CHURCHES BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS
A HISTORY OF THE
LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS IN
PERRY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
REV. D. H. FOCHT, A.M.
CHRIST'S CHURCH IN
WILD CAT VALLEY, LIVERPOOL TOWNSHIP
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This church is located in a beautiful and
fertile valley in Liverpool Township, and about five miles southwest from the
town of Liverpool. A number of the members in this valley had belonged to
St. Michael's in Pfoutz's Valley before they had a church of their own. A
few of them had also been members at Newport. They were occasionally
visited by Father Heim and perhaps, also, by the pastor of the Bloomfield
charge. These ministers preached for them at Grubb's School-house. A
suitable house of worship was much need. Hence, during the summer of 1844,
they united in erecting a church-edifice. This church was consecrated to
the service of God on Sunday, the 8th of June, 1845, and received the
distinctive name of Christ's Church. On this occasion there was
preaching in the German and English languages, but who the officiating clergymen
were we cannot tell. We presume Father Heim and Rev. Levi T. Williams were
present. The church is a substantial frame building, capable of
accommodating about two hundred and fifty persons, and both externally and
internally presents a neat appearance. The congregation remained
unorganized and had no regular supply of Lutheran preaching until the beginning
of 1847, when the
Rev. William Weaver
took charge of it, and served it for four
years. He preached here regularly once every three weeks. It is to
be regretted that the pastor could not preach German occasionally for the large
number of members who understood that language best. We have no record of
confirmations, and are therefore unable to state who or how many were added to
the membership by Rev. Weaver, or what success attended his labors here.
He resigned in the beginning of 1851. Then, for the succeeding five years, the
congregation had no preaching by a Lutheran minister, and as a consequence the
members became scattered and some of them were drawn into other
connections. Hence, in October, 1856, when the
Rev. Josiah Zimmerman,
as missionary, first visited the
congregation, he found it to consist of only twelve Lutheran members. He
preached for this small congregation two years and a half. Though he
confirmed none here, he nevertheless prepared the way for his successor , and
thus much good was accomplished by him. He resigned on the 1st of April,
1859, and in August following, he was succeeded by the
Rev. Jacob A. Hackenberger,
whose labors here, as elsewhere in the
charge, were attended with such marked success. In the fall of 1859, Rev.
Hackenberger held at this place a protracted meeting, which resulted in the
hopeful conversion of from thirty to forty souls. The congregation was
very much revived by this visitation of Divine grace from on high. The
subjects of this revival were for some months carefully instructed in the
doctrines of our holy religion as they are set forth in the Catechism, and in
the spring of 1860, the following persons were confirmed:
Henry H. Server; William M. Grubb; Samuel Reen; William A. Grubb; David Baker;
Catharine Killinger; Elizabeth Wagner; Mary A. Long; Mary Roush; Sarah Jane
Grubb; Margaret Kepner; Margaret Asper; Floranna Grubb; Susanna Hoffman; Elmira
Grubb; Louisa Grubb; Amelia Wagner; Sarah A. Reen; Harriet Reen; Mrs. Jane
Crane; Violina Buchanan; Isabella A. Grubb; Mary Lenig; Sarah E. Lindsey.
By this accession of members the congregation was encouraged and strengthened
much, and many who had hitherto stood aloof now rallied around the standard of
the Cross. The interest of some in the prosperity of Zion was revived, and
a number who had strayed from the fold of Christ were reclaimed and through the
grace of God made glad in the fellowship of saints and the hope of glory.
Truly such seasons of refreshing from the Lord are as the rains of heaven upon
the wilted plants of earth.
On the 7th of April, 1861, the following three persons were confirmed:
John Sweesy; David Troutman; Mrs. Elizabeth Troutman.
Thus the number of members was increased. The Lord blessed the labors of
his young servant greatly. In June, 1861, the congregation numbered
sixty-one communicant members. For the long night of destitution, may this
congregation enjoy a long and glorious day of rich-Gospel blessings!
"Blest river of salvation,
Pursue thine onward way;
Flow thou to ev'ry nation,
Nor in thy richness stay.
"Stay not till all the lowly
Triumphant reach their home;
Stay not till all the holy
Proclaim, 'The Lord is come.' "
On account of failing health, to the great
regret of the members, Rev. Hackenberger resigned in August, 1861, having served
the congregation faithfully and successfully for two years. The charge was
then vacant about seven months. On the 1st of April, 1862, the
Rev. John H. Davidson,
the present pastor of the Liverpool charge,
commenced his pastoral labors here. The congregation requires at this time
an occasional sermon in the German language. Much may here be accomplished
for Christ and souls, and we humbly trust the labors of the pastor now in the
filed will not be in vain.
"Onward in thy triumphant
Thou message of the Holy One,
Thy truth shall usher in the day,
The reign of God's beloved Son."
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