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*This is a discourse delivered by the writer, on the 4th of October, 1857, based on Ps. 143:5, "I remember the days of old."  On that day, and for the last time, divine worship was celebrated in Christ's old Union Log Church.  The discourse was prepared specially for the occasion, and hence the directness of address and appeal.  As a memento of the solemn occasion of leaving that old church edifice, by request, the discourse is given entire and unchanged.

After the Indian wars had closed and Revolution had successfully ended, the settlers in this valley located permanently, and, from all we can learn, the Lutheran portion of the population was the first to enjoy the stated preaching of the Gospel.  Of the original founders of the Lutheran congregation at Bloomfield,** we can give the names of only a few.  

**Perry County was organized in 1820, and until 1825 the County Courts were held at Landisburg.  In 1825 the site now occupied by Bloomfield was a clover-field, and selected as the location of the county town.

The Comp family and Shover settled in this vicinity in about 1780; the Cless family in 1785; the Clark, Fritz, and Meyer families in about 1790; the Westfall family in 1791, and the Slouch in 1795; the Smith, Crist and Sweger families in 1800, and the Roth family in 1803.  Besides these, a number of others had settled in this part of the valley at the close of the last century, but the exact time of their arrival we cannot learn.  These families were scattered over an extended territory, and at that time the population was comparatively sparse.  When visited by a minister of their Church, they came together the distance of six, eight, or even twelve miles, through dark, pathless forests, over hills and streams, to hear the glad tidings of peace and salvation by faith through Jesus Christ.  Private dwellings, barns, school-houses, and the shaded woods served them as places for divine worship. It is highly probable that they were occasionally visited, from 1780 to 1788, by the Rev. John G. Butler of Carlisle.  Immediately after this, the 

Rev. John T. Kuhl,

commenced visiting and preaching for the Lutherans in Sherman's Valley, and in 1790 located near Loysville.  From 1788 to 1795 he preached also for the scattered members of the Church in the vicinity of Bloomfield.  Of his success here, and of the condition of the congregation at that time, we have no authentic information.  Some time in 1795 or '96, Rev. Kuhl left Sherman's Valley; but where he located after he resigned here, we have no means of knowing.  Soon after this, the members in Sherman's Valley secured the spiritual labors of the

Rev. John Herbst,

who located at Carlisle, Pa., in 1796, and took charge of the Lutheran congregation at Loysville, and preached also occasionally for the members here.  We have been informed that he administered the sacraments among the members of the congregation, and it is probable that the congregation was regularly organized by him some time between 1797 and 1800.  As the members were favored with occasional preaching, they naturally felt the want of a suitable home of worship, and such a house they now resolved to build.


This church was built jointly by the Lutherans and German Reformed on one acre and a half of land, which they bought of Jacob Lupfer for twelve dollars.  This land was located by Mr. Lupfer in 1787 by order from the Land Office, surveyed for church purposes in 1802, and conveyed be deed to the two denominations on the 14th of May, 1804, and is now embraced in the borough of Bloomfield.  Those of the members who were able to do so, furnished, each, one round or more logs.  These logs were fine white pine, oak, and some poplar.  After all the required timber had been brought together, the church edifice was raised on Saturday, the 19th of June, 1798.  The building was thirty-six feet long by thirty feet wide.  In erecting the edifice, heavy cross-beams were inserted for a gallery, which was however not constructed till about twenty-two years after.  Soon after the building had been raised, Mr. Andrew Shuman covered it with a substantial roof; but, as we are informed, nothing more was done towards its completion till 1802.  Thus for four years the edifice stood without doors, windows or floor.  There was then no stove in the church (as it was called), and preaching only in summer.  The congregation sat on slabs laid on blocks sawed from logs, and the minister, when preaching, stood behind a little ,rough, wooden table.  The earth served as floor, and the roof as the only covering over head, whilst the naked walls, without doors and windows, surrounded the attentive congregation.  In winter, the minister preached in private dwellings in the vicinity.  At that time, during the cold seasons of the year, there was preaching there but seldom.  The pastor resided at Carlisle, about eighteen miles off, and the roads in the depth of winter must have been almost impassable across the North Mountain and through the dreary forests of Sherman's Valley.

In 1801, Rev. Herbst resigned at Carlisle, and consequently ceased to visit the members here.  In 1802, a floor was laid to the church, doors were put up, and windows round below; the spaces for windows round above were closed with boards; the seats remained as before, except that they were now raised on the floor, and the minister, as before, stood behind a small table when he preached.  It is probable that about this time, or within a few years after, a stove was secured for the church.

As the draft of the church-land, made in 1802, clearly shows, the ground on which the church was located and the lands all around it were at that time well timbered with large forest trees.  About one acre and a half, lying northwest of the church, had been cleared a long time before, but was now densly covered with young pine bushes and sumac, and part of it was afterwards included in the graveyard.  A large pine tree stood in front of the church, facing what is now High Street.  Near where the brick school-house now stands was a pond of water, in which at that time an abundance of frogs sported, and all the low ground from the pond down to Big Spring was overgrown with underbrush and greenbrier.  The church was located on an eligible site.  The place is considerably elevated on a dry gravel bank, which slopes away towards the north and rising sun; northwest of it Limestone Ridge rises gradually in bold relief, and, on the southeast, it overlooks Bloomfield and a small but beautiful valley, when, at a distance of about one mile and a half, the view is bounded by the gracefully rising Mahanoy Ridge.  A short distance west of the church the road forked,---one road passed in front of the church and led to Carlisle; the other passed back of the church, over ground now embraced in the graveyard, and led to Juniata River at Newport.  At the time when the church was erected, all the lands around it, and nearly all that are now embraced in the borough of Bloomfield, were covered by a dense forest of large timber and underwood.  There was then not a house nearer than the old building on Mr. David Lupfer's farm and the dwelling of the late Mr. Barnett, each of them nearly a mile off.  The church stood lonely in the woods to tell that God was worshipped there.

The graveyard was commenced soon after the erection of the church.  Peter Moses was the first person buried here, and a Mr. Cless the second.  The graveyard, back of the church, leans against Limestone Ridge, and from a gradual ascent looks down towards the southeast.  The dead were buried here many years before their graves were inclosed by a fence.  The graveyard is now quite large, and the many white marble slabs, dotting it all over, tell the sad story of man's mortality.

Of those who helped to build this house of worship, not one is left to tell us its early history in detail.  They have all passed away with the rush of time, and many of them now repose here in "God's acre."  And soon, too, this building, which our forefathers erected, in which they worshipped the God of their fathers in prayer and sweet hymns of praise, will be levelled with the ground, and all the hallowed recollections associated with it will perish from the memory of man.  When the dark and unbroken forest shaded all around, our gray fathers met on this sacred spot, marked out a space in the fork of the road, and with holy reverence concluded to build a temple to the honor and glory of God.  They did build such a temple.  And here they listened with sweet delight to the story of the Cross, sang Zion's hymns, and their orisons paid.  And here, hard by the temple of their God and of our God, many of them laid their bodies down in peace to rest till the resurrection day.  No bell tolled their funeral dirge, and many have no stone set up to mark their resting-place.  A forest of tall trees in the winds sighed plaintively over their graves and mantled the upturned earth with yellow leaves.  How solemn the retrospect!  How all has changed! and after us changes will still go on.  It is well for us to "remember the days of old," and learn to live for another and better world.

"O may our feet pursue the way
Our pious fathers led;
While love and holy zeal obey
The counsels of the dead."

