Lehigh County Historical Society.

Proceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society online

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Agnes Ueberroth.


George Kaup.


Susanna Kaup.


Frederick Kaup.


Catharine Moren.


Peter Nagel.


Maria Frone Arassmuss


Maria Margaret Teyle.


Hannah Nagel.

Of this list of communicants, it will be of interest to learn
that "Elder Henry Rentzheimer," whose name appears first on
the list, was a clock maker, and quite recently we saw one of his
clocks, containing chimes, in the home of Mrs. Elmer Reiss, near
Friedensville, made by Henry Rentzheimer in 1789, for John
Ehschelman, the great-great grandfather of Mrs. Reiss.

, In connection with the name Gernet it will also be of interest
to state that Mrs. Elmer Reiss has in her possession a nest of
handsome pewter dishes, that have come into her hands from the
Gernet family, with whom she is related. Mrs. Reiss also has
several chests made in the i8th century.

In the rear of the book is the following record :

"Alpha Omega."

"A list of articles that have been bequeathed and contributed
in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, as follows: —

"Anno 1759, Elizabeth Ottern gave a white table cloth for
the Lutheran congregation. Anno 1760, Martin Schneider gave a
pewter cup for use in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar, for the
Lutheran congregation, and also a white cloth."

From 1 791 to 1848, a period of 57 years, there is no record of
any kind to be found. Nor have we thus far come across any
account why there is this break of over half a century. We
know that this was the period of rationalism and indifferentism,
during which many pastors and, therefore, also many congre-
gations, became lax in matters of religion.

Rev. Joshua Ybager.


Another fact may have had its influence. In 1793, a con-
gregation was organized and a church building erected in Upper
Saucon, where Friedensville is now located, called Frieden's
Church. Tradition has it that the old church, erected in 1759,
became dilapidated, and the people were too poor to erect a new
one and thus were led to throw in their resources and member-
ship with this new enterprise, and that the regular services ceased
in Jerusalem, but that burials were continued in the burial ground.
Rev. John Conrad Yeager and his son, Rev. Joshua Yeager, served
Frieden's congregation, m connection with a number of others,
for 93 years. It is very probable that this section, contiguous to
Frieden's congregation, was under the pastoral care of the Yeagers
during this interim of 57 years. In the Memoirs of Rev. Joshua
Yeager, by A. R. Home, D. D., we find the statement that "he
also served Jerusalem Church in Salisbury from 1843 to 1883."

Under Rev Joshua Yeager's ministry, new life and activity
manifested themselves, so that in the spring of the year 1847, on
Ascension Day, May 13, the cornerstone of the present church
was laid, and the same was dedicated on Saturday and Sunday,
October 9th and loth. Services were held on both days in the
forenoon and afternoon. The Building Committee consisted of
two Davids and two Solomons, mz., David Giesz and David Moritz,
Solomon Diehl and Solomon Boehm. These facts we gathered
from the Friedensbote and Republikaner of 1847, in which papers
were inserted the advertisements of the cornerstone laying and
of the dedication, over the signatures of the above Building
Committee. It may be of interest to read these advertisements
as they appeared in the papers in German and here translated
into English.


Dounerstag, den i3ten Mai (Himmelfahrtstag) soil der Eck-
stein zur Erbauung der neuen gemeinschaftlichen Kirche im
oestlichen Theil von Salzburg Township, Lecha County, gelegt
werden, wobei mehre fremde Prediger gegenwaertig sein werden.
Die Bethlehemer Musikbande wird ebenfalls zugegen sein. Die
Nachbarn und das Publikum sind hoeflichst eingeladen beizu-

a^rEs wird nicht erlaubt starkes Getraenk daselbst zu ver-

David Moritz
David Giesz
Solomon Boet
Solomon Diehl

David Giesz ^ T3o,,r^^;o+^^

Solomon Boehm ' Baumeister.


Translated :

Cornerstone Laying.

