * '' 

" At Rochester is a Lutheran church recently 
formed exclusively of German emigrants from 
Europe, and under the pastoral care of Rev. 
Mr. Fetter, a member of the Evangelical Synod 
of New York. Brother Selmser . is of the 
opinion that this is a very favorable time for 
the establishment of an English Lutheran 
church at Rochester; and he has no doubt that 
with proper exertions and the blessing of God, 
such an object might be accomplished in a 
short time. There are already several families 
in the place, who are very anxious for such an 
establishment, and who would do all in their 
power to promote it. 

*' Brother Selmser also preached at Rush to 


a small congregation under the charge of Rev. 
Mr. Fetter. He visited Dansville and preached 
several times at the church at that place. He 
preached also at Sparta, * * * 

" From Dansville^ on his return home, 
brother Selmser passed through several im- 
portant fields of labor, such as Cayreta River, 
Cole's settlement, in Broome county. In most 
of these places he. found but little attention to 
religion, and the people lamentably deficient in 
the knowledge and service of God." 

After four years spent in Summit and Rich- 
mondville, brother Selmser went to Lockport, 
where he founded the Lutheran church there, 
and labored in that field nearly ten years. 
Thence he removed to Dansville^ where he 
remained eight years. He was then called 
to Schaghticoke^ and labored there five years. 
Next he served the Lutheran church of Rich- 
mond^ Indiana, a year and a half, when he 
removed to Plymouth^ Ohio, where he minis- 
tered five years, when, on account of the health 
of his wife, he returned to his native State; 
preaching three years at Livingston^ six years 
at Dansville^ and finally closing his ministry of 
forty-four years at Rickmondville, where he 


began it, after living there the second time 
about a year. He died very suddenly on the 
5th of July, 1875. His funeral was held in 
his church, where he had ministered in full 
health the preceding Sabbath. It was largely 
attended by the congregation and by minis- 
terial brethren. He was buried in the beauti- 
ful new cemetery at Richmondville, where his 
mortal remains repose awaiting the resurrec- 
tion. Rev. William Hull, of Hudson, preached 
the funeral discourse. 

Brother Selmser was a man of fine pres- 
ence, of genial and affectionate disposition, a 
good speaker, and a zealous and industrious 
worker. His journal shows the diligence with 
which he pursued the work committed to his 
hands. He accomplished much in building 
up the Lutheran Church in the State of New 

In 1848 he stated in his journal that he had 
been engaged in seventy protracted meetings ; 
and fifteen years later he remarked that he had 
labored in eighty- four revivals. His widow 
writes, ** When you read of his preaching 
nearly every evening, you may wonder what 
time he had for study. I would say that he 


invariably came home after preaching in the 
evening, let the distance be two or ten miles. 
He came home never complaining of fatigue, 
but cheerful and happy ; consequently he was 
ever fresh for his study in the morning." 

Brother Selmser was a deeply pious and 
spirtually-minded man. In his journal dated 
Jan. I, 1848, when he was laboring at Dans- 
ville, we find the following renewal of his cove- 
nant with God : 

" My Heavenly Father: As thou in thy 
faithfulness hast permitted me safely to pass 
another year, and hast enabled me to see this 
day the commencement of a new year, and 
that in the enjoyment of such special mercies, 
I do most solemnly covenant and promise that, 
with the riches of thy grace assisting me, I 
will devote and renewedly dedicate the united 
energies of my soul and body to the service of 
thy cause, and to the honor and glory of thy 
great name. And O, my Father, I beseech 
thee, for thy dear Son's sake, my Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ, do thou graciously 
accept this, the offering of my humble self, 
upon the altar of thy mercy — accept my vows, 
and take me into holy covenant with thyself. 


And grant unto me mercifully thy Good Spirit, 
to enlighten my understanding and to sanctify 
my heart, that I may faithfully perform my 
vows and keep the covenant, to the honor of 
thy great name. And at last, when all my 
years shall have ended on earth, O take me 
unto thyself to enjoy thy presence in thy king- 
dom. Amen. 

" John Selmser, 
"The servant of the Lord.'* 
" He being dead, yet speaketh." 

" Servant of God, well done — 

The glorious warfare past ; 
The battle fought, the victory won, 

And thou art crowned at last." 

The two Foreign Missionaries, Walter Gunn and Wm. 
E. Snyder. 



Chairman of the Obituary Committee of Hart- 
wick Synod in 18^2. 
The Rev. Walter Gunn was born in the 
county of Schoharie, N. Y., on 17th of June, 
1817. He became hopefully pious, and con- 


nected himself with the Evangelical Lutheran 
Church in the year 1837. As soon as he 
obtained evidence of an interest in the Saviour, 
he gave himself unreservedly to the service of 
his Master in the Foreign Missionary cause. 
Having passed through a thorough course of 
classical and theological studies, he was 
licensed and became a member of this Synod 
on 6th of September, 1842. In the year 1843 
he received his appointment as Missionary to 
India from the Foreign Missionary Society of 
the Lutheran Church in the United States. 
The same year he was ordained by this Synod 
Missionary to the heathen, and sailed for Gun- 
toor, his destined field of labor, where he 
arrived with his wife on i8th of June, 1844. 
He continued to labor successfully in the 
work to which he had devoted himself for 
the term of seven years. He died at Gun- 
toor on 5th of July, 1851. 

He was wholly devoted to the spiritual 
interests of the people for whom he labored. 
He loved the cause in which he was engaged 
with undivided affection, and devoted himself 
to his arduous and self-sacrificing duties with 
untiring zeal. He was called from his work 


in the midst of his usefulness, and when his 
labors were much needed. Our little band of 
Missionaries in India, have lost a brother who 
\yas greatly beloved, and whose presence 
seemed necessary to cheer and encourage 
them in their work. But God in his myster- 
ious providence has taken him away, and 
blessed be his name for the savor of his holy 
life which our departed brother has left to the 
churches, and which will remain as long as 
the Gospel shall be preached to the heathen. 
Though dead, he yet lives. He lives in the 
affections of those who mourn his loss, and 
we of this Synod, who remain to cherish his 
memory, are stimulated by his life of consecra- 
tion to Christ and to duty, to seek higher 
attainments in holiness and greater devoted- 
ness to our Master's work. 

The heathen, for whom he so faithfully lab- 
ored, and some of whom were converted to 
Christianity through his instrumentality, will 
hold his name in grateful remembrance. We 
who loved him for his work's sake and his 
excellent character, would acknowledge the 
wisdom and righteousness of the dispensation 
which has removed him from his field of use- 


fulness; and pray that it may be sanctified to 
his fellow-laborers, and all who may succeed 
him in the work to which he gave his life as a 



The hearts of the members of this Synod 
have been deeply afflicted by that mysterious, 
but we doubt not, wise Providence, which, 
during the past year, has removed two of our 
brethren from the vineyard of the Lord, in 
which they seemed to be laboring with such 
flattering prospects of success. 

The first one called to his reward was brother 
William E. Snyder, our faithful and indefati- 
gable missionary amongst the Telugus in 
India. Brother Snyder, who was the son of 
Mr. Andrew B. Snyder, was born near Pater- 
son, N. J., in the year 1822. When quite a lad 
he was sent to Hartwick Seminary. While 
pursuing his studies there as a classical stu- 
dent, he was made a subject of the renewing 
power of Divine Grace. He was subsequently 
graduated at Rutgers College, New Brunswick, 


N. J., and returning to Hartwick, took a 
regular course in Theology. Upon complet- 
ing his Theological studies, he was licensed 
by the Hartwick Synod, but as he did not find 
a suitable opening to preach the Gospel, he 
acted for some time as an assistant teacher in 
the Hartwick Seminary. He continued to 
occupy this position with much credit to him- 
self, until the year 1851, when, feeling it to be 
his duty to go as a missionary to India, under 
the care of our Foreign Missionary Society, 
he resigned. He was ordained in the fall of 
that year, at the same time with the Rev. W. I. 
Cutter, who had accepted an appointment to 
the same field. 

Prior to his departure for India in 185 1, 
Brother Snyder was married to Miss Susan St. 
John, who, in a true missionary spirit, had con- 
sented to share with him the toils and priva- 
tions of missionary life. After a few years* 
residence in India, Brother Snyder's wife fell a 
victim to the climate of that unhealthy country, 
leavfng a little girl, the only earthly solace of 
her bereaved husband. Brother Snyder's health 
having likewise become impaired, he found it 
necessary to seek its restoration by a return to 


During his sojourn in this country, he visited 
many of our churches and synods, and, it is 
believed, was very successful in awakening 
among our people a deeper interest in the 
cause of Foreign Missions. His health having 
been in great measure regained, he deter- 
mined to return to India, which he did in the 
early part of 1858 ; having been married a few 
months previously to Miss Mary Orner. He 
labored zealously and faithfully, endeavoring to 
throw in upon the benighted heathen mind 
the light of the blessed Gospel of the Son of 
God. In the midst of his self-denying efforts 
to plant the Cross in those regions of cruelty 
and darkness, and at the very moment when 
he seemed about to witness, in some measure 
at least, the consummation of his hopes, he was 
suddenly stricken down by cholera on the 28th 
of March, 1859, and ceased "at once to labor 
and to live." 

We rejoice that Brother Snyder fell in the 
midst of the battle, with his harness on ; and 
though the Providence by which he was re- 
moved may seem inscrutable, yet we bow be- 
neath the rod with humble submission, being 
fully persuaded that the Great Head of the 


Church doeth all things well, and that from the 
sacred dust of every missionary who sleeps in 
heathen soil he will raise up many faithful wit- 
nesses, who shall ultimately gather millions of 
the superstitious and idolatrous nations unto 
Christ, as trophies of his redeeming grace. 



[The following obituary is deemed not out of place; 
for although brother Keiser left the Lutheran Church 
and joined the Presbyterian, he was for many years 
one of the most earnest as well as one of the ablest 
and most faithful pastors in our Synod.] 

Rev. James R. Keiser was born in Waynes- 
boro, Augusta county, Va., September 28, 
1812; was converted in the eighteenth year of 
his age, and commenced his preparations for 
the Gospel ministry at the College in Gettys- 
burg in 1834. After graduating, he spent one 
year in the Theological Seminary at that 
place, finishing his course at Andover, Mass. 

His ministerial labors commenced in the 
year 1841 at Winchester, Va., which he left to 
supply the pulpit of St. Matthew's church, 


Philadelphia, during the temporary absence of 
its pastor (Dr. Stork) in pursuit of health. 

In 1 843 he accepted a call to the charge of 
the New Germantown and German Valley 
churches, made vacant by the removal of Dr. 
Pohlman to Albany. During his ministry 
there, the charge was divided, he remaining 
pastor of the New Germantown church, that 
in the Valley securing the entire services of a 
pastor for themselves ; the prosperity that fol- 
lowed proved the measure to be a wise one. 
At the close of the year 1849 he removed to 
Schoharie, N. Y., where for seven years he 
labored among a kind and appreciative people. 
These were the most pleasant and fruitful 
years of his ministerial life, and he always 
looked back to them as among his most cher- 
ished memories. A call from the American 
Tract Society to become their agent in Penn- 
sylvania, and a consciousness that he and his 
family were suffering in health from the cli- 
mate and the arduous labors of the charge, 
induced him to leave, and the close of his 
ministry there is noted in his diary : 

** October, 1856. Preached my valedictory sermon 
upon Eph. iv. 3. * Endeavoring to keep the unity of 


the Spirit in the bond of peace/ Was nearly over- 
come with emotion during the service, and the con- 
gregation felt very deeply. Never have I on any 
similar occasion witnessed such demonstrations of 
heart felt grief or received such expressions of attach- 
ment. The people seemed to feel as if their loss is 
irreparable. But the Lord can provide a wiser, more 
devoted, and more successful minister for them." 

While laboring indefatigably in the cause of 
the Tract Society, he was called to St. James* 
church, Gettysburg, where he preached until the 
commencement of our civil war, when he re- 
moved to Dixon, Ills. Returning east in 1864, 
he engaged in work for the American Sunday- 
school Union, in New Jersey, and while thus 
engaged, he united with the Presbytery of 
Newark, and for the remainder of his life was 
a minister of the Presbyterian church. 

After laboring a short time in the Presby- 
terian church of Theresa, N. Y., failing years, 
and sickness in his family, led him to seek a 
home in the more genial climate of his native 
state. In a letter written at this time he says : 
"I entered the ministry in '41, and have now 
labored in this vocation amid considerable self- 
denial and self-sacrifice for twenty-eight years, 
honestly trying to serve my God, and my gen- 


eration according to his will. I now retire to 
private life, and leave the field to younger and 
more hopeful men, satisfied to lean on mother 
earth for an humble subsistence until I shall 
return to her bosom." 

On the heights overlooking Petersburg a 
pleasant home was made ; but only four years 
elapsed, before the shadows of death crossed its 
threshold. During the absence of his family 
in the north, in one of the last letters.he wrote, 
he said, alluding to the death of a sister : " In 
the order of nature I come next. The Lord 
so teach us to number our days, that we may 
apply our hearts unto wisdom." 

When attacked with sickness, he repeatedly 
said it was his last, but thanked God that he 
was ready for the change, knowing in whom 
he had put his trust. Sensible to the last, he 
sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, on the morning of 
October 12th, 1872, exchanging the life over- 
shadowed at times by changes, toils and cares, 
for one of honor, glory and immortality, with 
the Saviour he loved and served. .The rest 
aspired to is gained, the victory won, and 
doubtless there are, and will be found, in heaven 
those who will shine " as stars in his crown of 
rejoicing for ever and ever." 


His remains rest in Laurel Hill Cemetery, 
Philadelphia. On his tombstone are inscribed 
the lines penciled in his common-place book, 
just before his last sickness: 

" Tis sweet to labor in service blest, 
Though labor with pain be blended ; 
But sweeter by far, with our Lord to rest, 
The toil and the warfare ended." 


Rev. Reuben Dederick, son of William 
Dederick, was born in the town of Claverack, 
January 31, 1812. He pursued classical and 
theological studies at Hartwick Seminary, and 
was licensed and ordained by the New York 
Ministerium. He was pastor of the Lutheran 
church at Valatie, from 1839 to 1842; he 
served the Lutheran churches at West Camp 
and Saugerties, from 1847 to 1849; he was 
pastor at Bearytown in 1852, and he served 

*Rev. Wm. Hull, in Lutheran Quarterly for Jan- 
uary, 1880. [Mr. Dederick was a fine classical and 
German scholar, a gentleman of highly-cultured 
literary tastes, remarkable for his refined manners 
and courteous bearing, and a preacher of more than 
ordinary ability. — Note by P, A, Strode/.] 


the Lutheran church at Canajoharie, from 
1853 to 1857. In 1847 he was Secretary of 
the Hartwick Synod. There were intervals 
when he was not engaged in the work of the 
ministry. In 1837 he was Principal of Clav- 
erack Academy. He died at Detroit, Kansas, 
September 12, 1871, in the sixtieth year of his 
age, and was buried there. His wife had been 
dead many years, and he resided in Kansas 
with an only son. 


At the Forty-ninth Annual Convention ot 
Synod, held in Maryland, N. Y., in 1879, the 
Rev. P. St robel, chairman of the obituary com- 
mittee, read the following tribute to the memory 
of this earnest and godly minister of Jesus. 

Rev. Levi Schell was born on the 9th of 
September, 1823, in the town of Wright, Scho- 
harie county, N. Y. His parents were William 
Schell and Elena Campbell, members of the 
Lutheran church at Berne, both of whom pre- 
ceded him to the eternal world. Until the age 
of twenty-four, the deceased had remained at 
home and assisted his father on the farm. He 



was married at the age of twenty-two to Miss 
Effie Ann Holmes, who survives him, and by 
whom he had nine children, seven of whom are 
still alive. 

In a revival which occured at Berne, he be- 
came deeply interested in religion, and his first 
impulse was to go as a missionary to the 
heathen. He felt called of God to the work of 
the ministry; and although he lackecf the clas- 
sical and theological education necessary for 
that high office, and also had a family to sus- 
tain, yet these obstacles did not discourage 
him. He was willing to spend his anticipated 
patrimony in preparing for the ministry, and in 
January, 1848, went to Hartwick Seminary, 
hired a house, removed his family there, en- 
tered the institution, and for nearly six years 
devoted himself enthusiastically and unremit- 
tingly to classical and theological studies. 

At Rhinebeck, on the 6th of September, 
1853, he was licensed by the New York 
Ministerium to preach the Gospel. On the 
17th of the same month he received a unan- 
imous call to become pastor of St. Thoqias* 
Lutheran church, at Churchtown, in Columbia 
county, which call he accepted, and commenced 


his labors there on the ist of October, 1853. 
In his journal he says : " In fear and great 
trembling I entered my new sphere of action, 
being unacquainted with its difficulties and 
trials. My constant prayer is, * O Lord, grant 
me wisdom from above and understanding of 
thy Word, and discretion in the discharge of 
all my pastoral duties.' " 

In this large congregation he remained 
twelve years and a half, labering with all the 
enthusiasm and intensity of his ardent nature. 
During this time he organized the church at 
Taghkanic, five miles from Churchtown. A 
church edifice was erected and paid for. The 
sanctuary at Churchtown also received exten- 
sive repairs and renovation. He saw the im- 
portance of a Lutheran church in Hudson, and 
during one summer he held services in the 
court-house on Sunday afternoon, in connection 
with Rev. Mr. Cornell, of Ghent, and Rev. M. 
Sheeleigh, of Valatie. The distance from his 
residence to the city, and the extensive field of 
labor he already occupied, were adverse to a 
successful effort to establish a church there, 
and he did not attempt an organization. It 
seems a coincidence that his obsequies were 


held in a field which he was the first to attempt 
to occupy. 

On the last Sunday in March, 1866, he 
preached farewell sermons at Churchtown and 
Taghkanic, and the following words are written 
in his journal : " This closed my twelve and a 
half years of anxious labor. God bless the 
people." Several revivals of religion had oc- 
curred, and large numbers had been added 
to both churches, during his faithful and effi- 
cient ministry. 

On the 1st of September, 1866, he accepted 
a call to the Clay and Cicero pastorate in 
Onondaga county ; but as the field could not 
afford the necessary support for a large family, 
he remained there but a year, and then accepted 
a call to the First Lutheran church at West 
Sandlake, in Rensselaer county, where he 
commenced his labors on the ist of September 
1867, and remained there until October ist, 
1873, when he accepted a call to the Lutheran 
church at West Camp. While at West Sand- 
lake, he saw the importance of a Lutheran 
church in Troy; and on the 5 th of September, 
1869, he organized a congregation there, with 
eighteen members. Though nine miles distant 


he preached there on Sunday afternoons in 
alternation with Rev. Mr. Rightmyer, of Bruns- 
wick, and Rev. Mr. Bolton, of Schaghticoke. 
Subsequently, on the organization of a separate 
German church, the mission disbanded. A 
minister was needed on the ground, and the 
work could not be advantageously prosecuted 
with pastors serving other large and distant 

In July, 1876, his arduous and successful 
labors at West Camp were interrupted by sick- 
ness of so serious a character that he was com- 
pelled to discontinue preaching for a number of 
months. Through the ensuing winter he 
preached quite regularly, but was unable to 
stand while so engaged, and finally, last May, 
he closed his pastoral labors. 

During the summer and autumn he improved 
so that he entertained the hope that he would 
be able, the following spring, to resume his 
loved work of proclaiming the tidings of salva- 
tion ; but his impaired constitution could not 
endure the shock of another attack of illness, 
and he peacefully passed from earth to his 
eternal home in heaven on the last Friday 
evening of December, 1878, at the age of fifty- 



five years, and after twenty- five years of arduous 
and successful labor in the ministry of Jesus 

His funeral sermon was preached in the 
Lutheran church at Hudson, N. Y., on the 31st 
of December, 1878, by the Rev. William Hull, 
from Acts xi. 24 : " For he was a good man, 
and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." 


The following tribute to this active and gen- 
erous-hearted brother was written by Dr. Wm. 
N. Scholl, Chairman of the Obituary Commit- 
tee, and adopted by Synod in 1877, at its 47th 
Convention at Woodstock, N. Y. : 

Met once more in Synodical Convention, one 
of our number meets not with us : his cheerful 
countenance is wanting, the cordial shake of 
his hand we miss, and his strong, deep voice 
we shall hear no more. He has gone beyond 
the sphere of human vision. With us a year 
ago, counseling with us, preaching to us, 
strong to labor, thinking not of early release 
from earthly toil — quickly he is summoned to 
praise and work above, to live and serve his 


God forever. He would be at his home on 
Saturday, April 21st, preach to his people on 
the Lord's day : arrested when journeying, a 
few hours pass, the struggle has ended, and the 
reward is his — a call to us and others to be 
ready always, that death may be to us gain, 
and we being crowned, shall exalt the Lord 
our God forever. 

Bro. Lefler was licensed by the West Penn- 
sylvania Synod in 1844. Shortly after this he 
was called to Cobleskill. Whilst here he was 
assisted in a meeting by our missionary, Rev. 
Walter Gunn, when God poured out his Spirit, 
the church was revived, and sinners were 
brought home to him to laud and magnify his 
grace. His next charge was Middleburg and 
Breakabeen. At the latter place a church was 
built and dedicated during his ministrations in 
this field. For a season he was at Royalton, 
then called to Fayette, where he organized a 
congregation, laboring successfully and laying 
a foundation for future growth and prosperity. 
Hence he was called to West Sandlake, where 
he continued for fifteen years, zealously devoted 
to his appointed work, God owning his labors 
with several revivals of religion of great interest 


and power. He was recalled to Fayette, thence 
to Berne, where through a number of years he 
preached the Word and ministered in his office 
to the people, old and young, with the favor of 
God abiding with him. His last field was Liv- 
ingston, where so soon and unexpectedly he 
closed the work of time. 

He was a faithful, laborious man, devoted to 
his work. He was a good preacher, and a 
workman not needing to be ashamed. He 
prepared himself to preach the Gopel, and he 
preached it earnestly, solemnly; and the Mas- 
ter set his seal upon his efforts to win and build 
up souls for Jesus and his work. 



The subject of this memoir was born at 
Breakabeen, Schoharie county, N. Y., July 1st, 
1836. The child of pious parents, and no 
doubt the subject of many fervent prayers, and 
trained up under Christian influences, he was 
led in early life to consecrate himself to Christ 
and make a public profession of his faith in 
his sixteenth year, uniting with the church at 


Breakabeen, then under the pastoral care of 
Rev. N. H. Cornell. 

He always manifested an ardent desire for a 
thorough education, and to accomplish his 
wishes, encouraged by his friends, he entered 
the preparatory department of Hartwick Sem- 
inary in his 17th year. Here he was fitted, 
under the tuition of Dr. Sternberg, for college, 
and in 1858, entered the Junior class of Union 
College, at Schenectady, N. Y. He graduated 
with much credit in i860. After his gradua- 
tion he spent two years as professor at Union 
Literary Institute, Warnerville, N. Y. In the 
fall of 1862 he entered the Theological depart- 
ment of Hartwick Seminary, and took a full 
two years' course under Rev. G. B. Miller, D. D. 
The writer of this article witnessed his exam- 
ination at the close of his Theological course, 
and was struck with his remarkable intelli- 
gence and his proficiency, especially in Greek 

In the fall of 1864 Mr. Waldron received 
and accepted a call from the churches of Dans- 
ville and Sparta. He was ordained by the 
Hartwick Synod at its Convention at West 
Sandlake, on 5th of September, 1865. Owing 


to the failure of his health, he was compelled 
to resign at Dansville, after three years of earn- 
est and successful labor, much to the regret of 
all his parishioners. Brother Waldron suffered 
greatly during his illness of six years with 
consumption ; but throughout he never mani- 
fested any impatience, nor did he utter any 
complaints against the distressing affliction 
allotted him. He died peacefully, and with 
the joyous hope of everlasting life, at Breaka- 
been, N. Y., on 28th of January, 1874, aged 
37 years, 6 months and 27 days. 

In 1861 Mr. Waldron was married to Miss 
Celia Bissell, of Milford, N. Y., by whom he had 
two daughters. The widow and the daughters 
survive him, and are residents of Dansville, 
N. Y. 

Mr. Waldron was a man of genial and lova- 
ble spirit, of fine literary taste, and a scholar 
of more than ordinary attainments — a clear, 
vigorous and forcible writer, and an earnest 
and able preacher. Whilst the Church mourns 
his early death, we bless God for his holy and 
useful example, and for the pleasant memories 
which still cluster around the name of Albert 



[The following tribute to this brother is extracted 
from his funeral sermon, preached at Dansville, New 
York, May 12, 1859, by Rev. P. A. Strobel, then 
located at Lockport, New York.] 

Our deceased brother, the Rev. L. L. Bon- 
nell, was born in Fauquier county, in the State 
of Virginia, on the 15th of January, 1826. 
He was the youngest of nine children. In 
1836 his father's family removed to the State 
of Ohio, and settled near the town of Cam- 
bridge, in Guernsey county. His early educa- 
tion was received at the Cambridge Academy ; 
an institution which, though not very preten- 
tious, yet furnished the facilities for acquiring 
a solid and practical education. Of these 
facilities he faithfully availed himself, and 
commenced that mental culture of which he 
subsequently gave such striking proofs. When 
comparatively a youth, he was converted and 
joined the Methodist Church. Feeling it to 
be his duty to preach the Gospel, he was 
licensed, and united with the Pittsburgh Con- 
ference. In 1854, for reasons which were no 
doubt satisfactory to his own mind (for he was 


Strictly conscientious in all he did), he transferred 
his membership from the Methodist to the Lu- 
theran church, and was received as a member 
of the Miami Synod in the State of Ohio, upon 
letters of honorable dismission. He labored 
acceptably and usefully in some of our 
churches in Ohio, and subsequently in In- 
diana, until his system became prostrated by 
the chills and fevers incident to some of our 
Western States. His last charge in Indiana 
was the one embracing the churches at Cam- 
den and its vicinity. In the summer of 1858, 
feeling somewhat improved in health, he deter- 
mined to resume the active duties of the 
ministry. The Dansville charge being then 
vacant, at my suggestion a call was extended 
to him, which he accepted, and removed to 
this village about the first of September. He 
had been settled here only about nine months 
when God, in his inscrutable Providence, re- 
moved him from his earthly sufferings, as well 
as from his labors in the ministry. 

My personal acquaintance with our de- 
ceased brother was not of very long standing; 
yet having been intimately associated with him 
for some weeks immediately preceding his 


death, holding daily intercourse with him, and 
seeing him under very trying circumstances, 
I think I had sufficient opportunity to form a 
correct estimate of his talents, and especially 
of his Christian character. 

With a naturally reserved disposition, there 
was in his temperament a tinge of melan- 
choly, aggravated, no doubt, by disease, which 
seemed to render him very grave, and at 
times even taciturn, and made him appear to 
great disadvantage. Those, however, who 
knew him most intimately, could not fail to 
discover that he was a man of generous im- 
pulses, and of a frank, noble, and confiding 
nature, rendered yet more attractive by the 
influence of an ardent piety. 

That he possessed talents of a high order, 
could not be doubted by any one who has 
ever had the pleasure to sit under his ministry. 
Those talents had been carefully cultivated, 
and associated with, and sanctified as they 
were by the power of a living faith, he was at 
all times an impressive, eloquent and success- 
ful preacher of the Gospel. To this all who 
are here to day can bear witness. I shall 
never forget the impression which he made 


upon my mind, when I heard him preach for 
the first time. It was at the meeting of our 
Synod at Johnstown, in October, 1858. His 
tall and emaciated form — his pale countenance, 
wearing the impress of disease, yet radiant 
with grace and intellect, fixed my attention, 
and enlisted my warmest .sympathies. Ashe 
progressed, my interest, as well as liiy admira- 
tion became more and more aroused, and I 
realized that I was in the presence of a man of 
more than ordinary endowments. Whilst I 
felt the influence of a lofty eloquence, sanctified 
and made potent by the graces of a vital Chris- 
tianity, I could not but mingle with my admir- 
ation a deep and earnest solicitude for the 
speaker, as well as an inward regret at behold- 
ing such noble powers of mind and soul locked 
up in so weak and fragile an earthly tenement. 
You, my dear friends, to whom he has statedly 
ministered, have, no doubt, often experienced 
similar sensations, and with me you have won- 
dered why the Great Head of the Church had 
permitted one so highly gifted, and so well 
adapted by natural endowments, and by the 
graces of the Spirit, to be eminently useful in 
the ministry, to be in so great a measure inca- 


pacitated for his work by disease and physical 
prostration. Often have our prayers ascended 
to God that he would restore this, our brother, 
to health, and preserve him to this church, by 
which he was so much beloved, and to which 
he promised to be the means of such extensive 
usefulness. But God in his infinite wisdom 
has been pleased to disregard our prayers, and 
to disappoint our hopes, and he has brought 
us to his house to-day to mourn over the early 
departure of our friend and brother. Whilst, 
therefore, we exclaim in the plaintive language 
of David, " Lover and friend, hast thou put far 
from me and mine acquaintance into dark- 
ness," let us say in the submissive language 
of Job, '* The Lord gave, and the Lord hath 
taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord," 
and in the spirit of our divine Redeemer, "Thy 
will, not mine, be done! " 

You will recollect that I came to Dansville 
the Friday before the fourth Sabbath in April, 
and preached several days for you, leaving 
your village the following Wednesday. From 
my intercourse with Bro. Bonnell, and from a 
conversation with his friends, I was persuaded 
that a temporary change of air and association 


would prove beneficial to his health. I there- 
fore proposed that he should go to Lockport 
with me, and remain a few weeks, or as long as 
he might find it agreeable and beneficial. We 
left Dansville in company just two weeks ago 
yesterday. It was my privilege to entertain 
him as a guest, and to minister to his wants. 
The change of air and the use of remedies pre- 
scribed by Dr. McCollum, of Lockport, had 
exerted, especially during the past week, a 
marked influence upon his health; and though 
his condition precluded the hope of any per- 
manent restoration, yet there was every pros- 
pect of his being so far recovered that he might 
be spared some years to be useful to his family 
and the church. 

Up to last Tuesday, the loth of May, the im- 
provement in his condition continued, and on 
the morning of that day, he desired that I 
would go with him to Niagara Falls. To this 
I cheerfully consented. We spent the forenoon 
there, and after dinner returned to Lockport. 
On reaching my residence he rested about an 
hour, and said he felt so much better that he 
was ready for another tramp. He was unusu- 
ally cheerful, and even hopeful, all the after- 


noon, and took his supper with a good deal of 
zest. About the close of the day, we were sit- 
ting at the stove, speaking about the condition 
of the church, and he was expressing himself 
with more than ordinary freedom, when sud- 
denly he was seized with a fit of coughing, 
which brought on hemorrhage from the lungs. 
As he had had such attacks before, I was at first 
not much alarmed, and proceeded to administer 
the remedies usual in such cases ; but at the 
same time summoned his physician. The hem- 
orrhage could not be controlled. He became 
faint, and he as was in a standing posture, I 
supported him. He soon realized that he was 
dying. He placed his arms around my neck 
and said — " Good-bye. Oh, how sweet it is to 
die!" These were the last words which he 
uttered. I laid him upon a lounge, and stand- 
ing by his side watched him until, after a mo- 
mentary struggle, he calmly and peacefully 
resigned his spirit into the hands of the Saviour. 
The shock was a severe one to myself and 
family, and our whole community. It was in- 
deed a terrible and awful commentary on the 
declaration in our Liturgy — " In the midst of 
life we are in death ! " I had' the melancholy 


satisfaction of closing his eyes, and seeing him 
decently dressed and coffined. Yesterday I 
brought him to his former home, now desolate 
and sad ; and it was my painful duty to deliver 
to the widowed wife and orphaned children 
the lifeless form of the husband and the father 
To-day, I intrust his sacred ashes to the care 
and sympathy of this afflicted church, and to 
his brethren of the Masonic fraternity. I have 
confidence in you all, that you will not only 
faithfully perform your duties to the dead, but 
that whilst you weep for him, you will not for- 
get the wants of the widow and the fatherless. 
I have been thus particular in speaking of 
the circumstances of his death, because dying 
as he did, suddenly and from home, it is natu- 
ral to suppose that his family and his many 
friends, here and elsewhere, would feel a desire 
to know something of the state of his mind in 
his last moments. I rejoice that I can with 
confidence assure you that he attained that 
great end for which Paul labored and prayed, 
" He finished his course with joy." I shall 
never forget the heavenly serenity which 
beamed in his countenance, when, becoming 
conscious that he was dying, he turned his face 


upward, and in accents low and soft, yet full 
of holy triumph, exclaimed, " Oh, how sweet 
it is to die ! " Surely some guardian angel was 
nigh, fanning with his wing the brow of that 
dying saint, and lighting up that countenance 
with a smile of holy ecstacy ! How have that 
look of serenity and those words of victory 
been written upon my soul ! and I trust I shall 
gather from their influence new incentives to 
follow him as he followed Christ 

Our brother died away from the embraces 
of his wife and children; yet the absence of 
earthly lovers was compensated by the presence 
of his Saviour, and though his career was sud- 
denly terminated, and his hopes, but an hour 
before so bright, were blasted in a moment, 
yet even far removed from the affectionate ten- 
derness and sympathies of those whom he most 
dearly loved, he was so wonderfully sustained 
by the Almighty arm of the Redeemer, that he 
could exclaim, " Oh, how sweet it is to die !" 
Like the soldier who had fought his last battle, 
and had triumphed over every foe, he felt it was 
** sweet'* to lay aside the weapons of his war- 
fare, and go up and receive the victor's crown. 
Like the tempest-tossed mariner, who had long 


buffeted the waves of life's stormy ocean, he felt 
it was " sweet " to reach the haven of eternal 
repose. Like the pilgrim far away from the 
home of his affections, he found it " sweet" to 
terminate that pilgrimage, and find repose for 
his weary spirit, in entering upon that rest 
"which remaineth for the people of God." 
Like the bird, whose home is amidst the clouds, 
and is wont to rise up, and with unblenched 
eye look upon the glories of the sun, when 
caught and chained to earth is restive, and 
sighs to plume its wings and fly to the far-off 
fields of ether — so his spirit, linked by a living 
faith to the spirits of the glorified in heaven 
and ambitious for a higher and holier state, 
felt it was "sweet" to sever the ties which 
bound it to earth, and find the realization of 
those ecstatic visions which his faith had often 
contemplated, as it went out to commune 
with the glories which surround the throne of 

The remains of our deceased friend and 
brother are to be taken to Cambridge (Ohio) 
for interment. They will be buried, according 
to his wish, by the side of his father; an 
evidence of filial regard very creditable to his 



heart, and which his friends will no doubt take 
pleasure in carrying out. Over his grave I 
trust some monument will be erected to mark 
his resting place. This is due to him and to 
ourselves. Let that monument be plain and 
inexpensive, and in keeping with the simplicity 
of his character. It will need no other inscrip- 
tion beyond his name and age and occupation. 
But forget not to engrave upon the cold and 
lifeless marble, the last words of my departed 
friend and brother : " Oh, how sweet it is to 
die !" Let these holy, rapturous words, uttered 
by a soul just on the verge of heaven, stand out 
in fair and bold characters, and tell the living 
how triumphantly and joyously the freed spirit 
went up to claim its home amongst the blessed. 