After Rev. Herbst ceased to preach in Sherman's Valley, the congregation at Bloomfield did not, for some time, enjoy regularly the blessing of the preached word.  We are informed, however, that the 

Rev. Frederick Sanno,

who preached regularly at Loysville, preached also occasionally to the members here, and administered the sacraments among them.  We have also been told by an aged member of the Lutheran Church, that the

Rev. Henry Ludolph Spark,

who taught school in Spring Township and donated the land on which Ludolph Church is erected, lectured or preached, from 1802 to 1806, for the members in this vicinity and baptized their children, though it does not appear that he officiated in the church.  Mr. Spark was not a regular minister, but as the members had no regularly ordained pastor, he, as a pious school-master, sometimes preached and performed the ministerial functions.  Such was the state of things at that time.  From 1806 to 1808, the

Rev. Frederick Oberhauser,*

*Mr. Oberhauser was from Holland, and is said to have been a man of considerable erudition.  For a number of years he preached at different places in Saville and Toboyne Townships, and, in 1815, he confirmed a class of catechumens in the house now occupied by Mr. Andrew Shuman, near St. Andrew's or Shuman's Church.  He also practised medicine.  In Holland he may have been a regular minister, and for some time he preached in Northampton County, Pa.; but when he preached in Sherman's Valley, he did not stand in connection with any Synod.  We have met with the following notice of this death:  "Died, on Thursday last (the 12th of April, 1821) in Toboyne Township, Perry County, in the 75th year of his age, Dr. Frederick Oberhauser.  His remains were attended to the grave (at Blain?) by a large concourse of people."  -- The Perry Forester.  After his death his large library was sold.  Nearly all the books were in the Dutch language.  Father Heim bought a large number of them, and some forty volumes of them are now in the writer's library.

who preached in Saville Township, in the neighborhood of Ickesburg, and also of Blain, occasionally visited the members here and preached for them in their houses.  The congregation did not enjoy the regular services of a recognized pastor till 1809, when the 

Rev. John Frederick Osterloh

took charge of nearly all the Lutheran congregations in Sherman's Valley.  He preached here once every four weeks in the German language.  It is said, that whilst he was pastor here, and for some time after, the congregation had in one corner of the church a barrel full of oats, and a trough fixed in the fork of a tree near the church, where the horse fed whilst the parson preached.  At that time the people consulted convenience rather than taste, and adapted themselves to the circumstances by which they were surrounded.  At present some people think it too hard to go a few miles to hear the Gospel preached.  Then it was not so.  Then people went over hills, passed streams, not on smooth and level roads, but by by-paths and without paths, not on horseback and in carriages but on foot, from six to ten miles, without uttering a word of complaint.  Then, as we are told, in summer they generally carried their shoes till within sight of the church, when they put them on instead of taking them off, as Moses was commanded to do, because the ground was holy.  And then, during the warm season of the year, the men went to church without coat, having on a  home-spun white linen shirt and jacket thrown over it, and the women had on a sun-bonnet as a covering for their heads, and garments spun, wove, and made by their own hands.  Thus, in their dress they were plain, in their intercourse with each other unaffected, and in their worship without hypocrisy, simple and devout.

The congregation was organized by Rev. Osterloh on a better and firmer basis than that on which it stood before.  Mr. George Cless was elected to the office of Elder, and Mr. Mathias Meyer to that of Deacon.  These fathers remained in office for many years.  The congregation, now enjoying the stated ministry of a pastor, gathered strength and advanced prosperously.  The scattered members were drawn together from great distances, and were glad to hear the word of God and engage in the solemn exercises of the sanctuary.  The youth, who had grown up without church connection, were brought under the benign influence of the Gospel, and instructed by the pastor in the doctrines of our holy religion.  Accessions were made to the membership of the congregation, and the hearts of those who mourned over the desolations of Zion and longed for the bread and water of life, were made to rejoice in God their Savior.

As no church-record was kept by this congregation till 1855, we are wholly dependent on the memory of our informants for the names of persons who were confirmed here from time to time; nor is the time of confirmation and the number confirmed always certain.  Under these circumstances, we are unable to give the names of more than about two-thirds of those who were admitted to full membership here.

As the church edifice was unfit for occupancy in winter, Rev. Osterloh met and catechized the youth in private dwellings.  In the spring of 1810, the following persons---the first, so far as we can learn, that were ever confirmed here---were admitted to full communion:

Jacob Clouser; Conrad Roth; Henry Roth; Henry Lenig; John Cless; John Meyer; George Sunday; George Yeager; Andrew Shover; Martin Smith; Catharine Smith; Mary Ann Crist; Mary Yeager; Susan Roth; Sophia Shover; Susan Richter; Catharine Westfall; Margaret Westfall; Magdalene Smith; Elizabeth Roth; Elizabeth Slouch; Sarah Cless; Elizabeth Cless; Catharine Cless.

With but two or three exceptions, all the above persons have already gone to the eternal world.  They have run their race, and now reap the fruit of their deeds while on earth.  In 1811, another class of catechumens was confirmed.  Of this class the following are the only names we could learn:

Matthias Grove (baptized); Benjamin Smith; Elizabeth Meyer; Mary Miller; Catharine Burd.

We have not been able to find that any others were confirmed until 1814, when the following persons, and a number of others whose naems are not recollected, were admitted to full communion:

Jacob Burd; Jacob Lenig Mrs. Catharine Meyer; Mrs. ---- Doren; Catharine Meyer; Susan Meyer; Maria Smith; Elizabeth Smith.

This was the last class of catechumens Rev. Osterloh confirmed here.  As he neglected the congregation somewhat, the members became dissatisfied with him, and petitioned Synod to permit them, in connection with other congregations, to give Rev. Heim a call.  Synod granted this petition.  Rev. Osterloh resigned and in June, 1816, according to a resolution of Synod, the 

Rev. John William Heim

became the regular pastor of this congregation, which, in connection with the other Lutheran congregations in Sherman's Valley, he served till his death on the 27th of December, 1849.  He was a faithful, laborious, and successful minister of the Gospel of Christ.  Here he preached once every four weeks, exclusively in the German language.  The heading of a subscription in our hands, for the year 1818, shows that the members were willing to support him.  It reads thus:  "May 3d, 1818.  We subscribe our names towards having Mr. Heim preach in the church in Juniata Township, Cumberland County, at Christ's Church.  he is to preach every four weeks."  Forty-two dollars and ninety-four cents were subscribed.  As the congregation was yet comparatively small, and the members generally poor and scattered over a large extent of territory, we are agreeably surprised that they contributed so liberally towards the support of the Gospel.  Having instructed a class of catechumens faithfully, some time in 1818, Rev. Heim confirmed the following persons, with some others, whose names cannot now be recollected:

Daniel Swartz; Jacob Swartz; John Smith; Daniel Cless; John Lenig; Philip Gensler; Adam Cless; Mrs. Julia Shatto; Mrs. Susan Foose; Esther Doren (baptized); Sophia Meyer; Rebecca Meyer; Margaret Meyer; Eve Lesch; Catharine Clark; Martha Smith; Catharine Smith; Eve Smith; Catharine Smith; Catharine Lenig; Catharine Miller.

The members of the congregation were much encouraged by the pastoral labors of Rev. Heim, and great success crowned his unwearied efforts to save immortal souls.

Perry County, which had been a part of Cumberland, was organized by an act of Legislature, passed May 22d, 1820.  The courts were held at Landisburg till 1825.  Bloomfield, so called from the name given to the tract in the patent, is of recent origin, its site having been a clover-field no longer ago than 1825.  In that year, it was selected as the site for the county town.

After the church had stood about twenty-two years, it was completed on the 19th of June, 1820.  Seats were now constructed, and a pulpit, wine-glass shaped, and supported by a high post, was built against the northwest wall; a round, isolated altar was placed in front of the pulpit; windows were inserted round above; the roof inside received an arched board ceiling; the gallery, on three sides of the house, was erected and ceiled with boards below, and was supported by thick posts under strong cross-beams.  All the wood-work was painted white, and the other part of the inside of the church received a coat of plaster.  Mr. Michael Clouser superintended the carpenter work.  After the church had in this way been completed, it was consecrated some time in July, 1820, and received the distinctive name, Christ's Church.  The ministers present at the consecration, were Rev. J. W. Heim of the Lutheran Church, Rev. Jacob Shull of the German Reformed Church, and Rev. Joseph Brady of the Presbyterian Church.  Several sermons were preached in the German language, and Rev. Brady preached a sermon in the English language.  The concourse of people, assembled on this joyful occasion, is said to have been very great.

As Rev. Heim resided near Mifflintown, Juniata County, about thirty miles off, till the spring of 1828, he catechized here once every three or four years.  We have not been able to learn that any were confirmed at Bloomfield between 1818 and '25, though it is probable that one class at least was during that time admitted to full communion.  During the summer of 1825, Rev. Heim met and instructed a class here, and in the fall of the same year between thirty and forty were confirmed, of whom the following persons were the most:

Michael Clark; Samuel Comp; John Anders; John Shuman; William Delancy; Henry L. Smith; Henry Swartz; Jacob Clouser; Jacob Roth; Daniel Pickard; Jonas Lesch; Samuel Beistlein; Mrs. Hannah Heckendorn; Mrs. Elizabeth Shuman; Mrs. Elizabeth Lyons; Elizabeth Miller; Elizabeth Crist; Catharine Swartz; Margaret Smith; Sarah Smith; Lydia Smith; Elizabeth Shuman; Mary Ann Lenig; Barbara Clark; Catharine Lyons; Elizabeth Attig; Mary Fusselman; Rebecca Eisenhauer; Catharine Beistlein; Rebecca Bausum; Rebecca Otto; Elizabeth Leppart; Hannah Gressley.