On Thursday, May 13th (Ascension Day), the cornerstone
for the erection of the new Union Church, in the Eastern part of
Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, will be laid, when a number
of ministers from other parts will be present. The Bethlehem
Band will also be present. The neighbors and the public in
general are cordially invited to be present.

B^^-The selling of strong drink on this occasion is forbidden.

David Moritz, ^
David Giess, I Building

S01.OMON BoEHM, ( Committee.


Am Samstag und Sonntag den 9ten und loten October, soil,
so der Herr will, die neuerbaute gemeinschaftliche Kirche in
Salzburg Township, Lecha Co., dem Dienste des Drieinigen
Gottes feierlichst geweiht werden, bei welcher Gelegenheit, an
beiden Tagen, Morgens und Nachmittags Gottesdienst sein wird.
Alle Christliche gesinnite Leute in unserer ganzen Umgegend,
sind freundschaflichts eingeladen, diesem unserm Kirchweih-
Fest, welches durch Musick u Gesang noch erhoeht werden soil,
beizuwohnen, und die Gemeine mit ihrer Gegenwart zu erfreuen.
Alle sogenannte " Market endern " wird, jedoch zu gleicher
Zeit angezeigt, dasz es ihnen durchaus nicht gestattet werden
wird, geistige Getraenke irgend einer Art an der Kirche oder in
der Naehe derselben, zu verkaufen. Gegen solche, die etwa
keine Ruecksicht auf dieses Verbot nehmen wollen, und sich doch
unterstehn . starke Getraenke zu verkaufen, wird mit Ernst und
Strenge nach den Gesetzen verfahren werden.

David Giesz ")
David Moritz I Bau-
Solomon Diehl [ meister.
Solomon Boehm J
Translated :

Church Dedication.

On Saturday and Sunday, October 9th and loth. Providence
permitting, the newly erected Union Church, in Salzburg Town-
ship, Lehigh County, will be most solemnly dedicated to the
service of the Triune God, when there will be divine services on
both days, forenoon and afternoon. All the good Christian
people in our whole neighborhood are most cordially invited to
attend and to rejoice our congregations with their presence on
this our feast of dedication, that will be further enhanced through
singing and music.

Rev. Prof. W. Wackernagel, D. D.
(1882-1886. 1901-1902.)


The so-called " subtlers" are, however, notified at this
time, that they are positively forbidden to sell any spirituous
liquors of any kind at or near the church. Those who will
pay no attention to this order and will yet undertake to sell
strong drink, will be prosecuted with rigor and severity according
to the law.

David Gmss, ^

David Moritz, [Building

S01.OMON DiEHi., I Committee.


Through the kindness of Mrs. Mary A. Brobst, the widow of
Rev. S. K. Brobst, the founder of Der Jugend-Fruend, who
kindly consulted the first numbers of the paper, founded in 1847,
we are able to give the names of those who officiated on the occasion
of the dedication of the present church. On Saturday, October
9th, Rev. Joseph S. Dubbs, a Reformed minister, preached, and a
Rev. Oberholzer. Of what denomination he was a minister is
not stated. The Oberholzer name is prominent among the
Mennonites, and it is possible that he belonged to that denom-
ination. On Sunday, Revs. Leonard and Joshua Yeager officiated.
Rev. Leonard was a Moravian minister. The act of dedication
was performed on Sunday forenoon by Rev. Joshua Yeager, the
Lutheran pastor. The Jugend-Fruend states that "in general
good order was observed and many people were present."

In the secular papers of that day, that we consulted, we
failed to find any account of this occasion. Those were the days
of the Mexican War and all available space was taken up with
the exciting accounts of the battles fought and the victories won.

Church Records.

Nor have we been able to find any account as to the cost of
the building. The records that have come into pur hands, con-
tain the baptisms and communicants. The title page of the
record, begun in 1848, is as follows:

"Kircherbuch der Deutsch Reformirten Gemeinde in Salz-
burg Township, Lehigh Co., Pa."

