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At the close of the last century and the beginning of the present, a number of families, belonging to the Lutheran Church, settled on the west bank of the Susquehanna in the vicinity where the town of Liverpool was afterwards located.  We cannot say when and by whom they had preaching first.  So far as we can learn, they had occasional preaching, by different ministers, until the

Rev. Conrad Walter,

of Middleburg, Snyder County, from 1804 to 1809, preached frequently, and perhaps regularly, for them on his way to and from Foutz's Valley.  He preached in a school-house, standing on a lot of ground, which John Huggins reserved for church and school purposes at the time the town of Liverpool was laid out.  On this lot and the very site of the old school-house the church was afterwards built.  In 1809, the

Rev. George Heim

of near Lewisburg, Union County, commenced to preach here, in Foutz's Valley, in Tuscarora Valley near Perryville, at Mifflintown, Lewistown, in Decatur Township east of Lewistown, and a number of other places, to Lewisburg on the Susquehanna.  This statement we have from his own lips, and the preaching-places are named in his license.  Ho it was possible for a man to do justice to such a charge, we are at a loss to know, or why Synod should assign to a licentiate such an extended field of labor is a mystery to us.  We examined his certificate of licensure with care; it is a curious document of the olden times; there are given the names of the congregations he must serve, and he is not to neglect one of the ten or twelve named, although some were forty or fifty miles apart from the other.  Mr. Heim informed us, also, that in 1810 he organized the congregation at Liverpool in the old school-house, and the one at Nieman's, now St. John's.  He served these congregations till 1814, when his brother, the

Rev. John William Heim,

succeeded him.  On the 8th of June, 1814, Synod licensed him to preach, and in his Journal he says:  "On the 18th of June, 1814, I preached at Liverpool in the afternoon from John 3:16, and baptized an infant."  At a later date, he says:  "On the 17th of December, 1814, in the evening, I preached at Stollenberger's School-house from Eph. 5:14."  Stollenberger's must have been in the neighborhood of Liverpool, as Rev. Heim preached alternately at these places on the same Sunday he preached at New Buffalo.  The first year he was pastor he preached at Liverpool only five times.  We suppose the congregation was small and scattered at this time.  During the second year he also preached here only five times.  He says:  "On the 24th of December, 1815, I preached in the school-house at Liverpool from Exod. 20:24, and baptized three infants."  And again, he says:  "In the afternoon of the 7th of July, 1816, I preached in the school-house at Liverpool from Luke 6:36-42, and baptized eight infants and two women."  During the third year, closing in June, 1817, he preached twelve times at Liverpool, that is, he now preached here about once every four weeks.  His Journal closes in June, 1817, and we can therefore not follow him in his later labors here.  To this time he had not yet administered the Lord's Supper at Liverpool.  We know little of Rev. Heim's success at this place, and cannot say who, and how many were confirmed by him from time to time, or how strong the congregation was.  No church-record was kept, and there are no aged members here to give us the desired information.  Rev. Heim preached in the school-house till the church was completed.

In the spring of 1828, the corner-stone of the church was laid on the site where the old school-house had stood.  Besides Rev. Heim, we cannot learn that the other ministers participated in the religious exercises of this occasion.  The wall of the edifice, a log-frame, was put up in the summer of 1828.  This naked wall stood then without roof till 1831, when it received a roof, was weather-boarded outside, and finished inside.  It had three high galleries and a high bell-shaped pulpit, mounted on a post.  Outside the church was painted white, and a steeple and bell surmounted it.  It is about thirty-five feet by forty in size, will seat from three to four hundred persons, and occupies a commanding position on an elevated spot of ground on the edge of Liverpool borough.  The church was consecrated in the fall of 1831, when Rev. Heim and, perhaps, some other ministers officiated.  In the erection and completion of the church, George Lutz, George Barner, George Tharp, David Stewart, Christian Weirich,  John Roush, and a few others, took the most active and prominent part.  We have no means of knowing what the numerical strength of the congregation was at this time, though it could not have been great. 