The following tribute to this most excellent 
brother is from a funeral sermon preached by 
the Rev. Thomas Lape : 

Brother Heller was born in Stroudsburg, 
Monroe county, Pa., June the 3d, 1830. His 
parents' names are Anthony and Sarah Heller. 
He was reared up under Christian influences. 


When seventeen years of age, he consecrated 
himself to the Lord, and became a member of 
the Church of Christ. Soon afterwards, being 
moved by the grace of God, he turned his 
attention to a preparatory study for the Chris- 
tian ministry. He entered Hartwick Seminary 
in the year '51, and graduated at that institution 
in *57. He was licensed to preach the Gospel 
in the same year by the New York Ministerium. 
In the spring following, he received and ac- 
cepted a call from the above church, and 
entered upon its responsible duties. Soon 
afterwards he was united in the bonds of mat- 
rimony to Carrie Bush, residing near his native 
place, by whom he had two children — a daugh- 
ter and a son. The latter died when about a 
year old. 

He was blessed with a good mind, which 
was cultivated by education. He had an ex- 
pressive countenance — was retiring and unas- 
suming in manners. No one, forming his 
acquaintance, could help loving him for all the 
excellent qualities of his heart. He was faithful 
in the discharge of his ministerial duties. The 
Lord blessed him with the accession of eighty- 
eight new members to his church. Besides 


being engaged in these duties, he took an 
active part in all the benevolent operations of 
the day. At the time of his death, he was the 
corresponding secretary of the Ulster County 
Temperance Society. 

His death occurred 22d of November, 1864. 
On the Sabbath previous, although somewhat 
indisposed, he yet preached to his people on 
the Mission of Christ, text, Matt. xx. 28, " Even 
as the Son of man came not to be ministered 
unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ran- 
som for many." This subject he presented in 
a scriptural, plain, and impressive manner. In 
the application of which he closed in an af- 
fectionate appeal to his people to trust their all 
to Christ in life and in death, as if conscious 
that it would be his last message to them, in 
the following language: "Though heaven is 
the Christian's future home, yet it is through 
our Saviour brought nigh. He tells us when 
Lazarus died, he was borne by angels into 
Abraham's bosom. And the penitent thief, 
when hanging on the cross, turning to the 
Saviour with the petition, * Remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom,' received 
the pleasing assurance, 'This day shalt thou be 


with me in Paradise/ When heaven was thus 
brought nigh to the penitent on the cross, need 
we wonder that Christians sometimes appear to 
have a glimpse of heaven just as the soul is 
leaving its tabernacle of clay ? Jesus gave his 
life a ransom for us — a ransom from sorrow 
and suffering — a ransom from the grave and 
eternal death. We may now well exclaim 
with the Apostle Paul : * O death, where is thy 
sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? The 
sting of death is sin ; and the strength of sin is 
the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth 
us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ' ** 

The regular memorial services occurred on 
Monday, Nov. 28th. His aged, venerated 
mother, two brothers and two sisters, were 
present. They were sadly disappointed in not 
having the privilege of taking a parting look at 
the beloved son and brother. A large congre- 
gation had assembled. A number of clergy- 
men, irrespective of denominational distinctions, 
were in attendance on that solemn occasion. 

At the appointed time, a procession was 
formed at the parsonage, headed by the clergy. 
Upon the arrival in the church, the clergy filled 
the altar and the pulpit. The latter was hung 


in deep mourning. The clergy, and the church 
council, too, wore crape on their left arms. 
Rev. Mr. Chapman, of the Reformed Dutch 
Church, read a funeral service, and then offered 
up a fervent prayer to the throne of grace, that 
melted every heart. The writer delivered the 
sermon designed to be appropriate. He was 
followed by the Rev. Mr. Gulick, of the Lutheran 
church, who had been a schoolmate with him 
for six years. He said that brother Heller 
during that time had sustained an unblemished 
character, had exerted a great influence for 
good over the pupils of that institution, and 
been a promoter of the Sabbath-schools and 
other praiseworthy objects. He had been " an 
Israelite, indeed, in wMlhn there was no guile." 
The Rev. Mr. Rockwell, of the Reformed 
Dutch church, said that he had been acquainted 
with Brother Heller for about five years, had 
exchanged pulpits with him, and met him 
occasionally at funerals and at other times, and 
then added : " I have been a minister upwards 
of thirty years, and, in all my acquaintance 
with ministers, I never found one who had such 
simplicity, such child-like faith, as he, and no 
one hid himself so much behind the Saviour 


as he had done." The Rev. Messrs. Emerick 
and Cutter, of the Lutheran church, and the 
Rev. Mr. Schermerhorn, of the Reformed 
Dutch church, conducted the other religious 
exercises on that occasion. 

Thus has passed away one who did not 
appear as a meteor, blazing for a season, and 
then sink into obscurity, but rather as a fixed 
star, always bright — always shining — always 
in his place ; — the same man on the week-day 
as on the Sabbath; — the same man out of the 
pulpit as in it. He was a model pastor, exhib- 
iting by a consistent life the principles which 
he taught. He was evangelical in doctrine. 
His style was simple and perspicuous. His 
sermons were full of Christ, and systematic in 
their arrangement, and delivered in a mild and 
persuasive manner, calculated to affect the 
hearts of his auditors, and cause them to feel 
that be truly was a man of God, laboring for 
souls. The longer his stay among his peo- 
ple, the more he was beloved, the more were 
his services appreciated, and the greater the 
amount of good he accomplished. The lan- 
guage of the Christian poet is not inappro- 
priate to him : 


" Simple, grave, sincere. 
In doctrine incorrupt ; in language plain. 
And plain in manners : decent, solemn, chaste 
And natural in gesture, much impressed 
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge. 
And anxious mainly, that the flock he feeds 
May feel it, too : affectionate in look. 
And tender in address, as well becomes 
A messenger of grace to guilty men." 



Joseph D. was the son of Daniel and Han- 
nah Wirt, and was born in Johnstown, Fulton 
county, N. Y., October 8th, 1837. He was 
baptized by Rev. David Eyster, pastor of St. 
Paul's church, in his native town, December 
17th, of the same year. His classical studies 
were pursued in "the old Johnstown Acad- 
emy," and under the private instructions of his 
brother, Rev. N. Wirt, who was at that time 
pastor of the Lutheran church at Ancram, 
Columbia county, N. Y., and by whom he was 
also confirmed as a member of this said church. 
In the autumn of 1859 he entered Hartwick 
Seminary, and pursued the full course of theo- 


logical Study under the lamented Dr. Miller. 
He was licensed to preach the Gospel by the 
New York Ministerium, at its meeting in 
Newark, N. J., September 9, 1862, by which 
body he was subsequently ordained. Shortly 
after his licensure he was married to Miss 
Adaline White, of Ancram. Three children 
resulted from this union, all of whom are still 

Rev. Wirt*s active ministry extended over 
the short period of seven years, five of which 
were spent in West Camp, Ulster county, and 
two at Livingston, Columbia county. While 
in this latter field, disease laid its wasting hand 
upon him, from the effects of which he never 
recovered. With much infirmity of the flesh 
he labored here until he was obliged to retire 
from the field, to the great regret of a devoted 
and loving people. His ministry was short, yet 
not without its precious fruits. At West Camp 
his work was wonderfully blessed. Many 
souls were here led by him to Christ. And 
as he entered upon his pastorate at Livingston, 
a bright future loomed up before him. So 
greatly were his people attached to him that 
for long months after he had taken of them a 


final leave — spoken to them the sad word 
" farewell " — they clung to the false hope that 
his health would be restored, and he permitted 
to return to them to carry on the work that he 
had begun with so much promise. But not so 
was it decreed in the counsels of high heaven. 
His work was finished. In the hope of a glo- 
rious immortality, he died of consumption, at 
the house of his brother-in-law, James Nellis, 
esq., of Palatine, August 29th, 1874, and was 
buried from the house of his father, on the 
afternoon of Tuesday, September the ist. His 
funeral was largely attended, and the occasion 
improved by suitable remarks by Rev. P. Felts, 
pastor of St. Paul's, who for years was a 
class-mate and chum of the deceased. 
Requiescat in pace. 



Rev. Benjamin Wesley Tomlinson was born 
in Napier township, Bedford co.. Pa., June I ith, 
1848. He was baptized by Rev. D. S. Altman, 
of Schellsburg, Pa., and confirmed by Rev. J. 
Petre, of Messiah Lutheran church, June 23d, 


1866. He took only a partial course in Penn- 
sylvania College, but a full course in the Sem- 
inary at Gettysburg. He graduated June 27th, 
1876, was licensed to preach the gospel in In- 
diana, Pa., Sept. 1 2th, 1875, and ordained in 
HoUidaysburg, Pa., Sept. 17th, 1876. He 
served New Florence Mission, of the Alle- 
gheny Synod, from 1 876 to 1 879. He removed 
to Lockport, N. Y., and took charge of the 
Lutheran congregation at that place August 
1st, 1879, which he served to the time of his 
death, April 8th, 1880. He died of typhoid 
fever. His remains were taken home by his 
father, J. W. Tomlinson, and Rev. J. A. Tom- 
linson, and his sister, Mary Jane, and interred 
in the cemetery of Messiah church, Bedford 
county. Pa., on the 12th of April, 1880. He 
was 3 1 years, 9 months and 27 days old at the 
time of his death. 

The subjoined tribute is from the Lockport 
(N. Y.) Daily yournal: 

Rev. B. W. Tomlinson, the faithful and zeal- 
ous pastor of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran 
church, departed this life at the residence of 
Mr. C. H. Stahler, on Walnut street, in this city, 
a few minutes before nine o'clock last night, after 


a short but extremely painful illness of a malig- 
nant form of typhoid fever. The deceased first 
complained of feeling unwell about three weeks 
ago, but at that time he paid no attention to the 
matter, thinking the illness would pass away in 
a few days. Instead of recovering, he grew 
worse, and one week ago last Saturday he was 
obliged to take to his bed. For several days 
previous to his death he was delirious and suf- 
fered greatly. Although in our city but a short 
time, the deceased had endeared himself to the 
members of the congregation by his pleasant 
and affable manners and his zealous efforts in 
the cause of Christianity. He won the respect 
and esteem of the entire community by his 
estimable qualities of heart and mind. The 
deceased was born June nth, 1848, in Bedford 
county, Pa., and was, therefore, at the time of 
his death, in the thirty-second year of his age. 
Mr. Tomlinson occupied the pulpit of St. 
John's Lutheran church, in this city, one Sun- 
day last summer, and so pleased the congre- 
gregation by his able discourse and pleasant 
address, that they tendered him an invitation 
to become their pastor, which he accepted, 
entering upon his duties as pastor on the first 

Rev. Wm. H. EMERICK. 


day of August, 1879. Since his advent here 
he has made countless friends by his pureness 
of life and character, and earnest efforts to dif- 
fuse the truths of Christianity in our midst. The 
deceased never married. Three brothers of the 
deceased are ministers, and another one died 
while preparing for that high calling. The 
funeral services were held at the residence of 
C. H. Stahler, at 1.20 o'clock this afternoon. 
The remains were taken on the 2.45 train to 
Bedford county, Pa., where they will be interred. 



This brother was born at West Camp, Ulster 
county, N. Y., February 7, 1806. Of his early 
life little can be stated beyond the fact that, 
when a young man, he made a profession of 
his faith in Christ, and became a member of 
the Dutch Reformed church. Being impressed 
that it was his duty to preach the Gospel, he 
commenced to prepare himself for his high 
calling by a course of private study under the 
Rev. Dr. Ostrander, of the Dutch Reformed 
church. Whilst pursuing his studies, he ex- 


perienced a change in his theological views, 
and united with the Lutheran Church. He 
continued his studies under the direction of 
Rev. A. F. Rumpf. who was then pastor of the 
Lutheran church at West Camp, N. Y. Sub- 
sequently he went to Gettysburg, where he 
took a course of theology under Rev. S. S. 
Schmucker, D. D., and was licensed by the 
Maryland Synod in 1845. 

In 1 846 he received and accepted a call from 
Woodstock, Ulster county, N. Y. ; and from 
that time his whole field of labor was within 
the bounds of the Hartwick Synod. He was 
ordained by this Synod, at its annual conven- 
tion at Waterloo, N. Y., on the 7th of Septem- 
ber, 1847 5 R^v. G. A. Lintner, D. D., preached 
the ordination sermon. From Woodstock, 
brother Emerick removed to Sharon, Scho- 
harie county, N. Y. His connection with 
these two churches covers a period of eight or 
nine years. In both, he reported extensive 
revivals at various times, with many conver- 
sions and additions to the churches. From 
Sharon he removed to Athens, N. Y., where 
he found the church in rather a distracted con- 
dition. Here he spent three years, and during 


that time he organized a small congregation 
and built a neat and comfortable church at 
Jacksonville, a small hamlet about ten miles 
west of Athens. From Athens he went to 
Livingston, Columbia county, N. Y., where he 
remained three years, preaching with much 
acceptance and success. A second call was 
sent to him from Woodstock, which he ac- 
cepted; but, after a brief sojourn here, he went 
back to Livingston, and thence to West Camp. 
Here a second call came from Athens, which 
he accepted. At Athens he labored for several 
years, seemingly with much success, for it was 
claimed that there had been an extensive 
revival under his ministry, and many acces- 
sions to the church. From Athens he returned 
to Ulster county, and became pastor of a newly 
organized congregation, and built a small but 
comfortable church, which was called Pine 
Grove. This was his last pastoral charge. 
From this record it would appear that brother 
E. was much more of an itinerant than a set- 
tled pastor. 

The natural endowments of brother Emerick 
were above mediocrity. His early educational 
advantages were very limited. His zeal and 


earnestness compensated for many deficiencies. 
His powers of oratory were remarkable, and 
he preached at times with considerable force 
and eloquence. As a revivalist, he was quite 
successful, and many were awakened and 
brought into the church under his faithful pre- 
sentation of divine truth. His methods were not 
always to be commended, and there was no 
doubt too much of the emotional connected 
with his protracted meetings ; but it must be 
conceded that, amidst much that was objection- 
able, some permanent good resulted from 

Brother Emerick was in the active ministry 
about twenty-six years. He was taken sud- 
denly ill at the residence of his son, Benjamin, 
at West Camp, N. Y., and died on the 2d of 
January, 1876, having attained his 71st year. 
He was buried in the Lutheran cemetery at 
West Camp, by the side of his wife, on January 
5, 1876. The Rev. Levi Schell preached an 
appropriate sermon, and was assisted in the 
services by the Rev. William Hull, of Hudson. 
The Hartwick Synod adopted a suitable tribute 
to his memory, in which it was said : " For 
whatever measure of good he was enabled to 


accomplish, we record our gratitude to the 
Great Head of the Church, for the grace that 
made him an efficient laborer in the vineyard 
of the Lord. We would cherish a fond re- 
membrance of all his virtues as a Christian 
and as a Christian minister, and devoutly pray 
that the influence of his example as an earnest 
and untiring preacher of the Gospel may leave 
its impress on all our hearts." His tombstone 
bears this appropriate motto : " He rests in 
hope of a glorious resurrection," 




This church was founded in 1703, by a 
colony of Holland Lutherans, who settled in 
that vicinity. In 1727, three brothers, by the 
name of Van Loon, gave forty acres of land in 
perpetual lease to the society ; a part for the 
support of a school-master, and part for the 
support of a minister, who was to be an adher- 
ent of the unaltered Augsburg Confession. 
The lawyer who drew the lease, not being a 
theologian, wrote the " unalterable'' Augsburg 
Confession. By its provisions, the church was 
to pay a shilling a year to the donors and to 
their legal representatives, providing it was 
called for on a specified day ; if not called for, 
it was not to be paid. 

In 1784 the ground was leased in perpetuity 
to a number of parties, embracing village lots 
and agricultural lands; and it still yields an 
annual rental of two hundred and ten dollars 
to the church. 

The records of the congregation for the first 


eighty years of its existence are in the Dutch 
language. The congregation was served many 
years by pastors who also preached in Albany, 
and in 1798 they were served by Rev. Mr. 
Ernst, who lived in Hudson, and preached in 
Churchtown and Athens. 

The first pastor who preached exclusively in 
the English language was Rev. Dr. Philip F. 
Mayer, who came in 1803, and remained four 
years, when he moved to Philadelphia, and 
remained there until the close of his ministry 
and his life. In his call, it was provided that 
he should exchange as frequently as practica- 
ble with Rev. Dr. Quitman, of Rhinebeck, so 
that the latter might preach to them in the 
Dutch language. 

From 1808 until 1833 the congregation was 
supplied with preaching once a month, and 
often at longer intervals, by Rev. Dr. Quitman, 
Rev. Dr. Wackerhagen, Rev. Mr. Cole, and 
others; and their receipts, at twelve dollars 
and a half for a Sabbath service, are found 
among the papers of the church. 

In 1833, Rev. Dr. G. A. Lintner sent Rev. 
Adolphus Rumph, who had studied theology 
with him at Schoharie, to serve the church at 


Athens. In his letter of introduction of Rev. 
Mr. Rumph to them, he said that the young 
pastor was a good classical scholar, and that 
perhaps he might add teaching so as to secure 
a livelihood. Mr. Rumph was engaged by 
them, and from that time to this there has been 
an unbroken line of pastors. 

In 1853, ^he old church was taken down 
and a substantial new brick structure erected, 
which equals in size, beauty and convenience, 
any other church edifice in the village. The 
congregation has had its fluctuations in pros- 
perity. At the last meeting of Synod, seventy- 
five communicants were reported. Since then, 
as the fruit of a revival in the winter of 1876-7, 
forty-five new members have been added. 

The following is a list of the pastors of the 
church from its organization to the present 
time, with the date at which they commenced 
their labors : 

1703, Justus Falkner; 1704, John C. Leps; 
1725, Wm. C. Berkenmeyer; 1783, Frederick 
A. Walberg; 1791, John F. Ernst; 1800, 
Frederick H. Quitman, D. D. ; 1803, Philip F. 
Mayer, D. D.; 1833, Adolphus Rumph; 1837, 
Thomas Lape; 1845, Sylvander Curtis; 1848, 


Matthew Waltermire ; 185 1, Augustus L. 
Bridgman; 1853, Isaac Kimball; 1855, Wil- 
liam H. Emerick; 1858, William N. Scholl, 
D. D.; 1865, Henry Keller; 1866, William 
Hull; 1869, Philip A. Strobel ; 1872, William 
H. Emerick; 1874, Sylvander Curtis; 1875 
and 1876, Rev. W. E. Traver, present pastor. 

Rev. W. C. Berkenmeyer, who served the 
church from 1725 to 1751 (when he died in 
his sixty- ninth year), resided at Athens (then 
called Loonenburg), and served the church at 
Albany in connection. His remains are buried 
under the church, and a large tablet in the 
vestibule contains an inscription to his 

The church is located in what is known as 
the Upper Village, and the congregation is 
about equally divided between village and 



In the absence of connected and well-kept 
records in regard to the establishment of the 
church at this place, Berne, Albany county, 


N. Y., the date of the erection of the first 
church building, the first pastor or pastors, 
previous to the year about 1806 A. D., the 
times and dates of taking spiritual control of 
the congregation by the different pastors, and 
the order of their succession as pastors, from 
the organization until the year about 1827, we 
have to depend upon but very brief, and mainly 
disconnected records, and upon the memories 
of some of the oldest parishioners now living, 
viz., Christopher Warner and wife, Alexander 
Crownse, Peter C. Sand, Isaac Dietz, and Wil- 
liam Zeh. 

From the establishment of the church until 
about the year 1802 A. D., the records were 
kept in the German language, and reveal the 
fact that the pastors and the parishioners ful- 
filled their duty to their children, in having 
them brought into covenant relation to God 
and his church, by the seal of Holy Baptism. 

Until the year 1827, catechisation and con- 
firmation, the time-honored customs of the 
Lutheran Church, seem to have been/well and 
properly observed by the pastors, as the ordi- 
nary means and way of increasing the member- 
ship of the church. It seems that in 1792 


fifty-seven were confirmed; in 1793, Oct. 23d, 
fifty- five were confirmed, etc.; and even 
after the above date — 1827 — until the year 
1846, during the entire pastorate of Rev. 
Adam Crownse, it was his custom to give 
applicants for membership a short and concise 
course of instruction on the doctrines of the 
Scripture, and of religious life, as held by our 
Church, previous to their admission to the 
Holy Altar. 

After the year 1846, catechisation, in regu- 
lar and connected way, was entirely abandoned 
for more than thirty years, when it was again 
restored as far as possible in 1 877. 

The original church building was a frame 
structure, about 40 by 45 or 50 feet in size, 
with galleries on three sides. The building 
stood by the side of the main road, about mid- 
way between Berne and East Berne, or " Phil- 
ley," crowning a commanding eminence, from 
which position the beholder can see the wind- 
ing course of Fox Creek for many miles, as its 
waters flow down through the valley to find a 
union with the Schoharie. 

The old building, thus described and located 
as above, is spoken of as an old building as far 


back as 18 10 A. D., indicating, according to 
the statements of the aged parishioners now 
living, that it must have been erected as far 
. back as 1780 A. D. 

The church was built upon a tract of land 
deeded or given to the congregation for church 
purposes, by one Mr. Van Rensselaer, the 
patroon, at a very early day in the history of 
this vicinity ; but, sad to say, the land has all 
been sold off in lots since the removal of the 
old church and the erection of the new, in 
sizes to suit purchasers, and to meet the press- 
ing wants of the congregation. 

The independent records of this church 
commence in the year 1790; previous to that 
date, the records must have been kept in con- 
nection with the records of the Guilderland 
congregation, as Berne seems to have been 
embraced in the Guilderland charge, from the 
organization here until several years after the 
erection of the present church edifice in 1835, 
and was served by the pastors who success- 
ively resided near, and ministered to the 
Guilderland church. 

From the year 18 14 to 18 16, if not a longer 
period, there seems to have been a kind of 


joint pastorate, and that the ministers were 
Revs. H. Moeller and Augustus Wackerhagen. 
This fact is apparent from some old receipts 
for salary, recorded and signed by Revs. 
Moeller and Wackerhagen alternately during 
the above years. 

Previous to the year 1792, and in all proba- 
bility several years after, it would appear from 
the title page of church records that one Rev. 
August Frederick Merer was pastor. * 

The joint pastorate may have commenced at 
an earlier date than 18 14 to 18 16, but Rev. 
Wackerhagen seems to have taken the pastor- 
ate in 1806, as many of the records are kept in 
his handwriting, showing that if a joint pastor- 
ate existed at that date, and after, that he was 
principal, and Rev. Moeller adjunct pastor. 

In the latter part of 18 16, or in 181 7, one, 
Rev. L. Merkel, took the spiritual oversight, 
and ministered unto the congregation, preach- 
ing once in three weeks. 

From the number of children baptized dur- 
ing his pastorate, we are induced to say that 
he must have been faithful to the Saviour's 
command to Peter: "Feed*' — i, e,, shepherd — 
"my lambs." John xxi. 15. 


Rev. Merkel continued his pastoral relation 
to this people until about August 12, 1827, 
when Rev. Adam Crownse, then quite a young 
man, was called to minister here and at Guild- 
erland. The new pastor settled for a short 
time — not made known by the records — in 
Berne, and afterward moved to Guilderland, 
still holding his pastoral relation to the Berne 

In the year 1835, the eighth year of Rev. 
Crownse*s pastorate, the new brick church edi- 
fice was erected in Berne, in which the congre- 
gation now worship, removed about two and 
a half miles west of where the old wooden 
structure stood. On May the 31st, 1836, the 
new church was formally dedicated and conse- 
crated to the worship of the Triune God, 
under the pastoral care of Pastor Crownse. 

The officers of the church at the time of 
dedication were Messrs. Peter Sand, Chris- 
topher Engle, and Johannes Shafer, Trustees ; 
Messrs. John Rossiter, James Leggett, and 
Frederick Joslin, Elders ; Messrs. Christopher 
Warner, Alexander Crownse, Henry Zeh, and 
Peter C. Sand, Deacons. 

Pastor Crownse continued his faithful min- 


istrations to this congregation until the year 
1846, A. D., a period of about nineteen years. 
He is remembered and is spoken of in a way 
showing much affection, by the aged citizens 
of the community, and especially by the faith- 
ful members who sat under his ministry, a few 
of whom are still living. 

After the long union of pastor and people 
between Rev. C. and the membership of this 
church — a period of nineteen years — had been 
broken, the Rev. S. Curtis was called to pas- 
toral relations over the people here. But few 
records appear upon the church-book during 
his ministry — not even the date of his assum- 
ing spiritual control, nor the day when the 
union of pastor and people was broken — 
hence we cannot tell just how long the present 
pastoral relation continued. We are told that 
it was during this short pastorate that the par- 
sonage of this congregation was built; no 
records show the fact, however. 

The last of the very few records made of his 
acts show that Rev. Curtis was here on the 
nth of October, 1848. The people say, how- 
ever, that his pastoral relation here was about 
three years. 


Rev. Lambert Swackhamer took charge 
some time previous to the 29th of May, 1850, 
and, as the pastor, administered the Sacrament 
of the Lord's Supper to the people on the 
second Sabbath of June of the same year — 
1850. His last record stands December 2, 
1855, making his pastoral relation a little 
more than five years. 

During his ministry there were added to the 
membership 161 names, principally if not en- 
tirely by revival efforts. 

On the first of June, 1856, Rev. A. P. Lud- 
den became the pastor of the congregation, 
having been called from Virginia. He con- 
tinued his ministry here until May 2Sth, 1867, 
a period of eleven years. 

During the pastorate of Rev. Ludden, the 
congregation prospered greatly in the way of 
accessions to its membership ; the entire num- 
ber added to the church during the eleven 
years being 247. This was accomplished al- 
most entirely through revival efforts. The 
spirit of liberality was also developed more 
than under former pastorates. A number of 
faithful witnesses remain, and continue stead- 
fast to the faith, who testify to the zealous 


efforts he made to strengthen the reign and 
kingdom of Christ in this community. 

November the ist, 1867, found the congre- 
gation sitting under the faithful and earnest 
ministry of Rev. James Lefler as their spiritual 
guide and pastor; and on about May Sth, 1875, 
his pastoral relation ceased — a period of more 
than seven years. 

Under the ministry of Pastor Lefler, the St. 
John's church building in East Berne, or 
"Philley," was erected in the year 1873, and 
dedicated to God and consecrated to his wor- 
ship, by proper services, on the 28th day of 
August, of the same year. Rev. J. H. Heck, 
pastor of the Lutheran churches in Schoharie 
and Central Bridge, preached the sermon on 
the occasion. This is a neat and convenient 
frame building, constructed in modern style, 
and speaks well for the noble little band of 
believers who carried this work forward to 
completion. At the time of this writing, there 
is no regular church organization in East Berne, 
but regular preaching and worship are held 
there every Sabbath, and the sacraments are 
regularly administered as at the mother church 
in Berne. This has been the case ever since 
the early part of I ^Jj, 


The first Trustees of East Berne Church are : 
Christopher Warner, Jacob H. Osterhout and 
Sanford Hilton, acting under charter obtained 
and recorded in county clerk's office, in Albany, 
on or about the 12th day of May, 1880. 

Though Pastor Lefler did not witness, by 
great ingatherings to the church, the fruits of 
his efforts, yet he labored with earnestness and 
zeal, sowing beside all waters. He laid; by 
faithful and earnest presentation of Gospel 
truth, broad and deep foundations for future 

In May, 1875, Rev. J. C. Brodfiihrer took 
charge as the pastor, and labored faithfully and 
well for one year — until May, 1876. Pastor 
Brodfiihrer began a good work — keeping a 
faithful record of official acts, and that of bring- 
ing the congregation back to the observance of 
the festivals of the church. These, for long 
years, had fallen into non-observance by the 
pastors of this congregation. 

On the 17th of December, 1876, Rev. J. R. 
Shoffner, having received a call from this con- 
gregation, entered upon the pastoral relation. 
The congregation having been without the 
regular ministrations of the Gospel since the 


early spring — previous to the administration of 
the Sacrament of the Altar — several days of 
services were held with a view to prepare the 
membership for that solemn service. The 
Spirit was manifest in this work. He owned 
his truth; and, after several weeks — during 
which time more than one hundred professed 
conversion — about ninety united with the 
church, and were catechised from Luther's Cat- 
echism after they united. Proper and con- 
tinued efforts are being made to restore the 
'custom of catechisation in the church, and 
they have to some extent succeeded. 

Extensive improvements were made to the 
church and parsonage, in the summer of 1877, 
amounting as to expenditure to about ;Sli8oo. 

It can be truly said that the pastor of this 
church now has a neat and pleasant parsonage 
in which to dwell. About 120 additions have 
been made to the church during the present 

Two church colonies have grown out of this 
mother church : East Berne, St. John's church, 
an account of which is given above, and Gal- 
lupville. First English, an account of which 
will be found under that head. Two ministers 


of the Gospel have gone out from us — this as 
their mother church— Revs. Levi Schell and 
Augustus Schultes. 

A charter of this church was obtained and 
recorded in the Clerk's Office in Albany, in 
May, 1880. Trustees', Messrs. Sylvester Sand, 
David Ball and Peter Schoonmaker. The El- 
ders are : Messrs. Alexander Crownse, William 
Zeh, Jacob M. Allen and Charles E. Dietz. 
The Deacons are: Messrs. Isaac Hunger- 
ford, Egbert S. Wright, Uriah G. Davis and 
Nicholas P. Sheldon. The present recognized 
membership is a little more than two hundred. 

Berne, Albany Co,, N, K, December 6th, 1880, 



This church was organized on the 24th of 
November, 1843, and incorporated about a 
month later. The Rev. James Lefler was the 
first pastor. The following were amongst the 
corporate members : Philip Bergh, Samuel 
Mitchell, William Rickert, Barney Keyser, 


Philip Shaeffer, John Freymyer, Henry C. 
Shaeffer, John B. Waldron, John Keyser, 
Abraham Bergh, Nicholas L. Mattice, Henry 
Preslau, Ambrose C. Rockafeller, P. W. Becker, 
and L. Mattice. 

The following were chosen church officers: 
Elders — L. Mattice, Samuel Mattice, H. S. 
Shaeffer; Deacons — Philip Shaeffer, John 
Keyser, N. L. Mattice ; Trustees — ^John B. 
Waldron, Philip Bergh, P. W. Becker; Treas- 
urer — A. Bergh. John B. Waldron acted as 
Clerk, and the proceedings are duly recorded 
in the county clerk's office. 

The following were the pastors from the or- 
ganization of the church in 1843 to i860: 
Revs. James Lefler, Adam Crownse, L. Stern- 
berg, N. H. Cornell, and J. D. English. 

Of the original officers, only Nicholas Mat- 
tice, a deacon, and P. W. Becker, a trustee, are 
now living. Of the original male members, 
only three are living — F. W. Becker, residing 
in New York, and Barney Keyser and Law- 
rence Mattice at Blenheim ; but the two latter 
still attend the church at Breakabeen. 

In January, 1861, the Rev. Henry Keller 
was chosen pastor. In the spring of the same 


year the church severed its connection with 
the Middleburg church, and has remained a 
separate charge ever since. The Rev. Keller 
continued to be the pastor until November, 
1862, when he was succeeded by Rev. A. L. 
Bridgman, who entered upon his duties May 
28, 1863, and continued here five years. 

The Rev. Ira S. Porter, the present pastor, 
entered this field in April, 1869, and conse- 
quently has served the congregation about 
twelve years, a longer period than any of his 
predecessors. The church edifice, which was 
erected and dedicated in 1844, has since been 
very handsomely refitted, and is now one of 
the neatest and most attractive for its size in 
the Synod. There is connected with the 
church a convenient and comfortable parson- 
age. The relations between the pastor and 
his congregation are very cordial and satisfac- 
tory. The pastor is, in his usual quiet, modest 
way, discharging his duties with fidelity and 
earnestness, and the church enjoys peace and 
a good measure of prosperity. This church 
has the honor of having furnished to the min- 
istry of our Synod one of its most talented 
and promising pastors, in the person of the 
late Albert Waldron. 




There had for many years been a union 
church at Fultonham, in which the pastors at 
Middleburg held stated services for the accom- 
modation of the Lutherans residing in that 
neighborhood. No Lutheran congregation, 
however, was ever organized here until July 
6, 1876. This was done through the judicious 
efforts of Rev. Ira S. Porter. About eighteen 
members united in the organization. A num- 
ber have been added since. The officers 
elected were I. I. Feck and William Best, 
Elders ; S. W. Bouck and W. Burget, Dea- 
cons; George Haines, Ralph Weidman, and 
A. Werley, Trustees. 

The Hon. W. C. Bouck, an honored gov- 
ernor of the State of New York, often called 
"The honest Dutch Governor,*' was a mem- 
ber of the Lutheran church, and resided near 
Fultonham. When at home he was a con- 
stant and devout worshiper at the church in 
Fultonham, and also at Middleburg. Gov- 









emor Bouck was the first Superintendent of 
the U. S. Sub-Treasury in New York city, 
during the administration of President Van 
Buren. He was a gentleman of the olden 
school — simple, but dignified and courteous in 
his manner; of unquestioned integrity and 
genuine but unostentatious piety. 

The church at Fultonham is now a part of 
Rev. Porter's pastorate. 



The earliest written records of our church 
that have come into my hands are from the pen 
of Dr. Scholl, than whom none other so justly 
deserves the name of foster-father of the Eng- 
lish Lutheran church; and for his indefatigable 
labors, held in grateful remembrance, well 
may it be said of him: " Instant in season, out 
of season ; watchful in all things, doing the 
work of an evangelist, making full proof of his 
ministry.** Although beyond the years at 
which many would lay aside the armor of 
active employment, he has not yet finished his 


course. Still in the field, earnest and effective ; 
still keeping the faith, with the goal of victory 
but a little ways off. Oh, blessed reward laid 
up in heaven for the life-long workers in 
Christ's field ! Oh, sparkling crown of right- 
eousness that shall outshine the stars forever 
and ever ! 