The first entry says: "The following persons went to the
table of the Lord on the occasion of the first communion on the
part of the Reformed, October 22, 1848: George Doney, David
Eschbach, Samuel Rinker, Louis Siegfried, Solomon Diehl,
William Kram, John Diehl, Marie Trumbauer, Sarah Eschbach,
Catharine Erich, Barbara Diehl, Catharine Glecknern, Letische
Diehl, Jane Moritz, Susana 01b, Levina Jacoby, Marie Billiard (17).

Confirmed were Jacob Doney, George Kram, Franz Rinker,
Robert Moyer, John Billiard, Anna Marie Doney, Anna Julina
Kram, Julie Ann Weber, Katharine Olb, Elizabeth Giess.


Then follow the communicants of April 6, 1849 (14), and
one confirmation, viz., Ruben F Hofifart.

The list of November 25, 1849, follows, containing 13 names.
On the next page is found the list of November 23, 1850, contain-
ing II names. Then the record of communicants ceases.
Sixteen blank pages follow, when there is a "Record of all children
who, through Holy Baptism, entered the covenant with the holy
Triune God by a Reformed minister." Fifty-seven baptisms
are entered between May 14, 1848, and March 12, 1865. Then
follow "the burials performed by Max Stern, Reformed preacher,"
three in all; the first one, November 30, 1848; the last one, Sep-
tember 14, 1849. Then begins a record of baptisms from March
13, 1864, to 1874, containing 85 baptisms. This ends the record
in this book, when it is opened from the front part. When the
book is turned around another record begins from the back part
of the book. After several blank pages, we find written at the
top, evidently in the handwriting of Rev. Joshua Yeager: "Auf
den 24ten April 1848 sind folgende Personen hier zum h Abend-
mahl gegangen:" On April 24, 1848, the following persons
went to the communion at this place : No names follow, but in
the next page this heading is found, also in Rev. Yeager 's
handwriting: "Folgende Personen haben sich zum erstenmahl
in der neuen Jerusalem's Kirche in Salzburg Township Lech a
County beim heiligen Abendmal eingefunden, den 24 April 1848
(Ostermontag) naemlich."

Translated : The following persons were present at the first
communion in the new Jerusalem Church, in Salzburg Township,
Lehigh County, April 24, 1848 (Easter Monday):

William Zoellner and wife Susannah, David Moritz and wife
Anna, Michael Stuber, Christian Deily and wife Susannah, Chris-
tian Kaufer and wife Catharine, George Bauer and wife Maria,
Michael Mosser, William Stuber, Helena Moritz, Elizabeth Lein,
Louisa Ueberroth, Juliana Boehm, Elizabeth Deily, Frederick
Stuber, Jacob Trumbauer, George Berger and wife Caroline,
Emalinda Deily, Maria Stuber, Maria Yost, Maria Reichenbach.
26 in all. Then follow the spring and fall communions of the
Lutheran and Reformed congregations regularly to October 22,
1 87 1, when the last Lutheran list contained 60 names. From
1872 on, each congregation kept separate record books. The
Lutheran record contains the communion lists to June, 1900, and
one more list which, however, has no date; likely this list was that
of the fall of 1900. Between this last list and May, 1902, there
is no record of communicants. The baptisms in the Lutheran
record began with March, 1872, and end with August 24, 1884.
We failed to find any Lutheran baptism record from August 24,
1884, to March 16, 1902, when the present record was begun.
The Reformed record has been kept with greater regularity and
completeness since 1872, as there was no change of pastorates for
35 years.

Rev. W. F. Schokner.


