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At the beginning of the present century a number of Lutheran families settled in the vicinity where Ickesburg was afterwards located.  These all went to church at Loysville, a distance from eight to twelve miles.  After the erection of St. Andrew's or Shuman's Church, in 1831, some attended preaching there.  The want of a church in their midst was deeply felt.  Rev. Heim preached for them occasionally in private dwellings and school-houses.  This was however not satisfactory, as the members could not but see the advantage to themselves and their children of having a house of worship and regular preaching in their neighborhood.  It would seem that Rev. Heim did not encourage them to erect a church, and when it was built he never preached in it.  But without the encouragement of any minister, the Lutherans, in union with a sister denomination, were minded to have a church, which they also erected about two miles and a half west of Ickesburg in Saville Township.  The following is the heading of the subscription circulated for the purpose of securing aid towards erecting the contemplated church:

"We, the subscribers, promise to pay the sums annexed to our names for the purpose of building a Lutheran and Reformed Church on the land of Henry Hartman, on Buffalo Creek, near McKinely's Mill. July 30th, 1839."

The amount subscribed was encouraging.  Messrs.  Conrad Rice and Jonathan Swartz were chosen the building committee.  The church was erected in the summer of 1840.  In the spring of 1841, it was consecrated to the service of God and received the distinctive appellation, Emanuel Church, though it is commonly known as Buffalo or Stone Church.  Rev. S. R. Boyer, then pastor of the Lutheran Church at Mifflintown, Juniata County, and Rev. Henry Aurandt of the German Reformed Church, officiated on the occasion of the consecration.  It is a rough stone edifice, forty-six by thirty-six feet in size, without gallery; it is entered by one side door and two end doors, and has two aisles, two side rows of pews and one double block of centre pews.

After the church was erected and dedicated, the Lutherans were in want of a pastor.  For reasons not known to the writer, Father Heim did not, and, perhaps on account of his extended charge and the increasing infirmities of age, could not preach for the members here.  For about one year, Rev. Boyer preached for them an occasional sermon.  The members were not organized into a congregation; and for want of the regular ministrations of the sanctuary by a minister of their own Church, a number of the principal Lutheran members with their families were induced to unite with denomination that exclusively occupied the church. Thus, a number of Lutherans were gradually absorbed and drawn into another denomination, under the specious plea that it made no difference to what denomination they belonged.  Some of the members were, however, not so pliant nor so easily hoodwinked.  They argued very correctly, that it it made no difference to what Church they belonged, they would remain in their own Church.  They therefore secured, early in 1847, the visits of the 

Rev. Lloyd Knight,

of the Bloomfield charge, who took a deep interest in their spiritual welfare and made every proper effort to collect the remaining scattered members into a congregation.  Though the church had been built mainly by the Lutherans, yet, strange as it may seems, Rev. Knight was at first scarcely allowed to preach in it, and his efforts to organize a Lutheran congregation were met with strong opposition from those who occupied the church.  Here we have a fine illustration of the amiable spirit of union-churchism!  A debt of some hundred dollars still rested on the church, and it was finally agreed that if the Lutherans would pay that debt, they should be entitled to one-half of the property and of the church.  This was very generous indeed!  especially so, when they had done most towards erecting it in the beginning.  Thus, the advantage to some people of building union-churches becomes strikingly apparent!  The Lutherans, however, paid that debt, and of course all difficulties had to cease.  In the meantime Rev. Knight collected and instructed a class of catechumens.  The organization of the Lutheran congregation was finally effected, and great success attended the pastor's labors.  As no church-record was then kept, we will transcribe from a letter of Rev. Knight to the writer an account of his pastoral labors here:

"The Ickesburg or Buffalo congregation (Lutheran) was organized by me on Saturday, the 12th of June, 1847, with fifty-three members.  The following brethren were elected the Church-council, viz:

Benjamin Rice, John Butturff; Elders.

George Rice, John Peck; Deacons.

Conrad Rice, Trustee.

"The first communion was held on the 13th of June.  Thirty-nine persons gave in their names as members and communicants, besides the following persons, who had on the previous day (the 12th) been received to full communion by the rite of confirmation:

Samuel Rice; David B. Kistler; John Rice; John Sanderson; Jonathan Rice; Margaret Butturff; Sarah Butturff; Elizabeth Rice; Susanna Kistler; Sarah Rice; Catharine A. Heim; Catharine Kochenderfer; Mary A. Otto, Susan Otto.