The Doctor's records (personal) date back 
to the year 1840. For that year I find this 
entry: "First pastor, William Nace SchoU, 
preached first sermon May 3d, 1840; i. ^., first 
pastor of the renewed organization ; for it is 
quite certain that twenty years earlier there 
had been the nucleus of a Lutheran Society, 
served by Dr. Miller. The first board of 
trustees was the following, viz.: Herman J. 
Ehle, Daniel Yerdon, Joseph White, George 
Goertner, jr., Jacob Anthony, D. W. Erwin, 
Livingston Spraker and J. W. Netterville. Of 
the nine, only two are living — Messrs. White 
and Erwin. Gone to give an account of their 
stewardship, and soon we'll follow. No election 
of elders or deacons," the Doctor writes, " till 
the early part of '43." No record of such an 
election till '47. Then I find, as elder George 
Farley, and as deacons, Joseph Saltzman and 


Henry N; Keller. Of these, Mr. Saltzman is 
still living. On the record appears a statement 
to this effect : "Village church bought and re- 
moved, in the fall of '39, and occupied until 
September, '40. Then underwent thorough 
repairs, i, e., the original frame building that 
once stood forty rods south-east of this site, on 
the towing path of the old canal, was purchased 
in the interest of the Lutheran church, moved 
to this place, and refitted for divine service." 
There is one present who can give you the 
name of the man* who headed the subscription 
with the largest sum, and others might mention 
his life-long devotion to Lutheranism. 

The renovated church was dedicated on 28th 
of February, 184 1. The dedicatory service 
was read, and the sermon preached, by the 
Rev. Dr. Lintner, of Schoharie, from Eph. ii. 
19, 21. Dr. Lintner had preached the first ser- 
mon delivered in this building, twenty-three 
years previously. The record shows that Dr. 
Lintner*s first ministration to the people here 
was in 1818, fifty-eight years ago, and that he 
conducted the first service in the then new 
union church building. Roop*s village, as the 

* George Goertner, who died December loth, 1879. 


place was then called, had but one church, used 
as a fort against the enemy (now there are six), 
and there continued to be but one until the 
year 1841. 

The original church edifice was built in 
181 5 or '16. It is natural to suppose that 
prior to that time there must have been occa- 
sional services in private houses in German, if 
not in the English tongue. Our missing 
records would probably reveal the existence of 
a regular organization in Dr. Miller's day. 
The records we have indicate that Rev. George 
B. Miller, D. D., commenced labors here about 
the year 181 8 or '19, preached seven or eight 
years ; and from that time until the spring of 
of 1839, making an interval of twelve years, 
the Reformed Dutch occupied the ground, the 
Revs. Van Olinda and Wells preaching for 
both parties, as Dr. Miller had done before 

Whatever organization the Lutherans might 
have had in Dr. Miller's time, was not in force 
at Dr. Scholl's coming. Regularity, system, 
growth and permanence seem first to have 
been established under the administration of 
the latter. As some of you can testify, the 


doctor was in "labors more abundant" — a 
Pastor in the fullest sense of the term. Al- 
most literally in every house, he ceased not to 
teach and preach Jesus Christ. Though for- 
bidden to do so, I will give you an extract 
from his letter : *' I need not tell you of my 
preaching in the school houses about the 
country, getting amongst Americans, English 
and Germans, Scotch, Irish, good and bad ; 
baptizing children in a room where there was 
a pig-pen; lights and shades, heavy burdens, 
discouragements and encouragements, never 
forsaken; Testaments^ books and Bibles distrib- 
uted amongst Sunday-school children; good 
teachers; women taking part in the prayer- 
meetings held from house to house." 

Dr. Scholl resigned the charge of the con- 
gregation in August, 1850, and there was a 
vacancy until March 17, 185 1, when the Rev. 
F. W. Brauns became pastor, and continued 
until April ist, 1852. Mr. Brauns is now in 
the Presbyterian ministry, and resides at 
Niagara Falls, though disqualifed for active 
service by almost total blindness. He was 
succeeded about the ist of January, 1853, by 
the Rev. Reuben Dederick, whose ministry 


covered a period of about five years. The 4th 
of April, 1858, appears on the calendar as a 
day of spiritual reaping and of harvest joy for 
Mr. Dederick. Some fifteen or more adults 
were by him confirmed and received upon pro- 
fession of faith ; undoubtedly a precious Easter 
Sabbath to both pastor and people. 

Next came the Rev. C. S. Hersh, with a pas- 
torate of only one year. Going South for his 
health, he died soon after in the city of Balti- 

Following Hersh, was Rev. L. Hippee, 
whose home was amongst you for about seven 
years. The minutes of 1866, the year that 
brother Hippee left the field, show a member- 
ship of ninety. 

His successor was Rev. Luckenback, whose 
stay was less than two years, and then came 
a vacancy of about the same duration. In the 
interim, the old edifice, endeared by many fond 
and sacred recollections, was torn down, and 
the present structure reared in its place under 
the wise and efficient supervision of the build- 
ing committee, viz. : Messrs. W. Wagner, 
B. Smith, H. Nellis, L. Spraker, and D. S. Reed. 
The church and chapel were finished and fur- 


nished at a cost of |l 15,000. The new church 
was set apart on the lOth of August, 1870, to 
its sacred uses; and very appropriately Dr. 
Lintner, an aged veteran, ripening for his 
heavenly rest, who had delivered the first dis- 
course in the old building hear the canal fifty- 
two years previous, and the dedication sermon 
following the removal and repairs twenty-nine 
years previously, again officiated, and preached 
from I Peter ii. 5 : "Ye also as lively (living) 
stones are built up," etc., etc. 

As the pastor prospective,, your speaker was 
present at the re-dedication, and on the first 
Sabbath in November, I occupied this desk as 
the pastor in charge. On the 28th of the next 
month, I was regularly installed by the Presi- 
dent of Synod, Rev. V. F. Bolton ; and from 
that time to this, by the blessing of God, I 
have continued (as Ezra said), " on the work 
of this wall, and yet it is not finished" — not 
finished so long as saints are to be built up in 
their holy faith, and sinners converted from the 
error of their ways. God has graciously owned 
his word, and imparted his blessing. Eighty 
have been added to this flock ; sixty of the 
number by a profession of their faith. The 


cloud of divine glory has hovered over this 
temple as well as the former. None of us, I 
trust, will readily forget the winter of 1 87 1. 
It seems to me impossible to forget that first 
Easter Sabbath, April 9th, when pastor and 
people together chanted in soul the words of 
David : " How amiable are thy tabernacles, O 
Lord of hosts ;" ** Blessed are they that dwell 
in thy house; they will be still praising thee." 
On this Easter we were permitted to welcome 
to our fold thirty-one. Twenty-six for the 
first time professed their allegiance to Christ 
by receiving the Holy Sacrament.* 

" May the glory of this latter house exceed 
the glory of the former. May this be the 
place to which many souls shall flee for refuge, 
safety, and peace in Jesus, — hiding there in 
the clefts of the Rock. Here may it be said 
of many, * Who are these that fly as a cloud, 
and as the doves to their windows?' " Compar- 
ing the present with the past, the status of the 

* Since this sermon was preached, Nov. 5, 1876, the 
Rev. L. D. Wells has continued the efficient and 
acceptable pastor of this church. The additions to the 
church in the meantime have been twenty-four, mak- 
ing the total membership 115. — Note by Editor. 


church as it now is with its humbler surround- 
ings and feebler existence of thirty-nine years; 
remembering that then it was simply mission- 
ary ground, and at one time its very existence 
threatened by an embarrassing debt; realizing, 
I say, our improved condition in various par- 
ticulars, there may be those ready to say: 
" Surely the Lord hath given enlargement and 
strength to Zion." 



There seem to be no authentic records from 
which to determine definitely at what time the 
country in and around Cobleskill was first 
colonized. Perhaps not many years after the 
settlement of Schoharie, and by the same class 
of German Lutherans from the Palatinate. It 
is very probable that the German emigrants did 
not confine themselves to the valley and hills 
of the Schoharie, but gradually spread them- 
selves over the valley and hills of the Cobles- 
kill. It is to be presumed, too, that, like their 
brethren at Schoharie, they were for many 
years without a pastor, and that, like them. 


they met in private houses at stated times for 
worship, some pious layman conducting the 
services, which were probably very simple, 
consisting of singing the grand old German 
hymns, prayer, and reading suitable books of 
devotion. Thus they mutually encouraged 
and edified each other, waiting patiently and 
trustingly until God should send them a 

If the records were at hand, they would 
probably show that the people of Cobleskill 
had passed through similar perils and suffer- 
ings with their brethren in other parts of 
Schoharie county during the French and 
Indian wars, and that in the great struggle for 
American Independence they had been loyal 
to the cause of freedom, and had borne them- 
selves in all those dark days like men and 
Christian patriots. 

It is known that the settlement of the town 
of New Durlach, lying several miles north of 
Cobleskill, was made not later than 1754, and 
that of Cobleskill several years earlier. The 
Lutheran congregations in these two towns 
seem at that time to have been one, but the 
date of the organization is not known. Subse- 


quently, that part of the congregation residing 
in New Durlach (now Sharon), was divided, 
and a new organization was formed, called 
New Rhinebeck — these three settlements, or 
congregations, forming a sort of church union 
or pastorate. 

There is reason to believe that soon after 
Pastor Sommer's settlement at Schoharie, in 
1743, he began, with his usual zeal and dili- 
gence, to turn his attention to the neighboring 
German settlements, and that he visited, 
amongst others, those of New Durlach and 
Cobleskill. The congregations at these places 
were perhaps regularly organized about the 
year 1754 or '55. It is a matter of record that 
Pastor Sommer preached at Cobleskill on the 
3d of March, 1758, and administered the 
Lord's Supper to the Lutherans at this place. 
It may therefore be assumed that on other 
occasions the congregation may have enjoyed 
the services of Pastor Sommer, and that the 
pastors who succeeded him at Schoharie con- 
tinued to preach to the congregation at Cobles- 
kill, and to minister to their spiritual wants. 

Up to 1789, the Lutherans at New Durlach 
(Sharon) and Cobleskill constituted one con- 


gregation, under the title of "The Lutheran 
congregation of Cobleskill and New Durlach." 
In this same year (1789) Pastor Sommer and 
others conveyed one hundred and fifty acres in 
fee simple to three persons as trustees, "for 
the common use and benefit of said Lutheran 
congregation." At this time Rev. Sommer 
had settled in New Durlach (Sharon), but he 
was then eighty years old, and it is not likely 
that he performed any regular or very active 
pastoral work. 

On the first of January, 1794, five years 
after the execution of this deed, the organiza- 
tion of a separate congregation was effected at 
Cobleskill. Almost immediately after the 
new congregation was formed, a few earnest, 
self-denying Christians at Cobleskill resolved 
to erect a house of worship. The important 
question arose — how shall the means be 
raised to meet the expense of such an under- 
taking? It was only eleven years after the 
close of the Revolutionary War. The people 
throughout the country had come out of that 
memorable struggle very much impoverished. 
Money was scarce and almost worthless. But, 
undaunted by difficulties, a few noble spirits 


determined, by divine help, to build a church. 
The times .and circumstances were certainly 
very discouraging, but they were men of more 
than ordinary fortitude. With their own 
hands they made the brick, hewed the timber, 
prepared all the materials, and thus made 
ready for the execution of their pious purpose. 
The site selected was a knoll in the center of 
the village of Cobleskill, on the public road 
that led to Albany, and commanding a beauti- 
ful view of the surrounding country. The 
corner-stone having been laid with the usual 
ceremonies, these devoted men, encouraged 
and aided by their equally devoted wives and 
daughters, went to work patiently and perse- 
veringly until their sacred task was done, and 
the church stood forth in all its noble propor- 
tions, a monument of the zeal and piety of the 
builders. As has been intimated, this church 
was of brick, abotit forty feet square, with 
galleries on three sides, surmounted by a mas- 
sive tower, on which the year 1794 (the time 
of its erection) was marked with antique iron 
figures. Pastor Somm^r was still living in the 
town of Sharon, but it is presumed he was too 
feeble to be present at its dedication. 


There were only thirteen families who took 
an active part in the erection of t^is edifice. 
To perpetuate their memories, and to honor 
them for their noble work, thirteen square 
stones were inserted in the front wall of the 
church. Unfortunately, when this venerable 
building was taken down, these stones seemed 
to have been thoughtlessly thrown aside, 
which was certainly a great oversight. The 
names of these familes have, however, not 
been forgotten, and it is with great pleasure 
that they are now (through the courtesy of 
Rev. G. W. Hemperly) presented to the reader. 
They were David Lawyer, Nicholas Warner, 
Peter Snyder, George Mann, Lawrence Law- 
yer, Lambert Lawyer, David Bouck, Peter 
Shaver, John Shaver, Judge Henry Shaver, 
Henry Borst, Henry Shaver (not the Judge), 
and John von Dreeser. The descendants of 
these noble men are now Amongst the most 
prominent and respected citizens of Cobleskill 
and the adjacent country. 

For nearly three generations that old brick 
church stood in the midst of the village of 
Cobleskill a silent yet eloquent monitor; re- 
minding the passer-by of the faith, the zeal 


and the heroic self-denial of the men who 
reared it, and witnessing with a silent elo- 
quence for God and for the truth, as taught by 
our Evangelical Lutheran Church. Amidst 
the decay of generations, the mutations and 
revolutions which have marked the history of 
the Church and the world ; amidst the fluctua- 
tions which have characterized other denom- 
inations ; amidst the defections of some who 
sought to spread schism and discord in the 
bosom of the Church ; amidst the uncharitable 
efforts of other denominations to subvert and 
supplant the Church — that venerable temple 
stood with its glory undimmed. 

If, as has been suggested, the pastor who 
was settled at Schoharie served the church at 
Cobleskill, then this church had as its pastor, 
after Pastor Sommer, Rev. Anthony T. Braun, 
from 1 79 1 to 1794, and it was, perhaps, during 
his ministry that the church was built. Then 
came Rev. F. H. Quitman, from 1795 to 1798. 
In 1799, Rev. A. T. Braun was recalled to the 
Schoharie charge, and remained until 1 801, 
serving, it is supposed, the Cobleskill church 
at the same time. The church at Schoharie 
was vacant from 1801 to 1805, and it is pre- 


sumed this was likewise true of Cobleskill. 
The Rev. Augustus Wackerhagen settled at 
Schoharie in 1805, and was pastor until 1815. 
It is known that he supplied the church at 
Cobleskill, and was in all probability its pastor 
during the ten years that he remained at Scho- 

Up to the year 1808, the congregation at 
Cobleskill had held some land in common with 
the congregations at Sharon (or New Durlach) 
and New Rhinebeck. In this year — 1808 — 
the congregation at Cobleskill obtained a sep- 
arate act of incorporation. At this time, the 
one hundred and fifty acres of land, deeded to 
the Lutheran Congregation at New Durlach 
and Cobleskill, in 1789, by Rev. Sommer and 
others, were divided, "the Cobleskill church 
taking fifty acres in severalty, New Durlach 
(Sharon) and Rhinebeck retaining the residue 
in common.*' 

The Rev. John Molther succeeded Rev. A. 
Wackerhagen at Schoharie in 1816, remaining 
until 18 18. It is presumed he also supplied 
the Cobleskill church at the same time. 

In the year 18 19, the Rev. G. A. Lintner was 
called to the Schoharie pastorate. He took 


the Cobleskill church under his care, and 
preached statedly, and with great acceptance 
and usefulness, until 1834, a period of fifteen 
years. The data are not at hand to show' the 
condition and progress of the church under 
Dr. Lintner*s care, prior to the year 1832. At 
that time he reported 30 confirmations and 
250 communicants; for the year 1833, 82 con- 
firmations and 282 members ; showing that up 
to this time the congregation was in a healthy 
and prosperous condition. 

The Rev. Wm. H. Watson was Dr. Lint- 
ner's successor. He hailed from Herkimer 
county. Up to 1833, he had been identified 
with the open-communion Baptists. He was 
introduced to the Hart wick Synod in 1833 by 
the Rev. P. Wieting, then residing in Herk- 
imer county. Mr. Watson was licensed by the 
Hartwick Synod at a special session held at 
Schoharie, on the 6th of March, 1833. His 
license was renewed at Dansville, in September 
of the same year. In 1834, he became pastor 
at Cobleskill. and was ordained the same year 
at Guilderland. Mr. Watson remained at 
Cobleskill until 1844, a period of about ten 
years, preaching also a part of the time at 


Carlisle, and also at Richmondville. His min- 
istry was by no means barren of results. In 
1835, he reported ninety accessions to the 
chOrches under his care, and a membership of 
390. In 1840', he reported fifty-eight addi- 
tions. The pecuniary contributions to home 
and foreign missions, to education, and the 
other benevolent operations of the Church, 
show that he had educated his people to a fair 
standard of liberality. 

An event occurred at Cobleskill, in 1837, 
during the ministry of Pastor Watson, which 
deserves to be chronicled. It is true it is only 
incidentally connected with his ministry ; yet it 
is a feature in the history of the Cobleskill 
church which may be appropriately recorded 
here, especially in view of its intrinsic import- 
ance and its great influence upon the cause of 
foreign missions in the Lutheran Church, not 
only in the State of New York, but through- 
out the United States. Reference is had to 
the organization at Cobleskill, in 1837, of the 
** Female Association of Hartwick Synod," 
composed of the wives of ministers and other 
Christian women within the bounds of Hart- 
wick Synod. The Synod held its convention 


this year at Cobleskill. The object of this 
association was to educate missionaries for the 
foreign field. Prominent in this movement 
were Mrs. Senderling, Mrs. Adam Crownse, 
Mrs. Lintner, Mrs. Watson, and other wives of 
clergymen, besides many ladies of Cobleskill 
— conspicuously, the venerable Mrs. Peter 
Shaeffer, long known and honored as " Aunty 
Shaeffer," for her many Christian virtues and 
her unfaltering devotion to her Church and to 
Christ. This was the first female missionary- 
association ever organized in the Lutheran 
Church in the United States ; and it has the 
honor, as stated in the historical address, of 
having sent to the foreign mission in Guntoor 
the first fnissionary ever educated in the Lu- 
theran Church in this country. That mission- 
ary was the Rev. Walter Gunn. 

In 1843 the congregations of Sharon, New 
Rhinebeck, Richmondville and Cobleskill 
constituted one pastoral charge, and called the 
Rev. James Fenner as their pastor. This gen- 
tleman had been a minister of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, but had united with the 
Hartwick Synod in 1842. He continued in 
this field until early in 1 844. 


The Rev. James Lefler served the Cobleskill 
charge in 1844-45. Whilst here he was as- 
sisted in a meeting by Rev. Walter Gunn, 
which resulted in many conversions and addi- 
tions to the church. 

The Rev. A. L. Bridgman was called to this 
same charge in 1845. He was then a licen- 
tiate, but was ordained at Schaghticoke in 1845. 
Mr. Bridgman resigned after two years faithful 

The Rev. M. J. Stover succeeded Rev. 
Bridgman in 1846. At this time Cobleskill, 
Richmondville, Sharon and New Rhinebeck 
still constituted one pastorate. In 1847, how- 
ever, the pastorate was divided. New Rhine- 
beck and Sharon formed a separate charge and 
called Rev. W. H. Emerick as their pastor, 
the Rev. Stover retaining Cobleskill and Rich- 
mondville. The Rev. Stover served these two 
churches faithfully and acceptably until April, 
1852, when he removed to Tribes Hill. Dur- 
ing Bro. Stover*s stay at Cobleskill he was 
successful in liquidating a debt of $700, due 
by that church, and he did much besides to 

*In the year 1846 the church was remodeled, and 
edcdicated by Dr. Lintner on the i8th of February. 


promote its prosperity. Bro. Stover also had 
a revival during his ministry, resulting in 
many valuable additions ; and the families who 
came in at this time represented property esti- 
mated at ;f 100.000. 

The Rev. S. Curtis succeeded Rev. Stover, 
and entered upon his pastoral work about the 
first of May, 1852. The labors of Bro. Curtis, 
during the first year of his ministry, seem to 
have been crowned with signal success. There 
was a most remarkable revival, resulting in the 
reported conversion of eighty-six persons. 
He admitted to the church fifty-eight by con- 
firmation and eight by letter, making sixty-six, 
amongst them some of the most prominent 
and influential citizens of Cobleskill, many of 
whom are amongst the leading church mem- 
bers to-day. Mr. Curtis resigned in 1854, and 
removed to Stone Arabia. 

The Rev. P. A. Strobel, a member of the 
Synod of South Carolina, accepted a call from 
Cobleskill, and entered upon his pastoral 
duties early in October, 1855. In the latter 
part of the same month he was installed. The 
Rev. Dr. Lintner preached the sermon. Rev. 
J. R. Keyser gave the charge to the pastor. 


and the Rev. W. D. Strobel, D. D., the charge 
to the congregation. The Rev. P. Wiet- 
ing and other Lutheran clergymen were pres- 
ent. Mr. Strobel remained at Cobleskill until 
the spring of 1858, when he accepted a call at 
Lockport. During his ministry at Cobleskill, 
there were only about a dozen members added 
to the Church. He induced the congregation 
to sell the old parsonage (a very unsuitable 
building for a pastor's residence), and to buy a 
larger and more commodious one. The differ- 
ence between the price of the old and new 
parsonage was ;S!4SO, which the congregation 
very promptly subscribed and paid. During 
his stay at Cobleskill, Mr. Strobel succeeded in 
effecting a union between the Franckean and 
Hartwick congregations at Richmondville, 
which was a part of his charge; and as a result 
the church at that place was thoroughly re- 
paired, a spire added to it, and the whole 
refitted in a manner very creditable to the 
united congregation. 

The Rev. Henry Keller succeeded Rev. 
Strobel about the ist of October, 1858, and 
sustained the pastoral relation for two years. 
During the first year of his ministry, there was 


*'a precious work of grace," and forty-six 
members were added to the church. Not the 
least interesting and important event, especi- 
ally to the young pastor himself, during his 
stay at Cobleskill, was his marriage with Miss 
Josephine Courter, the eldest daughter of the 
Hon. Charles Courter, one of the leading citi- 
zens of the community, and one of the most 
prominent and influential members of the 
church. Brother Keller made a good record 
at Cobleskill. 

The Rev. Ira S. Porter assumed the pastoral 
charge of Cobleskill (in connection with Rich- 
mondville) on the 1st of April, 1861, and sus- 
tained the pastoral relation until the spring of 
1867. This covered the period of our civil 
war. It was a time of great political excite- 
ment, which affected unfavorably all the relig- 
ious interests of the country. Very few con- 
gregations escaped the contentions incident 
upon such a fearful internecine struggle. Party 
feeling, as all know, ran very high everywhere. 
Many congregations were rent by bitter ani- 
mosities, and not a few were almost entirely 
destroyed. It was doing a good work on the 
part of brother Porter, by pursuing a prudent 


and conservative course, to secure, under the 
circumstances, peace in his congregation and a 
large measure of prosperity, whilst so many 
others were divided and very much weakened. 
Brother Porter left here, if not the record of 
great achievements, at least that of an earnest, 
faithful and devoted pastor. 

The Rev. A. P. Ludden succeeded Rev. 
Porter, and commenced his pastoral duties on 
the 1st of June, 1867. He was installed on the 
nth of July. The Rev. Dr. Lintner preached 
the sermon. Rev. E. Belfour. gave the charge 
to the congregation, and Rev. P. A. Strobel 
the charge to the pastor. Very soon after he 
entered upon his work, steps were taken to 
build a new church. In this measure the pas- 
tor was seconded by such leading men in the 
church as Charles Courter, Herman Becker, 
Abraham Shutt, Japhet Kromer, John Brown, 
Josiah Borst, H. L. Russell, A. Lawyer, Peter 
Swartz, Dr. L. Fox, H. Overpaugh, A. Snyder, 
and others — and many prominent citizens not 
members of the church, notably Peter Lawyer, 
Hon. Henry Smith, of Cobleskill, and Mr. 
Jacob Russell, of New York (the two latter 
giving JI500 each), and others, all of whom 


made very liberal contributions towards the 
erection of the new edifice. The comer-stone 
of the church was laid by the pastor on the 
2 1 St of August, in the presence of a very large 
audience. Appropriate addresses were deliv- 
ered by the Rev. H. Keller and Rev. P. A. 
Strobel, two of the former pastors. 

This measure of building a new church had 
become a necessity. It was found that the 
" old brick church," which for two-thirds of a 
century had served successive generations as a 
place of worship, had become too small, and in 
its architecture it was not in keeping with the 
modern style of church edifices. Besides, the 
extension of the Albany and Susquehanna 
Railroad to Cobleskill, and beyond it, was 
rapidly developing the place, so that, from 
being a small isolated village of about four 
hundred inhabitants, it was growing into a 
handsome and thrifty town, with an increasing 
population of intelligent, enterprising citizens, 
and promising to become a very important 
commercial centre for a large extent of coun- 
try. Hence a new church, more capacious 
and more modern in its style of architecture, 
was much needed to meet this new condition 


of things. The sequel shows the wisdom and 
foresight of this movement. To-day Cobles- 
kill is a town of no small dimensions and 
importance. Its population now numbers 
thousands, where it once had only hundreds. 
It would be difficult to find anywhere a town 
of its size containing a greater number of 
capacious and elegant stores and public build- 
ings, or a greater number of beautiful and 
attractive private residences, with well-kept 
lawns and gardens; or where there is any 
larger proportion of intelligence, refinement 
and moral worth, or more business enterprise 
amongst the citizens. 

Not a few thought it was perhaps a mistake 
that the new church was not built on the site 
of the old one, which was much more central 
and far more eligible in every respect than the 
one on which the new church is located. It 
would have been well, too, if in building the 
new church the memorial stones, which had 
been placed in the front wall of the old church 
to perpetuate the memory of its builders, had 
been transferred to the new church, that there 
they might continue to bear their voiceless yet 
impressive testimony to the untiring zeal and 


the pious devotion of the honored few who, 
amidst much toil and sacrifice, had reared that 
venerable " old brick church." 

The work of erecting the new edifice was 
prosecuted with vigor under the direction of 
Mr. Charles Courtei*, who gave much of his 
time and very liberally of his means towards 
the prosecution of this enterprise. The new 
church was dedicated on the ist day of July, 
1868. The dedication sermon was preached 
by the Rev. F. W. Conrad, D. D., in the 
morning. The liturgical services were per- 
formed by Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D. The 
Rev. S. P. Sprecher, of Albany, preached in 
the evening. Amongst the visiting ministers 
present were Revs. L. Schell, H. Keller, A. N. 
Daniels, M. J. Stover, J. R. Sikes, I. S. Porter, 
and P. Wieting. The church is of brick, 50 
by 93 feet, with a spire of 160 feet. There is a 
capacious basement for Sunday-school and 
other purposes. The audience room is hand- 
somely furnished. The ceilings are beautifully 
ornamented. There is a commodious semi- 
circular gallery, and behind the pulpit a large 
and fine- toned organ, costing perhaps ;^i,o<X) 
— the whole a monument to the zeal, the liber- 


ality and refined taste of the congregation. 
The entire cost of this edifice, which is one of 
the finest Lutheran churches in the State, was 
1136,000. On the day of the dedication, contri- 
butions were made toward the building of the 
church, amounting to ;^ 10,000, of which the 
Hon. Charles Courter gave |»4,ooo. It should 
be mentioned to the credit of the ladies of the 
Cobleskill church that, with their usual energy 
and skill, they raised, by means of a fair and in 
other ways, a very handsome sum of money, 
which was expended in furnishing the new 

During the winter of 1869, Rev. Ludden 
reported an extensive revival of religion, result- 
ing in the addition of nearly one hundred 
members to the church. He served the church 
with his usual zeal and fidelity until October, 
1 87 1, when he resigned. 

After the retirement of Rev. Ludden, the 
church was without a regular pastor for two 
years, but had the services of Rev. Patterson, 
a Baptist preacher, at that time Principal of the 
Warnerville Seminary. Calls had been ex- 
tended to a number of prominent Lutheran 
ministers, but these calls had been declined. 


Eventually,. the Rev. C. P. Whitecar became 
pastor ; but some difficulties having arisen, his 
connection with the church was of very short 

The Rev. Sylvanus Stall assumed the pas- 
toral charge of Cobleskill on the 7th of June, 
1874. It will perhaps be best to give his 
own statement of his labors here from June 
7, 1874, to February 8, 1877, at which latter 
period he resigned. He says : *' The summary 
of my work during my pastorate at Cobleskill 
is as follows : Received into the church by 
confirmation 30, by certificate 12, by baptism 
32; total additions 74; membership when I 
took charge, 139 ; number of membership 
when i left, 206; baptisms — infants 17, adults 
32 ; marriages, 1 1 ; funerals, 20. Contribu- 
tions — Foreign Missions, $130.93; Home Mis- 
sions, ;J!77 ; Beneficiary Education, $ig; local 
objects, ;^2 196.84; General Synod fund, ;J!io; 
Synodical Treasury, ;J!29.42; general benevo- 
lence, ;J! 186.86. Contributions of Sunday- 
school, $i6y; Sunday-school scholars in 1874, 
130; in 1877, 200; officers and teachers, 
25.. When I took charge, the church debt 
aggregated something over |»23,ooo, and by 


the time the final settlement was effected it 
amounted to near ;^25,ooo. Of this amount I 
raised a little more than 5 19,000, Mr. Charles 
Courter donating about ^ My pastor- 
ate was in every respect a pleasant one, and I 
remember that people with the kindest of feel- 

Shortly after the resignation of Rev, Stall, 
the congregation secured the services of Rev. 
G. W. Hemperly. He found the church still 
embarrassed with considerable debt (something 
over 57000) ; the congregation was rather de- 
spondent, and the pastor felt himself ham- 
pered in all his work. Nevertheless, he was 
not discourged, and determined to make the 
best of the situation, laboring on patiently and 
trustingly, and hoping that the day of deliver- 
ance from financial difficulty might soon come. 
In about a year after he entered upon his 
labors, the church met with a very severe 
blow in the death of Mr. Charles Courter, one 
of its most active, energetic and liberal- 
minded members. It was no doubt his pur- 
pose to do much more toward freeing the 
church of its indebtedness, and he would have 
made a large contribution toward it if his life 


had been spared. His death cast a gloom 
over the community, and the church was 
deeply afflicted by his sudden cutting ofif. But 
the church, though " cast down," was " not in 
despair." When this human prop was re- 
moved, the church cast herself upon her Great 
Head, and, looking to him for direction and 
grace, determined to liquidate the debt. Some 
few months after Mr. Courter's death, the pas- 
tor, aided by the Rev. Edwin Potter, went 
earnestly to work, and by one united, vigorous 
effort, the amount necessary to pay the church 
debt was generously and with a commendable 
promptitude subscribed. 

Thus one serious impediment to the pros- 
perity of the church and the success of the 
pastor was removed. No congregation in the 
bounds of the Synod, in proportion to their 
numbers and wealth, have contributed so lib- 
erally and freely of their substance to the 
building of a church and the liquidation of 
their church debt. They have given of their 
substance freely, not only according to their 
ability, but in some cases even beyond it. 
God will certainly bless a congregation that 
thus honor him by consecrating their worldly 
goods to the building up of his kingdom. 


The Rev. Hemperly is discharging his 
duties as pastor noiselessly, but faithfully and 
efficiently. This church has been and is still 
exerting a marked influence upon the moral 
and religious interests of the community. No 
church has a better record as to its past his- 
tory, and with united consecration to Christ, 
on behalf of the pastor and its people, there is 
before it a future of great usefulness, in which 
no one will rejoice more heartily than the 
writer of this sketch. 



This church is located in the town of Sharon 
(formerly New Durlach), and was originally a 
part of St. John's church in the same town, 
and, with St. John's and Cobleskill, made one 
pastorate. Up to 1789, the congregation was 
known as "the Lutheran congregation of 
Cobleskill and New Durlach." Subsequently, 
St. Peter's, or New Rhinebeck, was organized 
by a division of the St. John's congregation. 
This division occurred about the year 1796. 


In the year 1798, the church edifice at New 
Rhinebeck was built. In 1799, ^^^ ^^^ ^^"' 
gregation was incorporated under the State 
statute of 1784, by the name of "The Minis- 
ters and Trustees of the Lutheran Church in 
New Rhinebeck." The branch of the congre- 
gation which worshiped at New Durlach was 
incorporated in 1808, by the name of the 
" Trustees of the Evangelical Lutheran Church 
of St. John's, at Durlach, Sharon." The 
remaining part of the original Lutheran church 
of Cobleskill and New Durlach was about the 
same time incorporated as a separate church 
at Cobleskill. In 1808, the one hundred and 
fifty acres of land donated in 1789 to these 
congregations, by pastor Sommer and others, 
were divided ; Cobleskill taking fifty acres, and 
the other one hundred acres were held jointly 
by the congregations of St. John's, in Sharon, 
and St. Peter's, or New Rhinebeck. These 
two congregations were for many years served 
by the same pastor, and their history is 

For some years prior to 1805, they had as 
their pastor the Rev. Mr. Labach, of the 
Reformed Dutch Church. In 1805, the Rev. 


Henry Moeller, a Lutheran minister, was 
called, who served them faithfully until 1822, 
The Rev. Adam Crownse succeeded him, and 
ministered to the New Rhinebeck and Sharon 
churches until 1828. The Rev. Philip Wieting 
became pastor in 1828, and served until 1833. 
when his call was renewed for ten years. Mr. 
Wieting remained in charge of the congrega- 
tion, holding possession of the churches and of 
the parsonage (which was located near the 
New Rhinebeck church), until the latter part 
of 1844, when he was dispossessed by a decree 
of the Court of Chancery of the State of New 
York, in an action brought against him and 
others, by Philip Kniskern and others, on 
behalf of St. John's and St. Peter's churches. 
Upon the removal of Mr. Wieting, the Rev. J. 
Fenner was pastor of St. Peter's, or New 
Rhinebeck, in connection with Cobleskill and 
other churches. His stay was very brief. 
Subsequently this church was served success- 
ively by Rev. A. L. Bridgman and the Rev. 
M. J. Stover, in connection with the churches 
named above, until 1847, when St. Peter's and 
St. John's formed a separate charge. The 
Rev. W. H. Emerick became pastor of this 


newly-organized charge in 1848, serving until 
1855. For the last year of his ministry he did 
not preach at St. Peter's (New Rhinebeck), 
some misunderstanding having occurred be- 
tween him and this congregation. From this 
time the New Rhinebeck (St. Peter's) congre- 
gation seems to have had no regular pastor. 
For several years they had the services of Dr. 
Lintner every two weeks — the doctor then 
residing at Schoharie, some thirteen miles 
away. Gradually all supplies ceased, and the 
members of SL Peter's united with other 
congregations, the whole organization being 
disbanded. The venerable old church still 
stands. Its antiquated appearance brings up 
the memory of its builders — men of faith and 
prayer and earnest devotion. Amongst them 
were the Kniskerns, the Empies, the Russells, 
the Strobecks, the Frances, and others, many 
of whose descendants are amongst the leading 
citizens of the community. 