Taking the records as far as we have them since 1848, we
have made a calculation to show the average communicants
during these six decades and found the following: The average
Lutheran communicants from 1848 to 1858 was 37; from 1858
to '68, 50; from i868-'78, 44; from i878-'88, 46; from i888-'98,
55 ; from 1898- 1908, 62. The first communicants on the Lutheran
side numbered 26, and the last one held this spring numbered
83, an increase of 219 per cent, since 1848. The Reformed
communicants averaged from i848-'58, 15; from i858-'68, 24;
from i868-'78, 24; from i878-'88, 37; from i888-'98, 49; from
1 898- 1 908, 46. The first communion on the Reformed side
numbered 16; the last one this spring, 58, an increase of 262 per
cent., showing that the Reformed communicants increased since
1848, .043 per cent, more than the Lutherans.

We have the record of 25 confirmation classes since 1848,
on the Lutheran side, aggregating 424 persons. The largest
class was in 1871, when there were 27 confirmed; the smallest
was in 1897, when there were only 6. The average size of the
class was not quite 17.

On the Reformed side we have the record of 27 confirmations,
aggregating 250. The largest class was in 1892, when there were
17 ; the smallest was in 1849, numbering one person. ' The average
size of the class was a little more than 9.

Situated as Jerusalem Church is, halfway between two
prosperous and growing centers of population, Allentown and the
Bethlehems, these towns have constantly drawn on its member-
ship, so that the congregations here have not been able to increase
very materially. During the last 40 years new congregations,
Lutheran and Reformed, have been organized at South Bethle-
hem, Fountain Hill, South Allentown and Allentown, all of which
have drawn on this congregation for their membership. Gener-
ally, the active and energetic members are the ones who are
attracted to the centres of industry, and thus not only quantities,
but also qualities are removed from the country church, deplet-
ing it in both measures.

A better day, however, seems to be dawning on Eastern
Salisbury. Much of the land has been cut up into building lots,
new homes are being erected from year to year, and in time this
will also bring more people into our church.

The congregations should be wise in laying their plans for
the future, so as to draw the new material that is coming to this
neighborhood, and not permit other denominations to come in
and occupy the most advantageous sites, and thus draw not only
the new, but also some of the older element to their side. Churches,
like fishermen, must go where the fish are and not expect the
fish to come where they are if they would catch them.

Rev. E. H. Eberts.

Rev. h. a. Kunklk.


Pastors — Lutheran.

Rev. Joshua Yeager served the IvUtheran congregation from
1843 to 1883, a period of 40 years. On Good Friday, 1882, Rev.
Prof. William Wackernagel, D. D., became the assistant to Rev.
Yeager in this congregation and continued in that capacity until
the death of Rev. Yeager, January i, 1885. Dr. Wackernagel
was elected pastor, and in connection with this congregation and
his professorship in Muhlenberg College, also served St. Thomas,
at Altona, until 1886.

Rev. W. F. Schoener, the pastor of St. Peter's, South Beth-
lehem, served it for fifteen years until the time of his death, July
2, 1 901. It was during the pastorate of Rev. Schoener that the
congregation, in the summer of 1894, adopted a new constitution,
the constitution of St. Peter's Lutheran congregation. South
Bethlehem, being the model. It was also during this year that
"Rules and Regulations for the government of Jerusalem Church,
Salisbury, Lehigh County, Pa.," were jointly -adopted by the
Lutheran and Reformed congregations. Whether the congre-
gations ever had another constitution or rules and regulations
for their joint affairs is not known. It was also during his pas-
torate that he and Rev. N. Z. Snyder, the Reformed pastor,
worked hand in hand to bring the Sunday School into closer
relations with the congregations, and adopted May 11, 1890, the
"Rules and Regulations of the Sunday School Association of
Jerusalem Church," under which it has been working up to the
present time.