Some of the above persons are at present among our most useful aged members of the church; but many of them have passed away into the eternal world.  Rev. Heim labored in season and out of season, and, having so many an remote congregations to serve, he could not catechize at each preaching-place as often as we now do.  But when he did lecture on the Catechism, the young people came the distance of six to ten miles.  It was then deemed not only a duty, but a most delightful and glorious privilege, to attend a course of lectures on the fundamental doctrines of our holy religion.  So religious instruction ought to be yet regarded, and so it is yet regarded by all who have correct views of the design and advantage of such a course of lectures.  Early and thorough instruction, imparted in the spirit of the Master, in the truths of our religion, cannot be over estimated.  Ignorance in regard to the doctrines of Christianity is not only the mother of vice, but also very often of infidelity; an the neglect of indoctrinating the youthful mind invariably results in a sickly, fitful, and erratic sort of religion, if religion it may be called.  Religion is a subject for both head and heart.  We must think aright before we will feel aright; we must know aright before we can act aright; we must have our heads set  aright by the word of truth before our hearts can be set aright by the spirit of truth.  Catechization, like preaching, may be abused by men without grace; but catechization, like preaching, under God's blessing, is the means of good to souls---good that could not be accomplished by any other means; and generally, if attended to in the right way, such seasons of instruction result in the awakening and conversion of souls--in a revival of genuine religion.

In the spring of 1828, Rev. Heim moved to Loysville, and after that usually catechized here once every three years.  Having instructed a class, in June, 1830, he confirmed the following persons, and a number of others whose names cannot now be remembered:

John Miller; John Ludman; Henry Smith; John K. Smith; William Smith; Andrew Comp; Jacob Shearer; Mrs. Margaret Smith; Elizabeth Smith; Catharine Smith; Catharine Frey; Margaret Burrel; Elizabeth Powel; Lydia Powel; Martha Powel; Elizabeth Smith; Catharine Smith; Sarah Meyer; Catharine Reisdorff; Miss ---- Sweger; Miss ---- Sweger.

May those of this class, still in the church militant, be prepared to foin the church triumphant!!

"Faith sees the bright, eternal doors
Unfold to make his children way;
They shall be cloth'd with endless life,
And shine in everlasting day."

In May, 1833, with a number of others, whose names cannot be ascertained, the following persons were confirmed here:

Henry Fleisher; Jacob Smith; Jonas J. Smith; John Shearer; George Shearer; David Miller; Benjamin Reiber; Jacob Burrel; Daniel Comp; John Rhodes (baptized); Mrs. Susan Rhodes; Mrs. Hannah Smith; Mrs. Hannah Hassinger; Mrs. Catharine Lenig; Mrs. Catharine Miller; Mrs. Mary Smith; Magdalene Comp; Mary Clark; Frances Shearer.

The congregation was evidently in a prosperous condition at this time.  Many confirmed in this class are still members of the Church here and elsewhere, adorning their Christian profession by a godly life and extensive usefulness in the Church.  Well might Father Heim rejoice in the hope of seeing his instruction, his prayers, and his tears yield an abundant harvest.  May the truths he taught them be in their hearts as good seed, bearing fruit unto eternal life!

"Let those that sow in sadness wait
Till the fair harvest come;
They shall confess their sheaves a great,
And bring rich blessings home."

In August, 1835, the following persons, and some others, were confirmed:

Daniel Reider; John Tressler; Henry Reider; Jacob Crist; Jacob Fleisher; Jacob Smith; Samuel Smith; John Brown; Benjamin Smeigh; Jacob Smeigh; Mrs. Mary Sweger; Mrs. Elizabeth Smith; Catharine Reider; Ann Smeigh; Sarah Comp; Sarah Sweger; Catharine Brown; Catharine Troup; Catharine Tressler; Lydia Smith; Catharine Smith; Barbara Lenig; Mary Jumper; Mary Troup; Mary Halbach; Elizabeth Reisdorff.

Of those who were this time admitted to full communion in the Church, many still remain among us, bearing witness to the excellency of the Gospel of Christ by their consistent walk and conversation; some few of them to the hurt of their souls have gone out from among us, and some have gone to try an unseen world.  May all now living, prepare to meet their God!

"Draw us, O Savior, with they grace,
And lift our thoughts on high,
That we may end this mortal race,
And see salvation nigh."

In May, 1839, a large class of catechumens was confirmed.  The following persons were some of this class:

Jacob Super; Henry Titzel; John Titzel; Samuel Tressler; Thomas Lenig; Beneval Shade; John Brown; John Burrel; William Hassinger; John Earhart; George Eckert; John Lenig; Jacob Long; John Leppert; Daniel Smith; John Super; Mrs. Elizabeth Long; Mary Lenig; Rebecca Tressler; Barbara Lenig; Elizabeth Smith; Elizabeth Smith; Catharine Shearer; Mary Shearer; Elizabeth Comp; Mary Earhart; Nancy Leppert; Barbara Super; Mary Doren; Catharine Doren; Barbara Lesch; Catharine Frey; Mary Frey.

Many of these are now among the most active members of our Church.  Some of them o more among the living.  May those who survive, strive to obtain the crown of life!  Soon will all our labors end, and

"With joy shall we stand, when escaped to the shore;
With harps in our hands, we'll praise Him the more;
We'll range the sweet plains on the bank of the river,
And sing of salvation for ever and ever."

In May, 1841, a large number of persons were confirmed, of whom the following were some:

Andrew Titzel; Solomon Tressler; David Shearer; John Swartz; George W. Swartz; Henry Burkepile; Samuel Carl; David Long; Samuel Smith; Jeremiah Burkepile; ---- Smith; Mrs. Hannah Burkepile; Elizabeth Tressler; Susan Tressler; Sarah Carl; Sarah Shearer; Elizabeth Titzel; Elizabeth Frey; Ann Wax; Mary Smith; Mary Reisdorrff; Barbara Lenig; Susan Bender; Elizabeth Foulk; Eve Foulk.

Most of those confirmed this time are still among us, and actively engaged in the glorious cause they then espoused.  The race of life is before them, may they run it with patience, and press forward to the heavenly Jerusalem!

"O Lord of hosts, thou God of grace,
How blest, divinely blest, is he
Who trusts Thy love, and seeks Thy face,
And fixes all his hopes on Thee!"

On the 23d of September, 1842, the West Pennsylvania Synod of the Lutheran Church convened in this house, and remained in session a number of days.

Though Father Heim had now attained that age when most men seek rest in retirement, he nevertheless prosecuted his calling, and was actively and zealously engaged in the cause of his divine Master.  In September, 1845, he confirmed the following class of catechumens:

John Sweger; Peter Stone; George Stone; John Stone; Samuel Stone; John Cless; Frederick Cless; Peter Hair; Jacob Jumper; Frederick Jumper; Elizabeth Sweger; Mary Ann Sweger; Ann Eliza Clark; Margaret Clark; Sophia Comp; Nancy Baker; Ann Foulk; Barbara Foulk; Christiana Doren; Jane Hair; Mary Ann Hair; Sarah Cornman; Margaret Kleckner; Sarah Ann Kleckner.

This was the last class of catechumens Father Heim confirmed here.  Before the time had come to meet another class, the Lord said to him, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."  Thus he fell asleep in the Lord, on the 27th of December, 1849.

"And now has come his rest,
His triumph day.  Illustrious like a sun,
In that assembly, he shining from far,
Most excellent in glory, stands assured,
Waiting the promised crown, the promised throne,
The welcome and approval of his Lord,
.....and round him gathered, clad
In white, the vouchers of his ministry---
The flock his care had nourished, fed and saved."


Father Heim continued to preach here to the end of his life, having served the congregation about thirty-three years and a half.  He preached exclusively in the German language, and was the honored instrument of adding many to the Church, and of directing them to Christ.  Under his pastoral care, the congregation was firmly established and built up.  His charge was an extended and laborious one; but being possessed of a remarkably strong physical constitution, he bore up amid all his labors, and prosecuted his calling with energy and untiring zeal to the end.  In dangers often, he was undaunted; in labors constant, he finished his work in a good old age, departed in peace, and now reaps an ample reward in a world of surprising glory.  Many of those he confirmed are gems in the crown of his rejoicing; many of them are here to-day; who will soon follow him and their brethren.  But as we do not intend to preach Father Heim's funeral sermon, we will follow the thread of our narrative.