The congregation of St. Peter's, or New 
Rhinebeck, is invested with peculiar interest, 
because, with St. John'5 in Sharon, it became 
involved in one of the most important litiga- 
tions which had for many years come before 


the civil courts in the State of New York. It 
has been stated that, in 1833, the Rev. Philip 
Wieting, having served New Rhinebeck and 
Sharon for five years, had his call renewed for 
ten years. This would have made him pastor 
until 1843, and have given him a tenure for 
that time to the use of the parsonage and the 
hundred acres of land attached to it' In 1837, 
four years after this new contract was entered 
into, Mr. Wieting, in connection with several 
other Lutheran ministers, withdrew from the 
Hartwick Synod, and organized the Franckean 
Synod. This latter body adopted a constitu- 
tion and a confession of faith in which the 
Augsburg Confession was virtually repudiated. 
The majority of the congregation at New 
Rhinebeck, including a majority of the trus- 
tees and other officers, were in sympathy with 
Mr. Wieting in the organization of the new 
Synod. Being thus in the majority, Mr. Wiet- 
ing and his confederates in the New Rhinebeck 
and St. John's congregations determined to 
hold the church property to the exclusion of 
the minority, who still adhered to the Hart- 
wick Synod and the Confessions of the Luth- 
eran Church. To test this question as to the 


legal ownership of the church property, a suit 
was brought in the Court of Chancery by 
Philip Kniskern and others, representing the 
minority, against Philip Wieting and others. 
The bill was filed before the chancellor on the 
23d day of May, 1839. This case was before 
the court until 1844, when a decision was ren- 
dered by the Hon. Lewis H. Sandford, vice 
chancellor. The opinion was delivered on 
July 17th, 1844, and was entitled "Opinion 
upon charitable uses, for religious tenets ; the 
Augsburg Confession of Faith, as the Creed of 
the Lutheran Church, and the departures 
therefrom in the Declaration of Faith of the 
Franckean Synod." This opinion of Chan- 
cellor Sandford is a very lengthy one, and is 
certainly one of the clearest and ablest exposi- 
tions of the law, as it relates to the questions 
at issue, that has ever been delivered. The 
main points in this decision were as follows : 
I. That the churches at Sharon and New 
Rhinebeck were Lutheran churches, and that 
they were built for the promulgation of the 
doctrines of the Lutheran Church, as taught in 
the Augsburg Confession. That the trustees 
held the church property in trust for the pur- 


pose of having certain religious tenets taught 
and upheld ; and that the use of these churches 
and the property attached for the propaga- 
tion of religious tenets at variance with the 
Augsburg Confession, was a breach of trust 
2. That the Rev. Philip Wieting and others, 
defendants in this suit, had repudiated the 
Augsburg Confession, and had published 
another confession of faith differing essentially 
from the Augsburg Confession in some of its 
most fundamental and vital doctrines ; and 
therefore had forfeited all right to the posses- 
sion and use of the property. 

The Chancellor entered into a very elabor- 
ate and learned discussion to show wherein 
Mr. Wieting and the Franckean Synod in 
their declaration of faith had departed from 
the tenets of the Lutheran Church, as taught 
in the Augsburg Confession. In this discus- 
sion he exhibited a nice discrimination of 
theological questions, and a measure of learn- 
ing and knowledge of ecclesiastical history, 
which would be creditable to our most astute 

One of the conclusions of the Chancellor, 
after having heard all the testimony and able 


counsel on both sides, is stated thus ; " The 
complainants have, therefore, in my opinion, 
established that the defendants have adopted a 
rule or standard of faith which is different from 
the Augsburg Confession of Faith and the 
other standards of faith and doctrine of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church, as held and 
maintained by the founders of the two 
churches in controversy ; and that they have 
diverted the churches and church property 
from the purposes and objects for which they 
were erected and bestowed, and perverted 
them to the preaching, teaching and support of 
an essentially different faith and doctrine, in 
violation of their duty as trustees of that 
property and those edifices." 

In sustaining this decision, the Chancellor 
laid down these general principles : 

" The courts in their jurisdiction over these 
religious trusts do not interfere with the right 
which every man has to interpret the Word of 
God according to his view of its plain import. 
They fetter no man's conscience; they bind no 
one to the dogmas of a creed, ancient or 
• modern. The defendants, by the decree which 
I am required to make, are not restrained from 


believing or rejecting as much or as little of 
the Augsburg Confession of Faith as they 
deem reasonable or proper. If they consider it 
antiquated, obsolete, or contrary to Scripture, 
they are entirely at liberty to preach and to 
hear accordingly. But the law does not per- 
mit them to use the poperty of others to sus- 
tain their views. They are trustees of this 
fund, and neither justice nor honesty will tol- 
erate them in taking the fund given by others 
(their ancestors, it may be, but given for the 
support of the doctrines of that Confession), 
and using it to attack and destroy those doc- 

The Chancellor closes thus: "There must 
be a decree removing from the office of 
trustees the defendants, who held that office 
when this bill was filed, declaring that their 
offices are vacant and that the complainant, 
Marcus Brown, is a trustee of St. John's 
Church at Durlach. There must be a new ap- 
pointment of trustees, and the defendants and 
their successors, and those claiming under 
them in the respective churches, must deliver 
up to Brown and the new trustees all the real 
and personal estate of the two churches, and 


the books, papers and records of the same. 
And they are to account for the rents, income 
and profits of the property since the com- 
mencement of this suit. The defendants must 
be perpetually enjoined from interfering with 
the property except in accordance with the de- 
cree, and from using or appropriating it for 
any other purpose.** 

"The decree will declare that the tempo- 
ralities in question are held by the two corpora- 
tions in trust for the support of Divine wor- 
ship by an Evangelical Lutheran Church, and 
for the teaching of the doctrines of the Augs- 
burg Confession of Faith, and such other 
standards as were held and recognized by the 
Lutheran Church in this country in the year 
1799, and in connection with the Hartwick 
Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, 
with such other provisions on this subject as 
will carry out the decision of the Court. The 
defendants must be charged with the costs of 
the suit.*' 

Under this decree the churches of St. John 
in Sharon (or Durlach) and St. Peter or New 
Rhinebeck, with the parsonage, lands, books, 
etc., were surrendered by Rev. P. Wieting and 


others, defendants, to the plaintiffs, Kniskern, 
Brown and others, representing the Hartwick 
Synod; and these churches were ever after- 
wards served by pastors belonging to this 
ecclesiastical body. 



In 1713, one hundred and fifty families set- 
tled in Schoharie from the Palatinate in Ger- 

Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer was the 
pioneer of Lutheran ism in Schoharie county. 
He was the pastor of the church in Schoharie, 
which was the mother church of the churches 
of Middleburg, Cobleskill and New Durlach, 
in Sharon. These churches included his pas- 
torate, for some time previous to the French 
war. We have not the date of the commence- 
ment of his labors here. 

He was one of the patentees of the Lawyer 
and Zimmer patent, and secured a lot of land 
on the patent, upon which the church and 


parsonage were built, called the Rhinebeck 
church. The churches — the St. John's, in 
Sharon, and the Lutheran church in Rhine- 
beck — were organized by him, the property 
deeded and the churches dedicated, in which 
the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession were 
to be taught. Meetings were held in the barn 
in summer, and in the houses in winter, before 
the churches were built. The battle in the 
Revolution (at Cedar Swamp) was fought the 
day that the Rev. Sommer and his congrega- 
tion were worshiping in the barn at the foot of 
the hill where the St. John's church used to 
stand. They were about four miles from Cedar 

In 1805, this pastorate called the Rev. H. 
A. Moeller to be the pastor. He gave up his 
call in 1822. 

In 1801, the legislature of this State passed 
an act for the incorporation of religious 

In 1808, the St. John's Lutheran church, of 
Sharon, became a body corporate according to 
the act of incorporation of the legislature of 
the State of New York, under the name and 
title of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. 



JoMs at Duriach, in Sharon, Schoharie county^ 
New York, Henry France and John Sommer 
presided as judges of election, and declared 
that Jacob Anthony, Peter Traber and Nich- 
olas Sommer were elected trustees, to serve 
one, two, and three years, in the order named 

In 1805, Rev. Adam Crownse was called to 
the charge of these churches, and resigned in 

The' Rev.- Philip Wieting took charge of 
these congregations in November, 1828, and 
continued the pastor until 1837, when the con- 
gregations were divided by the organization of 
the Franckean Synod. Since that time, the 
church of St John has been served by the fol- 
lowing pastors : Revs. James Fenner, A. L. 
Bridgman, M. J. Stover, W. H. Emerick, H. 
Wheeler, N. Wirt. G. W. Hemperly, Ira S. 
Porter, and H. Keller. The Rev. M. J. Stover 
is the present pastor, having been recalled in 




This congregation, together with those at 
Schaghticoke and West Sandlake in Rens- 
selaer county, New York, once formed one 
pastorate. The Gilead congregation in Bruns- 
wick is believed to have been organized about 
1750, and it is claimed that a log church was 
built by the congregation about that date, 
although there are no authentic records to 
verify this fact. These congregations were all 
composed of Germans from the Palatinate, who 
emigrated to the State of New York under 
grants of land from Queen Anne of England. 

The first church known to have been erected 
by the Lutheran congregation in Brunswick 
was a frame building, and was located near the 
village of Haynerville, about three miles north 
of where the church now stands. The barn 
erected out of the materials of this old church, 
on the farm of Mr. C. Mickle, is still in a state 
of good preservation. 

There are records which indicate that Gilead 
Church was organized as early as 1760. The 


names of the pastors who served this church 
from 1760 to 1768 are not given, although it is 
believed they went over to the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. The Rev. Samuel Schwerd- 
fezer was pastor from 1768 to 1792, Rev. 
George Joseph Wichterman from 1792 to 
1802, Rev. Anthon T. Braun from 1802 to 
18 1 2. The Rev. John Bachman was pastor 
from 1812 to 181 3. This gentleman then re- 
moved to Charleston, South Carolina, and was 
pastor of the English Lutheran church in that 
city for nearly if not quite fifty years. He was 
made a D. D., and subsequently an LL. D. 
He became greatly renowned throughout our 
own country and also in England, France and 
Germany, as a theologian, and especially for 
his attainments in science and natural history. 
He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society 
of England, and an honorary member of sev- 
eral scientific societies in France and Germany. 
He was, as a naturalist, the compeer of Wil- 
son, Audubon, Agassiz, and other distin- 
guished men of that particular school of sci- 
entists. He died in Charleston at a very 
advanced age, revered by his congregation, 
and enjoying a reputation as a theologian, 

HISTORICAL sketches: 26 1 

a man of eminent scientific attainments, an 
eloquent preacher and Christian gentleman, 
which it has been the privilege of very few to 

The Rev. John Molther succeeded Rev. J. 
Bachman, and was pastor from i8i4to 1817. 
This gentleman was the father-in-law of Rev. 
J. Z. Senderling. 

In the year 18 17 Rev. Wm. M'Carty be- 
came pastor of this congregation in connection 
with Schaghticoke, and continued to serve the 
congregations until 1821, a period of four 
years. During his ministry the "old brick 
church " was erected. It was built by Walter 
McChesney, and cost ;$S5oo. In this church 
the congregation continued to worship until 
May, 1865, when it was torn down to make 
room for the present stately and commanding 
edifice. The "old brick" had stood for forty- 
eight years. Amongst the principal members 
at this time were John Finkel, Jno. M. File, 
George Brust, Leonard Smith, Isaac File, Dan- 
iel Simmons, Henry Dater, Martin Springer, 
Adam File, Isaac Brust, and others. 

The Rev. John R. Goodman became pastor 
in April, 1821, and continued until 1828. Dur- 


ing his ministrations here the infant baptisms 
averaged 35 for six years, making a total of 
210. Only 19 members were added to the 

After Rev. Goodman came the Rev. J. Z. 
Senderling, who served this pastorate most ac- 
ceptably and usefully for the long period of 
twenty-five years — from November, 1828, to 
November, 1853. During these years Rev. 
Senderling baptized 550 infants, being an an- 
nual average of 22. The admissions to the 
church were 476, being an average of a 
fraction less than 20 for each year. During 
Rev. Senderling's ministry there were several 
extensive revivals at Brunswick, and to these 
must be traced, in a great measure, the large 
accessions to the church. These revivals 
were very judiciously conducted, and whilst 
the deepest religious convictions pervaded the 
entire community, reaching into the church 
itself, and awakening many who had "a name 
to live, whilst they were dead in trespasses and 
sins," there were no noisy demonstrations. 
These revivals proved their genuineness in the 
permanency of their results. Many who were 
then awakened and brought into the kingdom 


are still living, to testify by their clear and un- 
questioned experience, and especially by their 
lives of consecration to Christ, that they had 
been indeed " born again," being begotten of 
the Spirit " sons of God." 

After a ministry of twenty-five years, marked 
by the greatest devotion and fidelity to his 
responsible work, amidst labors most abun- 
dant and indefatigable, sacrifices and strug- 
gles most numerous and trying, yet with the 
most signal marks of the divine approval and 
blessing, this faithful servant of Christ resigned 
his charge. He left his own pure and holy 
character indelibly impressed upon the people 
whom he so long and faithfully served; and 
all who survive him speak of him with the 
deepest reverence and the warmest affection. 
"The memory of the just is blessed." This 
was the period of the church's greatest pros- 

The Rev. David Kline succeeded the Rev. 
J. Z. Senderling in 1853, and served the 
Brunswick church until 1864, a period of 
eleven years. During these eleven years there 
were sixty- two baptisms, an average of five 
and seven-elevenths annually, and one hundred 


additions to the church, being an annual aver- 
age of nine and one-eleventh. 

During the first seven or eight years of Rev. 
Kline's ministry, the church enjoyed much 
peace and prosperity. But about the year 
1 86 1, when the country became involved in 
our great civil war, Mr. Kline, who was of a 
very ardent nature and very pronounced in all 
his opinions, felt it to be his duty to discuss in 
the pulpit the political issues of the day ; and 
as this was done not in the most prudent and 
judicious way, a very unpleasant state of 
things grew up in the congregation, resulting 
in angry and uncharitable discussions, as well 
as in serious alienations ; and this led to the 
severance of Mr. Kline's connection with the 
church at the expiration of the term of his call, 
on the 14th of November, 1864. Mr. Kline 
had many very warm friends in the commu- 
nity; for he was a warm-hearted, genial man, 
and possessed fine social qualities. He re- 
moved to Spruce Run, N. J., in December, 
1864, and died there very suddenly in 1878. 

The Rev. P. A. Strobel was the successor of 
Rev. D. Kline. He entered upon his pastoral 
work in the early part* of December, 1864. 


The church was in a distracted state. The 
animosities which had sprung up in the church 
had been vfiry intense, and there were many 
obstacles in the way of bringing the parties 
into friendly and fraternal relations. Never- 
theless, harmony was so far restored that, in 
the month of February, 1865, the initiatory 
steps were taken to build a new church, the 
old one having grown out of fashion and being 
much the worse for wear. The proper com- 
mittees were appointed, funds were raised, and 
the building of a new church was commenced 
in the month of May, 1865. 

The corner-stone of the new church was 
laid on the 6th day of July, 1865. The Rev. 
V. F. Bolton was present, and assisted in the 
services. The Rev. P. A. Strobel delivered an 
appropriate address, and read the liturgical 
services appointed for such occasions. In the 
corner-stone there were deposited a copy of the 
Holy Scriptures, Luther's Catechism, Lutheran 
Observer, Lutheran and Missionary, Lutheran 
Almanac, Minutes of Hartwick Synod, a list 
of all the pastors who had served the church, 
a historical sketch of the Lutheran Church in 
the United States, list- of church officers and 


members, and other items connected with the 
history of the church. At this time the fol- 
lowing brethren were officers of the church : 
Elders, Isaac Roberts, John Bornt, Isaac Brust, 
Jacob J. Bornt. Deacons, Henry Dater, David 
Snyder, Alfred Buss, Michael Hayner. Trus- 
tees, George Brust, Adam Wager, Michael 
Weatherwax, Joseph Bulson, Jacob H. Hay- 
ner, William Derrick. Recording Secretary, 
Michael Weatherwax. Treasurer, Michael 
Hayner. Sexton, James Roberts. Building 
Committee, George Brust and Adam Wager. 
The architect was W. F. Cummings. Masons, 
Jacobs and Nichols. Carpenter, J. Stranahan. 
The new church edifice was completed and 
dedicated on the 23d day of November, 1865. 
The Rev. L. Sternberg, D. D., who was at that 
time President of Hartwick Synod, preached 
the dedication sermon. The Rev. J. Z. Sender- 
ling, one of the former pastors, performed the 
dedicatory service. Rev. D. Kline, another of 
the former pastors, also took part in the ser- 
vices. The cost of the new church, including 
all the furniture, was about jl 14,000. This 
entire amount, less $^QO, had been secured 
previous to the dedication ; and the trustees. 


knowing that this deficiency could be easily 
raised, did not deem it necessary to ask for 
any contributions on the day of the dedication. 
The furnishing of the new church cost about 
III, 800. This amount was raised by the ladies 
of the congregation. 

The new church is located on the public 
road, five miles from Troy. It is 75 by 50 
feet, built of brick, and is a neat and substan- 
tial edifice. It has a massive tower, sur- 
mounted by four small spires. There is a ca- 
pacious basement, with a large audience room 
and rooms for the Bible and infant classes 
and a librar>'. The audience room of the 
church is very handsomely frescoed, is car- 
peted throughout, and the seats are all cush- 
ioned. An elegant chandelier hangs in the 
centre, which was a donation to the church, 
procured through the efforts of Mrs. Col. 
George Brust. The whole building, with its 
appointments, is an honor to the enlightened 
zeal and liberality of the congregation. With- 
in the last few years, a large and sweet-toned 
bell has been hung in the tower, and its 
solemn sounds can be heard far and near, 
resounding amongst the hills, and inviting the 
worshipers to come up to the sanctuary. 


In the winter of 1866 a series of meetings, 
held partly at the new church and partly at 
the Tamarack school-house, resulted in a re- 
vival by which over thirty persons were added 
to the church at the communion at Easter. 

Mr. Strobel served the congregation with 
acceptance to a large majority of the member- 
ship, and with a good measure of success, 
until the winter of 1868, being a period of four 
years, when he was succeeded by Rev. P. M. 
Rightmyer. During Mr. Rightmyer*s minis- 
try of three years, there were several revivals, 
in one of which the pastor was aided by his 
brother, resulting in 10 1 additions to the 
church. The R^v. A. P. Ludden was pastor 
from October, 1871, to October, 1875 — four 
years. His ministry was also marked by sev- 
eral revivals, during which 133 were added to 
the church. Rev. J. N. Barnett succeeded Rev. 
Ludden, and was pastor from 1876 to 1879 — 
three years. There were 40 additions to the 
church as the result of his labors. During a 
part of the winter of 1879, ^^^* M. W. 
Empie, of Sandlake, served the congregation 
as a supply. The Rev. I. J. Delo, the present 
pastor commenced his ministry here in March, 


1880, and is serving the congregation with 
much acceptance. 

During the last decade this church has met 
with severe losses in the death of some of its 
most active, liberal and influential members. 
Notably amongst these were the Hon. Martin 
Springer, John Dater, Col. George Brust, John 
Bornt, David Snyder, Isaac Roberts, Philip 
Hayner, Isaac Brust, A. Buss, A. Weatherwax, 
Reuben Smith, Michael Hayner, and others. 
But, notwithstanding God has called so many 
of these noble and valued brethren to their re- 
ward in heaven, the church is still strong — 
strong in the number, zeal and piety of her 
membership — strong in her material resources 
— and is exerting a marked and most salutary 
moral influence throughout the entire com- 



This is an old organization. Formed amid 
the dark days of the Revolution, it has 


rounded out a full century of Christian work. 
The house of worship stands upon an eleva- 
tion overlooking the country far and wide. 
Up to this sacred height the generations have 
come through all these years to worship the 
God of their fathers. The congregation of the 
dead have also gathered, year by year, upon 
these grassy slopes. This church has a long 
succession of pastors — a roll of pious, devoted 
men — viz. : Revs. George Joseph Wichterman, 
1776-93; Anthon T. Braun, 1794-1812; John 
Bachman, 1812-13; John Molther, 1814-17; 
William M'Carty, 1 817-21; John R. Good- 
man, 1821-28; Jacob Z. Senderling, 1828-49; 
Sylvander Curtis, 1850-52; John Selmser, 
1852-57; V. F. Bolton, 1858-72; J. R. Sikes, 
1873-77. N. Wirt, the present incumbent, 
commenced his labors as pastor October i, 


The present house of worship was erected 
in 1853, during the pastorate of Rev. John 
Selmser, a wood structure well finished and 
neatly upholstered, with a seating capacity of 
about five hundred persons. It is warmed 
from two furnaces, located in the basement. 
The whole is neat, tasty and comfortable. 


Near the church is a fine, comfortable and 
convenient parsonage, built about twenty-five 
years ago. 

Prior to 1850, this church was connected 
with the Gilead Evangelical Lutheran church, 
of Centre Brunswick, and both served by the 
same pastor ; but since that date this congre- 
gation has called its own pastor. A legal 
corporation was effected May 13, 1851. The 
certificate was signed by John K. Hayner and 
Henry S. Clapper, elders. The following were 
the first trustees: Thomas Esmond, Jacob 
Stover, Jacob Dater, Leonard Green, John J. 
Sepperley, Allen Way, Mather Webster, 
Seneca Dennis, and Solomon V. R. Miller. 
The following constitute the present board of 
officers : John N. Bonesteel, James W. Over- 
ocker, Charles Hermon, Jacob Dater, Elders ; 
John J. Sipperley, Michael L. Overocker, 
Edward Webster, E. S. Baucus, Deacons; 
D. C. Halstead, William H. Bonesteel, James 
W. Yates, James T. Wiley, Charles W. Lara- 
bee, Trustees. 








This church and the churches at Brunswick 
and Schaghticoke have a common origin, hav- 
ing all been organized by German Lutherans 
from the Palatinate, and for many years con- 
stituted one pastorate. The organization of 
these congregations is supposed to have been 
effected about the year 1776. The first pastor 
was the Rev. Mr. Wichterman, who served 
West Sandlake with the other two churches 
from 1777 to 1793. The second pastor was 
Rev. Anthon T. Braun, from 1794 to 181 2. 
During the latter part of his ministry, he was 
assisted by the Rev. John Bachman, from the 
Schaghticoke church, who had studied theol- 
ogy with Mr. Braun. The Rev. Bachman was 
licensed by the New York Ministerium, and 
became Mr. Braun's successor, serving the 
congregations about two years. The Rev. J. 
Molther followed Rev. Bachman, and served 
the pastorate from i8i3toi8i6. 


From 1 8 17 to 182 1, West Sandlake and the 
other churches were under the pastoral care of 
Rev. W. M'Carty. It was whilst he was pas- 
tor that the West Sandlake Church was built 
Up to this time the West Sandlake congre- 
gation had worshiped in a church in the town 
of Greenbush. The removal of the church to 
its present site was the occasion of no small 
contention. Many of the members living in 
the neighborhood of the old church were so 
much opposed to changing the location that 
they withdrew from the congregation. 

The Rev. J. R. Goodman succeeded Rev. 
M'Carty, and commenced his labors in Octo- 
ber, 1 82 1. The spiritual condition of the 
church was not improved, and there were very 
few additions. The Rev. Goodman, after hav- 
ing resided a number of years at West Sand- 
lake, removed to Troy, ostensibly to get a more 
central position from which to serve his con- 
gregations. After laboring in this field for 
nearly seven years, he united with the Epis- 
copal Church. 

The Rev. J. Z. Senderling was elected pastor 
of the united churches in 1829. After one 
year's service the charge was divided, Bruns- 


wick and Schaghticoke forming one charge, 
and West Sandlake resolving to support its 
own pastor; and from this time West Sandlake 
has a distinct history. 

The Rev. John D. Lawyer was called by the 
West Sandlake congregation in 1830. He 
was a man of considerable ability and of ex- 
cellent address. He entered upon his labors 
with earnestness and zeal. Under his ministry 
a great change for the better was effected in 
the congregation. In fact it became one of 
the leading congregations in the county. 
During his connection with Sandlake, Rev 
Lawyer organized the Lutheran congregation 
at Poestenkill. 

Mr. Lawyer continued to serve West Sand- 
lake congregation with acceptance and no 
small measure of usefulness until 1836, when 
the division in the Hartwick Synod occurred, 
resulting in the organization of the Franckean 
Synod. Mr. Lawyer was one of the leading 
spirits in this movement, which resulted so 
disastrously to the Lutheran Church in the 
State of New York. This rupture was fol- 
lowed by a division of the Lutheran congrega- 
tion at Sandlake, and the organization of 


another congregation and the building of 
another church. As a matter of course, more 
or less antagonism grew up between these rival 
congregations, and the breach between them 
has not been fully healed to this day. 

The Rev. G. W. Lewis became pastor of the 
West Sandlake church that retained its con- 
nection with Hartwick Synod, in 1839, ^^^ 
served until 1845. His ministry was not with- 
out good results. In 1839, he reported eight- 
een additions to the church; in 1840, the 
additions were thirty ; in 1 842, twenty-one ; in 
1843, ten. 

In 1845, the Rev. John Rugan was chosen 
pastor. "The pastor and people did not 
appear to be in sympathy with each other, and 
at the end of the second year he resigned." 

The Rev. Isaac Kimball succeeded Rev. 
Rugan. He had originally belonged to the 
Methodist Church, joined the Franckean 
Synod, and thence came to the Hartwick 
Synod. He became pastor in 1850. During 
his ministry, there was an extensive revival, 
resulting in a large addition of valuable mem- 
bers, many of whom are ornaments of the 
church to this day. 


The Rev. James Lefler succeeded Rev. 
Kimball, in 1851, and served the congregation 
with great fidelity and usefulness until 1867. 
" During his connection with the congregation 
it enjoyed peace and prosperity. There were 
several extensive revivals, resulting in many 
additions. The attendance upon the services, 
and especially on communion occasions, was 
large and quite uniform. The church edifice 
was repaired, and the financial condition of the 
congregation was healthy." Throughout his 
ministry here, brother Lefler left the record of 
an earnest, devoted and faithful pastor. 

The Rev. Levi Schell succeeded Rev. Lefler 
in 1867, and served the congregation with that 
earnestness which always characterized his 
ministry, until 1874. During the first few 
years of his labors, the congregation enjoyed 
peace and much prosperity. Through his 
influence, a lecture-room was built at a cost of 
about |S2,ooo. 

Difficulties arose during the latter part of 
brother SchelFs ministry, growing out of the 
administration of church discipline, to which 
brother Schell's conscientiousness prompted 
him, which, as in most cases, unfortunately are 


not followed by the results which are sought. 
The pastor's course was not approved by some 
of his congregation, and he was left without 
the measure of sympathy and co-operation to 
which he thought his well-intentioned efforts 
entitled him. Brother Schell, however, im- 
pressed himself upon the congregation and the 
community as a man of great integrity, of 
undoubted piety and unswerving devotion to 
his convictions. Some may have doubted the 
wisdom of his administration, but no one could 
question his sincerity and the singleness and 
uprightness of all his acts and purposes. 

Rev. Schell was succeeded by a Mr. William 
H. Poor. He was a man of great plausibility, 
and possessed excellent oratorical powers. 
Having preached very acceptably to the con- 
gregation, they " made haste " to give him a 
call for one year. This was done partly 
through family influences, for he had some 
kinsmen in the congregation. When he ap- 
peared before Synod for license, his entire 
want of qualifications was found to be such 
that, very much against its better judgment, 
Synod gave him a license upon condition that 
he should pursue a course of study, which 


might in some measure supply his deficiencies 
and give him some fitness for the ministry. 
He turned out to be a man altogether un- 
worthy of the confidence of the Synod and the 
congregation, and he left the community in no 
very good repute. In other words, he was a 
clerical adventurer, whose race was swiftly 
run, and ended very discreditably. 

The Rev. V. F. Bolton was called as the 
successor of Mr. Poor, and commenced his 
pastoral labors in 1876, and is filling the posi- 
tion acceptably and usefully. He reports 135 
communicants, and a prosperous Sunday- 
school, with 1 10 scholars. 

The present church edifice was erected in 
1 816. It was remodeled in 1864, at a cost of 
|l4,cxx). In 1876, the steeple of the church 
was accidentally burned. It was immediately 
reconstructed in an improved style, and the 
church generally refitted at a cost of ;Jl4,cxx). 

Connected with the church is a very com- 
modious parsonage. The date of its erection 
is not precisely known. It is, however, a very 
ancient building, and has furnished a comfort- 
able home for the pastor from the time that 
the churches of Brunswick, Schaghticoke and 


West Sandlake constituted one pastoral 
charge. It has been graced by the presence 
of such men as Braun, M'Carty, Goodman, 
Senderling, Lefler, Schell, all of whom now 
" rest from their labors/' their works testifying 
to their fidelity as Christ's chosen ambassa- 
dors. The building has been modernized 
somewhat, but the main part of the original 
structure still remains a monument to the zeal 
and liberality of the congregation, and of their 
considerate- regard for the comfort of their 

The church at West Sandlake has had to 
pass through some severe trials. As has been 
intimated by the schism in the Hartwick 
Synod in 1837, in which the Rev. John D. 
Lawyer, then its pastor, was one of the princi- 
pal movers, a rupture was made in the con- 
gregation. Many of the leading members 
deserted the church and organized a new con- 
gregation, which united with the Franckean 
Synod. No small measure of antagonism 
grew up between these two congregations, 
standing almost side by side in the same small 
village, which has continued more or less ever 
since. The old congregation was necessarily 


weakened by the organization of a rival con- 
gregation and by the uncharitable feelings 
which necessarily grew out of this movement. 
But the faithful ones who, amidst many trials 
of their patience, remained true to their con- 
victions and to the faith and traditions of their 
fathers, had the satisfaction to see the church 
safely carried through all its trials and diffi- 
culties, and established upon a foundation of 
sound doctrine and wholesome discipline, from 
which it can never be moved. The church 
lives and flourishes to-day as a monument to 
the zeal, piety and unfaltering devotion of 
these godly men, and of the gracious watch, 
care and protection of the Great Head of the 



The records of this church do not extend 
beyond the year 1835. At that time there 
was a union congregation of Lutherans and 
German Reformed, mostly from Pennsylvania, 
worshiping in the church on Main street. 


This church was erected about the year 1826, 
that being the date on the corner-stone. At 
the organization of the Hartwick Synod, the 
Rev. D. Eyster was pastor of the Lutheran 
congregation, and with the congregation united 
with our Synod in 1 831. At that time Sparta 
and Rush were included in the Dansville pas- 
torate. The Rev. D. Eyster removed from 
Dansville to Johnstown in 1835. The Rev. 
M. J. Stover succeeded the Rev. D. Eyster, 
and was pastor until 1840, when he was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. L. Sternberg, who, owing 
to infirm health, resigned in 1843, very much 
to the regret of the congregation and the 
whole community. During Rev. Sternberg's 
ministry there was an extensive revival, especi- 
ally at Woodsville, where a congregation of 
nearly thirty members was organized; but 
this organization was of short continuance. 

About this time a controversy grew up be- 
tween the Lutheran and German Reformed 
congregations, which resulted in some unpleas- 
ant litigation. The Lutheran congregation 
obtained a second act of incorporation, and 
determined to build a new church. Prominent 
amongst the members and church officers at 


this time were John Haas, sr., William Haas, 
John Haas, jr., Wm. Weldy, John Hartman, 
Peter Sherer, B. Pickett, John Littles, D. In- 
gersoll, F. House, S. Jones, Elias Geiger, I. L. 
Endress, Edmund Opp, Dr. S. L. Endress, and 

The Rev. John Selmser was chosen pastor 
on the 30th of June, 1845, and soon after 
entered upon his duties. About this time the 
congregation resolved to build a new church, 
but continued to worship in the old one until 
December, 1847, when the new church being 
completed, was dedicated according to the 
forms usual in the Lutheran Church. The 
new church was located on a very eligible lot 
on the public square. It is a neat frame build- 
ing, about 60 by 40, and is capable of seating 
about SCO persons. 

The congregation held its first annual meet- 
ing in the new church on the 17th of January, 
1848, when the Rev. J. Selmser presided and 
the following officers were elected: Daniel 
I ngersoU, trustee for three years; John Kohler, 
elder; Geo. C. Drehmer, deacon; Shepherd 
Jones, clerk; and John Haas, treasurer. At 
this meeting it was resolved to insure the 
church — a very wise precaution. 


Rev. John Selmser was pastor from 1845 to 
1854, a period of nine years. Brother Selm- 
ser's successor was the Rev. F. W. Brauns. 
He remained one year, and subsequently went 
over to the Presbyterian Church. The Rev. 
C. H. Hersh followed the Rev. Brauns, and 
was pastor only two years. The Rev. L. L. 
Bonnell came in 1858. He was in frail health, 
but was a man of deep piety, and more than 
ordinary ability. He was pastor only one 
year, having died very suddenly, from hemor- 
rhage of the lungs, in the month of May, 
1859, whilst visiting the Rev. P. A. Strobel, at 
Lockport. The Rev. D. Swope followed Rev. 
Bonnell, and served the charge four years, 
from 1859 to 1863. The Rev. M. J. Stover 
served a second time as pastor in 1864, for 
one year. Then came the Rev. A. Wal- 
dron, for a period of two years, when he was 
compelled to resign from failing health. Rev. 
John Selmser accepted a call for a second 
term, and was pastor for five years, 1868 to 
1873. Brother Selmser's successor was the 
Rev. E. H. Martin, who served the charge one 
year and nine months, when he resigned and 
moved West. He subsequently united with 


the Congregational Church, and is now pastor 
at Perry, Wyoming county, N. Y. 

The Rev. P. A. Strobel became pastor on 
the 1st of October, 1875, and still holds the 
position. The church is in good condition, 
and is steadily, though not rapidly, growing. 

Connected with the Dansville church is 



This church was organized on the 1st of 
July, 1837, whilst Rev. M. J. Stover was the 
pastor at Dansville. The members, like those 
of the Dansville congregation, were mostly 
emigrants from Pennsylvania and their de- 
scendants. At the meeting held, as stated 
above, Rev. M. J. Stover presided, and Bern- 
hard Hamsher was clerk. The act of incor- 
poration of this church bears date June 12, 
1837. The principal incorporators were 
Michael Kline, Peter Kuhn, John Wombold, 
Peter Trexler, Erhard Rau, and others. The 
first officers were Erhard Rau and John 
Kohler, Elders; Peter Trexler and B. Ham- 


sher, Deacons; William Hamsher, Trustee; 
Peter Trexler, Treasurer; S. G. Roberts, 
Clerk. The register of members shows the 
number to have been over sixty in 1838. The 
Hst, as recorded - by Rev. J. Selmser in 1846, 
indicates about one hundred members ; the 
register for 1849, about the same number; in 
that for i860, the number is reduced to about 
fifty. The membership in 1880 is perhaps not 
any larger than it was in i860. The causes 
for this remarkable falling off in the member- 
ship are, perhaps, removals, resulting in a dimi- 
nution of the population, and the remarkably 
small increase in the birth of children in the 
families that remain. Besides, a number of 
the older members have died, and several sects 
have crept into the neighborhood, and many 
have deserted the church of their fathers, fol- 
lowing these new, and, in some cases, false 
teachers. The church at Sparta has always 
been served by the same pastor who preaches 
in Dansville. The church edifice has recently 
been repaired and very neatly painted. The 
congregation is in a prosperous condition. 