After the death of Rev. Schoener, Dr. Wackernagel again
served the congregation temporarily until the spring of 1902,
when Rev. E. H. Eberts was elected to the charge formed by
the Allentown Conference, consisting of Jerusalem, St. Stephen's,
N. Bethlehem, and St. John's in Williams Township. This
pastorate was of short duration ; for, in the following year, Rev.
Eberts was called to the Schoenersville and Rittersville parish
and resigned July i, 1903. The Allentown Conference, in rear-
ranging the parishes, united Jerusalem with St. Stephen's, N.
Bethlehem, and Frieden's, Friedensville. This newly formed
parish called Rev. H. A. Kunkle, who was installed November
8, 1903. Rev. Kunkle remained until March i, 1907, when he
followed a call to Elizabethville, Dauphin County. It was during
this pastorate that the services were increased, instead of every
four weeks to every two weeks, the German and English languages
alternating; the salary was increased from $100 to $150; the
church book was introduced, and the vesper service sung respon-
sively; the Church Council began to hold quarterly meetings and
to keep regular minutes of their proceedings. A new organ was
also procured and dedicated ; contributions of goods and money
were gathered for the Orphans' Home, at Germantown; College


Day was instituted, to be observed in June. From March i,
1907, to September i, 1907, the congregation was in the care of
the President of Conference, Rev. A. Stump, and was supplied by
different pastors. In August, an election was held for Rev. C. J.
Cooper, D. D., in the three congregations, and the result was that he
took charge of the parish, September i , 1907. During the present
pastorate the Luther League was strengthened by adding several
new features, viz., an Executive Committee was constituted, and
a Social Committee introduced. In January, 1909, a Ladies'
Aid Society was organized. Through the Luther League addi-
tional church books and also Reformed hymn books were placed
in the pews, and the congregation has arranged to have four
communions during the year, two in German and two in English.
It has also decided that the preparatory services shall be held in
connection with the communion. Last Easter and two weeks
later the German and English communions were held, and it
was found that.. there were as many communicants at, the one
as at the other, and that, on the whole, there were more com-
municants in the aggregate than formerly. The congregation
also decided to concentrate their efforts, in behalf of the benevo-
lence fund, by using the Easter and Harvest Festival seasons for
the purpose of gathering in the benevolent contributions, not
only from those who attend the services, but from all the members
by means of a special envelope and a printed circular on which
are indicated the different objects of the church for which our
members are asked to contribute their means. The Easter
time reminds us of what our Lord has done for our souls and the
Harvest season of what He has done for our bodies. These great
mercies of our God should make us grateful and willing to give
unto Him according to our means.

Reformed Pastors.

When Rev. N. Z. Snyder, D. D., the Reformed pastor of
Jerusalem Church, was permitted by the grace of God, to celebrate
the 30th anniversary of his pastorate, August 31, 1902, and was
showered with congratulations and good wishes, he prepared and
published September i, 1902, in The Globe, of South Bethlehem, a
sketch of the Reformed congregation, and we are happy to draw
on this sketch for an account of this congregation. The Rev.
Rudolph Kidweiler, referred to in the old record, was pastor at
Long Swamp, Berks County, from 1754- 1762. I^^ 1848, Rev.
Maximilian Stern became the regular pastor and served to 1852.
Rev. A. J. G. Dubbs preached his introductory sermon May 23,
1852, and served until 1855, according to Dr. Snyder's sketch;
Rev. Simon K. Gross, from 1855 to 1857; then May 31, 1857, Rev.
A. J. G. Dubbs again preached his introductory sermon and served
the congregation until 1864. Dr. Snyder, in his sketch, remarks:

Rev. Maxamiuan Stern, D. D.

(Cut by courtesy of Rev. Jos. H. Dubbs, D. D., from his
" Historic Manual of the Reformed Church.")

Rev. S. K. Gross.

Rev. a. J. G. DuBBS.

(1852-1855. 1857-1864.)