We must now go back about six years.  During the sessions of the West Pennsylvania Synod, held at Bloomfield in September, 1842, some of the ministers present preached in the English language.  Soon after that, some of the members, who understood that language best and saw the necessity of introducing its use in the pulpit, desired Father Heim to associate with himself some minister who could preach in English.  But, unable to preach in the English language himself, Father Heim was also averse to having any one associated with him for the purpose of preaching in that language.  It is to be regretted that Father Heim, like many others at that time, set his face against the introduction of the English language, when its use in preaching was so much required; he conceived it to be an unwarranted innovation, and opposed it.  Such a course was, and could not but be, detrimental to the interests of the congregation.  Father Heim meant it well, however injudicious his policy was on this subject.  As he was unyielding, the President of Synod interfered, and in an indirect way accomplished the desired end.  In a letter to the writer, the 

Rev. Levi T. Williams,

who was then stationed at Petersburg, this county, gives the following account of the rise, organization, and progress of the English Lutheran congregation:

"According to the directions of Rev. A. H. Lochman, D.D., then President of the West Pennsylvania Synod, I preached a trial sermon at Bloomfield some time in January, 1844.  I was also to preach in the German language; but as I found the German speaking members considerably opposed to that, I deemed it best to get Rev. Jacob Shull, a German Reformed minister, to fill that appointment for me.  In order to reconcile the German speaking members to English preaching, and to prevent a division of the congregation, no further appointment was made until every means had been used to induce the opposing party to countenance the enterprise.  When every effort had been made in vain, it was finally resolved to organize an English Lutheran congregation, wholly separate from the German.  This was effected on Friday, June 14th, 1844, when the following brethren were elected as officers, viz.:

Jacob Crist, Sen., David Deardorff; Elders
H. C. Hickock, Esq., George Attig; Deacons

"A call was then extended to me.  This call I accepted.  My introductory sermon I preached on Sunday, the 14th of July, the same year, in the brick school-house near the old Union church.  Soon after this our Presbyterian brethren relieved us of the necessity of worshipping in a filthy school-house, by kindly tendering us the use of their church, which I then occupied till I resigned.  I have no account of the number of members who joined in the organization, but there could not have been more than eight or ten.  I preached for them every third Sabbath.  The first communion was held on Sunday, Dec. 8th, 1844.  On Saturday previous (the 7th) the following persons were confirmed, viz.:

Alex. C. Klink; Mrs. Rebecca Attig; Mrs. Frances Sheaffer; Mrs. Eliza Eby; Mrs. Mary Ickes; Charlotte Attig.

"The second communion was held on the 25th of May, 1845.  On Saturday previous (the 24th), the following persons were admitted to full communion by the rite of confirmation:

Richard Fritz; John Waggoner; Joseph Bender; Mrs. Eliz. Waggoner; Mrs. Elizabeth Holmes; Harriet Crist; Rebecca Bender; Mary Cormichal; Margaret Smith (baptized); Cath. Cormichal (by certificate).

"I preached my farewell sermon on the 7th of September, 1845."
So far the statement of Rev. Williams.
Rev. Williams resided at Petersburg, and preached there, at Bloomfield, Newport, Mount Pisgah, and some other places.  After he had resigned here, he accepted a call from Franklin County, and was succeeded by

Rev. Lloyd Knight,

late of the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pa.  Whilst pastor of the charge Rev. Knight resided at Bloomfield.  In a letter he gives the following account of his labors here:  

"I took charge of the English Lutheran congregation at Bloomfield on the 1st of October, 1845.  In the winter following, we were blessed with an outpouring of God's Spirit.  Many old members renewed their covenant and some new ones were added to the Church.*  Our first communion was held on the 1st of February, 1846.  Thirty-six members reported themselves as communicants on Saturday previous, and as some of the fruits of the revival, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

Dr. Jonas Ickes; William Erb; Thompson Graham; George Henzel; Samuel Hassinger; George W. Brown; Mrs. Cath. Ann Gallatin; Margaret Holman; Eliz. Arford; Mary Shade; Sophia Bidelman.

(*In the Lutheran Observer, February 20, 1846, we find the following notice of this work of grace:--"Revival.--An extensive work of grace has been in progress at Bloomfield, Perry County, Pa., in the congregation under the care of Brother Knight.  Our correspondent remarks:  'We have had a glorious state of things in our midst.  God be praised!  For the last six weeks much interest has been felt on the subject of religion.  About six weeks ago, assisted by rev. Babb and a student from Gettysburg, we commenced a protracted meeting, and it was not long until the Lord commenced a precious work in our midst, the result of which, I trust, will never be forgotten by many souls.  Some of the most wicked and abandoned are now clothed and if their right mind.  Last Sabbath we communed, when there was an accession to our little congregation of eleven or twelve new members.  To God belongs all the praise.' ")

"At this time the whole number of communicant members was forty-seven.  Soon after this I commenced instructing another class of catechumens, and on the 7th of June, 1846, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation, viz.:

John Roth; Mrs. Elizabeth Hall; Mrs. Elizabeth Bidelman; Mrs. Susan Boden; Nancy Bear; Isabella Everhart; Sarah Lamar (by certificate).

The following is a document well worthy our attention now, as it is illustrative of the spirit of the charge then:

"At the annual meeting of the vestries under the charge of Rev. L. Knight, held at Bloomfield, Perry County, Pa., on the 29th of August, 1846, the following resolutions, among others, were unanimously adopted, and ordered to be transmitted to the Lutheran Observer for publication, viz.:

"Resolved, That we have abundant reason to thank Almighty God for the prosperous condition of our congregations, and for the spirit of unanimity which prevails in our Councils.

"Resolved, That the labors, zeal, and piety of our beloved pastor meet our entire approbation, and that the means employed for the advancement of Christ's kingdom give general satisfaction.

"Resolved, That Sabbath-schools are of primary importance as channels through which the waters of life may freely flow into the hearts of rising generation, and as efficient instrumentalities by which the children of the Church, and at large, may become thoroughly imbued with the principles and spirit of genuine Christianity, have their minds an hearts fortified against evil influences, and especially against the wily assaults of the infidel and Jesuit; and we believe it to be the imperative duty of the members of each congregation, to encourage and aid the establishment and support of these schools with their influence, their personal exertions, and the pecuniary means with which God has blessed them.

"Resolved, That we recognize the solemn truth that 

'Prayer was appointed to convey
The blessings of God designs to give;'

and we believe the social prayer-meeting to be eminently calculated to secure the influences of divine grace,--to call down the blessings of Heaven,--to impress and awaken sinners,--to build up Christ's followers,--to strengthen the hands of the pastor,--to further the best interests of the Church militant,--and to promote the honor and glory of God, and should therefore be regularly maintained, in a flourishing condition, in every congregation.

"Resolved, That the preaching of the Gospel is the most prominent agency established by the Lord Jesus Christ for the building up of his kingdom, and churches should therefore be established, pastors appointed over them, and the public worship of Almighty God be faithfully maintained; and while we expect the faithful performance of his whole duty on the part of the pastor, we on our part know that the 'laborer is worthy of his hire,' and regard it as an indispensable requisite to the welfare of the Church, that he be provided with a liberal salary, punctually paid at stated periods.

"Resolved, That it is the duty of every denomination to support its religious newspaper, and we therefore respectfully urge it on our brethren to subscribe for the Lutheran Observer themselves, and to induce others to do the same.


"HENRY C. HICKOK, Secretary*

(*See Lutheran Observer, September 11, 1846)

In September, 1846, H. C. Hickok, Esq., attended Synod at Chambersburg, Pa., as the lay representative of the Bloomfield charge.

On the 18th of April, 1847, Mrs. Sarah Power was received as a member by certificate, and on the 4th of December, the same year, the following were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

John H. Shade; Mrs. Sarah Shoemaker; Mrs. Eliza Lupfer; Ann Boyles; Mary Boyles; Isabella Ickes; Sarah A. Huss; Rebecca W. Huss.

In September, 1847, Mrs. Christian Long of Newport, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Mifflinburg, Union County, Pa.