We are only able to give scraps of the his- 
tory of the Second Evangelical Lutheran 
church of Fayette, as gleaned from the church 
record, and gathered from other sources. The 
record is not as complete as it might be ; but 
from it we learn that this congregation was 
organized under the pastoral care of Rev. 
James Lefler, on the 13th of November, 1846, 
and in relation to its organization we find the 
following entry : " We, whose names are here- 
unto annexed, desirous of promoting the glory 
of God and securing the salvation of souls, 
believing the Bible to be the inspired word of 
God and the only infallible rule of faith and 
practice; believing also that the doctrines of 
God's word are purely taught and its ordi- 
nances properly administered in the Evangel- 
ical Lutheran Church of the United States as 
represented in its General Synod; hereby 
organize ourselves into an Evangelical Luth- 
eran congregation by the name of the Second 
Evangelical Lutheran church of Bearytown, in 


the county of Seneca, and State of New York ; 
and we do adopt for our government the 
Formula and Discipline of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church published by the General 

Names, — Christian Kuney (Sen.), Christian 
Kuney (Jr.), John Brickley, Sarah Berkstres- 
ser, Mary Ann Kuney, John Friedly, Frederick 
Illick, Sarah Friedly, John Emerick, Polly 

Thus we see that the present congregation 
originated with ten members, nearly all of 
whom have departed and are now members of 
the church above. We notice also an increase 
in the membership from year to year, until in 
the last entry under the pastorate of Rev. 
Lefler, thirty communicants are reported. 
Numerous marriages, baptisms and deaths are 
recorded during this period of nearly five 
years, showing that there was arduous work 
done for the Master by his servant who 
labored in this church at that time. 

Brother Lefler was succeeded by Rev. R. 
Dederich, who continued as pastor of the 
church about two years. The number of com- 
municants had increased to forty when he left. 


According to the church record, it appears 
that Rev. M. J. Stover followed Rev. R. Ded- 
erick as pastor. His first communion was held 
in June, 1854, and his last in the charge August 
31, 1856. Fifty names were enrolled at the 
close of his pastorate. In 1857, Rev. A. Hiller 
became pastor of the congregation. The last 
communion season reported by brother Hiller 
was in August, 1858. The next entry in the 
record is by the hand of Rev. J. D. English, of 
a communion service held on March 13th, 
1859. On this occasion the holy sacrament 
was administered to 104 souls. During the 
previous winter God had graciously blessed 
the labors of his servant and people who 
united in praying and laboring for a revival of 
religion.* The Lord gloriously revived his 
work in the midst of the years, to the joy of 
his people and of sinners then converted. Of 
those saved at that time, a number remain in 
the church' and are faithful. Some have re- 
moved to other localities, and still others have 
gone to their reward and rest on high. There 
were additional accessions from time to time, 

* In this revival, the pastor was aided by Rev. P. A. 


during the period of the labors of brother 
English. March 23d, 1862, is the last entry 
made by him. The exact date of the begin- 
ning and end of the different terms of pastoral 
labor we cannot give, because not recorded. 
As near as we can learn, Rev. Henry Keller 
succeeded brother English, but remained only 
one year. After him brother M. J. Stover was 
recalled, and labored with the blessing of God 
on his work from July, 1864, to April, 1867. 
The membership had increased to about 120 
when brother Stover left. 

Rev. James Lefler was recalled, but remained 
less than a year. He was succeeded by Rev. 
A. L. Bridgman in 1868, who remained about 
two years. Rev. M. M. Grove then ministered 
unto this people as pastor from April ist, 1871, 
to October ist, 1 87 1 . The number of members 
reported at this time was 70. 

Rev. V. F, Bolton was next called to labor 
in this pastorate, and took charge in 1872. 
The first record of a communion season is 
April 14th, 1872. He remained pastor four 
years. The exact number of accessions we 
were unable to ascertain, but notice that there 


were additions to the membership from time 
to time. 

July 20th, 1878, Rev. H. A. Strail took 
charge and labored two years. During his 
pastorate the church enjoyed a revival, cind 
thirty persons united with the church as a 
result. Upon his retiring from the charge. 
Rev. V. F. Bolton was recalled, but did not 
regularly enter the field again. 

On the 1st of November, 1879, Rev. U. 
Myers, the present pastor, commenced his 
labors. The people were embarrassed by a 
church debt, and considerably discouraged; 
but on the nth of January, 1880, when the 
installation services took place, they responded 
to a call to pay the debt, and provided for it in 
full. The present membership is 95, and the 
church is in good working condition. The 
church edifice is substantially built of brick, 
with an excellent bell in its tower to call the 
people to the house of the Lord, which is cen- 
trally and beautifully located. There is a par- 
sonage in the charge, and it is a very good 
building, with pleasant grounds surrounding 
it, and altogether a comfortable home for a 


This congregation can do a good work in 
this community, as it has a broad field, being 
the only Lutheran church in Seneca county. 
It is needed, and fills an important place. 
When and where the Church of the Reforma- 
tion is known and understood, good can cer- 
tainly be accomplished by her in the name of 
the blessed Master. May the future history of 
this congregation be glorious. 



Soon after the close of the war of the Rev- 
olution, Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer visited 
Guilderland, preaching occasionally, and per- 
forming ministerial services among the scat- 
tered members of the Lutheran faith; but no 
regular church organization was perfected 
under his labors. 

On the 13th of October, 1787, St. John's 
Evangelical Lutheran church was duly organ- 
ized, with Rev. Heinrich Moeller as its first 
regular pastor; and at this date the records of 
the church commence. The first communion 


season noted was August nth, 1788, when 26 
males and 32 females commemorated the 
Saviour's dying love. Rev. Moeller was bom 
in Hamburg, Germany, and came to this coun- 
try when fourteen years old. Fortunately he 
was taken under the fostering care of Rev. Dr. 
Muhlenberg, of Philadelphia, who had known 
his family in Germany. He remained with Dr. 
Muhlenberg for several years, and studied 
theology with him. He served as a chaplain 
in Gen. Washington's army, during the Revo- 
lutionary war. After the war he faithfully 
served various Lutheran congregations in New 
York and Pennsylvania. At one time he was 
pastor of the Lutheran church in Albany, and 
the first Lutheran house of worship in that city- 
was erected under his ministry. He was also 
pastor of the first Lutheran church in Harris- 
burg, Pa., for seven years, where his labors 
were greatly blessed. Among his early minis- 
terial acts in Harrisburg was the baptism of 
Rev. Benjamin Kurtz, D. D., for so many 
years the distinguished editor of the Lutheran 
Observer. He was a noble example of a pure 
and devoted minister of Jesus Christ, He 
sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, in Sharon, New 


York, September, 1829, aged 80 years. The 
following epitaph, written by himself, and 
found among his papers, is inscribed on his 
tombstone : " After a long and hard pilgrimage, 
wherein I often erred, my Divine Saviour Jesus 
Christ led me by his Holy Word and Spirit to 
his glorious eternal home." He served the 
church in Guilderland six years, and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Mr, Mayers, who served St. 
John's but a short time. His successor was 
Rev. L. Merkel. He served the church 
quite a number of years. Under his ministry 
we find this remarkable record of a family bap- 
tism: "Baptized on the 18th of March, 1820, 
the following persons at the house of Mr. 
Jonas Smith." Then follow the names and 
ages of eleven children, the oldest being twenty- 
five years, and the youngest four months and 
one day. The record of this family baptism 
thus closes: "All children of Jonas Smith. 
Preached on the occasion from 2 Corinthians, 
vi. 2." 

In the year 1828 the church called as pastor 
that devoted servant of God, Rev. Adam 
Crownse, then a young man. At his first com- 
munion he records the names of forty-seven 


who had commemorated the Saviour's dying 
love, and adds these words, " May God, of his 
infinite mercy, grant that the above-recorded 
souls may not only hold fellowship in this 
world of sorrows, but eventually meet around 
the throne of God in the life to come, and 
there unite in singing the song of the Lamb ; 
is the sincere wish and prayer of their servant 
for Christ's sake." Adam Crownse, 

Pastor loci. 

About the year 183 1, God visited our land 
with that terrible scourge, the Asiatic cholera. 
The people humbled themselves under the ap- 
palling judgments of Jehovah. Multitudes 
turned to God in deep humiliation and peni- 
tence. There were powerful and extensive re- 
vivals of religion in all the Lutheran churches 
in this section. Those devoted men of God, 
Revs. P. Wieting, Selmser, Senderling, Lape, 
Crownse, and Lintner, led their people out into 
battle, and won glorious victories for the divine 

On the 8th of July, 1832, the pastor records 
the names of two hundred and twenty-five who 
communed, one hundred of them having joined 
the church on that occasion. From that date, 


the congregation has been one of the largest 
and most potential in the town of Guilderland, 
and in Hartwick Synod. Other outpourings of 
the Holy Spirit were enjoyed by the church 
under brother Crownse's ministry, but none 
so extensive. In the years 1847 and 1848, 
Rev. A. L. Bridgman served St. John's as pas- 
tor, Rev. Crownse having accepted a call from 
the Lutheran church at Middleburg, N. Y. 
But, after two years, brother Crownse was 
called back to his old charge in Guilderland, 
where he lived and toiled until the Master 
called him to his rich reward in heaven. He 
had a laborious charge, serving a portion of the 
time, the Lutheran congregation in Knox, and 
one also in Berne, in connection with St. John's. 
He preached his last sermon May 1st, 1864, 
having served the church faithfully for thirty- 
five years. In the Minutes of Hartwick Synod 
for 1864, the President speaks thus of the 
death of this excellent man : " Our venerable 
and beloved brother, Rev. Adam Crownse, was 
permitted to leave the land of the dying, and 
enter the home of the living, on the 1 3th of 
May last; For more than a year he seemed to 
dwell on Pisgah's summit, with the heavenly 


land and the celestial city in full view. ' Mark 
the perfect man, and behold the upright, for 
the end of that man is peace/ " 

Very rarely, indeed, do we find so happy an 
illustration of this text, as in the holy life and 
triumphant death of brother Crownse. His 
funeral was attended by an immense concourse 
of people, assembled to testify their love and 
esteem for a good man, and look for the last 
time upon the form of him who, for thirty-five 
years, had faithfully ministered to them in holy 
things. His long ministry was one of marked 
ability, fidelity, and success. He leaves behind 
a large congregation of spiritual children, and 
is now associated with a vast number of such 
in the ransomed church above. Dr. Lintner 
preached the funeral discourse, paying an ap- 
propriate and merited tribute of respect to the 
memory of this veteran brother-soldier of the 
Cross. Nine other clergymen took part in the 
exercises." Rev. J. W. Lake succeeded brother 
Crownse as pastor of St. John's. After a suc- 
cessful ministry of four years and four months, 
he accepted a call to Cumberland county. New 

June 1st, 1869, Rev. David Swope was called 


to the pastorship of St. John's, and served the 
congregation until April ist, 1875. In the 
winter of 187 1, the church enjoyed a precious 
revival, which resulted in some ninety additions 
to the membership. 

It was now evident to all the congregation 
that the old church must be extensively re- 
paired, or a new one built. The church and 
parsonage stood in the country, midway be- 
tween the villages of Guilderland Centre and 
Knowersville, about two miles from either. 
These villages were situated upon two rail- 
roads, built some ten or twelve years before, 
and neither of them had a church of any de- 
nomination. Several meetings were held, and 
the various propositions discussed — whether 
the old church should be repaired, or torn 
down and a new one erected in its place ; or 
whether the old site should be abandoned, and 
two new churches built, one in each village. 
Many loved the old church dearly, where they 
and their fathers had worshiped God so many 
years. A thousand sweet and hallowed asso- 
ciations clustered around that sacred old edifice. 
To tear it down seemed like sacrilege. To leave 
it was like leaving a dear home. But other de- * 


nominations were awake to the importance of 
occupying the villages. The Methodists had 
purchased a lot in Knowersville, and were pre- 
paring to build a church. At length, after 
much discussion, St. John's wisely voted, by a 
large majority, to abandon the old site, and forth- 
with build a new church in each village. At the 
same session, Mr. John Mann gave a beautiful 
lot for the church in Guilderland Centre, and 
Mr. Conrad Crownse one large enough for 
church and parsonage at Knowersville. A few 
were dissatisfied, but by judicious, careful man- 
agement, serious trouble was avoided. Two 
beautiful churches, costing in the aggregate over 
^20,000, were erected simultaneously. The 
one at the Centre was solemnly consecrated to 
the service and worship of the Triune Jehovah 
February 2 1st, 1872, and the one at Knowers- 
ville three weeks later, March 14th. Funds 
sufficient to pay all indebtedness incurred in 
erecting both these churches were subscribed 
at the consecration ; but owing to the pressure 
of the times, some of these subscriptions were 
never paid, and each congregation had subse- 
quently to provide for a small indebtedness. 
The congregation agreed to remain as a unit 


for five years, though worshiping in two places. 
They have since peacefully divided, Knowers- 
ville retaining the old maternal name of St. 
John's, and the twin sister adopting the name 
of St. Mark's. The wisdom of building two 
churches is mor^ and more apparent as the 
years roll on. The large majority of the people 
have the church much nearer to them, and we 
have two large congregations, instead of one. 
The Methodists, seeing the ground occupied at 
Knowersville, have sold their lot, and wisely 
abandoned all thought of building a church. 
Taking the whole year, with fair and stormy 
Sabbaths, more people attend either church 
than formerly attended the old church in the 
country, when they were united. The present 
pastor has served both churches over five years. 
Under his ministry, 121 have been received 
into the church at Guilderland Centre, and 173 
into fellowship with the church at Knowers- 
ville. Each church sustains a large and inter- 
esting Sunday-school. Hitherto the Lord 
hath helped us. Devoutly thanking him for 
past mercies, rich and undeserved, we will trust 
him for the future. 
Knowersville y December 30^ 1880. 




The ground now occupied by this church 
was, previous to the year 1854, a part of the 
charges of Schoharie and Berne. 

The old school-house, situated on the land 
of John Shafer, was one of the preaching 
places of Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D., during 
his long pastorate at Schoharie. The mem- 
bers of his church in this vicinity were for 
many years in the habit of meeting together 
for prayer. 

We hear also of a female prayer-meeting 
maintained and well attended during at least 
a part of this period. 

About the year 1850, the Rev. L. Swack- 
hamer, a godly man and an earnest preacher, 
became pastor of the church at Berne. As 
some of his members lived within easy reach 
of Gallupville, he also occasionally preached 
in the school house. Under his influence, and 
perhaps at his suggestion, the propriety of 
building a church began to be somewhat dis- 


When the project had been sufficiently 
talked over, and a number of people had of- 
fered contributions of money, Mr. Frederick 
Shafer donating the land upon which the 
church is built, it was deemed proper to begin 
work. Accordingly a building committee, 
consisting of Peter P. Schoolcraft, Dr. Ira 
Zeh and Jacob Wm. Wolford, was appointed, 
and the work was accomplished in due course 
of time. 

The first written record that we find is that 
the erection of the church occurred in 1853, 
and that it was -dedicated April 20, 1854. The 
dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Prof. 
L. Sternberg, and the services continued in the 
fternoon — preaching by Rev. S. Curtis. 

The ministers present on this occasion were 
Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D., Prof. L. Sternberg, 
L. Swackhamer, J. R. Keyser, S. Curtis, and 
Rev. Mr. Garvin, of the M. E. church, together 
with Rev. M. Bogardus, of the Reformed 

On the sixth day of May following, the breth- 
ren of the Lutheran church in the vicinity held 
a meeting in the new church, and formally or- 
ganized themselves into a society for the wor- 


ship of God, and adopted the name of the 
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Gallupville. 

The meeting then proceeded to the election 
of officers for the church, and having thus 
complied with the requirements of the law, 
unanimously resolved to extend a call to Rev. 
L. Swackhamer, of Berne, to become pastor 
of the church. This call was accepted, and 
the first communion was held August 12, 
1854. On this occasion the membership was 
increased from ten to fifty -seven. 

On August 23d, 1854, Peter J. Zeh was ap- 
pointed commissioner to attend ihe meeting of 
the Hartwick Synod, to be held at Dansville, 
Livingston county, New York, and present 
the application of the church for admission into 
the Synod. He attended to this duty, and the 
church was received by the Hartw^ick Synod 
September 4, 1854. 

There is no record of the resignation of 
Rev. Swackhamer, but the last reception of 
members under his ministry took place De- 
cember 3, 1854, at which time the number was 
increased to one hundred and twenty. There 
is a record of an official act of Mr. Swack- 
hamer in Berne on February 1 1, 1855, and a 


statement on the books of this church that the 
third communion occurred June 17, 1855. So 
it is probable that his pastoral relation to the 
church ceased some time during the summer 
of 1855. 

In 1855, ^^^ Gallupville church was united 
with Berne, and thus a new pastoral charge 
was formed. The Hartwick Synod ratified 
the union at its meeting in the fall of the 
same year. 

On the 1st day of June, 1856, the Rev. A. P. 
Ludden took charge of the churches at Berne 
and Gallupville. This relation continued for 
eleven years. During this time there were 
several revivals at Gallupville, and 187 mem- 
bers were added to the church. 

In 1867, the Gallupville church, by consent 
of Synod, severed its connection with the 
church at Berne, having determined to call and 
support its own pastor. In the meantime the 
officers and members of the church, with com- 
mendable forethought, purchased some three 
acres of land adjoining the church, and erected 
a commodious and handsome parsonage, at an 
expense of about |^,ooo. 

On the 1st of April, 1868, Rev. Henry Kel- 


ler became pastor of the church, and remained 
three and a half years. He received sixteen 
new members into the church. 

During the summer of 1871 preparations 
were being made to remodel and repair the 
church, and this work was carried forward 
during the following winter. About ^800 
were expended, and the church is now one of 
the most beautiful and comfortable buildings 
of the kind to be found anywhere. 

On the 1st day of May, 1872, the church was 
formally re-opened for the worship of God 
— sermon by Rev. J. H. Heck, of Schoharie. 
He was assisted in the service by Rev. A. P. 
Ludden, Rev. Jas. Lefler, Rev. Wm. P. Evans. 
Rev. J. H. Kershaw, of the Reformed church, 
and Rev. E. E. Taylor, of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. At this time Rev. Wm. P. 
Evans, took charge of the congregation, and 
labored with some measure of success, having 
been instrumental in adding fifty new members 
to the church. 

The Rev. W. P. Evans was succeeded by 
Rev. J. R. Sikes, who continues until the pres- 
ent time, and is preaching with much accept- 
ance to the congregation. 




Among the first settlers of Johnstown was 
a goodly number of pious Germans who be- 
lieved the Augsburg Confession to be " a cor- 
rect exhibition of the fundamental doctrines of 
the divine Word." Some of these might have 
come here direct from the land of Luther, but 
the majority came from Schoharie and the set- 
tlements along the Hudson. 

Very early in their history they organized 
themselves into a church, although the date of 
such organization cannot now be ascertained. 
This fact appears in an instrument of incorpo- 
ration bearing date February 4, 1801. The 
title of the church at that time was, "The Re- 
formed Protestant German Lutheran Church 
of the Western Allotment of Kingsboro." 
They were at this time without a pastor. 

Since the year 1801 this church has been 
three times re-incorporated. First, December 
16, 1 8 10, when its name was changed to "The 
German Lutheran Church of Johnstown." 


Rev. Peter Wilheltn Domier was then pastor, 
serving this congregation in connection with 
Minden, Palatine and Stone Arabia. Michael 
Moore, Peter Plantz and Christian Wirt were 
at this date elected trustees. As they were 
without a house of worship, they held their 
religious services in the Episcopal church, 
which they were allowed to occupy four Sun- 
days in a year. 

In the year 1815-16 their first church edi- 
fice was erected at a cost of $3000. Peter 
Fowler, Charles Laughery, and Wm. McDon- 
ald, were the builders who contracted for its 
erection with Michael Moore, Michael Swobe, 
Christian Wirt, David Algyre and Adam 
Plank, trustees. This edifice was fifty feet 
long by forty wide. After its completion the 
congregation had preaching once a month. 
At this time the congregation lived principally 
in two settlements — the one west of town, 
called Johnson's Bush, and the other east of 
town, called Albany Bush. Each settlement 
had its own part of the church in which to 
worship, the people entering by the eastern or 
western door according to the Bush from 
which they hailed. Equally particular were 


Aey in apportioning the expenses of the 
church, the Albany Bush people, as the more 
numerous wing, paying three fifths, and the 
others two-fifths. 

On Christmas day, 1 82 1, the society was 
again re-incorporated under the the title of 
" The Dutch Lutheran Church of Johnstown." 
The trustees at this time were Michael Moore, 
David Algyre and Christian Wirt. 

The final re-incorporation, at which time the 
church took its present name — " St. Paul's 
Church, Johnstown, New York" — occurred on 
December iith, 1826. Rev. John Peter Goert- 
ner was then pastor, and at that meeting the 
following officers were chosen : Trustees, Fred- 
erick Plank, Michael Hallenbeck, and Michael 
B. Heagle ; Elders, Michael Moore, Frederick 
Plank, David Algyre, and Michael Swobe ; 
Deacons, Balthus Hallenbeck, Frederick M. 
Moore, John Argersinger, and Abraham Nei- 
fer. This building served the congregation as 
a house of worship fifty-six years. 

At a congregational meeting held March 
icth, 1827, a constitution was adopted, by 
which the church was governed above a half 
century. At this meeting the pastor, Rev. 


Goertner, because of failing health, tendered 
his resignation, to the great regret of his 
devoted people. He was the first pastor who 
conducted services in the English language, 
and although his pastorate was short, yet it 
was fruitful of great and lasting good. 

Rev. Thomas Lape was called as the suc- 
cessor of the lamented Goertner, who for the 
space of six years faithfully served the congre- 
gation as pastor, and was then succeeded by 
the Rev. David Eyster, whose pastorate ex- 
tended over a period of twenty-one years. 
During the early part of his ministry in St. 
Paul's, the congregation at West Amsterdam, 
known as St. Matthew's, was organized from 
families belonging to this church. " To this 
latter church he also ministered for several 
years, giving them an afternoon service. 

After the resignation of Rev. Eyster, the 
church remained without a pastor for about 
one year, when the Rev. Dr. Senderling was 
unanimously called, and entered upon the 
duties of his office May the ist, 1856. It was 
during his ministry that the Sunday-school 
was organized, with Mr. John Plantz as su- 
perintendent, twenty-one scholars being pres- 


ent at its first session. The school has had 
since its organization only five superintendents, 
viz., Mr. John Plantz, Rev. J. Z. Senderling, 

and Messrs. Baker, James Putman, and 

Barney Vosburgh, and is now in a prosperous 
condition, having on its list thirty-three offi- 
cers and teachers, and three hundred and seven 

Dr. Senderling's pastorate continued for 
eleven years, when he resigned, and was suc- 
ceeded by Rev. Marcus Kling, who remained 
pastor a little less than three years. 

The successor of Rev. Kling was Rev. P. 
Felts, D. D., the present incumbent. He en- 
tered upon the duties of his office June ist, 
1870, and his ministry has been greatly blessed 
of the Lord. A new church, 56x96 feet, with 
a spire 146 feet high, and containing sittings 
for six hundred and fifty, has been built, at a 
cost, including furniture, of |!33,ooo. It has an 
organ costing over ,^3,000, which is skillfully 
handled. by Mr. W. H. Raymond, the organist 
of the church. The present membership of 
the church is three hundred and forty-three. 

St. Paul's has sent forth five worthy laborers 
as preachers of the everlasting gospel, viz.: 


Revs. David Swobe, John Selmser, James 
Lefler, and Nicholas and Joseph Wirt. 



This congregation was a colony for many- 
years in connection with the church in Johns- 
town. About the year 1835, a congregation 
was organized by Rev. David Eyster, and for a 
number of years was a part of the Johnstown 
charge. The early records of the church hav- 
ing been lost, it is impracticable to state when 
the church edifice was built, or when the con- 
gregation became a separate charge, seeking to 
sustain its own pastor. The first pastor after 
the separation was the Rev. M. J. Stover. Then 
came in succession Revs. A. L. Bridgman, Ira 
S. Porter, and H. Wheeler, Then Rev. M. J. 
Stover was recalled. He was followed by Rev. 
W, E. Traver, and he by Rev. S. Curtis, who 
is the present pastor. These items are all that 
could be obtained for this sketch. The Rev. 
Curtis seems to be laboring acceptably and 
successfully in this congregation. He reports 


the present membership at seventy- five. Early 
in the month of November, twenty-five new 
members were added to the church. The Sab- 
bath-school is small, but in a healthy con- 





Nearly all the books and papers of this 
church prior to 1828 have been lost, so that 
very little of its early history is known, except 
what is given in MunselFs Annuals and the 
old church books of Schoharie and Guilder- 

7. Churches and Church Property, 

About the year 1745 the members of the 
Reformed and Lutheran churches in this 
vicinity took up, under the church patent 
law, a tract of land for a Reformed and Luth- 
eran church lot and farm, containing forty-two 
and six-tenths acres. Soon after. Rev. Peter 
Nicholas Sommer, while pastor at Schoharie, 


visited this neighborhood and organized a 
Lutheran church. The first church and 
school-house, a building twenty feet square, 
was erected about 1750. In August, 18 10, 
another building lot was purchased, and in the 
fall the old church was removed to the new lot 
and remodeled. In the spring of 1828, this 
old church was torn down, and a new church 
30x20 was framed, raised, and partlye nclosed; 
but before the windows were put in or the 
doors hung, the Reformed and Lutheran offi- 
cers had some misunderstanding, and their dis- 
agreement continued so long that the officers 
resigned, and the society was thus completely 
broken up, nothing remaining but the unfin- 
ished church and the deed — all the other papers 
and books were destroyed or lost. The win- 
ter of 1828-29 and the summer and fall of 
1829 passed, and nothing was done towards 
finishing the church or reorganizing the con- 
gregation until the 19th of December, 1829, 
when a number of the former members, to- 
gether with some others who helped support 
the gospel, met and re-incorporated and char- 
tered " Zion's Lutheran and Reformed church 


of the Helderberg/'* and as soon as weather 
would permit the church was completed. - 

In 1839, owing to some difficulties, the Re- 
formed members withdrew and built a church 
at Secors. On the 13th of October, 1839, Rev. 
Adam Crownse fully reorganized Zion's Lu- 
theran church at Knox, N. Y., with 51 mem- 
bers. Twenty-one of said members were yet 
living in April, 1881. In the year 1850, the 
present church was erected, at a cost of ^1,200, 
and on March 23, 1851, was dedicated to the 
worship of the Triune God. Rev. Dr. Lintner, 
of Schoharie, preached the sermon, Rev. Adam 
Crownse, the pastor, conducting the other ex- 
ercises. In 1868 and '69, the congregation 
built its parsonage, through the untiring and 
energetic efforts of Rev. A. N. Daniels. 

The first record that we can find is, that in 
1745, Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer, then located 
at Schoharie, at stated times preached and ad- 
ministered the sacraments. From 1790 to 
1800, the Rev. Henry Moeller preached occa- 

*See Albany county book of church patents, vol. 
1 1 page 186. 


sionally. From 1800 to 1828, Revs. Miller 
and Merkle occupied the pulpit. About the 
year 1830, Rev. Adam Crownse became pastor, 
in connection with Berne and Guilderland ; he 
continued until 1844, when he resigned, and 
removed to Middleburg, N. Y. In 1845 or '46, 
Rev. A. L. Bridgman became pastor of Guil- 
derland and Knox, Berne having secured a 
pastor of its own. In 1848, Rev. Bridgman re- 
signed, and in 1849 Rev. Adam Crownse again 
became pastor, remaining until 1862. From 
1862 until November 13, 1864, the church was 
vacant; the pulpit was supplied monthly by the 
members of the third conference. On Novem- 
ber 13, 1864, Rev. A. N, Daniels became pas- 
tor, remaining for over seven and a half years, 
preaching his farewell June 3, 1872. Rev. 
N. Klock was pastor from July ist, 1872, to 
April I, 1875. The church was vacant about 
a month, when Rev. A. Martenis, on May 3d, 
1875, became pastor, remaining until the fall 
of 1877, when he removed to New Jersey. In 
June, 1878, he returned, preached a few times 
during the summer, and in November, 1878, 
he removed to Canton, 111. On November 
24, 1878, Rev. Luther P. Ludden took charge, 
and is the pastor now. 


No record was kept of the early revivals, 
save that Rev. A. Crownse, while pastor, fre- 
quently held four-day meetings. The first 
revival that we have any record of is a twelve- 
day meeting held in the spring of 1864, by 
Rev. A. P. Ludden, when fifty professed faith 
in Christ. In February, 1865, Rev. A. N. 
Daniels, assisted by Rev. Levi Schell, held a 
series of meetings. Good was done in awak- 
ening the church, but no persons outside the 
church were led to Christ. On the 8th of 
January, 1871, Rev. Daniels, assisted by Rev. 
Lefler, held a series of meetings continuing 
five weeks, and fifty-four persons asked for the 
prayers of God's people. Rev. N. Klock 
commenced a series of meetings in December, 
1872, continuing two or three weeks, with 
twelve conversions. Rev. A. Martenis held a 
series of meetings commencing February 2, 
1876, and continuing six weeks, upwards of 
twenty-five professing faith in our Lord and 
Saviour. On the 26th of January, 1879, with 
brother J. L. Snyder, a layman from Bruns- 
wick, N. Y., to assist, the present pastor 
commenced a series of meetings continuing 


twenty nights, and sixty were led by the Holy 
Spirit to the foot of the Cross. 

In all these years of the church's history, 
we find only two going forth from all these 
families to tell the story of the crqss — John 
Gilbert Warner and Rev. James Pitcher ; the 
former having died while in the Theological 
Seminary at Gettysburg, the last named being 
Principal of Hartwick Seminary, and filling 
the Seminary pulpit. 

Number of infants baptized, 190; number 
received into the church, 250; losses by death 
and removal, 134; present number of mem- 
bers, 116. 


About 1764, a new Lutheran church was 
organized in what is now the town of Living- 
ston, about five miles from the Germantown 
church. It was organized by Rev. Johann F. 
Ries, who was then the pastor of the Lutheran 

* By Rev. William Hull, in Lutheran Quarterly for 
January, 1880. 


churches at Germantown and Churchtown. A 
church edifice was built, which lasted until 
1 82 1, when a new house of worship was 
erected For forty years this second house of 
God sheltered the worshipers. In 1861 a 
third sanctuary was reared, which, with a fine 
parsonage, ample church sheds, and a beautiful 
cemetery, now comprises the church property, 
valued at eight or nine thousand dollars. 
From the organization of the congregation 
until 1798, it was served by pastors in connec- 
tion with Churchtown and other places — from 
that time until 1850 it was jointly served with 
Germantown ; from 1851 until the present time 
it has supported a pastor alone. The congre- 
gation occupies a fine expanse of farming lands, 
and extends three or four miles in every direc- 
tion. It reports a membership of 150 com- 
municants, and it embraces considerable wealth* 
About fifty years ago, the English language 
superseded the German in the services of the 
sanctuary. The records of the church show 
the following pastors during its history, viz: 
Rev. Johann F. Ries, 1764- 179 1 ; Rev. John F. 
Ernst, 1791-1800; Rev. Dr. Frederick H. 
Quitman, 1800-1815; Rev. Dr. Augustus 


Wackerhagen, 1816-1850; Rev. H. Wheeler, 
1851-1861 ; Rev. William H. Emerick, 1861- 
1863; Rev. William 1. Cutter, 1863-1864; 
Rev. John Selmser, 1865-1867; Rev. WiUiam 
H. Emerick, 1868-1869; Rev. Joseph D. 
Wert, 1870-1872; Rev. J. G. Griffith, 1872- 
1874; Rev. James Lefler, 1 875-1 877; Rev, 
J. A. Rosenberg, from 1877 to the present time. 
This church was connected with the New York 
Ministerium, from the organization of that 
body in 1785 until 1853, when it applied for 
admission to the Hartwick Synod and was re- 
ceived. It has since been in union with that 
ecclesiastical body. 



In the latter part of the year 1836, the Hart- 
wick Synod, having ascertained that a number 
of Lutheran families, mostly from Pennsylva- 
nia, had settled at and near Lockport, commis- 
sioned the Rev. John Selmser to labor amongst 
them as a missionary. On the 20th of Feb- 
ruary, 1837, a temporary organization was 


formed, with the name of " German Lutheran 
and Reformed Church/' Samuel ShaefTer, 
Jonas Blank and Solomon Dunkelberger, were 
elected trustees, each receiving eighteen votes. 
Philip Shook, Sr., and Solomon Dunkelberger 
were elected elders, Jacob Mosse and Isaac 
Mapes, deacons, Jacob B. Shimer, treasurer, 
and William Stahl, clerk. 

On the 9th March, 1837, a meeting was 
held in the Court House, and a church organ- 
ized under the corporate name of " Evangelical 
Lutheran church of the Town and Village of 

Under the new act of incorporation, Messrs. 
Sol. B. Moore, Stephen Keck, and William 
Stahl, were elected trustees. Rev. John Selm- 
ser acted as chairman, and Mr. Jonas Blank 
as Secretary. The church records do not 
show who were the corporate members, nor 
the number of communicants when the church 
was organized. 

On the 15th of February, 1837, a subscrip- 
tion was opened for building a brick church 
on lot No. 18 West Main street, in the village 
of Lockport. The lot was donated by Mr. 


The church was built on this lot, and must 
have been dedicated the early part of 1838, as 
a meeting was held in it on 28th February, 
1838, for the election of officers. The church 
was 60x44 feet, and contained fifty-eight slips 
(or pews) on the lower floor, besides galleries 
on three sides. * 

The Rev. John Selmser, who had organized 
the congregation, and under whose direction 
the church was built, was of course the first 
pastor, and sustained that relation until the 
latter part of the year 1845, being a period of 
over eight years. 

Rev. Selmser was succeeded by Rev. N. W. 
Goertner, who remained only one year. Then 
came Rev. E. Myer, for one year. Rev. 
Thomas Lape became pastor in 1848, and sus- 
tained that relation for two years. It was 
whilst Rev. Lape was pastor that the congre- 
gation removed the church from West Main 
street to its present location. Rev. H. L. Dox 
followed Rev. Lape, and was pastor for five 
years. Rev. Dox was succeeded by Rev. W. 
H. Luckenbach, who served the church two 
years. Rev. P. A. Strobel followed Rev. 
Luckenbach, and was pastor a little over two 


years. During Mr. S.'s stay in Lockport, the 
church was handsomely frescoed and painted, 
and gas was introduced. The interior arrange- 
ment of the church was also much improved. 
All the expenses connected with these repairs 
were met, and not one dollar of debt was 
incurred The^e were also extensive revivals 
of religion, and over sixty members were added 
to the church. 

