CHURCHES BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS
A HISTORY OF THE
LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS IN
PERRY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
REV. D. H. FOCHT, A.M.
IN HENRY'S VALLEY, JACKSON TOWNSHIP
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Until lately this was only a preaching
station. As some of the members living in this valley belonged to one of
the congregations of the Newville charge in Cumberland County, and some to the
congregation at Blain in Perry County, the Rev. J. Evans of Newville, Rev. I. J.
Stine, Principal of Loysville Academy, and Rev. P. Willard of Loysville,
preached, each, occasionally for them at a school-house. Henry's Valley
lies between high mountains, is narrow, in the southeast corner of Perry County,
Jackson Township, and is not accessible from Newville or Blain but by crossing a
high mountain. In this secluded valley a number of pious members of the
Church made their homes. They were devoted to the Church, and had for many
years themselves regularly conducted a prayer-meeting in a school-house.
Father Christian Henry, one of the best of Christians, collected the members for
social worship, and led the exercises. Sometimes the members would cross
the mountains, a distance from ten to twelve miles, to meet with the people of
God in the sanctuary. Did space permit, we might give many interesting
facts respecting the unostentatious piety of this people in the mountains.
After the formation of the Blain charge, the members in this valley looked to
that charge for the preaching of the Gospel among them. Hence, when in
Rev. John T. Williams
took charge of the Blain pastorate, he also
visited and preached for the members in Henry's Valley about once every four
weeks. By this the members--about forty in the valley--were much
encouraged; their prayer-meeting was generally well attended, and the prospect
of establishing a congregation had been agitated for some time. But now
the necessity of such a step became apparent to all. Therefore, on the
24th of November, 1860, the congregation was organized with twenty-four members
(a number of others joined in afterwards) and the following brethren were
installed as officers:
Christian Henry, John Snyder; Elders.
Henry Snyder, Daniel Henry; Deacons.
Rev. Williams preaches here once every four weeks in a school-house. A
suitable house of worship is what the congregation now very much wants.
May the Lord bless this little flock!
"Dear Shepherd of thy
Thy presence now display;
As thou hast giv'n a place fro pray'r,
So give them hearts to pray.
"Show them some token of thy love
Their fainting hope to raise;
And pour thy blessings from above,
That they may render praise."
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