On the 12th of November, 1848, after having been duly instructed, the following persons were confirmed:

David Tressler; Conrad Weary; Andrew Hansel; Mrs. Tamer Miller; Mrs. Charity Marshall (baptized); Mrs. Margaret Sweger; Sarah A. Roth; Mary A. Cless.

In September, 1848, Mr. A. Billow, as lay representative of the charge, attended Synod at Berlin, Adams County, Pa.
In the fall of 1848, the English Lutheran congregation was, on certain conditions, permitted to worship in the old Union church.  Hitherto it had the use of the Presbyterian church.
On the 27th of May, 1849, Mrs. Susan Smeigh was admitted to full communion by the rite of confirmation.
Rev. Knight gives the following summary of his labors at Bloomfield:  "I received thirty-four persons into the church, baptized thirty-five infants, and attended fifteen funerals.  Having served the charge three years and a half, I resigned in June, 1849.  I labored under great disadvantages.  At Bloomfield we had no house of worship of our own, and had to contend with the prejudices against English preaching, &c. At that time the whole charge was composed of Bloomfield, Newport, Petersburg, Buffalo on the Susquehanna, St. David's or Billow's, Mount Pisgah, and on the 12th of June, 1847, the seventh congregation was added to the charge, namely, the Buffalo or Stone church above Ickesburg, making an area of twenty-seven miles.  During the three years and a half I was pastor of the charge, there were added to the various congregations, 158 members by confirmation and about 25 by certificate.  Had three revivals of religion,---one at Bloomfield, one at Newport, and one at Mount Pisgah.  I attended 49 funerals, and celebrated 49 marriages.  I left the charge in a flourishing and prosperous condition, and much against the will of the people.  I found the charge in October, 1845, with 166 communicants, and left it with 396, ---an increase of 230 members.  I shall ever recur to the time I spent among that dear people as a green spot on life's dreary way through this world of difficulties and sorrows.  It was my first charge, the charge of my youth and of my love; and though the ties which united us together as pastor and people have long since been broken and buried in the past, they are nevertheless engraven on the heart, never to be forgotten.  And when our labor is done on earth and our heavenly Master finds us worthy of admission into his rest above, may we not hope to meet there the dear people to whom we ministered here, and whom we, under God, brought into the Church of Jesus Christ.  God grant it! Amen."  To this we also add our sincere---Amen.

When Rev. Knight resigned, the English Lutheran congregation at Bloomfield numbered about seventy members, as many already as the German, if not more, and all these were brought into the Church in about four years.  How strikingly this shows that there was great necessity of preaching in this place in the English language!  Rev. Knight accepted a call from the Lutheran congregation at Hollidaysburg, Pa., and the 

Rev. Jacob Martin

of Hollidaysburg, Pa., succeeded him at Bloomfield in July of the same year.  In a letter, Rev. Martin says:

"I commenced my pastoral labors in the Bloomfield charge on the first Sabbath in July, 1849.  The charge was then composed of Bloomfield, Petersburg, Billow's or St. David's, Mt. Pisgah, Newport, Buffalo near Ickesburg, and New Buffalo on the Susquehanna.  After the death of Father Heim, a convention of the Church-Councils of the Lutheran congregations in Perry County was held at Bloomfield in Feb., 1850, and the congregations which Rev. Heim had served, together with those under my pastoral care, were so divided and arranged as to form three pastorates, namely, the Loysville, the Bloomfield, and the Petersburg.  My charge (the Bloomfield) was then composed of five congregations, namely, Bloomfield, Newport, Shuman's or St. Andrew's, St. John's near Markelville, and Buffalo west of Ickesburg.* 
(*For the division of the charges, see -----)

Whilst pastor of the charge I confirmed between 125 and 150 persons.  I cannot give the names of those who were confirmed by me, nor the time when they were confirmed.  About one-fourth of the preaching was required in the German language."

In September, 1850, Mr. Christian Long of Newport, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Berlin, Union County, Pa.

In the fall of 1848, the English Lutheran congregation at Bloomfield was, on certain conditions, allowed to worship in the old Union church.  At the close of 1849, Father Heim departed this life, and thus the German part of the congregation was left without a pastor.  As Rev. Martin could preach so well in both languages, he was able to give full satisfaction to both congregations and to meet all their wants.  The Convention referred to above, so divided the congregations as to throw the Germans at Bloomfield into Rev. Martin's charge.  And in this way he became the regular successor of Rev. Heim, and thus the German and English congregations were united into one congregation.  This was the best and only way the matter could be arranged.  Some of the Germans, it seems, were however for some time dissatisfied, being influenced by persons not of our Church and not friendly disposed towards her.  The matter was brought before Synod in September, 1850, when and where the following action was taken on the subject:

"The committee appointed to draft resolutions in reference to the division of the Bloomfield and Loysville charges, respectfully report:

"Resolved, That whilst we approve of the steps taken and the action had by the Convention regularly assembled for the division of said charges, we regret the spirit manifested by the delegates of the German congregation at Bloomfield, led astray and beguiled by unbecoming foreign influence

"Resolved, That we recommend to said German congregation entire acquiescence in the arrangements made in the formation of said charges."

A copy of the foregoing action of Synod was sent to the parties concerned, and all acquiesced in the decision pronounced.  After that the united congregation went forward in harmony and peace.  Rev. Martin preached once every three weeks, alternately in the German and English languages.

Having been faithfully instructed, on the 17th of November, 1850, the following persons were confirmed:

Mrs. Barbara Burkepile; Mrs. Catharine Eckert; Mrs. Mary Bumbaugh; Mary Jane Comp; Mary Eliz. Fritz; Sarah Wax; Mary Ann Clouser.

On the 22d of June, 1851, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

David L. Beaver; Margaret Jane Martin, Margaret Roth; Caroline Roth; Maria S. Ickes.

In September, 1851, Mr. David Tressler, Sen., as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Newville, Cumberland County, Pa.

Having served the charge about two years and nine months, Rev. Martin resigned, and at Bloomfield preached his farewell sermon on the 28th of March, 1852.  He accepted a call from the Berrysburg charge, Dauphin County, Pa., and in June of the same year, he was succeeded by the 

Rev. William Gerhardt,

who, in a letter, gives the following brief account of his labors here:

"Being called from Elizabethtown, I entered on my duties as pastor of the Bloomfield charge on the 13th of June, 1852, when I preached my introductory sermon at Bloomfield from Heb. 13:17.  I served five congregations, viz., Bloomfield, Newport, Bealor's, Shuman's, and Buffalo above Ickesburg.  During the year, I preached 144 sermons, besides funeral sermons, lectures, &c.  I instructed and confirmed the following forty-seven persons [the names of these persons are given at the proper place].  I labored in the charge until the 20th of June, 1853, when I accepted a call to Mount Bethel, Northampton County, Pa.  At Bloomfield I preached my farewell sermon on the 12th of June.
"I labored hard, and have reason to believe that God blessed my labors.  I saw the necessity of a more churchly spirit among our people, and therefore introduced the liturgy, and endeavored by combing the form and the life, to accomplish this end.  I would not have left the Bloomfield charge, but it was too laborious for me.  My health failed and I was obliged, though reluctantly, to leave Perry County for an easier charge.  The people were very kind to me.  Simple and unaffected in their manners, kind an generous in their disposition, I always felt myself at home in their families, and their hearts were always accessible to the pastor to extend advice and instruction.  I always look back with pleasure to my one year's stay in Perry County, as in many respects the most agreeable since I have been in the ministry.  God bless the dear people!  I preached my farewell sermon from 2 Cor. 13:14, which sermon, from the nature of the circumstances at Shuman's Church on the 19th of June, had the peculiarity of being a sacramental sermon, a funeral sermon, and a farewell sermon at one and the same time."

In September, 1852, as delegate of the charge, Mr. Christian Long of Newport attended Synod at Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pa.  

At a meeting of the different church-councils of the charge, in February, 1853, among others, the following resolutions were passed.

"Resolved, That each congregation furnish a Record-book, a large Bible, and a Hymn-book and Liturgy for its pulpit.

"Resolved, That as infant baptism in the church-edifices has heretofore been neglected, and in order to resuscitate the practice, the officers and members of our congregations be required to aid the minister in reviving it."