"The Lord smiled propitiously on the labors of his unworthy servant.  The congregation was truly revived, and many of those then added to the Church are now among its most efficient members.  Having attended a course of lectures of the doctrines of our holy Christianity, and being found possessed of the requisite qualifications, on the 14th of May, 1848, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

George Butturff; Samuel Hench; John Ickes; Jeremiah Hall; Robert C. Boden; John Hollenbaugh; George F. Flickinger; Henry S. Saylor; Samuel Fuller; Andrew Snyder; William Yohn; Robert Matthews; John Butturff*; John M. Evril*; John Hassler*; Sarah Snyder*; Sophia Hall; Sarah T. Rice; Nancy J. Rice; Alice Rice; Ann Delancy; Elizabeth Saylor; Mary Bringman; Elizabeth Saylor; Margaret Yohn.

"After another year had passed away, a number of persons were found willing to attend lectures on the Catechism, and having received instruction for some time, on the 13th of May, 1849, the following were confirmed:

Nicholas Hench; William Rice; Adam Rice; Daniel Rice; Adam Bitner; David Bitner; Joseph Saylor; Samuel Duffield; Benjamin Flickinger; Jacob Bringman; William Kinzer*; Mary Kinzer; Catharine J. Hench; Sarah J. Kepner; Mary A. Bitner; Susan Flickinger; Elizabeth Flickinger; Margaret Keyser.

"I served the congregation a little more than two years.  During this time fifty-eight persons were received to full communion by confirmation.  This was my favorite, most interesting, and beloved congregation.  I resigned in June, 1849.

"Yours, truly,
"Lloyd Knight."

Rev. Knight preached here once every three weeks, exclusively in the English language, the German not being required by the congregation.  In July, 1849, he was succeeded by

Rev. Jacob Martin

who had a large charge to supply and many difficulties to overcome.  He labored indefatigably, and was highly esteemed by the members of this congregation.  Souls converted under his ministry and the interests of Christ's kingdom were promoted.  When he took charge of this congregation, a church-book was bought and regular records of baptisms, confirmations &c., were made.  He preached here once every three weeks, alternately in the forenoon and afternoon.  He preached with great energy and unction from on high, and to this day many tell the happy effect his sermons had on them.

Having been for some time diligently instructed in the Catechism of the Church, and being found possessed of the requisite spiritual and doctrinal qualifications, on the 27th of April, 1851, the following persons were confirmed:

George H. Hench; Henry Orris; David McKenzie; James Matthews; Mary A. Rice; Sarah Cath. Rice; Elizabeth Rice; Margaret Rice; Eliz. Ann Hench; Susan Bausum.

Having faithfully served the congregation for two years and nine months, Rev. Martin resigned in April, 1852, and was succeeded, in June of the same year, by the

Rev. William Gerhardt,

who met at this church a class of catechumens for some time, but before they were confirmed he resigned the Bloomfield charge in June, 1853, having served it as pastor only one year.  The congregation and charge were then vacant about eight months.  A call was then extended by the charge to the

Rev. Adam Height,

who, having accepted the call, commenced his ministerial labors here on the 1st of March, 1854.  He had communion but once at this church, viz., on the 9th of April, 1854, when John Reisinger was admitted to full communion by confirmation.  At this place, Rev. Height met also a class of catechumens for some time; but for reasons not necessary to state, and before they were confirmed, he ceased to labor as pastor in September, having preached here only about seven months.  The disappointment of two classes of catechumens in succession, had an unhappy effect, and is much to be regretted.  The charge was then vacant about eight months.  During this time, the Rev. J. Evans of Newville, Pa., by request, visited the congregation in December, 1854, and preached a number of sermons and administered the Lord's Supper and the same was also done in May, 1855, by the Rev. L. Knight of Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Rev. D. H. Focht,

of Chambersburg, Pa., having accepted a call from the Bloomfield charge, entered on the discharge of his ministerial labors in the charge on the 1st of June, 1855, and at this church preached his introductory sermon, on the 3d of June, from Exod. 33:14.  He preached here once every three weeks, alternately in the forenoon and afternoon.  Having been carefully instructed in the doctrines of our holy religion, on the 29th of December, 1855, the following persons were confirmed:

George C. Rice; Henry Butturff; Suwarrow W. Witmer; Samuel Rice; William Rice; George Rice; Davidson Miller; Nicholas J. Hench; Francis H. Hench; Mrs. Sophia Weibly; Mrs. Sarah Bender; Jane Mary Rice; Sophia Orris.