Upon the resignation of Rev. Strobel, the 
Rev. H. L. Dox was recalled, but he remained 
less than two years. Since the removal of Rev. 
Dox, the congregation has had the following 
pastors : Rev. M. Ort, Rev. D. M. Moser, Rev. 
B. W. Tomlinson. The latter brother under- 
took the task of having the church remodeled 
and refitted ; but through too much physical 
and mental effort connected with this work, he 
died upon the very eve of seeing all his 
sacrifices crowned with complete success. 
Brother Tomlinson was succeeded by the 
Rev. Philip Graif, who is the present pastor. 
The following notice from the Lockport Daily 
Union will give some idea of the condition and 
prospects of the church : 

" It is Highly gratifying to the whole cqm- 


munity to note the present advance and pros- 
perity of the English Lutheran church of this 
city. Recently its edifice has been greatly 
improved, inside and outside, and made alto- 
gether one of the neatest and cosiest places of 
worship, besides being one of the most central 
in the city. The late much-lamented Rev. 
Mr. Tomlinson began the task of renovating 
and beautifying the interior, which, under hands 
of skilled labor, has been transformed into a 
fine auditorium, and the new departure, so hap- 
pily begun by the deceased pastor, has been 
fully completed by his successor. Counting in 
the work of inside remodeling, the fresco paint- 
ing, and the elegant new carpets and pulpit 
furniture, and the magnificent crystal chande- 
lier, and the excellent steam-heating apparatus 
newly put in, and the new roof, and the hand- 
some new dress of light gray paint covering 
the whole exterior, the cost of improvements 
all sum up about |!i,6oo, or more, and of this 
amount a little over ;^200 remain as yet unmet. 
The present pastor. Rev. Philip Graif, has con- 
sented to deliver, before long, a course of three 
lectures on his travels in Europe in order to 
liquidate every dollar of the church debt." 




A brief sketch of this church is given here, 
because, historically, it is intimately connected 
with the church at Lockport. It is generally 
supposed that it was organized by Rev. J. Selm- 
ser, at the same time as the Lockport church, 
i. e., about the year 1836. Amongst the prin- 
cipal members at that time were George Dy- 
singer, Wm. Preish, John Miller, Solomon 
Hollenbeck, Isaac Dysinger, Simon Strouse, 
John and Henry C. Williard, John and Jonas 
Shuck, and others. The church was served by 
the pastors from Lockport until 1858, when 
the Rev. W. 1. Cutter was called as their 
pastor. He served them, in connection with a 
small church called the Block church, for 
about three years, when he resigned. This 
church was then again connected with the 
Lockport charge, and the connection still con- 
tinues. Efforts are now being made to dis- 
band the organization at Friedens, and blend 
the membership with that of the church in 
Lockport. This ought to be done, and if the 


movement is successful it will be decidedly to 
the advantage of both churches. 



In the year 1866 there were living at Mary- 
land, Otsego county, N. Y, three Lutheran 
families who had settled in this county from 
the vicinity of Seward, Schoharie county. 
They were Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Cross, Mr. and 
Mrs. Judson Cross, and Mr. and Mrs. R. 
Winne. These people, warm in their love for 
the Church of the Reformation, and seeing a 
prospect for the building up of a village at 
this point on the Albany and Susquehanna 
Railroad, which was just being built through 
this section, were anxious to secure the preach- 
ing of the Word by a minister of their own 
faith. The Franckean Synod, to which 
they belonged, on looking over the ground, 
became so impressed with the importance of 
this point that they sent Rev. John Kling, then 
a student at Hartwick Seminary, to occupy the 
ground as a missionary of that Synod. 

Mr. Kling entered upon his labors there in 


November, 1866. *• My work," says he, "was 
arduous in many respects, yet God, I believe, 
blessed my labors. During the following win- 
ter I held a series of evening meetings in the 
school house. Some were, I trust, converted 
to Almighty Gpd. In the month of May, 
1867, I organized a Lutheran Church, and in 
the month of June, this church was received 
into the Franckean Synod." 

Mr. Kh'ng remained at Maryland only nine 
months, when he received and accepted a call 
to some other charge. Before leaving Mary- 
land, for some reason unknown to uS, he gave 
letters of dismissal to most of the members of 
the new organization, the effect of which was 
that at the removal of Mr. Kling the organiza- 
tion of the church was practically abandoned. 

On the resignation of Mr. Kling, the people 
at Maryland made an engagement with Geo. 
W. Enders, who was then pursuing his theo- 
logical studies at Hartwick Seminary, to serve 
them. Mr. Enders began to preach at Mary- 
land in the year 1867, and found there twelve 
persons who wished to be associated and 
recognized as members of the Lutheran Zion. 
Instead of reviving the old organization, which 


he believed to be legally defective in several 
important particulars, Mr. Enders effected an 
entirely new organization, which was consum- 
mated on the nth day of April, 1868, by the 
reception of eleven persons into regular mem- 
bership with the church. One more united 
on the following day, April 12th. 

Mr. Enders, on assuming charge of Mary- 
land, became a licentiate, ad interim^ of the 
Hartwick Synod. Naturally enough, he de- 
sired to have his protege assume the same 
ecclesiastical relation. An application was 
made to the Hartwick Synod in September, 
1868, and the congregation was duly received 
as a member of that body. During the suc- 
ceeding winter, Mr. Enders conducted a meet- 
ing of considerable duration, and the Divine 
presence was remarkably manifest. As the 
result of this meeting he received forty-two 
souls into fellowship with the church. Thirty- 
three of this number joined at one time — April 
17, 1869 — seven joined May 23, and two joined 
on a later day. With this large accession, and 
with the growing interest, it became necessary 
to consider the question of building a church. 
Nor was the work delayed. Dr. Lintner, then 


President of the Hartwick Synod, in his annual 
report for 1869, speaking of Maryland, says: 
" On the first day of August I laid the corner- 
stone of a house of worship to be erected by 
this congregation. I preached the sermon on 
this occasion, and Rev. J. W. Lake and Mr. G. 
W. Enders were also present and delivered ad- 
dresses, which were received with deep interest 
by the people engaged in this new and praise- 
worthy enterprise." 

In his report the following year, Dr. Lintner 
says : " A new Lutheran church was dedicated 
to the worship of Almighty God, at Maryland, 
Otsego county, on the 20th of January, 1869. 
I preached the dedication sermon, and was as- 
sisted in the services by Rev. Messrs. Lefler, 
English and Enders. Rev. Messrs. Ludden, 
Swope and Schell, and several ministers of 
other denominations, were also present and 
participated in the exercises of the occasion." 

The church is a comfortable and tasty edi- 
fice 36 by 50 feet, and cost something over 
113000. Of this amount Mr. Enders, by per- 
mission of Synod, raised $6g6.4i as follows: 
Sharon, ^19; West Sandlake, ^77.82 ; Berne, 
^100; Knox, ^26.80; Guilderland, ;?I39.07; 


Schoharie, ;^7i.55; Richmondville, j!ioi.37; 
Brunswick, ;^76.5o; Johnstown, ;g5 3.97; Gallup- 
ville, ILi.6.23. The remainder of the amount, 
except about $600, was raised at Maryland. 

To make this record complete, it becomes 
necessary to mention a fact which did not so 
much affect the mission at Maryland as it. did 
the Synods with which the congregation had 
been connected. The Franckean Synod took 
exceptions to the action of the Hartwick 
Synod in receiving into its fellowship a mis- 
sion which they claimed belonged to them by 
'^ priority of occupation." The discussion aris- 
ing out of this question was for the most part 
dignified, and we believe has been satisfactorily 
settled and mostly forgotten. The limits of 
this sketch will not permit a resume; we 
therefore refer those who would pursue the 
question further to the minutes of the Hart- 
wick Synod for 1869, pp. 32-39. 

Early in October, 1869, Mr. Enders accepted 
a call from Bridgeton, N. J. 

At that time Mr. James Pitcher was about 
to finish his theological studies at Hartwick 
Seminary. To him the people looked for 
help; and an arrangement was made by which 


Mr. Pitcher was to preach at Maryland on 
Sabbath, while pursuing his studies at the 
Seminary. At the end of the year the relation, 
which was mutually satisfactory, was continued 
for another year, and until he returned to the * 
Seminary as professor in that institution. Mr. 
Pitcher preached his first sermon at Maryland, 
under this arrangement, on the 31st day of 
October, 1869, the anniversary of the Reform- 
ation, which occurred on Sunday in that year. 
During the two years which he served them 
he added eight members to the church. He 
also inaugurated and carried through to com- 
pletion the enterprise of building a tasty and 
commodious shed of thirteen stalls, a much- 
needed improvement. On the first of No- 
vember, 1 871, at the expiration of the arrange- 
ment with Mr. Pitcher, the church again 
became vacant. 

Again Maryland sought help from Hartwick 
Seminary, whence it had been supplied three 
times before. Here they found Mr. H. A, 
Strail, pursuing the last year of his theological 
course. An arrangement was effected under 
which Mr. Strail began to preach at Maryland 
in the month of February, 1872. This service 


continued for about one year and three months, 
and until Mr. Strail was duly licensed by his 
Synod, the Franckean, and had accepted a call 
within its bounds. Concerning Mr. Strail's 
service at Maryland, we will let him speak for 

"In the month of September, 1872, I at- 
tended a meeting of the Hartwick Synod, at 
Berne, Albany county, and stated the condition 
of this church before that body : and, in behalf 
of the church, requested the Synod to pay off 
the church debt, and take suitable legal obliga- 
tions for the same. The Synod responded by 
passing the following : 

** Resolved, That this Synod offer to the congregation 
at Maryland to loan them in cash (without interest) 
$500, toward the liquidation of their debt, taking suit- 
able obligation for the same, provided they agree to 
raise the renjaining amount necessary to the payment 
of their debt. 

"The church accepted the proposition, and 
the debt (about ;^65o) was cancelled. Thus 
ended one long and severe struggle in a severely 
oppressed mission field. 

"On the first Sabbath of April, 1873, we 
preached our last sermon for them, commend- 


ing them to God and the word of his grace, 
which IS abl& to build them up and give them 
an inheritance among all them that are sancti- 

So Maryland again became a flock without 
a shepherd. At this period in the experience 
of the mission it becomes interesting to take a 
retrospect. It must be remembered that all of 
the services rendered up to this time were by 
students, and that in the strict sense of the 
term, Maryland had never had a settled pastor ; 
yet an inventory of results shows that the mis- 
sion possesses a fine church edifice, with ample 
site and commodious sheds, without a dollar 
of debt. The congregation consists of sixty- 
two members, less six who had been dismissed 
by letter, and one removed by death ; leaving 
a membership of .fifty-five. The congregation 
has a good standing in the Synod, and a good 
report in the community. If then so much 
has been accomplished under such apparent 
disadvantage, what might not a settled pastor 
hope to accomplish ? 

Notwithstanding these encouragements, no 
efforts looking towards the settlement of a 
pastor were made till the summer of 1874, 


more than a year after the services of Mr. 
Strail had closed. Rev. A. MarBenis, then a 
theological student in the Seminary at Gettys- 
burg, Pa., was about to graduate from that insti- 
tution in June. He visited Maryland, and was 
called to become their pastor, and accordingly 
began to preach about the first of July, 1874. 
Meanwhile petition was made to the Board of 
Home Missions for aid, and the Board gener- 
ously appropriated ;^300 toward the salary of 
Mr. Martenis. This relation, from which so 
much was hoped, only continued for nine 
months, when Mr. Martenis resigned the 
charge. During a period of over three years 
there had been no accessions to the member- 
ship; quite a number of the members had 
meanwhile removed to other localities, and 
others had lost their first love and become 
practically dead to the church; so th^t the con- 
dition of affairs succeeding the administration 
of Mr. Martenis was anything but hopeful. Of 
material from which to gather a large congre- 
gation there seemed to be plenty, and again, 
during the summer of 1877, ^^^ years after 
the resignation of Mr. Martenis, another effort 
was made to secure a shepherd who should 


feed the scattering flock and gather others into 
the fold. The people at Maryland responded 
nobly with liberal subscriptions. The Board 
of Home Missions, together with the Confer- 
ence and Synod, seconded the endeavor by 
another appropriation to the mission, and the 
congregation, thus encouraged, extended an 
uiranimous call to Rev. E. Potter to become 
their pastor. This call Mr. Potter accepted, 
and he entered upon his labors at Maryland 
about the 1st of October, 1877. Mr. Potter 
labored in this field for three years, up to the 
1st of October, 1880. During this tinie he 
reported a net increase of thirty members. 
The temporal affairs of the church also re- 
ceived proportionate attention. The improve- 
ments include a new steeple, a cabinet organ, 
a pipe organ, four chandeliers, and other simi- 
lar evidences of temporal prosperfty. In his 
annual report for 1879, Rev. Dr. Felts, the 
President of Synod, says: "It is with no 
small degree of pleasure that I am permitted 
to remind you of the fact that we meet to-day 
on new territory — in both a county and a 
church in which a Lutheran Synod has never 
before been held, and with a people who have 


struggled long and faithfully to protect, nour- 
ish, and make fruitful this vine of the Lord's 

At the present writing the mission is still 
vacant, although measures are under consider- 
ation with a view to the early settlement of a 
pastor. Meanwhile, Mr. B. E. Fake, a student 
of Hartwick Seminary, is supplying the pulpit 



This church is another ofif-shoot from St. 
Paul's at Schoharie Court House. It is located 
in the centre of the village of Middleburg, 
which is situated near the Schoharie creek, 
and nestles calmly amidst beautiful and ro- 
mantic hills. The congregation was organ- 
ized by Dr. Lintner, with about fifty members, 
on the 17th day of May, 1824. Amongst its 
prominent members were the Boucks, Beckers, 
Van Aukens, Bellingers, Borsts, Wellses, Man- 
nings and others. 

* Some data for this article were furnished by Revs. 
J. D. English, A. Martin, C. S. Sprecher and J. S, 


The first house of worship was dedicated on 
the 30th of October, 1824. Dr. Lintner served 
this church in connection with Schoharie, 
preaching with his usual ability and success. 
In the years 1832 and 1833 he received by 
confirmation 103 members, and during all his 
ministry there were additions to the church, 
showing that it was in a healthy, growing con- 

Dr. Lintner resigned in 1843, ^^^^ having 
ministered to the congregation for nineteen 
years, leaving here, as elsewhere, much fruit 
of his ministry. He was succeeded by the 
Rev. James Lefler, then quite a young man, 
who resigned after having served the congre- 
gation, in connection with Breakabeen, about a 

The Rev. Adam Crownse succeeded Rev. 
Lefier in 1845.- He also took the congregation 
at Breakabeen as a part of his charge. Rev. 
Crownse remained in this field until 1848, a 
period of nearly four years. He labored here 
with his wonted zeal and fidelity, and the 
church prospered under his care. 

The Rev. Levi Sternberg was chosen pastor 
in 1848, and remained only two years, when 


he resigned, to accept the principalship of 
Hartwick Seminary. 

The Rev. N. H. Cornell followed Professor 
Sternberg, serving the pastorate faitlifully for 
three years, or from 1850 to 1853. He was a 
young man, full of hope and full of zeal ; and if 
his ministry was not as successful as he antici- 
pated, the fault may not have been altogether 
with him. 

The Rev. John D. English, of Ghent, N. Y., 
a licentiate of the New York Ministerium, suc- 
ceeded Rev. Cornell, and entered upon his du- 
ties on July 1st, 1854. His ministry seems to 
have been successful, as he reported an addi- 
tion of 24 members as the result of his first 
year's labors. 

On the 1st day of April, 1855, the congrega- 
tion at Middleburg met with a very serious 
calamity in the complete destruction of their 
church edifice by fire. This conflagration, 
which swept a large part of the village, occurred 
on Sabbath morning. Families remote from 
the village came to worship, as was their cus- 
tom, but, to their surprise and sorrow, found 
their church reduced to ashes. Within a few 
days after this catastrophe, the congregation 


met, and, with a commendable zeal and liber- 
ality, resolved to re-build their church. The 
work was promptly commenced, and much 
progress was made during the summer and 
fall ; but, owing to the very severe winter, it 
had to be suspended, and the church was not 
completed until the spring of 1856. The dedi- 
cation sermon was preached by the Rev. J. R; 
Keiser, of Schoharie, and the liturgical ser- 
vices were performed by Rev. P. A. Strobel, at 
that time stationed at Cobleskill. It should be 
noted here, that whilst the Lutheran congre- 
gation were building their new church, the 
Consistory of the Dutch Reformed church 
very generously offered the congregation the 
use of theirs one-half of each Sabbath. 

Entering their new church with a fresh con- 
secration to Christ on the part of the pastor 
and people, God vouchsafed to them a signal 
evidence of his approval. During the follow- 
ing year the congregation enjoyed a precious 
revival, and the pastor, assisted by the Rev. 
J. Z. Senderling, admitted to the Church forty 
members by the rite of confirmation. During 
Mr. English's stay at Middleburg, he reported 
accessions at almost every communion, show- 


ing that the Church must have enjoyed much 
prosperity under his ministry. Mr. English's 
connection with the Middleburg pastorate ter- 
minated on November ist, 1858. 

The Middleburg church, after being vacant 
for nearly two years, extended a call to the 
Rev. Adam Martin, which was accepted, and 
he entered upon his duties on November ist, 
1 861. Having been so long without a pastor, 
and some difficulties having grown up in the 
congregation, there was much demoralization, 
amounting to a partial disintegration of the 
Church. The Rev. Martin had " practically to 
reorganize the congregation, de novo. The 
Church books had all been lost, and nearly all 
of the church council had mutually dismissed 
each other to the Methodist church, in conse- 
quence of a union revival in said church." 
The Rev. Martin severed his connection with 
the congregation on May ist, 1865, and has 
since that time been Professor of German in 
Pennsylvsrnia College. The church enjoyed 
quiet and no small measure of prosperity whilst 
he was pastor. 

The Rev. D. Swope was Rev. A. Martin's 
successor, and sustained the pastoral relation 


here only until 1867. The last year of his 
ministry he reported nearly forty accessions by 
baptism, confirmation and letter. He repre- 
sented the condition of the church to be favor- 
able. From this charge, Rev. Swope went to 

During the year and a half which elapsed 
between the resignation of Rev. D. Swope and 
the settlement of Rev. C. S. Sprecher, the con- 
gregation determined to repair and improve 
their house of worship. They raised and ex- 
pended $6000 in this work. They thus made 
their church one of the most comfortable and 
attractive in the bounds of the Synod. The 
church, thus remodeled and refitted, was re- 
dedicated on the 4th day of October, 1870. 
The Rev. A. C. Wedekind, D. D., of New 
York, preached the dedication sermon. 

The Rev. C. S. Sprecher became the suc- 
cessor of Rev. D. Swope in 1870, and united 
with the Kartwick Synod the same fall. He 
remained only a year and six months. His 
object in resigning was "a desire to return to 
Wittenberg College, to pursue a special course 
of study in mental science." This brother 
says .on a card : " During my ministry the 


membership more than doubled. One remark- 
able work of grace I remember especially, 
during which I was assisted by Revs. A. P. 
Ludden and S. P. Sprecher, of Albany, and 
following which about eighty (80) persons 
united with the church." 

On the night of the 19th of March, 1872, 
the parsonage, being at the time occupied by a 
tenant, was burned. This was quite a heavy 
loss to the congregation, as the property was 
not insured. But in the course of a year the 
brethren, with their usual energy and liberality, 
determined to build on the old site another 
residence for their pastor. They erqcted a 
commodious two-story house, 32 by 32 feet, at 
a cost of 1^3000, thus furnishing a comfortable 
home for the pastor's family in one of the most 
pleasant localities in the village of Middle- 
burg, a monument to the enlightened zeal and 
devotion of the congregation. 

The Rev. C. P. Whitecar entered this field 
on the 1 2th of November, 1873, and resigned 
on August 1st, 1875, having remained less 
than two years. 

The Rev. J. S. Harkey, the present pastor, 
commenced his labors here on the first of 


March, 1876, and was installed on the 22d day 
of the same month, Revs. L. D. Wells and Ira 
S. Porter officiating. He preaches with accept- 
ance and profit to his people. He is a laborious 
pastor, aft earnest and efficient worker in the 
Sunday-school, and is devoting his talents and 
energies to the education of his congregation 
in a correct knowledge of the doctrines of the 
Church, and in making them intelligent, liberal 
and devoted Christians. 

The church under his ministry is enjoying 
no small share of prosperity. It is in a very 
favorable condition both spiritually and finan- 
cially. "Three years ago a debt of |liSoo on 
the parsonage was paid, so that now the 
church property is free from debt, in good 
repair, and will compare favorably with any 
church property in the country. God has 
blessed his Word to the conversion of souls. 
During the past five years, the present pastor 
has admitted sixty-two members. The Sab- 
bath-school is in a flourishing condition. The 
whole outlook of the congregation is favorable, 
and the pastor has entered upon his sixth year 
with every ground for encouragement, and with 
much reasonable hope for the future growth 
and permanent development of the church." 




The Lutheran church at this place owes its 
existence to the missionary labors of the Rev. 
John Selmser, who began his ministry here in 
183 1, in the employ of the Hartwick Synod. 
When he entered upon his work, it was under 
most discouraging circumstances. For the 
want of a house of worship, he was compelled 
to preach for some time in an old barn. Sub- 
sequently the use of the ball-room in the vil- 
lage hotel was secured. In the first year of 
brother S.*s ministry fifteen members united 
with the church, and during the second year, 
forty-six. About the year 1833, the Lutherans 
and Methodists built a union church, but with- 
in two years the Lutherans bought out the in- 
terests of the Methodists, and thus became sole 
owners of the church edifice, much to the grati- 
fication of all our people. The Rev. Selmser 
served the church at Richmondville with great 
acceptance and usefulness until the year 1836, 
when he resigned, and accepted a call to 
another field. 

* Some data were furnished by Rev. J. S. Paul. 


About this time occurred the schism in the 
Hartwick Synod, which resulted in the organ- 
ization of the Franckean Synod. This division 
in the Synod created two parties in the church 
at Richmondville. The party adhering to the 
Hartwick Synod called as their pastor the Rev. 
W. H. Watson, who was then preaching at 
Cobleskill. Mr. Watson served the congrega- 
tion from 1837 to 1842, and from that time the 
Cobleskill and Richmondville churches became 
one pastorate, and so continued until 1 85 8, both 
churches being served by the pastor, who re- 
sided at Cobleskill. 

Thjit part of the congregation which went 
over to the Franckean Synod called the Rev. 
N. Van Alstine as their pastor. The two par- 
ties continued to worship in the same church, 
dividing the time between them ; but after the 
division neither party made any progress. 
This was to have been expected as a necessary 
consequence. " A house divided against itself 
cannot stand." In fact, each party became 
weakened — so much so, that neither one was 
able to keep the church edifice in anything 
like decent repair; and by the year 1855 it was 
in such a wretched condition that, in the 


winter, it could not be used with any comfort, 
either to the pastor or the congregation. 

In the month of March, 1858, when the 
Rev. Benjamin Diefendorf was pastor of the 
Franckean part of the congregation, and the 
Rev. P. A. Strobel was serving Richmondville, 
in connection with Cobleskill, a successful ef- 
fort was made to unite the two parties at 
Richmondville, and remove and repair the 
church. Mr. Strobel proposed the plan of 
union, which was adopted by both parties. 
The plan was that upon the union being 
formed, and the church edifice being refitted, 
Mr. S. would surrender the pastoral charge of 
the congregation to the Rev. Benjamin Diefen- 
dorf, who was pastor of the Franckean part of 
the congregation, but upon the death or re- 
moval of Mr. D., the congregation should be 
transferred to the Hartwick Synod, and should 
thereafter call a pastor belonging to that Synod. 
This plan was carried out. The church was 
very nicely refitted — a handsome spire being 
added to it — and the audience-room furnished 
with new carpets, lamps, etc. The church, 
thus renewed, was re-dedicated in the fall of 
1858, Revs. V. F. Bolton, Benjamin Diefen- 


dorf and P. A. Strobel taking part in, the ser- 
vices. Mr. Strobel then left the church under 
the pastoral care of Rev. Benjamin Diefen- 
dorf, who served it for some time very accept- 

After the removal of Mr. Diefendorf, the 
church was served by Rev. Ira S. Porter, and 
subsequently by Rev. A. P. Ludden, in con- 
nection with the Cobleskill Church.* The 
church then made an effort to support its own 
pastor, and was served by the Rev. S. Curtis 
and Rev. John Selmser. Here the Rev. Selm- 
ser suddenly closed his arduous ministerial 
career ; and it is worthy of note that this church 
had owed its existence to his zeal and success- 
ful labors here as a missionary. Upon the 
death of Rev. Selmser, the church was for some 
time supplied by Rev. P. Bergstresser, Profes- 
sor in Hartwick Seminary. Rev. C. L. Bar- 
ringer followed Rev. Prof. Bergstresser, and 
served about two years. 

In the year 1877, through the energy and 

* During Rev. Porter's ministry there was an exten- 
sive awakening. About one hundred and seventy 
persons professed conversion, seventy-five of whom 
united with the church. 


liberality of Mr. James Harroway, aided by 
other brethren, the church edifice was remod- 
eled and very much improved, so that for its 
size it is one of the handsomest and most at- 
tractive churches in the bounds of Synod. 
The Rev. J. S. Paul is the present pastor, and 
is serving the congregation with much earnest- 
ness, and with the prospect of great usefulness. 



The first white settlement in the county of 
Schoharie was made about the year 1 711, by 
German Palatinates. They came over the pre- 
vious year under the patronage of Queen 
Anne of England, and settled at the East and 
West Camps, on the Hudson River. Many of 
these Germans found their way to the valley 
of the Schoharie, and settled in several villages 
or dorfs, as they were called, under the direc- 
tion of seven men who had previously been 
their captains or commissaries. 

These Germans were Lutherans, and for 
many years they were without a pastor or any 


place of worship. They met, however, in pri- 
vate houses, and some layman would conduct 
the services and read for their edification some 
approved .sermon. They had, however, occa- 
sionally the pastoral services of Rev. W. C. 
Berkenmyer, who at that time was located at 
Loonenberg (now Athens), on the Hudson 
River. It is not known at what time precisely 
the congregation at Schoharie was organized. 
On the 7th of September, 1742, a call was ex- 
tended to the Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer, a 
native of the city of Hamburg, to become the 
pastor. The call was accepted, and he was or- 
dained in his native city on the 21st of Sep- 
tember, 1742. He arrived in London on the 
2Sth of November, 1742; left London March 
10, 1743; reached New York on the 21st of 
April, having made the passage in about forty- 
one days, a remarkably short one at that time. 
The new pastor reached Schoharie on the 25 th 
of May, 1743, and preached his introductory 
sermon on the 30th day of the same month. 

There was no doubt great rejoicing amongst 
these devoted people at the prospect of having 
a stated pastor, and enjoying all the means of 
grace, after so many years of spiritual desti- 


tution; for they had been indeed a flock 
without a spiritual shepherd. 

Soon after the settlement of Pastor Sommer, 
steps were taken to organize the congregation 
regularly and elect church officers. The first 
officers whose names are recorded were Abra- 
ham Berg and Michael Freymauer, elders ; 
Henry Schaeffer and Peter Loewenstein, dea- 
cons. The first session of the vestry was held 
on the 1st of June, 1743. At this meeting it 
was resolved to build a parsonage, which was 
to serve as a residence for the pastor, and tem- 
porarily as a place of public worship. The 
Lord's Supper was administered by the Rev* 
Sommer, for the first time, on the 30th of 
July, 1843. O^^ hundred communicants were 
present, and the occasion was one of great 
solemnity and heart-felt joy to the earnest 
Christians, who, exiled from their native land, 
and for many years deprived of the religious 
privileges which they esteemed so highly, were 
now to have a settled pastor, and were hence- 
forth to enjoy regularly all the services of the 
sanctuary, including the administration of the 
holy sacraments. 

The new parsonage which the vestry had 


resolved to build was completed, and the first 
service was held in it on the 12th of Septem- 
ber. This was only a little over three months 
from the time that the resolution was adopted 
to erect the parsonage. With them it seems 
that to resolve was to do, and to do promptly 
and energetically. It is to be regretted that 
Lutherans of the present day have not more 
of the same spirit. May the great Head of 
the Church endow us with it! 

The congregation at Schoharie continued to 
hold public worship in the parsonage until the 
year 1750, when they determined to build a 
church. The corner-stone for this edifice was 
laid on the loth of May, 1750. The building 
was of stone, and notwithstanding the arduous 
labor connected with such an undertaking, the 
church was completed and dedicated on Whit- 
suntide, May 6th, 175 1, less than one year after 
the corner-stone was laid — another striking 
evidence of the zeal and energy of these 
pioneer Lutherans. This structure was located 
on the present cemetery grounds. 

Under the zealous and judicious supervision 
of the pious and devoted Sommer,.the congre- 
gation at Schoharie grew in numbers and spir- 


itual power. Not content to confine his labors 
to this one locality, he soon began, with an 
almost Apostolic zeal, to extend his work to 
other settlements where Lutheran colonists 
had located. He visited, amongst other points. 
Stone Arabia, Little Falls, and C^najoharie on 
the Mohawk river; East and West Camp, 
Claverack and Loonenberg (now Athens), on 
the Hudson ; Hoosick Road (as it was then 
called), in Rensselaer county; Albany, Helde- 
berg, and Beaverdam, in Albany county. In 
all these places he preached the Gospel, and 
administered the holy sacraments at regular 
and stated periods. 

The congregations at Stone Arabia, Little 
Falls, and Canajoharie, were at first included 
in his pastoral charge. On the ist of Decem- 
ber, 1751, he preached his farewell sermon to 
these congregations, and left them to the pas- 
toral care of his successor, Rev. John Frederick 

On the 3d of March, 1758, Mr. Sommer 
preached for the first time in Cobleskill, and 
administered the Lord's Supper to the Luth- 
eran congregation at that place. After this 
period, with the exception of occasional visits 


to more distant congregations, he confined his 
labors to the territory comprised in the present 
county of Schoharie. 

In the year 1768, Mr. Sommer became sud- 
denly blind; but continued, notwithstanding 
this affliction, to serve the congregation with 
great acceptance and usefulness, until the in- 
firmities of old age compelled him in the year 
1788 to resign. During his ministry in this 
charge, which extended over a period of forty- 
four years, he baptized 1,954, married 405, 
buried 216, and confirmed 443. There is a 
tradition that after having continued blind for 
twenty years, his vision was suddenly restored. 
It has been stated that " he awoke on a beauti- 
ful Sabbath morning, and lo! his eyes were 
opened. The first object which greeted his 
sight was his church. To this sacred edifice 
he speedily repaired, and humbly approaching 
its altar on bended knees, rendered thanks to 
his Father in Heaven for opening his eyes and 
permitting him again to look upon his family 
and his flock, from whom he had been so long 
shut out in total darkness." * 

The Rev. Anthony Theodore Braun was 

*Prof. M. L, Stoever, in Evan. Review, Jan., 1862. 


elected pastor in 1791, but resigned in 1794. 
He recorded in these three years 217 baptisms, 
38 marriages, and 40 confirmations. 

The Rev. F. H. Quitman succeeded Mr. 
Braun in 1795. He was a man of almost gi- 
gantic frame, a ripe scholar, and possessed 
great decision of character. In 1796 the con- 
gregation erected a new church edifice in the 
centre of the village. It was built of brick at 
a cost of 115,000, exclusive of the labor and 
materials contributed by the members. It is 
the same spacious and commanding building 
in which the congregation now worship. The 
Rev. Quitman remained until 1798. He had 
baptized 168, married 47, and confirmed 34. 

The Rev. A. T. Braun was recalled in 1799 
as pastor pro tent., under the direction of Rev. 
Dr. Kunze, who had been chosen the regular 
pastor, but could not at that time enter upon 
his duties. Rev. Braun served for two years, 
when he resigned. He registered 1 10 baptisms, 
19 marriages, and 34 confirmations. It does 
not appear that Dr. Kunze was ever settled 
here as a pastor. 

The congregations were without any regular 
pastor until 1805, when the Rev. A. Wacker- 


hagen was called. He preached his introduct- 
ory sermon on the 15 th of December, 1805. 
Dr. Wackerhagen filled the pastoral office here 
for ten years, or until 181 5, when he took 
charge of Livingston Manor and Germantown, 
in Columbia county. He recorded 592 bap- 
tisms, 1 39 marriages, and 80 confirmations. 
. Thus far the history of this church is briefly 
and succinctly sketched, for a period commenc- 
ing with the colonial history of the State, and 
embracing the French and Indian wars, through 
the war of the Revolution of 1776, to the close 
of the second war for Independence, generally 
known as the war of 1812. "During these 
struggles, especially the French and Indian 
wars and the Revolutionary war, the congre- 
gations suffered many hardships, and lost not 
a few of their members ; yet they increased 
and flourished in the midst of all the privations 
and hardships to which they were subjected. 
Many of them were often driven from their 
homes and deprived of their property ; many 
fell victims to the tomahawk and the scalping 
knife of a savage enemy. Yet the church was 
preserved as a monument of God's providential 

23 :..: 


In 1746, a company of volunteers was raised 
in Schoharie to join an expedition against 
Quebec in Canada. Before their departure on 
this long and perilous march, this company 
assembled in the church, and, after being ad- 
dressed by pastor Sommer, partook of the 
Lord's supper. They went to war as Christian 
patriots, in the fear of God and in reliance on 
the strength of the Lord of hosts. Whilst the 
battle of Durbach was progressing, the intrepid 
pastor was within five miles of the scene of 
action, and within hearing of the firing, engaged 
in holding divine service in a private house. 
All who were with him expected to be cap- 
tured by the enemy or massacred by the In- 
dians. He sought to remove their fears and 
to encourage them by reading the ninety-first' 
Psalm, hoping thereby to inspire them with 
confidence in the divine power and protection. 
Thus, if they must needs die, it would be with 
an unfaltering trust in Christ, the Saviour. 
Nothing seems to be definitely known as to the 
fate of this company of volunteers. What 
part they took in this campaign against the 
French and Indians, how many died, how 
many returned, there are no means of ascer- 


In the Revolutionary war, the Schoharie 
congregation bore its full share of all the suf- 
ferings and losses connected with that memo- 
rable struggle. Pastor Sommer took a deep 
interest in the contest between the Colonies 
and Great Britain. Although a foreigner, he 
was in his feelings and purposes true to his 
adopted country. " He loved the cause of free- 
dom, and for its defence and advancement was 
prepared to make any sacrifice, to submit to 
any trial, endure any suffering." Inspired by 
his spirit and example, the Schoharie people, 
with rare exceptions, were loyal to the Colonial 
government in its struggles for independence ; 
very few having proved traitors to their country. 