On the 19th of March, 1853, after being instructed in the Catechism of the Church, the following persons were confirmed:

Andrew Cless; George Cless; Daniel Cless; William Cless; Carson Hair; William Hair; Conrad Jumper; Samuel Foulk; Eliz. Jane Lenig; Mary Ann Lenig; Maria Cless; Margaret A. Cless; Mary J. Smeigh; Ellen E. Smeigh; Mary A. Swartz; Eliz. Ellen Miller; Catharine Bumbaugh.

Rev. Gerhardt preached to each congregation once every three weeks.  At Bloomfield only about one-third of the preaching was required in the German language.  Thus in divine worship the German gave way to the English language.  After Rev. Gerhardt's resignation, the charge was vacant about seven months.  

Rev. Adam Height,

of Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County, Pa., having accepted a call, commenced his pastoral labors in the charge on the 1st of March, 1854.  He resided at Bloomfield.  The charge embraced the same congregations as before, except that Rev. Height preached also occasionally at Millerstown.  At Bloomfield only an occasional sermon in German language was now required. In September, 1854, as delegate of the charge, Mr. Henry Harman attended Synod at Shrewsbury, York County, Pa.; and at this time, for reasons not necessary to state, Rev. Mr. Height ceased to exercise the functions of ministry here, after having served the charge only about seven months.*

(*See the Minutes of the West Pennsylvania Synod, of September, 1854, p. 42)

On the 5th of June, 1854, the charge bought at Bloomfield of Mr. Conrad Roth, a house, lot & c., now the Lutheran Parsonage, for eleven hundred dollars

Rev. David H. Focht,

of Chambersburg, Pa., having received and accepted a call from the charge, entered on his ministerial labors on the 1st of June, 1855.  On Sunday, May 27th, previous to the commencement of his pastoral year, he preached his introductory sermon at Bloomfield, from Col. 1:28, to a large and attentive congregation.  This congregation requires preaching in the German language no more.  What a change hath time wrought!  only eleven years ago all the preaching in this church was in that language.  In this Church your pastor has hitherto preached once every three weeks; in the new church he will be able to preach oftener.  In 1855,  the charge consisted of Bloomfield, Newport, St. John's at Markelville, Shuman's or St. Andrew's, and Buffalo or Emanuel's church above Ickesburg; and in June, 1856, when the congregation at Mansville was organized, it was also added to the charge.  Thus the charge consists now (Oct., 1857), of six congregations, and is much too large to enable a man to do justice to himself and his people.

As a delegate of the charge, Mr. Henry Titzel attended Synod in September, 1855, at Shippensburg, Pa.

Soon after the present pastor had taken charge of the pastorate he commenced at Bloomfield to instruct a class of catechumens in the doctrines of our holy religion.  A meeting was held, commencing on the 6th of November, 1855, and closing on the 20th.  During this time the pastor preached every evening, catechized, and sometimes had anxious meeting each day.  God blessed his word to the good of the people, and we trust there are many here who can in truth say that they found Jesus precious to their hearts.  This was a glorious season of grace from the presence of the Lord.  Having been prayerfully instructed, and giving evidence of a sincere desire to glorify God, on the 10th of November, 1855, the following persons were confirmed:

Henry Rice; David I. Rice; John Rice; Jacob Fritz; John Beaver; Samuel M. Ickes; John Sweger; Geroge W. Stouffer; John Stouffer; Josiah Lenig; Jacob Hair; Mrs. Sarah Rice; Mrs. Susan Jumper; Mrs. Mary Shade, (baptized); Eliz. Cornman, (baptized); Mary Cornman, (baptized); Catharine Comp; Margaret Comp; Catharine E. Rice; Margaret Rice; Margaret W. Rice; Sarah Fritz; Ellen Simonton; Susan Hair; Elizabeth Ketner.

May those of who were confirmed at this time prove faithful to their covenant vows to the end, and then be received to the bright mansions above!  This is the sincere prayer of their pastor.  O that God may help each one to run the Christian race with patience, ever trusting in Jesus as a present Savior, and finally through grace receive the crown of glory!  God bless you, may dear catechumens!

"How blest the sacred tie that binds,
In union sweet, according minds,
How swift the heav'nly course they run,
Whose hearts, whose faith, whose hopes are one."

On the 1st of December, 1855, the subscription for the erection of a new church was started.  Of this we will soon give a full account.

A number of others were found willing to attend catechetical lectures, who were faithfully instructed for some time.  A meeting was held from the 11th to the 16th of March, 1856.  Rev. J. Evans assisted the pastor on this occasion.  Souls were converted to God and the hearts of Christians were made glad in God their Savior.  On the 15th of March, 1856, the following persons were confirmed:

John Jumper; John Frantz; William Bumbaugh; Samuel Messimer, (baptized); Mrs. Elizabeth Clouser; Mrs. Christiana Rice; Miss M.E. Everhart (baptized); F. Eliz. Landis, (baptized); Catharine Clouser, (baptized); Elizabeth Clouser, (baptized); Sarah Jane Tressler; Hannah Jane Beaver; Sarah Ellen Beaver; Catharine Huss.

May you, my dear friends, never forget the hymn you united in singing around the throne of grace when about sealing your covenant with God:

"I love thy Zion, Lord!
The house of thine abode;
The church, O blest Redeemer, sav'd
With thine own precious blood, " &c.

On the 29th of June, 1856, Mr. Israel Messimer and his wife Catharine were received as members by certificate.

In September, 1856, Mr. John Wilson of Newport, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Chambersburg, Pa., when by a resolution of the West Pennsylvania Synod, the Bloomfield charge became connected with the Synod of Central Pennsylvania.

Having attended a series of lectures on the Catechism, the following persons were confirmed on the 11th of October, 1856:

Philip Roth; Henry Shaffer; Catharine Shaffer; Lydia Ann Sweger.

"Awake, my soul, stretch ev'ry nerve,
And press with vigor on;
A heav'nly race demands thy zeal,
And an immortal crown."

In January, 1857, a meeting of ten days' continuance was held.  Rev. C. Kuhl preached five sermons on the occasion.  A number of persons professed to have experienced a change of heart during this meeting.

In March following a meeting of eleven days' continuance was held, during which time the pastor preached fourteen sermons.  The attendance was good, and some twelve or fifteen professed to have found the pearl of great price.  may they grow daily in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!  On the 7th of March, 1857, the following sisters were confirmed:

Miss Wilhelmina Kain and Miss Christiana Kain.

May these young sisters prove faithful, and then they have the promise of the crown of life!

In May, 1857, Mr. Jacob Reisinger, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Perryville, Juniata County, Pa.

On the 23d of August, Mrs. Catharine A. Tressler was received as a member by certificate.

The weekly prayer meeting and the Sabbath-school have thus far been regularly kept up and have generally been well attended.  May they prosper more and more and prove a great blessing to many souls!

And now, my brethren, we have to this time somewhat minutely traced the history of this church and congregation.  To-day, October 4th, 1857, we worship within these walls for the last time.  Sixty years have they stood and echoed the minister's voice, and served as a temple of God to many souls; but soon they will be levelled with the ground and be no more.  It becomes us well at this time to "remember the days of old."  Here your fathers worshipped in singing hymns and offering prayers to God; but their spirits have long since gone to the eternal world and their bodies to the silent grave.  This house, also, which they erected, will soon be no more The old must give way to the new.  And here, in infancy, many of you were dedicated to God in holy baptism.  Here you first heard the story of the Cross proclaimed by the servant of God.  Here, at this altar, you renewed your covenant vows on bended knees with tears and fervent prayers.  Here the heart of many of you was renewed by the Holy Ghost, and here you first recorded the Lord's dying love in the holy Lord's supper.  How solemn this place!  With this house many of you have grown old; and, O, how many of your brethren, who were wont to assemble with you here, have preceded you to the world of spirits! Your aged pastor, Father Heim, who preached Jesus to you so long from this pulpit, has long since been silenced by death.  And after this day, this pulpit will be ascended by the minister of the Gospel no more; these walls will resound with hymns of praise no more; from this place prayers will ascend the hill of the Lord no more; and crowds of attentive hearers will throng these seats to listen to the glorious Gospel of the Son of God no more.  All, all will soon pass away like a dream and be no more.  But though we must part with this consecrated house, this temple of God we will not, no, we cannot forget it.  Whilst life and memory endure, we will remember Zion.  Our earliest, liveliest, holiest, and most sacred and cherished recollections of divine worship are associated with this house of God.  Here our eyes were often bathed in tears of sorrow and joy, and here we found Jesus unspeakably precious to our hearts.  But we must part with our aged house of God.  So the, adieu ye sacred walls,---aged house of God, adieu!  We bless God that thou dist serve us so long and so well.