"Let the sweet work of pray'r and praise
Employ our daily breath:
Thus we're prepar'd for future days,
Or fit for early death."

A year having passed away, a number of persons were found willing to attend lectures on the Catechism.  The Lord graciously visited this class in the outpouring of his Holy Spirit. Being duly instructed and accounted worthy of full communion, on the 9th of November, 1856, the following persons were confirmed:

Wesley W. Fuller; William Flickinger; George J. Delancy; Benj. F. Rice; Philip Z. Resinger; Jacob Resinger; Ann Eliz. Bucher; Susan J. Crist; Susan Rice; Catharine Rice; Mary J. Flickinger; Mary E. Resinger.

"Call'd to bear the Christian name,
May our vows and life accord;
And our ev'ry deed proclaim
'Holiness unto the Lord!"

On the 4th of April, 1857, Mrs. Hannah Bitner, and William Smith on the 19th of July following, were admitted to full communion by confirmation; also in October, 1857, Mrs. Elizabeth Witmer, and in April, 1859, Miss Hetta Bausum, were received as members by certificate.

As the Loysville charge was weakened by the formation of the Blain charge, application was made by the former for Emanuel Church.  As the Bloomfield charge was large and Emanuel Church lay more convenient to Loysville than Bloomfield, it was for the time being and on certain conditions agreed to yield Emanuel Church in favor of Loysville at the expiration of the then pastoral year.  Accordingly, after having served the congregation four years, the Rev. D.H. Focht preached his valedictory sermon on Sunday, the 22d of May, 1859, from 2 Cor. 13:14, and was succeeded on the 1st of June following by the

Rev. G. M. Settlemoyer,

who then served the congregation in connection with the Loysville charge, and preached for it once every two weeks.  Rev. Settlemoyer instructed a class of catechumens for some time, and on the 28th of April, 1860, the following were confirmed:

John W. Bernheisel; John R. Boden; George R. Hall; Jane E. Boden; Elizabeth Heim; Mary E. Hench; Emerata Rice; Jemima Shaeffer.

On the 30th of March, 1861, the following were received as members by certificate, viz., William Bower, Mrs. Leah Bower, Mrs. Susanna Johnston, and Miss Mary Ellen Bower.

Having served the congregation as pastor for two years, Rev. Settlemoyer resigned on the 1st of June, 1861.  The congregation numbers at this time about one hundred and fifteen members.  May the Lord soon send this people another shepherd after this own heart!

Immediately after the resignation of Rev. Settlemoyer, the congregation dissolved its connection with the Loysville pastorate and united with the Blain charge, and on the 1st of June, 1861, the 

Rev. John T. Williams

commenced his pastoral labors here.  May his labors be crowned by the blessing of heaven!  and may the dear people of this congregation prosper in every Christian virtue and grace!  This is the sincere prayer of their former pastor.

Since the organization of Emanuel congregation, on the 12th of June, 1847, the following brethren have served it as its officers:


Benjamin Rice, from June, 1847 to May, 1850
John Butturff, from June, 1847 to May, 1850
Conrad Rice, from May 1850 only a short time
Henry Harman, from May, 1850 to March, 1852
Benjamin Rice, from Aug. 1850 to March, 1852
John Butturff, from March, 1852 to May, 1854
John Sanderson, from March, 1852 to May, 1857
Jacob Reisinger, from May, 1854 to May 1857
Benjamin Rice, from May, 1857 to 1859
John Sanderson, from May, 1857 to 1859
Nicholas Hench, from May, 1859 yet in office
Benjamin Rice, from May, 1859 yet in office


George Rice, from June, 1847 to May, 1850
John Peck, from June, 1847 to May, 1850
Nicholas Hench, from May, 1850 to March, 1852
John Sanderson, from May, 1850 to March, 1852
Samuel Rice, from March, 1852 to Aug., 1855
Jeremiah Hall, from March, 1852 to Aug., 1855
David B. Kistler, from Aug., 1855 to May, 1857
Moses G. Witmer, from Aug. 1855 to May, 1857
Henry Hall, from May, 1857 to 1859
Peter Flickinger, from May 1857 to 1859
Jonathan Rice, from May, 1857 to 1859
Samuel Rice, from 1859, yet in office
John Peck, from 1859, yet in office
Peter Shaeffer, from 1859, yet in office


Conrad Rice, from June, 1847, yet in office

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This page was last updated on:   03/03/2009

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