So, too, in the second war for independence, 
commencing in 1812 and ending in 1 8 15, many 
volunteers went from Schoharie, and rendered 
efficient semce to the country. During this 
war, many individuals and associations issued 
small notes, usually denominated " shin- 
plasters," and the Schoharie church, through 
its officers, also put them in circulation. The 
following is a blank copy of one of these issues: 

"The Consistory of St. Paul's Church, Schoharie, 
promise to pay the bearer on demand two cents. 
November 16, 1814, , Secretary. 


The Rev. John Molther succeeded the Rev. 
A. Wackerhagen in 18 16. He was however 
removed by the action of the New York Min- 
iisterium in 1 8 18, having served the* congrega- 
tion about two years. He recorded one con- 
firmation, eighty- eight baptisms, and fifteen 

The Rev. G. A. Lintner was called to the 
Schoharie charge in 18 19, being at that time 
a licentiate of the New York Ministerium. He 
was ordained by that body at a special meeting 
held in Schoharie on the i6th of June, 1819. 
Dr. Lintner's ministry at Schoharie closed in 
October, 1849, having extended over a period 
of thirty years. During a part of this time he 
preached at Middleburg. He also organized 
a congregation and built a church at Central 
Bridge. A sketch of this church will be 
given in another article. 

The church at Schoharie, under the able and 
faithful labors of Dr. Lintner, enjoyed a very 
large measure of prosperity. This might 
have been expected from the Doctor*s recog- 
nized talents and learning, and his untiring 
zeal and devotion to his pastoral work. He 
had several extensive revivals, resulting in the 


accession of many valuable members to the 
church. In the thirty years of his ministry he 
recorded i,ioo infant baptisms; 303 mem- 
bers received at Schoharie, and 103 at Middle- 
burg, in 1832 and 1833; 319 marriages, and 
217 deaths. A memorial tablet, set in the 
walls of St. Paul's church by his daughter 
Aurelia, wife of Hon. P. S. Danforth, of Mid- 
dleburg, keeps fresh in the minds of the wor- 
shipers the life and services of this eminent 
and devoted servant of Christ. Thus, "he 
being dead yet speaketh." Dr. Lintner's re- 
mains are buried in the cemetery of St. PauFs 
church, and his grave is marked by a beautiful 
monument erected as a token of filial affection 
by his daughter, Mrs. Danforth. 

Dr. Lintner's successor was the Rev. James 
R. Keiser. He was a fine scholar, a preacher 
of more than ordinary ability, and served the 
congregation with general satisfaction and no 
small measure of usefulness, from January, 
1850, to October, 1856. 

The Rev. Edmund Belfour, a native of Den- 
mark, but educated in this country, succeeded 
the Rev. J. R. Keiser. He began his ministry 
on the 23d of February, 1857, ^Jici continued 


until the latter part of April, 1868, a little more 
than eleven years. He received 95 members 
into the church. He was a good scholar, pos- 
sessed considerable pulpit ability, and was an 
industrious and faithful pastor. 

The Rev. J. H. Heck, the present worthy 
and efficient pastor, began his labors Decem- 
ber 5, 1868. During the twelve years of his 
ministry he has had the satisfaction to see 88 
members added to the church, and is enjoying 
the confidence and esteem of his people and of 
the entire community. Though for some time 
an invalid, he has done all that his strength 
would allow in the way of pastoral work, and 
has the sympathy of his congregation and of 
all his brethren in the ministry. 

The latter years of pastor Sommer were 
spent in the town of Sharon, Schoharie county, 
N. Y. He died on 27th of October, 179S, in 
the 87th year of his age. His remains were 
interred on his farm, where they rested for 
sixty-five years. Subsequently they were re- 
moved and buried by the side of his wife, in 
the cemetery of St. Paul's, at Schoharie. Ap- 
propriate services were held on the occasion, 
conducted by the Rev. Dr. Lintner and the 


Rev. E. Belfour, at that time the pastor at 
Schoharie. The Rev. Belfour delivered a dis- 
course from the words, *' The memory of the 
just is blessed." A monument of native gran- 
ite taken from a quarry on the cemetery 
grounds, and erected by the people of Scho- 
harie, marks the place where this good and 
great man and his faithful wife are sleeping 
" their last sleep" in honored graves. 

Reference has been made to the building of 
the brick edifice, in which the congregation 
are now worshiping, during the ministry of 
Rev. Dr. Quitman in 1796. In the erection of 
this church some of the stones in the first 
building were used in the foundation of the 
new structure ; some of the names originally 
cut upon them remaining legible. The fol- 
lowing are the most prominent: "Johannes 
Lawyer, Diaconus et Conditor hujus Ecclesiae, 
Fund. D. 14 May, 1750; Consum. 1751," 
John Frederick Lawyer, Job's Schuyler, V. D. 
M., Johannes Lawyer, jr., Johannes Kniskern, 
Ludwig Rickert, Henrick Schaeffer, Jost Borst, 
Margaretta Ingolt, Elizabeth Lawyer, and 
Philip Berg. 

Although St. Paul's congregation has sent 


out several colonies, thus laying the founda- 
tion of other Lutheran churches in Schoharie 
county, the church still has a recorded mem- 
bership of over two hundred. The present 
edifice has been remodeled on several occa- 
sions, and the interior has been handsomely 
frescoed. The audience room has a seating 
capacity of about six hundred. The present 
value of th)e church and parsonage is about 
;^20,ooo. The church is still strong in its 
numbers, and in the wealth, the intelligence 
and the moral power of its membership. No 
church in the Hartwick Synod has a nobler 
record, and none is exerting any greater in- 



The Lutheran church at Central Bridge is 
the offspring of the church at Schoharie, and 
is located about six miles distant from it, and 
near the Albany and Susquehanna Railroad. 
It has been connected with St. Paul's church, 

* From notes furnished by Rev. J. H. Heck. 


from its organization until the present time, as 
a component part of what is known as the 
Schoharie charge. 

This church was organized with the ap- 
proval of the Schoharie congregation, to 
which its founders originally belonged, on 
the 27th day of November, 1844, by the elec- 
tion of the following officers, viz. : Peter J. 
Enders, Olaff H. Williams, Henry Wetsell, 
trustees ; Olaff H. Williams, Peter J. Enders, 
Henry Wetsell, elders ; Jonas Kilmer, Daniel 
Wolford, William Sternberg, deacons.* Of the 
above, only Messrs. Jonas Kilmer and William 
Sternberg remain. The others died since Rev. 
Heck*s ministry commenced. 

The corner-stone of this church was laid 
with appropriate ceremonies by Rev. G. A. 
Lintner, D. D., on the first of July, 1844. The 
building was finished and dedicated on the 
29th of January, 1845. The edifice is a frame 
structure, surmounted by a cupola which con- 
tains a fine-toned bell. The Rev. Dr. Lintner, 
through whose efforts mainly the congregation 
was organized, and the church built, was form- 
ally called and entered upon his pastoral duties 
May 1st, 1845. 


This church has always been served by the 
Schoharie pastors, in the following order: Rev. 
G. A. Lintner, D. D., from 1845 to 1849, ^^^^ 
years; Rev. J. R. Keiser, January, 1850, to 
October, 1856; Rev. E. Belfour, from February, 
1857, to April, 1868; Rev. J. H.* Heck, from 
December 5, 1868, to the present time. 

Within the past few years this church has 
been remodeled and refurnished at a cost of 
$2,600, and is now a very comfortable and 
beautiful house of worship. Shortly after this 
work of repairs, the Lord poured out his 
Spirit upon the people of this community as 
he had never done before, and about eighty 
persons were added to the church, thereby 
nearly doubling its membership. The present 
membership is 140. Connected with this 
church is a very flourishing Sunday-school, an 
active, working membership, and it looks for- 
ward hopefully under the divine blessing to a 
future of great prosperity and usefulness. 




The early records of the church are not to 
be found. The Lutherans and Reformed seem 
to have occupied the same church building for 
a number of years. A Mr. Coppernoll do- 
nated fifty- two acres of land for their use. 
When the separation took place is not stated. 
The baptismal record as a distinct organiza- 
tion dates from 1735. When the two con- 
gregations effected separate organizations, in 
1770, the land was divided, each deeding to the 
other one-half. The deeds were renewed, and 
are the only ones in existence. This deed to 
the Lutherans speaks of a church building in 
which worship is to be conducted in accord- 
ance with the usages of the Lutheran Church. 
Tradition speaks of a log church which had 
been replaced. And on October 19, 1780, 
this building, together with the hamlet of 
Stone Arabia, was burned by the British and 

The first Lutheran minister of the church, 
so far as is known, was the Rev. William 


Christopher Berkenmyer, then stationed at 
Loonenburg, on the Hudson. Just when, or 
how long he served as pastor, is not stated. 
The Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer was stationed 
at Schoharie, where he preached his first ser- 
mon May the 15th, 1743. Storfe Arabia was 
part of his charge until December, 175 1, when 
the Rev. Frederick Reis, from Germantown, 
took charge. In 1763 we find the Rev. The- 
ophilus England in charge, until 1773, when 
he died. Pastor Reis was then recalled, and 
remained four or five years. In 1787 the Rev. 
Philip Jacob Grotz was called, and remained 
until his death, in 1809. His remains lie in 
the old cemetery. It was during his term of 
pastoral work that the present church edifice 
was erected, in 1792. In 181 1 the Rev. Peter 
Wilhelm Domire became pastor, and remained 
until 1826. On the 1st of January, 1828, Rev. 
J. D. Lawyer was installed as pastor. The 
Rev. G. A. Lintner preached the sermon, which 
was published. Up to this date the services 
had been conducted in the German language. 
Mr. Lawyer was succeeded in 1830 by the 
Rev. Charles A. Smith, who continued here 
until 1838. The Rev. Henry -I. Schmidt fol- 

OF PALATINE, Erected 1770. 


lowed him, who remained but one year. Jan- 
uary 1st, 1840, the Rev. Martin J. Stover took 
charge, who remained four years, and was fol- 
lowed by the Rev. Adolphus Rumph, who left 
in 1854, when the Rev. S. Curtis was called, 
and remained two years, then the Rev. 
Rumph was recalled, and remained until 1865, 
On the 1st of November, 1865, the Rev. N. 
Wirt became pastor, and remained until Octo- 
ber, 1877. On the 1 2th of November, 1877, 
the present incumbent. Rev. W. W. Gulick 
took charge. The membership at present is 
one hundred and thirty-three. 





The Germans settled in this portion of the 
Mohawk valley at a very early date, about the 
year 17 13. The above-named church was 
erected in 1770. Built of unhewn stone upon 
the smooth surface of solid rock, it has stood, 
a Christian monument for more than a century* 
The following persons contributed money for 


its erection, viz.: Peter Waggoner, ;^ioo 
Andrew Reber, ;^ioo ; William Nellis, Jr., ;^6o 
Andrew Nellis, ;^6o; Johannes Nellis, ;fi'6o 
Henry Nellis, ;^6o; Christian Nellis, ;^6o 
David Nellis, ;^6o ; Johannes Hess, ;^6o ; total, 
i^S2o. Besides these subscriptions, William 
Nellis, the father, and William Nellis, Jr., An- 
drew, Johannes, and Henry, paid for making 
the spire to the steeple of said church. These 
parties furnished the money, while others con- 
tributed by hauling the stone and by other 

While this portion of the Mohawk valley 
was devastated in 1780 by the Tories and In- 
dians, this church was saved through the influ- 
ence of one of the contributors who had taken 
up arms against the colonies. Several shots 
were fired into it by the party under Sir John 
Johnson, one of the shot holes being still visi- 
ble. After nearly a century this church was 
suffered to go to decay. In 1865 the writer of 
this article found it a pile of ruins. The outer 
walls were in good condition, but the windows 
were out and the interior a perfect wreck. 

In the spring of 1 866, a meeting of the inhab- 
itants in that community was called, which was 


quite largely attended. There, among the dust 
and mould and ruin, old men and men of mid- 
dle age stood and listened to an address, in 
which the speaker referred to the times in 
which the church had been built ; that at this 
consecrated altar they had been baptized ; and 
as these memories were awakened in their 
hearts, the tears flowed down their cheeks. At 
the conclusion of the address, it was unani- 
mously resolved to commence repairing the 
old church at once. A building committee 
was appointed, subscriptions circulated, and 
the work commenced. After the work was 
begun, it was found that instead of a few hun- 
dred dollars it would require several thousand. 
The larger portion of this money was con- 
tributed by the inhabitants of the community 
in which the church stands, and the balance 
from churches in the Hartwick Synod, and 
individuals who were interested in preserving 
this old landmark of the Mohawk Valley. In 
the early part of the summer of 1870, after 
hard work and repeated solicitations for money, 
the repairs were completed at a cost of about 
$^fiOO. The old church was re- dedicated to 
the Triune God. Rev. G. A. Lintner preached 
the sermon. 


On the 1 8th of August, of the same year, 
1870, there was a grand centennial celebration 
of the old Palatine church. Rev. Charles A, 
Smith preached the sermon in the church, 
which was packed with eager listeners. After 
the services in the church, ex-Governor Sey- 
mour delivered an historical address in a grove 
near by, in which he spoke with befitting 
words of the historic memories that cluster 
around that old church. It was estimated 
that there were from 8,000 to 10,000 people 
present on that occasion. The church is bet- 
ter now than when it was builL The antiquity 
of the exterior has not been marred, but the 
interior is modern, neatly finished, furnished 
and carpeted. It is the only public building 
in all the Mohawk Valley, whose erection 
dates back prior to the Revolution, and unless 
some misfortune befall it, is good for another 
hundred years. It has always been connected 
with Trinity Evangelical Lutheran church of 
Stone Arabia, these two churches constituting 
one pastorate. 




This church was organized by the Rev. F. H. 
Quitman, D. D., and incorporated in the year 
1806. The church records until within a few 
years past show scarcely anything but bap- 
tisms, marriages, and deaths. Dr. Quitman 
was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Prentice 
in 1809. He remained until 1814, when it 
appears the Rev. George Wichterman had 
charge for two years. From 1 816 until 1829 
occurs a hiatus, as there are no records during 
that period. In 1829 the Rev. P. G. Cole was 
pastor, and the records show entries made by 
him until 1837, when he was succeeded by the 
Rev. A. Rumph. Rev. E. DeYoe was pastor 
from 1842 until 1845, when he was succeeded 
by Rev. W. H. Emerick. In 1848 Rev. H. 
Wheeler took charge, and in 1850 Rev. T. 
Lape, who probably remained until 1856. 
Rev. W. I. Cutter succeeded, and then again 
Rev. T. Lape in 1859. In 1863 Rev. W. H. 
Emerick was again pastor. In 1868 Rev. H. 


Wheeler was- re-called, and then again W. I. 
Cutter in 1870. In 1872 the Rev. W. Sharts 
received a call from this congregation. He is 
still their pastor. 

Historical Items, 

The land on which the church stands was 
donated by Henry Bonesteel. The site is 
most beautiful and pleasant — on an elevated 
rock, along the base of which flows the pic- 
turesque Walkill, surrounded by a magnificent 
grove of pines; and almost at the very foot 
of the Overlook, one of the highest points of 
the Catskills, it is no wonder that it excites the 
admiration of every passer-by. 

It is not known when the first church edi- 
fice was erected, but probably not far from 
1806. In 1843 a new church was built in 
place of the old, which was past repairing ; 
and in which the congregation continued to 
worship until 1875, when it was thoroughly 
repaired, inside and out, so that it is now as 
beautiful and comfortable a church as can be 
found in the country anywhere. 

In 1873 a parsonage, about half a mile east 
from the church, was purchased, and in 1875 
an addition was built to it and other improve- 


ments made around it, so that it is now com- 
modious and pleasant. 

Untoward Events, 

This congregation, in former years, was by 
far the most numerous in Woodstock. Vari- 
ous causes have contributed to weaken it. 

1st. The building of other churches in the 
vicinity, so that members were induced to at- 
tend a church near by rather than to travel 
perhaps many miles. 

2d. Sometimes for months at a time the con- 
gregation had no pastor, and consequently the 
people got accustomed to attend other churches. 

3d. For want of a parsonage, several of the 
pastors lived at a distance, and of course could 
not attend to the interests of the congregation 
as they otherwise might have done. 

4th. When the congregation had become 
weakened from these causes, about the year 
1868, it was proposed to build another Lutheran 
church in the lower part of the congregation, 
about five miles distant from Christ's church, 
and to divide the congregation into two parts, 
so that a new church might be organized. 
This plan, unfortunately, was carried into effect, 
against the protest of most of the congregation* 


Pine Grove church was built — ^the congregation 
divided — Christ's church still further weakened. 
But the prospects of Christ's church are 
brighter than they have been for years, and its 
members feel encouraged, and not* without 



St. Paul's Lutheran church is the oldest re- 
ligious society in the town of West Camp. It 
was organized in the early part of the year 
171 1, by a portion of the German Palatines, 
who reached West Camp December 24, 17 10. 

The readers of Sir Walter Scott will remem- 
ber the word Paladin, which occurs in his 
writings. A Paladin is a ruler who lives in a 

* Since the above was written, Pine Grove has be- 
come a part of the Woodstock charge, and it may yet 
become a prosperous congregation under the faithful 
and prudent guidance of brother Sharts. — Note by 
the Editor. 

fThis article is compiled from the history of Ulster 
county, prepared by N. B. Sylvester ; from the church 

West Camp, Ulster Co., N. Y. 


palace. If he riries a county he is called a 
Count Palatine, and the county is called a 
County Palatine or a Palatinate, 

Two such Palatinates existed in Germany. 
The upper Palatinate was in the north of Ba- 
varia. The lower Palatinate was up the Rhine, 
with that river running through it. Its capital 
was the university town of Heidelberg. Its 
inhabitants and their kindred on the east called 
it in their German language the Ffalz^ or the 
Rhein Pfalz, The Netherlanders on the north 
and west called it in their tongue the Paltz. 
Here the Reformed church prospered, and 
here a temporary home was found by the Hu- 
guenots who afterwards came to America, and 
out of gratitude named their settlement New 

In the year 1708 a dozen families, fleeing 
from the invasion of the Paltz by the French, 
reached London, having left all their posses- 
sions behind, but having certificates from the 

record of Pastor Kocherthal ; from a sermon delivered 
by Rev. J. B. Thompson, D. D., at the 150th anniver- 
sary of the churches of Kaatsbaan and Saugerties on 
the 19th of October, 1880 ; from data furnished by 
Rev. A. N. Daniels; and from Documentary History 
of the State of New York. 


magistrates of their integrity of character. 
Amongst these was Joshua Kocherthal. A 
Christian gentleman and a fine scholar, he had 
sufficient influence with the court of Queen 
Anne to induce that sovereign to send the little 
colony to her American dominions at govern* 
ment expense. 

They left England in the same fleet which 
brought Lord Lovelace, the new Governor of 
New York and New Jersey^ The weather 
proved very tempestuous, and the vessels were 
driven asunder. The " Globe,'* on which the 
Palatines had embarked, under command of 
Captain Charles Congreve, was eleven weeks 
at sea, arriving in New York on New Year's 
day, 1709, having suffered severely both from 
the cold and the scarcity of water. 

Pastor Kocherthal was in the prime of life, 
having been born in 1669. He was accom- 
panied by his wife and three children. 

Several other families had joined pastor 
Kocherthal's colony in London and the whole 
number was increased to twenty- five families. 

" These families were located upon two 
thousand one hundred and ninety acres of 
land, lying adjacent to Quaseck Kill, in the 


locality called by the Hollanders he Dans 
kammer^ on land now occupied by the city of 

But Lord Lovelace having died before the 
title to these lands had been secured, Dominie 
Kocherthal at once undertook a voyage to 
England in behalf of his countrymen, leaving 
his family in New York, where his daughter, 
Louisa Abigail, was born during his absence." 

" He was successful in securing for Governor 
Hunter instructions respecting the Palatines, 
similar to those which had been given to his 
predecessor; and came out in the same fleet 
with him, sailing from Portsmouth, on Christ- 
mas day, 1709, and landing at New York, 
June 14, 1 7 10, a voyage of nearly six months !*' 

'* He had found abundant work during his 
absence. The refugees from the Palatinate 
had increased from tens to thousands, and 
nearly three thousand were sent to New York 
by the same fleet which brought back the 
Minister and the new Governor. Four hun- 
dred and seventy died from exposure and from 
want of food and water. Many others were 
sick. But these speedily recovered at the en- 
campment on the island in New York harbor. 


then called NuUen Island from the nut-trees 
which grew upon it ; better known since, (and 
especially of late,) as Governor's Island. 

From the documentary history of Ulster 
county, it appears that the number of Palatines 
who were resident at West Camp and the 
vicinity in the winter of 1710, was about two 
hundred and sixty, including men, women and 
children. Prominent amongst these were 
Hermann Scheuneman, Capt. John C. Garlich, 
the Maurers, Mullers, Spanhimers, Schaeffers, 
Kelmers, Overbachs, Dietricks, Kieffers, Emer- 
ichs, Frolichs, Beckers, names still preserved 
at West Camp to this day. Up to 171 1 the 
three towns on the west bank of the Hudson, 
including West Camp, had a population of 
six hundred and fourteen. In 1715, the num- 
ber had increased to about fifteen hundred. 

" These colonists understood that they were 
to be settled on the Mohawk and on the flats 
at Schoharie, or Scho'-har-ie as the Indians 
called it, and as we ought to call it too, with 
the accent on the first syllable." 

" These families were to have forty acres of 
land each, to cultivate for their own use, and 
were to make tar for the English navy, to 


compensate for the expense of sending them 
out. But the Mohawk and Schoharie Flats 
did not grow pines, and the Government was 
anxious about the tar. Besides, that region 
was not yet entirely safe from the Indians, 
and there were pine lands along the Hudson. 
Moreover, Robert Livingston, a Scotchman, 
who had been a Government contractor before, 
was ready to sell six thousand acres of his 
lands on the east side of the river, and to feed 
the colonists so long as. the Government would 
pay him for so doing. 

"Directly opposite his lands, on the west 
side, was a comparatively barren tract still be- 
longing to the Crown, full of pines, and ex- 
tending a mile or so northward from the Saw- 
yer's Kill. For these and other reasons, the 
colonists were located one hundred and ten 
miles from New York, on both sides the Hud- 

"It was a beautiful autumn day when the 
vessels anchored at their destination. Then, 
as now, the river banks and mountain sides 
must have been gorgeous with such hues as 
these immigrants had never seen before. The 
maple, and the sumach, and the Virginia 


creeper, the expanses of golden rod and pur- 
ple aster, would seem to them, as indeed they 
were, remnants of Paradise untouched by sin. 
On the mountain slopes and hillsides ten thou- 
sand bushes burned as with fire, yet were not 
consumed ; and out of every one God seemed 
to speak of deliverance. With such thoughts 
in their hearts, with such beauty round about 
them, and with the warm sun looking lovingly 
down from the blue deeps above, what happi- 
ness might they not expect in their new home ! 

" So to the Jews old Canaan stood 
While Jordan rolled between. 

" With grateful hearts they disembarked, and 
lay themselves down to sleep under such shel- 
ter as they could improvise from the bushes 
roundabout, or from the tents and blankets 
from the ships. 

" What was their surprise in the morning to 
find the ground covered with snow, and their 
little ones suffering from wet and cold. How- 
ever, after the sun arose the snow disappeared, 
and they addressed themselves to work, as 
men who had their future before them. The 
neighborhoods where they landed are still 


known as "East Camp" and "West Camp" 
— though the people were soon located in vil- 
lages, each under its superintendent or captain. 

" On the east shore were Queensbury, 
Annsbury, Haysbury and Hunterstown, and 
on the west were Georgetown, Elizabethtown 
and Newtown. Perhaps, after the death of 
Queen Anne, Queensbury became Kingsbury, 
and Annsbury Hunterstown. The precise lo- 
cation of these villages could probably be 
ascertained by close investigation. 

" What struggles these men had for life ; how 
the project of making tar failed ; how many of 
them preferred the tender mercies of the In- 
dians to those of the English, and cutting a 
road for their wives and children through the 
underbrush from Schenectady, went to Scho'- 
har-ie in spite of the authorities, need not be 

" Dominie Kocherthal remained in New 
York until the end of May, i/n, and, then, 
when the last of the refugees were leaving that 
city, came to the * upper colonies ' as he calls 
them, on the Hudson. He made his home at 
Newtown and thus became the founder of the 
church at West Camp. The first recorded 


service at West Camp took place on the third 
day of June, 171 1. Hence on the third day of 
June 1 88 1 the church of West Camp should 
celebrate its one hundred and seventieth anni- 
versary. Kocherthal was the pastor- of the 
German Lutherans, however, not only at West 
Camp, but also at East Camp, where, Novem- 
ber 15, 1 7 16, he united in marriage John 
Friedrich Haeger, *hochdeutscher prediger in 
Kingsberg/ with Anna Maria Rohrbachin. 

" He made official visits and administered 
the rites of the Church also at Scho'-har-ie as 
well as at Rheinbeck and Pagepsie (Pough- 
keepsie). Thus his pastorate was a wide one. 
He died December 27, 17 19, at fifty years of 
age, as he was about to make another journey 
to England, perhaps to try to secure the five 
hundred acres of land which had at first been 
granted him at Newburgh." 

" Five years after his death the rites of the 
Church were again administered at Newtown 
by Daniel Falckner of New Jersey, who writes 
himself down as " Pastor at Millstone {Mukl- 
stein) and in the mountains near the Rari- 
tan." (?) 

A brown stone marks the resting place of 


Kocherthal, and contains this quaint inscrip- 

" Know, traveler, under this stone rests, be- 
side his Sibylla Charlotta, a real traveler, of 
the High-Dutch in North America, their 
Joshua, and a pure Lutheran preacher of the 
same on the east and west side of the Hudson 
river. His first arrival was with Lord Love- 
lace, in 1709, the first of January. His secnod 
with Colonel Hunter, 1710, the fourteenth of 
June. The journey of his soul to heaven, on 
St. John's Day, 1719, interrupted his return to 
England. Do you wish to know more ? Seek 
in Melanchthon's Fatherland, who was Koch- 
erthal, who Harschias, who Winchenbach. 
B. Berkenmeyer. S. Huertin. L. Brevort. 

Harschias and Winchenbach may have been 
companions of Kocherthal in the land of his 
birth. Some Lutheran historian can, perhaps, 
give information respecting them. 

B, Berkenmeyer^ 5. Huertin^ L. Brevort, were 
doubtless children of Kocherthal, whose filial 
piety induced them to be at the expense of 
erecting the monument. 

" Kocherthal's record-book shows his schol- 


arship, his piety, his character — the torn title- 
page still states that it was begun Decem- 
ber, 1708, *A me Josua de Valle Concordiae 
vulgo Kocherthal, ecclesiae Germaniae Neo- 
Eboracen ministro primo/ — by me yoshua of 
tlie Valley of Concord, commonly called Kocher- 
tlial, the first minister of the German Church 
of New York, The baptismal record, the first 
in the book, has at its head the words * Jesu 
Auspice,* yesus our leader. The record of 
those admitted to the Lord's Supper begins: 
* Jesu ecclesiae suae Auctore et Conservatore/ 
Jesus Author and Preserver of his Church, The 
record of gifts, (the first being of a church bell 
from Queen Anne and King George) is made 
under the heading, * Jesu retribuente,' yesus 
repaying. The record of marriages has ' Jesu 
coelesti nostrarum animarum Sponso,* yesus, 
heavenly bridegroom of our souls. The death 
record begins with, *Jesu vivificante,' yestis 

On the 18th of June, 171 8, about eighteen 
months before his death, pastor Kocherthal 
petitioned Governor Hunter to grant to him, 
his heirs and assigns, a suitable portion of the 
Glebe for their support. A counter-petition 


was sent to the Governor by one Christian 
Hiflcke, praying that pastor Kocherthal might 
be dispossessed of all interest in the Glebe, in- 
asmuch as he had not been residing upon it. 
Soon after pastor Kocherthal's death, the Com- 
mittee of the Council of the Province met to 
consider these petitions. The Council very 
generously granted a deed for two hundred and 
fifty acres of land, in perpetuity, to Sybilla 
Charlotta, widow of pastor Kocherthal, and to 
his children. Christian Joshua, Benigna* Sybilla, 
and Susanna Sybilla — "that is to say, the whole 
two hundred and fifty acres to them and their 
assigns forever." At the same time, the Coun- 
cil granted to Andrew Volck and Jacob Web- 
ber, as trustees, and their successors in office, 
five hundred acres of land for the maintenance 
and support of a Lutheran minister forever. 
The lands might be rented, but not for a longer 
term than seven years, and it was provided that 
the rents and profits coming by the said Glebe- 
land " shall be impropriated to the maintenance 
of such Lutheran minister and his successors, ' 
forever, and to no other use whatever ; and it 
being granted for a pious intent, you may cause 
the quit-rent to be reserved for the said Glebe- 


land, be the yearly rent of one peppercorn if 
the same be legally demanded, which neverthe- 
less is humbly submitted." Signed A. De 
Peyster, Gerard Beekman, Rip Van Dam and 

This Glebe-land was located some distance 
below West Camp, on the Quaseck Kill, not 
far from the town of Newburgh, and was part of 
the grant made to the first colony of Palatines, 
who came over in 1709. These and all other 
lands in the vicinity, originally granted to the 
Palatines, were in 175 1 transferred to the 
Church of England. This was done by virtue 
of an order addressed to William Smith, At- 
torney-General of the province, by Governor 
George Clinton, attested by G. Banyar, Secre- 
tary of State. Thus the lands originally 
granted by government patent to the Palatines 
and their descendants for the use and benefit of 
a Lutheran church and a Lutheran pastor, were 
under the forms of law, but in violation of all 
the principles of right and justice, alienated 
from the rightful owners, and transferred to the 
Church of England. This was done, too, 

* Documentary History of New York, Vol. III., pp. 
580. 586, 598, 599. 


against the solemn protest of Rev. Michael 
Christian Knoll, Lutheran minister in New 
York, and others representing the Lutheran 

As mention has been made of pastors 
Kocherthal's family, the following statements 
in reference to them will not be out of place. 
They are furnished by Rev. J. B. Thompson. 

His wife, Sybilla Charlotte, was born in 1669, 
and died at West Camp, December 16, 1713. 
What is known of their children may be 
briefly stated here. 

Benigna Sibylla, who was born in 1698, be- 
came the wife of the Rev. Wm. Christoffel 
Berkenmyer, who succeeded to the pastorate 
of the German Lutherans along the Hudson 
river, from New York to Albany inclusive, in 
1725. He occasionally conducted divine ser- 
vice and administered the rite of baptism, not 
only in the churches of Newtown and Loonen- 
burg, but also at the houses of Nicholas Smith 
and Philip Kreisler, in " Kisketamesij." 

Christian Joshua, who was born in 1 701, be- 
came superintendent of one of the Palatine 

♦Documentary History of New York. Vol. III., pp. 
580, 586. 598, 599. 


villages at Edst Camp, aiid died without issue 
in 1731. 

Susanna Sibylla, who was born in 1705, 
married William Huertin, goldsmith, of Bergen 
county, N. J., and has descendants in the town 
of Wallkill. 

Louisa Abigail was born in New York Feb- 
ruary 26, 1 7 10, and baptized there two days 
later, by Dominie Justus Falckner^ the Low- 
Dutch Lutheran minister in that city. She 
became the wife of John Brevort, goldsmith, of 
New York. 

A younger daughter, Cathalina, married 
Peter Lynch, merchant, of New York. She 
inherited her mother's interest in the land at 
Newburgh, which was patented in 17 19 to 
thos^e of the original immigrants still living. 
Louisa Abigail inherited her brother's interest, 
while Benigna and Susanna were Simong the 
original patentees. These four were still living 
July 13, 1 74 1, when, it is said, they deeded the 
property to James Smith. 

Amohg the Palatines who settled near West 
Camp, were many members of the German 
Reformed Church. The first church edifice 
was erected soon after their settlement at 


West Camp, and was a Union church, owned 
and occupied jointly by Lutherans and German 
Reformed. The German Reformed minister 
died a few years after his arrival, and the 
members of the Reformed Church formed a 
union with the Hollanders, or Dutch Re- 
formed, at Kaatsbaan, about two miles west of 
West Camp, and the organization of the Re- 
formed Dutch church at that place was ef- 
fected in 1730. 

The old church edifice, which was built of 
logs, was located about an eighth of a tnile 
east of the present church. The Lutheran 
congregation worshiped in this church until 
about the year 1732, when, in connection with 
the Dutch Reformed, they built the old stone 
(union) church at Kaatsbaan. The two congre^ 
gations worshiped together here for a number 
of years. About the close of the i8th century 
the Lutherans built a frame church, locating 
it about fifty feet northeast from the present 
church; but it was never entirely finished. 
About 1 83 1, it was pulled down and another 
erected in its place and dedicated in June, 1832* 
The presetit church edifice was built in 1871, 
so that divine worship has been maintained at 


or near the same spot since 171 1, a period of 
170 years. 

The Lutheran congregation was organized 
upon the basis of the Augsburg Confession. 
In the tower of the first edifice was a bell pre- 
sented by Queen Anne. It was long retained 
in honor of the donor, and there are members 
still living who remember when it was ex- 
changed for a larger one. In these later days 
of Centennial relics and historical studies, it is 
to be regretted that the congregation consented 
to part with so choice and precious a memor- 
ial in its history. 

The following paper is an interesting relic in 
connection with the building of the church in 
1791. The original document is preserved 
among the papers of the Roessell family : 

** To all Protestant Christians of every persuasion : 
Whereas, in the year i7fo, many German Protestants 
of the Lutheran persuasion were invited from Europe 
to North America by the late Queen Anne of Eng- 
land, and at their arrival in this country many of 
them settled at West Camp, now in the county of Ul- 
ster, in the State of New York, not long after their 
settlement they formed themselves into a congrega- 
tion and built a house of worship as well as their cir- 
cumstances would permit. But many of the congre- 


gation from year to year moved to a great distance, 
whereby the present congregation has become very 
weak, and their church in a rotten condition, and find- 
ing themselves unable to build a new one ; therefore, 
we, the subscribers, Elders, have, with the consent of 
said congregation, resolved on a collection, hoping 
that every well-wishing Protestant will kindly assist 
us to perform so necessary a task for the honor of God, 
according to their free will and inclination. We have, 
therefore, unanimously chosen our trusty friend, Lud- 
wig Roessell, the bearer hereof, and his companion 
Johannes Eligh, to go forth and receive such free gifts 
as every Christian as may chance to be requested by 
them will be pleased to bestow. In gratitude whereof, 
we shall, if an opportunity is offered to us, be ever 
ready to return the kindness with gratitude. Given 
under our hand this nth day of October, 1791. 