Let us now go hence, resolved by the grace of God to enter the new house of worship with better hearts and renewed spiritual strength, so that when we have accomplished our work on earth, we may enter that house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, whose builder and maker is God.  The Lord grant it for Jesus' sake.  Amen.*

(*So far the discourse)

On Thursday, the 10th of December, 1857, some of the members of both denominations met and tore down the seats, pulpit, board-ceiling, gallery, and tore up he floor, &c., of the old church, and divided the lumber equally between them.  For twenty dollars the Lutheran Trustees then sold to the German Reformed their half of the naked wall and roof, which were soon after also pulled down and used by the Reformed for various purposes.  This was the end of the old, log, Union church.


The old Union church having become dilapidated and in winter uncomfortable, the want of a new, larger, more convenient, and entirely Lutheran church had been deeply felt for some time.  After some deliberation the following heading of a subscription for the erection of such a church was drawn up and circulated with encouraging success:

"We, the undersigned subscribers, promise to pay the respective sums opposite our names towards the erection of a Lutheran Church at New Bloomfield, Perry County, Pa., to be used for the preaching of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Old and New Testament, our only infallible rule of faith and practice.  Dec. 1st, A.D. 1855"

On the 18th of January, 1856, according to previous notice, the members of the Lutheran congregation met in the old Union church to elect a Building Committee and consult on other matters pertaining to the erection of the new church.  A hymn was sung.  The pastor then offered a prayer, after which he stated the object of the meeting.  The vote being taken it was found that the following brethren were unanimously elected the building committee, viz., Samuel Comp, Dr. Jonas Ickes, Henry Rice, John Beaver, Sen., and Jacob Stouffer.  This committee was then instructed to consult with the German Reformed brethren respecting the propriety of dividing, equally, the ground on the southeast front of the graveyard, held jointly by the two denominations; to see other churches and lay before the congregation the plan of the proposed new church; to contract for the erection of the new church edifice; and, finally, to superintend the erection of the new church, and see to it that it be built according to the contract.  Without delay, the committee entered on the discharge of their duty with energy and unanimity.

According to previous announcement, the Elders, Deacons, and Trustees of both denominations met in the old Union church on the 28th of February, 1856, to divide the ground held jointly by the Lutherans and German Reformed.  Dr. Jonas Ickes was chosen President and Rev. Samuel Kuhn Secretary  of the Convention, and the following action was had: 

"The President of the meeting, Dr. Jonas Ickes, stated that the object of the meeting was the equal division of that part of the church lot, and of the church edifice thereon erected, bounded on the south by High Street, east by an alley and the school-house, north by the lower or southern graveyard fence, and west by lands of Samuel Klinepeter.  On due deliberation the following resolutions were adopted:

"Resolved, 1.  That the ground above described, which was the joint property of the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations, be divided equally between said congregations, after cutting off an alley on the east sixteen feet wide, and also one on the west twelve feet wide, in order that each of the said denominations may employ and use said ground, when so divided, for the purpose of holding and using church edifices as their exclusive property.  

"Resolved, 2.  That the division line is to be occupied by a fence to be built and kept in repair at the equal expense of the two congregations named.

"Resolved, 3.  That neither of the two churches be built in from the alleys more than five feet.

"Resolved, 4.  That the German Reformed church edifice shall be built on the extreme west end and the Lutheran church edifice on the extreme east end of said lots, alleys and spaces excepted as stated in the 1st and 3d resolutions.

"Resolved, 5.  That the error in the deed, relating to the right of the Lutheran congregation to a piece of ground purchased jointly by the German Reformed and Lutheran congregations for the use of an additional burying-ground, be so amended and corrected in the deeds of conveyance as that the Lutheran congregation may be recognized as joint owner of said piece of land.

"Resolved, 6.  That within the space of two years, dating from the first of April, A.D. 1856, to the first of April, A.D. 1858, the old church building, now standing on the above named property and known as the 'Union church,' shall be taken down and all the material equally divided between the two congregations owning it.

"Resolved, 7.  That the Trustees of both congregations be instructed to employ Daniel Gantt, Esq., to survey the ground and make the deeds of conveyance forthwith, and that the expenses thereof be defrayed equally by the two congregations.

"The minutes having been read, they were, on motion, unanimously approved.  The meeting adjourned indefinitely.

"Jonas Ickes,

"Samuel Kuhn,

On the 3d of May, the same year, the building committee contracted with Messrs. William Stoufer and Thomas Sutch, Jr., for the erection of the Lutheran church-edifice.  Dr. Ickes wrote the article of agreement.*

*To the great regret of the congregation and remaining members of the Building Committee, soon after this Dr. Ickes moved to Monmouth, State of Illinois.

On the 5th of May the building committee and contractors met, and, assisted by D. Gantt, Esq., in the use of the compass, staked off the ground on which to erect the church-edifice.  On the 5th of September following, the bricklayers commenced to raise the wall.

The laying of the corner-stone. 

On Friday evening, the 19th of September, 1856, the Rev. Joseph R. Focht preached in the old Union church from Jeremiah 8:20.
On Saturday, the 20th, at the same place, the Rev. Joshua Evans preached at 10 o'clock, a.m., a suitable discourse from Pet. 2:5.  After the delivery of the sermon, about seventy dollars were obtained by subscription and collection.  The assembly proceeded then to the foundation of the new church edifice.  Here a hymn was sung.  The pastor then read the usual liturgical lesson, and announced the names of the documents deposited in the cast corner-stone.  The following paper was read, and the documents mentioned therein were deposited with it in the corner-stone:

"In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Amen."

"1.  The Lutheran congregation at New Bloomfield, Perry County, Pennsylvania, having deeply felt the want of a new, larger, and more convenient house of worship, resolved, in reliance on the aid of God and for the promotion of His glory, to erect this house, wherein the pure Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be preached, and the sacraments of the New Testament administered in accordance with the inspired Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, our only infallible guide in matters of faith and practice.

"2.  The doctrines to be preached and taught in this church shall be in strict and full agreement with the doctrinal basis of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church in the United States, viz., the doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession, which, though subordinate to the Holy Scriptures, we believe do teach the fundamental doctrines of the word of God.  Every doctrine, or shade of doctrine, which in anywise deviates from or conflicts with this creed or basis of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church in the United States, is hereby excluded from this house.

"3.  The Formula of the General Synod of the Lutheran Church in the United States for government and discipline, or a constitution in no way conflicting with said Formula, is and shall always be the rule for the government and discipline of the congregation worshipping in this church.

"4.  This house we build with an eye single to the glory of the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for our present and eternal good, the good of our children and successors, and the good of the community at large.

"Having thus set forth the rule of our religious belief, the form for our government and discipline, and the design for which we build this house--

"Be it therefore known to all to whom these presents shall come, that this, the corner-stone of Christ's Lutheran Church at New Bloomfield, Perry County, Pennsylvania, was laid in the name of the Triune God, on the twentieth day of September, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, and the eighty-first year of the Independence of the United States of America, Franklin Pierce being President of the United States, and James Pollock Governor of the State of Pennsylvania.

"And when the tooth of time shall have demolished these walls, and all those who aided in raising them shall have gone to their graves, may those, who shall uncover this stone, learn from this document the religious belief and benevolent design of their forefathers, and be thereby incited to prosecute and extend the great and glorious cause of the Divine Redeemer, to whom with the Father and Holy Ghost be given praise and honor, thanksgiving and glory, now and forever. Amen.

"1.  The ministers present are:
Rev. David H. Focht, Pastor loci.
Rev. Joseph R. Focht, Pastor of the Dillsburg Lutheran charge, York County, Pa.
Rev. Joshua Evans, Pastor of the Newville Lutheran charge, Cumberland County, Pa.
Rev. Samuel Kuhn, Pastor of the German Reformed church at New Bloomfield, Perry County, Pa.

"2.  The church-council consists of the following persons:
Rev. D. H. Focht, ex officio chairman.

John Beaver, Sen., William Lenig:  Elders
Samuel Comp, Jacob Stoufer, David Tressler:  Deacons

"3.  The following are the building committee:
Samuel Comp, John Beaver, Sen., Henry Rice, and Jacob Stoufer.

"4.  The contractors are:
Messrs. William Stoufer and Thomas Sutch, Jr.