"Of all this, however, there is no record book to be found, unless
it should some day be discovered with the musty rubbish in somcr
body's garret." In 1866, Rev. D. F. Brendle was pastor, who
procured a record book for the Reformed congregation. He
served until 1872, when Rev. Dr. Snyder was elected pastor,
who served the congregation faithfully for 35 years. In 1897,
Dr. Snyder doubled the services, and at great sacrifice maintained
also the English services for the benefit of the younger people.
In his sketch of 1902, Dr. Snyder says: "A Missionary and
Aid Society was also organized some years ago, in which a number
of members and friends are very much interested. The church
has been twice renovated and beautified. There are two Sunday
Schools maintained in the neighborhood, which are almost wholly
composed of members of these two congregations. The one
meets in the morning in a chapel nearby, owned by the school,
and the other meets in the church in the afternoon before the
regular services. This school is more directly under the super-
vision of the congregations, and has been presided over during
the greater part of the present pastorate by Elder J. W. Larash,
who spared no efforts to teach the children the way of the Lord.
Others have been doing the same and their work is appreciated
by the pastors."

"Rev. James R. Brown, a most efficient minister of the
Reformed Church, was brought up in this congregation and
confirmed by myself." As this is the only record we have that,
during these 150 years, a minister has come out of these congre-
gations, we desire to express our gratification that at least one
minister has come out of the Reformed congregation, when both
congregations were served so long and so well by a long list of
ministers. At the same time we take a special pleasure in record-
ing the fact that Rev. James R. Brown is a graduate of Muhlen-
berg College of the class of 1887, and while we rejoice with Dr.
Snyder, our old schoolmate in the celebrated Bucks County
Normal and Classical Institute, that he can point to Bro. Brov/n
and say, as St. Paul said of Timothy, "Who is my beloved son,
and faithful in the Lord," we also take pride in saying that we
helped to make him what he is. In this connection, it is, however,
just to state that Rev. William Cope, a minister of the Moravian
Church, and Rev. Jeremiah H. Ritter, of Centre Square, were
partly raised in the Lutheran congregation.

Rev. T. C. Brown, the present pastor, took charge of the
Reformed congregation in 1908, and is serving it in connection
with Apple's Church and Grace Mission in South Bethlehem.

Renovations of Present Church.
In 1884, a thorough renovation of the church was undertaken.
David Moritz, Sr., James W. Larash, Henry Deifer and Francis
Buchecker were appointed the Building Committee, and Francis


Buchecker, Jr., was chosen Reformed treasurer, and Alfred Moritz,
the Lutheran treasurer. John J. Mohn, Wilson R. Deily, Alfred
Moritz and George P. Scholl were appointed a committee to collect
funds. The following ladies were also appointed a committee to
collect funds: Mrs. John J. Mohn, Mrs. Francis Buchecker, Jr.,
Mrs. Wal. F. Ueberroth, Miss W. A. Rau. The outside of the
church was covered with a colored cement wash and a cornice
was added. On the inside the ceiling was arched and covered
with paper and the walls frescoed. The pulpit, altar, reading
desk, baptismal font and pews, the property of St. Michael's
Lutheran Church, Allentown, were purchased and renovated and
installed, and in other respects the inside was improved and
beautified. The whole cost at this time was $1,446.81. The
church was rededicated Sunday, September 7, 1884. Dr. Wack-
ernagel preached in German in the morning; Rev. A. J. G. Dubbs
in the afternoon in German, and Rev. C. E- Sandt in English,
when St. Michael's choir, of Allentown, was also present and
rendered several anthems. In the evening Rev. C. J. Cooper,
then pastor of St. Peter's, South Bethlehem, preached in German.
Rev. W. Wackernagel, pastor protem, and Rev. N. Z. Snyder
were the Lutheran and Reformed pastors, and assisted in con-
ducting the services. Rev. C. E- Sandt was also present in the
evening. The collections for the day amounted to $43.69.

The second renovation was undertaken in the spring of 1898.

Online LibraryLehigh County Historical SocietyProceedings and papers read before the Lehigh County Historical Society → online text (page 29 of 32)