Petrus Egner, 
Petbr Mower, 
Johannes Moose. 
IVest Camp, Ulster Co,, N. Y. 

The above parties wefe endorsed as honest, 
good men by the Hon. John Snyder, one of 
the Assistant Judges of the Court of Appeals, 
and by the Hon. George Clinton. 

Mention has been made of pastor Kocher- 
thal's church record. This record has a ro- 
mantic history. Some years since, the mem- 
bers of West Camp church, wishing to get rid 


of a number of old documents, the value of 
which they seem not to have understood, 
concluded to make a bonfire of them. This 
church record of pastor Kocherthal was 
amongst the docunients devoted to deatructioa, 
A gentleman standing by, supposing that the 
book might be of some importance, rescued it 
from the flames and gave it to Mr. Wm, 
Diedrick, now residing at Elizabeth, New Jer- 
sey. Through the kindsiess of Mr. D,, tb^ 
writer of this sketch has been favored with the 
use of this venerable document. It bears the 
marks of the flames to which it was so thought- 
lessly, and it might be said irreverently, if npt 
wickedly consigned. The book was re-bound 
in March, 1881. It has a new back, but the 
original sides are preserved. As one opens it 
and traces the records made by the learned, 
pious, and devoted Kocherthal, a feeling of 
veneration pervades th^ mind, and one seems 
to commune in spirit with him and the godly 
men who founded the West Camp church- 

The tide-page to this church record m in 
I^tin, as has been previously stated. Pastor 
Kocherthal made his first entry of b^tisms on 
board the ship " Globe," on his first trip to 


America, in 1708. There were two such bap- 
tisms, one on the 14th of September, and the 
other on the 28th of November, 1708. The 
first was Johann Herman, son of Jacob and 
Elizabeth Weber, and the other Carolus, son 
of Andreas and Anna Catharine Volck. This 
child was named Carolus in honor of Captain 
Carolus Congreve, commander of the $hip 
" Globe." 

The ne^tt baptisms recorded are those perr 
formed in Nfsw York, in 1809, before the emi- 
grants had removed to Ulster county. Then 
comes the record of baptisms performed the 
same year at Quaseck Kill, the first settlement 
made in Ulster county, about twenty-five miles 
below West Camp, In 17 10 he records a num- 
ber of baptisms on board the ship " Medford," 
on his second voyage from England to Amer- 
ica. In the same year he enters a number of 
baptisms which had been performed in his 
absence by the Rev. Justus Falkner, then re- 
siding perhaps at Loonenberg (Athens). Then 
follow the baptisms which pastor Kocherthal 
himself performed after his return to America, 
first in New York and then at West Camp. 
This record of baptisms runs on until 17 18, 


when a summary is given of the number bap- 
tized from 1708 to 1718. The total is 400. 
After this there are 32 baptisms recorded up 
to 1 7 19, the last year of pastor Kocherthal's 
ministry, making a total of 432. 

Besides the baptisms, there is a record of 
confirmations, list of communicants, full record 
of marriages, burials, etc. The whole record 
exhibits a degree of neatness, precision, and 
accuracy, which furnished a most excellent 
model for his successors, but unfortunately it 
was not always followed. 

The next entry in this venerable record is 
by the Rev. Daniel Falkner, hailing from 
Miihlstein (Millstone), in New Jersey; this 
was in September, 1724. It does not appear 
that he visited West Camp, either prior or sub- 
sequent to this time. 

The Rev. W. C. Berkenmeyer, then residing 
at Loonenberg (Athens), seems to have com- 
menced pastoral work at West Camp in 1725, 
and to have continued until about 1730. AH 
the entries in the church-book between 1725 
and 1730 are in his handwriting. There are 
no records between 1730 and 1768 ; though it 
is generally supposed that in this interim the 


West Camp congregation had occasional visits 
from Rev. Peter Nicholas Sommer, located at 
Schoharie, and Rev. J. C. Hartwick, who was 
settled at Rhinebeck in 1750, and reports the 
churches in Ulster county, no doubt including 
West Camp, as a part of his pastoral charge. 

There are two baptisms recorded in 1768, 
three for 1769, and eight for 1770; but the 
name of the pastor who officiated is not given. 

In the year 1775 the Rev. Philip Grotz be- 
came pastor at West Camp, and continued 
until 1787. All the entries which he made 
are in a clear, bold hand. This was during 
the period of the Revolutionary war; but he 
makes no reference to the experiences of him- 
self and his congregation during that memor- 
able struggle. 

The Rev. Henry Moeller, then residing at 
Albany, served the West Camp church during 
1788 and 1789. About a dozen baptisms are 
recorded by him. Another pastor, whose 
name is not given, officiated here from 1790 to 
1795, and recorded a number of baptisms. 

In 1796 the Rev. H. L. Spark seems to 
have been the pastor — at least he recorded a 
number of baptisms ; but it is not stated how 
long he remained. 


The Rev. F. H. Quitman, D. D.,was pastor 
at West Camp from July 4th, 1800, to 1809; 
whilst here he organized the Woodstock 
church. The Rev. Joseph Prentice served 
West Camp with Woodstock from 1809 to 
1 8 14. Then came Rev. George Wichterman, 
from 1814 to 1816. From i8i6to 1822 Dr. 
Wackerhageq, then residing at Germantown, 
Columbia county, ministered also to the West 
Camp church. Subsequently the Rev. yJm. J. 
Eyer, who resided at Rhinebeck, supplied 
West Camp for a short period. In 1827 ^ 
Rev. John Crawford records two baptisms, 
and one in 1829. 

The churches in Ulster county, including 
We3t Camp, were in connection with the New 
York Ministerium, and continued so until they 
were transferred to the Hartwick Synod. In 
the year 1831, the Rev. Perry G. Cole, then 
residing at Saugerties, who commenced his 
labors in this field in 1829, united with the 
Hartwick Synod, bringing the congregations 
which he was serving with him. These con- 
gregations were Athens, Saugerties and Wood- 
stock. There appears to be some confusion in 
the reports in reference to West Camp, as it 


is seldom mentioned, Saugerties, the place of 
the pastor's residence, being substituted for it. 
The Rev. Mr. Cole served this charge until 
1835, It is difficult to ascertain what was the 
condition of the church at West Camp at this 
time, as in 1834 Mr, Cole reported two con- 
gregations in which there were twenty-one 
con6rmations and 156 members. But West 
Camp is not named in his report. 

The Rev, Thomas Lape succeeded Rev. 
Cole in 1835, and remained until 1838. Wood- 
stock was part of his charge. During the first 
year of his ministry he reported in the two 
congregations forty-one confirmations and a 
membership of two hundred. The following 
year he se^ms to have had further accessions 
to his churches, running the membership up 
to two hundred and twenty-five. 

The Rev. A. Rumph succeeded Rev. T. 
Lape. His charge consisted of Woodstock 
and West Camp. The first time that the sta- 
tistics of West Camp are given separately is in 
the Minutes of 1 838. Brother Rumph reported 
that year twenty-five baptisms and twenty ad- 
ditions at West Camp, with a membership of 
one hundred and eighty. In 1840, the two 


congregations are again reported jointly, with 
an increase of eighty members and a total of 
three hundred and sixty-four communicants. 

In I841, West Camp seems to have become 
a separate charge, under the pastoral care of 
Rev. Rumph. He reported this year thirty-five 
baptisms, five confirmations, and a membership 
of two hundred and sixty-seven. The next 
year Roundout was connected with West 
Camp, and Rev. Rumph was pastor of these 
two churches until 1843, when he resigned. 
It was during Rev. Rumph's ministry that a 
parsonage was built at West Camp, and the 
pastor has had his residence here ever since. 

The Rev. Reuben Dederick succeeded Rev. 
Rumph, and supplied West Camp, with Sau- 
gerties, during the years 1844, '45 and '46. 
The last year of his ministry in this charge he 
reported thirty-one baptisms, eighteen addi- 
tions, and a membership of two hundred and 

The Rev. N. H. Cornell followed Rev. R. 
Dederick in the pastoral charge of West Camp 
and Saugerties in 1847, and preached here dur- 
ing that year, 1848 and 1849. Nothing very 
special seems to have occurred during his min- 


istry. The congregations maintained their nu- 
merical strength, and seem to have moved on 
harmoniously. Brother Cornell went from 
this charge to Middleburg. 

The Rev. David Kline, a licentiate of the 
East Pennsylvania Synod, was Rev. Cornell's 
successor, and entered upon his duties in the 
fall of 185 1. During the first year of his 
ministry he reported thirty accessions by con- 
firmation. The Rev. Kline was ordained at 
the meeting of the Hartwick Synod held at 
Canajoharie in 1852. The Rev. J. Selmser 
preached the ordination sermon. The Rev. 
Kline remained at West Camp until 1853, 
when he accepted a call from Gilead church, 
in the town of Brunswick, Rensselaer county. 

The Rev. Thomas Lape succeeded Rev. 
Kline, and took charge of Woodstock in con- 
nection with West Camp. This was his second 
call to this pastorate. At the meeting of 
Synod in 1854 he reported a membership of 
one hundred and thirty for West Camp, and 
represented both congregations to be in a 
growing condition. The attendance at both 
was good — " the benevolent objects had been 
fairly met." Both churches " had manifested 

398 IIEltORtAL VOLUltfit 

a commendable spirit in raising ftinds for re- 
pairings painting, etc., their respective edifices. 
The Sunday-school cause in both was flourish- 
ing." Rev. Lape's ministry under his second 
call covered a period of about three years. 
He preached with acceptance, and the congre^ 
gation made some advancement. 

In 1858 the Rev. D. F. Heller was settled as 
pastor at West Camp. He was a native of 
Stroudsburg, Pa., but pursued his studies at 
Hartwick Seminary, where he graduated in 
1857, after having spent six years in earnest, 
patient preparation for the ministry. He was 
licensed by the New York Ministerium in 
1857. The next spring he accepted the call 
to West Camp, and identified himself with 
the Hartwick Synod. Brother Heller's min- 
istry at this place covered a period of nearly 
seven years. He was a plain, practical 
preacher, and an earnest and laborious pastor. 
The congregation at West Camp grew steadily 
under his faithful devotion to his work. For 
the year 1863 he reported nearly two hundred 
members. His church was develqping in 
piety and liberality. During the year the 
ladies had raised j^oo towards improving H^ 


church edifice. He concluded his report thus : 
" We have reason to thank God for the har- 
mony and prosperity he permits us to enjoy." 

In the summer of 1864, Rev. Heller had 
taken steps to have the remains of pastor 
Kocherthal removed from their first burial 
place and re-interred with appropriate cere- 
monies in the new cemetery adjoining the 
Lutheran church, but he was not permitted to 
execute his commendable purpose. 

In the month of November, 1864, brother 
Heller was taken ill, and after a few days of 
severe suffering he fell asleep in Jesus, cut 
down in manhood's prime, deeply lamented by 
his congregation and the whole community, 
upon whom the influence of his life and min- 
istry is felt to this day. He is buried at ^yest 

The Rev. Joseph D. Wirt was Rev. Heller's 
successor. He was trained up in the Lutheran 
church at Johnstown, N. Y., his native place, 
graduated at Hartwick Seminary, and was 
licensed by the New York Ministerium. He 
entered upon his pastoral work at West Camp 
on the 1 6th of July, 1865, and united with the 
Hartwick Synod the ensuing fall. This was 


brother Wirt*s first charge. He was a young 
man of talent and energy, and devoted himself 
earnestly to the duties of his high calling. 
The church at West Camp was much improved 
in all its interests under his ministry, which 
however continued only three years. The 
membership was considerably increased by 
several revivals judiciously conducted, and 
steps were taken for building a new church. 
In 1866 he reported such a revival, and thirty- 
one additions to the church. In his report to 
Synod in 1868, brother Wirt says : " I can 
truly say that the three years now past, and the 
first three in my ministry, have been crowned 
with success. During that time sixty-three 
persons have been added to the church by 
confirmation and certificate." In 1869 he re- 
ported another revival, in the month of March, 
with an addition of thirty-four to the church. 
In the summer of the same year, brother 
Wirt resigned and removed to Livingston, in 
Columbia county, much to the regret of the 
whole congregation. 

The Rev, W. H. Emerick succeeded brother 
Wirt, but remained only one year. Then 
came Rev. P. M. Rightmyer, who commenced 


his ministry here in May, 1871. Through the 
efforts of Revs. Emerick and Wirt, who had 
preceded brother Rightmyer, steps had been 
taken for the erection of a new church at West 
Camp, and brother R. had only to carry on and 
complete the good work which these brethren 
had initiated. But he prosecuted his part of 
the enterprise energetically and successfully. 
The new church was completed and dedicated 
on October 26th, 1871. 

The main edifice is 65x40 feet; height of 
ceiling from the floor, 24 feet. The lecture- 
room in the rear is 61x24; height of ceiling, 
18 feet. The entire length of the edifice is 98 
feet. The porch in front is 33x9 feet The 
church is surmounted by a very graceful spire, 
112 feet high. The church has beautiful 
stained glass windows. The interior of the 
main building and the lecture-room is finished 
with ash, chestnut, and black walnut, and the 
whole beautifully fi-escoed, — quite a striking 
contrast with the humble log church in which 
pastor Kocherthal preached, and he and his 
pious Palatines worshiped. The church is 
located near the site of the old one, and com- 
mands a fine view of the beautiful scenery 


along the Hudson river. The church has a 
seating capacity of six hundred. It cost 
^I2,000y and is at once an honor to the liber- 
ality, enei^, and intelligent zeal of the pastors 
and people. At the dedication services the 
pastor was aided by Revs. V. F. Bolton and 
David Kline. 

The church seems to have prospered very 
much under brother Rightmyer. There were 
several extensive revivals, with large acces* 
sions. The Sunday-school flourished, and all 
his labors appear to have been crowned with 
g^eat success. 

During the year 1 871, the congregation took 
out a new act of incorporation. This was on 
the 2 1st day of December. Peter Emerick 
and Nelson Burhans acted as inspectors of the 
election. William Massino, John H, Gould, 
and Lyman Richardson, were chosen the 

At the close of the second year of his min- 
istry, brother Rightmyer resigned, and re- 
moved to Freysburg, N. J. 

During part of the year 1873, the church 
was supplied by Rev. W. E. Traver, a student 
from the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. 


He served the congregation acceptably until 
the 1st of October of the same year. 

The Rev. Levi Schell became pastor at West 
Camp about the ist of October, 1873. He 
commenced his labors seemingly in robust 
health, with his wonted energy and enlight- 
ened zeal, and with every prospect of great 
usefulness through many years of pastoral 
work. But in all this he and his many friends 
were destined to a sore disappointment. After 
two years of faithful and successful service, 
his health began to fail. At the sessions of 
Synod in 1875, '76, and 'tj^ his presence was 
greatly missed, and he had to be excused be- 
cause of sickness. During his illness he had 
the sympathy of his brethren, by all of whom 
he was greatly beloved ; and many filled his 
pulpit for him, to give him rest and hasten his 
recovery. In the year 1878, in the month of 
December, his once vigorous constitution was 
forced, after a severe struggle, to yield to the 
power of disease, and he quietly and hopefully 
laid him down to sleep, as the faithful Chris- 
tian soldier sleeps, with the consciousness that 
he had " fought the good fight," and by and 
by would come the blessed waking from 


death's long and silent sleep, and with the 
waking, the victor's glorious crown. 

Brother SchelFs death cast a deep gloom 
over the congregation. Twice, within a little 
more than a decade, the brethren at West 
Camp had seen their pastor removed by death, 
both of whom were highly venerated for their 
earnest piety and devotion to their spiritual 
interests. Brother Schell left here as else- 
where, notwithstanding his enfeebled health, 
much fruit of his ministry, and his memory is 
cherished with profound affection and respect 
by the congregation. 

The Rev. D. W. Lawrence, a member of 
the Franckean Synod, became Rev. Schell's 
successor in 1879. His ministry was of short 
duration, less than two years, when he re- 
signed and accepted a call to a church in the 
Franckean Synod at West Sandlake, N. Y. 

The Rev. A. N. Daniels followed Rev. Law- 
rence. He commenced his labors here on 15th 
February, 1880. The pastor reports the fol- 
lowing church officers as constituting the pres- 
ent organization : Rev. A. N. Daniels, Pastor, 
and Chairman of Church Council ; Garrett N. 
Lasher, Nelson Burhans and John Richardson, 


Elders; P. W. Emerick, James E. Dederick, 
Peter E. Bell, and John Stewart, Deacons ; E. 
P, Simmons, William Massino and John H. 
Gould, Trustees; E. P. Simmons, Clerk and 
Treasurer, and also Superintendent of the Sun- 

The present pastor (Brother Daniels) is pros- 
ecuting his work with great earnestness, and 
thus far with marked success. He has held 
during this winter a meeting, protracted 
through several weeks, and by the faithful 
presentation of the truth, there has been a re- 
markable awakening, resulting in the hopeful 
conversion and the addition to the church of 
about fifty persons. This is a good work for 
a beginning. Let us hope that the fruits of 
this " work of grace" will abide to the glory of 
God and the future welfare of this church with 
whose past history so many grand, stirring 
memories are associated. 




A few years before the middle of the last 
century (the precise date is not known) there 
arrived in this country from Germany an ec- 
centric, but devoted, Lutheran clergyman by 
the name of John Christopher Hartwick. Ac- 
cording to his own account, he was "sent 
hither a missionary preacher of the Gospel, 
upon petition and call of some Palatine con- 
gregations in the counties of Albany and 
Dutchess." He afterwards served charges in 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and New 
England, and then again returned to New 
York. During his ministrations here he be- 
came acquainted with many of the natives, and 
especially with the chiefs of the Mohawks, and 
from them he purchased, at a consideration of 
one hundred pounds, " a certain tract of land 
on the south side of the Mohawk, between 
Schoharie and Cherry Valley, along a certain 
small creek, containing nine miles in length, 
and four miles in breadth." Mr. Hartwick 
paid his money and took his deed from the In- 


dians in the year 1750 ; but he never came into 
possession, as it was afterwards found that he 
had not complied with the law, which required 
him to have a permit from the Governor. Two 
years later, however, he obtained from Gov- 
ernor George Clinton the required " License 
to purchase land/' In 1754 he made another 
purchase from the Indians of a tract of land sup^ 
posed to contain 24,000 acres, and comprising 
chiefly the present town of Hartwick, Otsego 
county, N. Y. For this grant he also paid 
one hundred pounds. An actual survey was 
afterwards made, and it was found that the 
tract contained only 21,500 acres. It is de- 
scribed as " Beginning in the northwesterly 
bounds of a certain tract of land granted by let- 
ters patent to Valkert Oothout, John DeWitt, 
and others, where the river issuing out of the 
lake called Otsego, crosses the aforesaid north- 
westerly bounds of the aforesaid tract of land 
granted to Volkert Oothout and others, and 
runs thence west 480 chains ; then north 480 
chains ; then east 480 chains, to the said river 
issuing out of the said lake Otsego. Then 
along the west side of the said river, as it runs,^ 
to the place where this tract of land first 


The documentary history of these and sub- 
sequent transactions is extensive and peculiar. 
A complete record of them may be found in 
the Memorial Volume of Hartwick Seminary, 
published by J. Munsell, of Albany. 

The limits of this sketch will not permit us 
to follow Mr. Hartwick through his wander- 
ings, nor to trace the course of the business 
transactions which resulted, in 1761, in his 
obtaining sole possession of eigJit-elevenths of 
the tract mentioned above. His own explana- 
tion of his object was that it was his only pur- 
pose to use his possessions for the glory of 
God, and for the advancement of his kingdom 
upon the earth. With this view he proposed 
to establish an institution of learning, and to 
colonize the tract on such conditions as would 
subserve the highest temporal and spiritual 
interests of the colonists themselves, and also 
of the settlers and savages surrounding. War 
and infidelity were the two great calamities 
which he wished to provide against. The 
leases which he issued to parties who were 
willing to settle were obtained at a small price, 
but with this condition: "Be it remembered 
that among the conditions on which the valid- 


ity of this instrument dependeth, tfie following 
is intended to be the principal one, viz.: That 
the grantee be, or become, within a year's 
time from the date of these presents, a parish- 
ioner to all intents and purposes, which con- 
sists in the following particulars, viz.: 

" I. To acknowledge the grantor, John 
Christopher Hartwick, or his substitute, for his 
pastor, teacher, and spiritual counsellor. 

" 2. To behave himself to him, with his 
family, agreeably to this relation. 

*' 3. To attend regularly, decently, atten-^ 
tively, and devoutly, divine service and instruc- 
tion, performed and given by the said J. C. Hart- 
wick or his substitute. 

" 4. To aid and assist, according to his ability, 
in building and repairing church, parish, and 
school houses. 

" 5. To keep his children and servants to 
school and catechisation, until they are fit to be 
confirmed, if baptized in infancy ; if not, until 
they are fit to be baptized, and admitted to the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper." 

For thirty years Mr. Hartwick managed his 
own estate, but with poor success. As the in- 
firmities of years grew upon him, he found it 


necessary to commit his interests into other 
hands. On the 1 3th of May, 1 791 , he appointed 
William Cooper, esq., as his agent, with author- 
ity to dispose of his whole property except 
about three thousand acres, which he reserved 
for his own purposes. 

The result of this step was most disastrous. 
During the extended litigation which followed, 
Mr. Cooper came into possession of a large 
proportion of the land, and Mr. Hartwick's as- 
pirations largely "vanished into thin air.*' The 
settlement of his affairs, however, he was also 
obliged to leave to others, for the hour had 
come when he must render an account of his 
stewardship. Mr. Hartwick died on the 17th 
of July, 1796. His will — the most peculiar 
document from this peculiar man — provided 
for the establishment of the institution which 
had so long been his cherished scheme. Had 
he lived longer, it is quite possible that all 
of his property would have been frittered 
away, just as a large share of it had already 
been; but on his death the establishment of 
Hartwick Seminary, which still bears his 
honored name, became a certainty. 

The executors of his will could do no more 


than follow what they conceived to be the 
spirit of it On settlement of the estate, it ap- 
pears that there were 1^15,570.73 to be trans- 
ferred for the purpose of putting into effect 
Mr. Hartwick's pious designs. Of this amount, 
;g2,750 were in turnpike and canal stock, which 
afterwards became worthless. For fifteen 
years after the death of Mr. Hartwick, no defi- 
nite action could be agreed upon. All attempts 
to carry out his wishes were abandoned from 
necessity, except in the matter of establishing 
a theological and missionary institute. But 
now the question of site was to be determined, 
and it was not till 181 1 that the present site 
was agreed upon, and proposals issued for the 
erection of the necessary buildings. The foun- 
dation was laid in 1812. On the 15th of De- 
cember, 1 81 5, the Seminary commenced its 
eventful career under the direction of Rev. Dr. 
Ernst Lewis Hazelius as principal, and John 
A. Quitman, esq., as assistant. Both these 
gentlemen afterwards attained great promi* 
nence — the former as theologian and scholar, 
the latter as general and statesman. The 
school opened with nineteen students, and at 
the close of the first term the roll numbered 


It should be borne in mind that this was in 
the beginning of the year 1816, and that at 
that time the savage roamed at will over these 
now populous hills and valleys. There were 
no public conveyances, and it was with the 
greatest difficulty that students could reach 
these classic shades. The very fact also that 
forty-four names were enrolled the first term, 
shows how meager were the educational ad- 
vantages of central-eastern New York at this 
comparatively recent date. The history, there- 
fore, of Hartwick Seminary in its growth and 
development, is the history of civilization in 
these regions. It will serve our present pur- 
pose best to quote from an obituary notice 
which we prepared on the occasion of the 
death of Clark Davison, esq., one of the oldest 
and most respected inhabitants of Hartwick 
Seminary, N. Y. : 

"Mr. Davison was born March 14th, 179S, 
and died March nth, 1873, being within three 
days of seventy-eight years of age. His father 
came to this county from Massachusetts about 
the year 1785, and on the site of his prospective 
residence, chopped the first tree that fell to 
tnake way for a settlement in this locality. 


Here Mr. Davison was born, and here also, 
after an uninterrupted residence of nearly four- 
score years, he closed his eyes in death. At 
the time of his fatfier's settlement, Co<^)erstown 
consisted of one house of unpretending dimen- 
sions ; and as an evidence of the inconvenience 
which the early settlets experienced, it is re- 
lated that about this time his father went all 
the way to Schenectady to procure a bushel of 
potatoes, and that he brought them home on 
horseback. The potatoes were used for food, 
and the eyes were planted for seed. When the 
land was sufficiently cleared so that wheat 
could be raised, the grain had to be carried on 
horseback to Cherry Valley to be ground. 

" Mr. Davison distinctly remembers being 
lifted into his Other's arms to see a bear go 
by; and when quite a boy, going to bring 
home his father's cattle, he frequently found 
deer feeding among them. Their house was 
the home of Rev. John C. Hartwick, from 
whom the town received its name, and who 
left a considerable part of the value of his 
patent for the purpose of founding a school, 
which was established in 1815, and also bears 
his name. About five years after, the first post 


office was established in this locality, and Mr. 
Davison was appointed postmaster." 

Unfortunately, the records of the institution, 
containing a complete list of the students who 
have been in attendance during all these years, 
have not been preserved. Rev H. N. Pohlman, 
D. D., was the first graduate, and about one 
hundred others have here been educated for 
the Lutheran ministry. 

The institution has also contributed her 
quota to the ranks of the other learned profes- 
sions, besides furnishing educational advan- 
tages to hundreds of youths who here laid the 
foundation for business prosperity in the more 
humble walks of life. 

The most complete record of students is that 
of the membership of the Philophronean Society 
— a literary society whose organization is co- 
temporary with that of the institution — which 
numbers over seven hundred and fifty mem- 
bers. This list does not of course include 
those students who were not members of the 
society, nor females, who have comprised a 
liberal proportion of the patronage of the Sem- 
inary since 1851. 


The present Board of Trustees consists of the 
following gentlemen : 

President, Rev. Wm. N, Scholl, D. D., Canajoharie, 
Secretary, Rev. Wm. Hull, Hudson, N. Y. 
Treasurer, G. N. Frisbie, Middleburgh, N. Y. 
Rev. Irving Magee, D.D., Albany, N. Y. 
Rev. N. Van Alstine, Raymertown, N. Y. 
Rev. M. W. Empie, Fort Plain, N. Y. 
Rev. M. Kling, Cobleskill, N. Y. 
E. Swartout, Esq., Hartwick Seminary, N. Y. 
Wm. C. Davison, Esq., " " 

Rev. P. Felts, D. D., Johnstown, N. Y. 
Chas. A. Shcieren, Esq., New York City. 
(One vacancy.) 

Among the number of assistant teachers we 
find the following: Gen. John A. Quitman, 
Rev Dr. J. Z. Senderling, Rev. H. Hayunga, 
Rev. C. B. Thuemmel, Rev. Dr. L. Sternberg, 
Rev G. H. Miller, John Crafts, Rev. A. Mar- 
tin, Rev? Dr. H. N. Pohlman, Rev. J. Berger, 
Rev. Dr. Geo. B. Miller, Rev. Dr. H. I. 
Schmidt, Rev. Geo. Neff, Rev. Wm. Snyder, 
John B. Steele, Rev. James Pitcher, Rev. W. P. 
Evans, Rev. C. H. Traver, etc. 

The present faculty is as follows : Theologi- 
cal: Rev. James Pitcher and Rev. J. L. Kistler, 



with Rev. William Hull as Lecturer on Eccle- 
siastical Law; Classical: Rev. James Pitcher, 
Rev. J. L. Kistler. Oscar Hardy, and Miss 
Hattie Armstrong. 

The following classified table will show the 
management of the institution from its organ- 
ization to. the present time. 

Rev. Ernst L. Hazelius, D. D. 

Rev. George B. Miller, D. D... 

Rev. Wm. D. Strobel, D. D ... 

Rev. Henry I. Schmidt D. D. 

Rev. George B. Miller, D, D... 

Rev. Levi Sternberg, D, D 

Rev. Wm. N. Scholl, D. D 

Rev. T. T. Titus, A. M 

Rev. James Pitcher, A. M 

Senior Professor 0/ Theology, 
'*'5| Rev. Ernst S. Haxelius, D. D. 

■ Rev. George B. Miller, D. D. 

. Rev. Wm. D. Strobel D. D. 

-Rev. George B. Miller, D. D. 

1871 ^^*^- ^^- ^- ^^^^* !>• !>• 

1872 >-Rev. T. T. Titus, A, M. 

'^74 1 Rev. P. Bergstresser, A M. 
1876 { 
^^^\ Rev. James Pitcher, A M. 

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trus- 
tees, held in June, 1879, *^ ^^^ resolved to 
make an effort to endow an additional profes- 
sorship, to be known as the " George B. Miller 
Professorship in Theology." The work has 
been progressing quietly but successfully, and 


the present indications are that such professor 
will be elected at an early day. At the present 
writing (1 88 1 ) the institution is enjoying an 
unusual degree of prosperity. Every room 
devoted to the use of male students is occu- 
pied, and a goodly number find accommoda- 
tions in the vicinity. 'With an increase of its 
faculty, such as the contemplated professor- 
ship would secure, there is abundant reason to 
expect that the institution is entering upon a 
Career of usefulness such as the times and the 
church demand. 



Dedication 3 

Advertisement . . . . . . .5 

Preface .......... 9 

Historical Address 15 

Convention to Organize the Synod . . , ly 
Personnel of the Convention . . . . tS 
Organization of Synod — Election of Officers . 21 
First Regular Meeting of Synod- . . . .24 

Measures Inaugurated 25 

Union with the General Synod— Delegates to that 18 

body 25^ 

Second Convention of Synod .... 26 
Third " « «« ... 26 

Fourth and Fifth Conventions .... 27 

Sixth Convention 27 

Confessional Position of Synod ... 29 
Rupture in the Synod — Organization of the 

Franckean Synod — Defence of Synod . 40 

Relation of Synod to the Cause of Education . 48 

Beneficiaries Aided by Synod ... 52 

Relation of Synod to Home Missions . . 54 

" " " " Foreign Missions . . 56 

" ** " " Sunday-schools . . 59 

" " " " Union of Synods . 60 


422 INDEX. 


Relation of Synod to Temperance Cause . . 62 
•• " " " Evangelical Alliance, Tract 

and Bible Cause 63 

Review .64 

Names of the Founders of Synod ... 80 
" " " Subsequent Members . . .80 


Rev. G. A. Lintner, D. D.. by Rev. H. I. Schmidt. 
D. D. . . . . .85 

Rev. Adam Crownse, by Rev. J. Z. Sender ling, 
D.D . .100 

Rev. Thomas Lape, by Rev. P. A. Strobel . . 105 
" J. Z. Senderling, D. D., by Rev. L. D. Wells . 109 
" Philip Wieting„by Rev. P. A. Strobel . .115 
" L. Swackhamer, " James Pitcher , 1 19 
" David Eyster " Mrs. R, M. Eyster . . 123 
" George B. Miller, D. D., by Rev. A. 
Waldron . . . . . . . 134 

Rev. John Selmser, by Rev. Wm. Hull . . 140 
" Walter Gunn, " " G. A. Lintner. D. D. 147 
" Wm.E. Snyder, " P. A. Strobel . .150 
" James R.Keiser, Mrs. E. M. Keiser . . 153 
" Reuben Dederick, by Rev. Wm. Hull . 157 
" Levi Schell, by Rev. P. A. Strobel . 158 

" James Lefler, by Rev. W. N. Scholl, D. D . 163 
" Albert Waldron, by Rev. P. A. Strobel . 165 
" L. L. Bonnell, *• " P. A. Strobel . 167 
" D. F. Heller, " " Thomas Lape . 178 
" Joseph D. Wirt, " " P. Felts, D. D. . 184 
" B. W. Tomlinson, " " J. Tomlinson . 186 
" Wm. H. Emerick, " " P. A. Strobel . 189 

INDEX. 423 



Zion's Church, Athens, N. Y.. Rev. Wm. Hull . 197 
Berne " Berne, Albany co., N. Y., Rev. J. 

R. Shoflfner .... 200 

St. Matthew's Church, Breakabeen, Schoharie co., 

N. Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel . . . 211 

Messiah Church, Fultonham, Schoharie co., N. Y , 

Rev. P. A. Strobel . . . .214 

English Luth. Church, Canajoharie, Montgomery 

CO., N. Y., Rev. L. D. Wells ... 215 
Zion's Church, Cobleskill, Schoharie co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel . . . .223 

St. Peter's Church, New Rhinebeck, N. Y., Rev. 

P. A. Strobel . . • . 246 

St. John's Church, Sharon, Schoharie co., N. Y., 

Rev. M. J. Stover . . . .256 

Gilead Church, Brunswick, Rensselaer co., N. 

Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel 259 

St. John's Church, Schaghticoke, Rensselaer co., 

N. Y., Rev. N. Wirt 269 

First Luth. Church, West Sandlake, Rensselaer 

CO., Rev. P. A. Strobel ..... 272 
English Luth.Church, Dansville, Livingston co., 

N. Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel .... 280 
St. John's Church, Sparta, Livingston co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel 284 

Second Luth. Church, Fayette, Seneca co., 

N. Y., Rev. U. Myers 286 

St. John's and St. Mark's Churches, Guilder- 
land, Albany co.. Rev. A. P. Ludden . .291 
Evan. Luth. Church, Gallupville, Schoharie co., 

N. Y., Rev. W. P. Evans ... 300 

4.24 INDEX. 


St Paul's Church, Johnstown, Fulton co., 

N. Y., Rev. P. Felts, D. D 305 

West Amsterdam Church, Fulton co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel ..... 310 

Zion's Church, Knox, Albany co.. Rev. L. P. 

Ludden 311 

St. John's Church, Livingston, Columbia co., 

N. Y., Rev. Wm. Hull 316 

English Church, Lockport, Niagara co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel 318 

Frieden's Church, Niagara co., Rev. P. A. 

Strobel 323 

Maryland Mission, Maryland, Otsego co., N. Y., 

Rev. James Pitcher 324 

St. Mark's Mission, Middleburg, Schoharie, co., 

N. Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel 334 

Luth. Church, Richmondville, Schoharie co., 

N. Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel .... 342 
St. Paul's Church, Schoharie C. H., Schoharie 

CO., N. Y., Rev. P. A. Strobel ... 346 
Central Bridge Church, Schoharie co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel 360 

Stone Arabia Church, Montgomery co., N. Y., 

Rev. W. W. Gulick 363 

Stone Church of Palatine Montgomery co., N. 

Y., Rev. N. Wirt 365 

Christ Church, Woodstock, Ulster co., N. Y., 

Rev. Wm. Sharts 369 

St. Paul's Church, West Camp, Ulster co., N. Y., 

Rev. P. A. Strobel 372 

Sketch of Hartwick Seminary, Rev. J. 

Pitcher 407 

STROBEL, Riilip A 
Memorial of the 
Hartwick Synod of the 
Lutheran Church