"5.  The documents deposited with this paper are the following:  
1.  The Holy Bible (English).  @. The Lutheran Hymn-Book (English, revised edition, miniature).  3.  Luther's Smaller Catechism (English, General Synod's 6th edition)  4.  Proceedings of the 31st Convention of the West Pennsylvania Synod.  5.  The Lutheran Observer of Sept. 19th, 1856.  7.  A copy of each of the county papers, viz.:  a.  The People's Advocate and Perry County Democrat of Sept. 17t, 1856; b. The Perry County Freeman of Sept. 18th, 1856; c.  The Perry County Democrat of Sept. 18th, 1856."

The documents all being deposited, Rev. S. Kuhn offered a prayer to God for His blessing on the exercises.  A hymn was then sung, after which Rev. J. Evans dismissed the assembly by pronouncing with the apostolic benediction.  Thus ended the exercises connected with the laying of the corner-stone.  

On the 23d of October the bricklayers finished the walls.  The building was then put under roof and closed in.  Thus it stood till the spring of 1857.  The spire and rod were put up in June and on the 20th of October, 1857, the church being now ready for consecration, the building committee and contractors made a final settlement.  The contractors received three thousand dollars for their work.  The congregation found the bell, the lamps, and all the furniture; and the basement was as yet left unfinished.  

Consecration of the Church.

On Thursday evening, the 22d of October, 1857, the Rev. P. Willard preached the first sermon in the new church, from Matt. 25:46.  "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment."  Theme:  The burial of the soul.  On Friday, 23d, at 10 o'clock, a.m., Rev. George A. Nixdorff preached from Psalm 135:3-5.  This evening, Rev. P. Willard preached from Prov. 3:15.  Theme:  The value of religion.  A large congregation was in attendance.  On Saturday, the 24th, at 10 o'clock, a.m., the Rev. B. Kurtz, D.D., LL.D., preached from Matt. 20:29-34.  The two blind men.  This evening, the Rev. J. Evans preached from John 16:19, 20.  On Sunday, the 25th, at 10 o'clock, a.m., Rev. Dr. Kurtz preached the dedication sermon to a densely crowded congregation, from Matt. 6:10, "Thy kingdom come."  About eight hundred dollars were then secured by subscription and collection; but as over a thousand dollars were required to cover all liabilities, and as it as deemed inconsistent to dedicate the house to God so long as the expenses thereof were not met, the dedication services were deferred till evening.  This evening, the Rev. P.M. Rightmyer preached from Psalm 137:5-6.  Subscriptions and a collection  were then obtained to the amount of two hundred and twenty-eight dollars.  All liabilities being thus met by the liberality of the people, the pastor proceeded to consecrate the church by the distinguishing name, Christ's Evangelical Lutheran Church, to the service of God, according to the consecration formula in our Liturgy.  Rev. J. Evans offered the dedicatory prayer.  To-day the church could not near contain all the people assembled.  The work is done; bless the Lord, O, my soul!  This evening, Dr. Kurtz preached also in the Presbyterian church at Bloomfield.  On Monday evening, the 26th, the pastor preached from Heb. 11:13, "And pilgrims on earth."  Here ended the exercises connected with the dedication of the new church.

This is a neat and well-built brick church-edifice, fifty-eight feet long by forty-three feet wide, has a basement forty three square feet, a Gothic front, is surmounted by a tall spire and sweet-toned bell, is eligibly located, and reflects much credit on the taste and skill of the architects and on the liberality of the congregation.  The internal arrangement is tasteful and judicious.

Having attended a series of lectures on the Catechism of the Church, and being found possessed of the requisite qualifications, on the14th of November, 1857, Mrs. Louisa Woods was received as a member by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:

Amanda Jane Kissinger; Harriet Fritz; Maria Roth; Cath. Elizabeth Roth; Marg. Rebecca Eckert; Matilda A. Huss.

"May we, a little band of love,
We sinners, sav'd by grace,
From glory unto glory chang'd,
Behold thee face to face."

In May, 1858, the Synod of Central Pennsylvania held its fourth annual convention in this church.  Mr. Samuel Shuman, as delegate of the charge, attended the sessions of this convention.  

On the 1st of October, 1858, Mr. William Ferguson and Isabella his wife were received as members by certificate, and on the 16th of the same month, the following brethren were confirmed:

David Holmes (baptized); Henry M. Sweger; William C. Stahl.

"Onward, now, to glory move;
More than conqu'rors ye shall prove;
Though oppos'd by many a foe,
Christian soldiers, onward go!"

In February, 1859, during a protracted meeting, in which the pastor was assisted by the Rev. I. J. Stine, it pleased the Lord to pour out his spirit on the congregation, and a number of persons professed to have found peace by faith in Jesus Christ.  Some of these, after having been still more fully instructed, were confirmed on the 12th of March, 1859, viz.:

George W. Black (baptized); Mrs. Sarah E. Rice (baptized); Mrs. Catharine R. Weaver; Mrs. Angeline Shade; Miss Lydia Sweger.

"Thy pard'ning love so free, so sweet,
Dear Saviour, I adore;
O keep me at thy sacred feet,
And let me rove no more."

In May, 1859, Mr. Samuel Comp, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Mifflinburg, Union County, Pa.

On the 12th of November, 1859, Mrs. Lucinda Peck was received as a member by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:

John Comp; Andrew P. Comp; Joseph Hair; Ann Eliza Holmes; Mary Eliz. Stoufer; Sarah Ann Stoufer.

"Religion should our thoughts engage,
Amidst our youthful bloom;
'Twill fit us for declining age,
And for the awful tomb."

In May, 1860, Mrs. Darius J. Long, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Petersburg, Perry County, Pa.

On the 4th of August, 1860, Mrs. Mary C. Tressler was received by certificate as a member, and on the 3d of November of the same year, the following were confirmed:

George Tressler; William H. Shade; Margaretta Rice.

"But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do."

In May, 1861, as delegate, Mr. Samuel Comp represented the charge in Synod at Belleville, Mifflin County, Pa.

On the 26th of October, 1851, Mr. George Rempfer and his wife Nancy Ann were received by certificate as members of this church, and Miss Sophia Swartz and Miss Catharine Ann Eckert by confirmation.  And on the 12th of April, 1862, Mr. Peter S. Albert, and Mr. Joseph Abrams and his wife, Amanda, were also received by certificate.  May these friends be richly blessed in their present church-relation!

"Kindred in Christ, for his dear sake,
A hearty welcome here receive:
May we together now partake
The joys which only he can give.

"Thus, as the moments pass away,
We'll love and wonder and adore;
And hasten on the glorious day
When we shall meet to part no more."

In May, 1862, Mr. Christian Long, Sen., of Newport, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Selinsgrove, Pa.

The basement story of Christ's Church, hitherto unfinished, was completed in May, this spring, at an expense of about two hundred dollars.  Mr. Isaiah Kitner did the plastering and Mr. Joseph Fredericks the carpenter work.  The room is forty feet square, and well adapted for Sunday-school, weekly lectures, &c.

For a few general remarks in regard to the Bloomfield pastorate, the reader is referred to the end of this chapter.  May heaven smile graciously upon all the dear people of this charge!

The following brethren have at different times served as officers since the organization of the English Lutheran congregation in June, 1844:


Jacob Crist, from 1844 to 1850
David Deardorff, from 1844 to 1846
John Rice, from 1846 to 1850
David Tressler, from 1850 to 1853
William Erb, from 1850 to 1854
John Beaver, from 1855 to 1858
William Lenig, from 1855 to 1858
Samuel Comp, from 1858, yet in office
Henry Rice, from 1858, yet in office


Henry C. Hickok, Esq., from 1844 to 1846
George Attig; from 1844 to 1846
Alex. C. Klink, from 1846 to 1850
William Erb, from 1846 to 1850
Dr. Jonas Ickes, from 1850 to 1855
John Roth, from 1850 to 1855
Andrew Hensel, from 1850 to 1855
Samuel Comp, from 1855 to 1858
David Tressler, from 1855 to 1858
Jacob Stoufer, from 1855 to 1858
John Roth, from 1858 to 1861
John Rice, from 1858 to 1861
Jacob Fritz, from 1858, yet in office
George Tressler, from 1861, yet in office
William Titzel, from 1861, yet in office. 


Jacob Crist, from 1844 to 1850
David Tressler, from 1850 to 1853
John Rice, from 1850 to 1855
Samuel Comp, from 1855, yet in office.
John Beaver, from 1855, yet in office.

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