At the convention of Synod in October, 1829, "Rev. Heim promised to resign St. John's, St. Michael's in Foutz's Valley, the Liverpool and New Buffalo congregations, as soon as a pastor should be secured to supply them.  In the mean time, Synod desired that the neighboring ministers would visit this district."  Thus, the Liverpool charge was first formed, though it has since passed through various charges.  As these congregations were not soon supplied by a pastor, Rev. Heim still continued to preach for them occasionally for some years.  In the summer of 1833, as a candidate for the ministry, the

Rev. Charles Gustavus Erlenmeyer

visited the charge and preached to the congregations.  His preaching and labors were highly acceptable to the members, and they requested the West Pennsylvania Synod, at its convention in October, 1833, to license him as their pastor.  The minutes of that convention of Synod contain the following action:

"No. 2.  Consists of six different documents, which contain recommendations of Mr. Erlenmeyer, and testify to his irreproachable walk, and a desire is expressed that he might be received as a member of this Synod.  These documents are (a) of St. John's Church in Perry Township, Union (now Snyder) County, (b) of Liverpool, in Perry County, (c) Millersburg in Dauphin County, (d) McCallistertown in Juniata County, (e) of St. Michael's Church in Foutz's Valley and New Buffalo in Perry County."    As Mr. Erlenmeyer's examination was entirely satisfactory, he received a candidate's license.  Thus, in October, 1833, Rev. Erlenmeyer became the regular pastor of the Liverpool charge.  He served the congregation at Liverpool, where he resided, about eight years and a half, and resigned it in the spring of 1842.  For want of documents we cannot say what success attended his labors here, or who and how many were confirmed by him.  We are inclined to the opinion that the congregation was small and in a languishing condition.

Rev. Andrew Berg

took charge of the Liverpool pastorate in November, 1842.  He resided at Liverpool, and preached here, at Petersburg, at Buck's School-house near the Susquehanna, at St. Michael's in Foutz's Valley, and perhaps at a number of other places.  He received some aid from the Home Missionary Society of the Synod.  Having preached in the charge only about six months, he resigned in June, 1843.  If any persons were confirmed by him at Liverpool, we have been unable to learn the fact.  The congregation does not seem to have made much progress at this time; nay, we think it was on the decline, owing to the want of regular preaching as well as piety and united efforts on the part of the members.

After Rev. Berg had resigned, the charge was without preaching till 1847.  In the mean time, Synod put forth repeated efforts to have it supplied.  Thus, in the minutes of Synod, September, 1845, it is said, that "with respect to the condition of our Liverpool &c.... some interesting statements were made by Rev. Messrs. Eggers, Anspach, and Rosenberg."  Though the destitute condition of the congregations of the Liverpool charge was distinctly presented to the consideration of Synod, still no supply was secured.  Again, in the minutes of September, 1846, it is stated that "the brethren Knight, Heim, Hickok, Boyer, and Berg, made some interesting remarks on the condition of our vacant congregations in Perry County;--Whereupon it was
"Resolved, That we especially direct the attention of our licentiates to the vacant congregations in question.
"Resolved, That Brother Ehrenfeld be earnestly requested to take into consideration the condition of these congregations, in case he receive license. 
"Resolved, That in case Brother Ehrenfeld does not accept a call from these congregations, that then Rev. Messrs. Heim, Flint, Anspach, Hoffman, Thorn, Babb and Knight be required to visit them at least twice during the year."

Rev. Ehrenfeld received license, but did not accept a call from the Liverpool charge.  Hence, in accordance with the last of the above resolutions, Rev. Heim, and perhaps also some of the other ministers named, visited and preached several times for some of the congregations.  Early in the beginning of 1847, the charge was supplied by the 

Rev. William Weaver,

who preached at seven different places, viz., at Liverpool, at Christ's Church in Wild Cat Valley, at Millerstown, at St. Michael's Church in Foutz's Valley, at St. James Church in Turkey Valley, at Richfield, and at St. John's (Nieman's) Church.  In September, 1848, as delegate of the charge, Mr. George Kepner attended Synod.  Having served these congregations for four years with more or less success, Rev. Weaver resigned in the beginning of 1851, when the Church-Councils of the charge met at Millerstown and drew up the following paper:

"We wish to inform the brethren in the ministry, that the Millerstown (or Liverpool) pastorate is now vacant, and that we are anxious to be supplied with one 'to break unto us the bread of life.'  This charge may not be as pleasant as many others at present; but we hope that such arrangements will shortly be made with a neighboring charge as will not only render it desirable, but will also enable us to give a competent support.  Such arrangements have been in contemplation for some time, and will no doubt be carried into effect.  We deem it due to our much-esteemed pastor, Rev. Weaver, to say that we deeply regret his departure from us.  He has faithfully labored in our midst for four years.  During this time he organized thirteen Sabbath-schools within the bounds of this pastorate, and established a number of prayer-meetings.  He lectured also frequently on temperance, and obtained as high as fifty signers to the pledge one evening.  His success in this laudable enterprise procured for him the appointment of a Perry County Temperance Lecturer.  By his zeal and perseverance a neat and comfortable house of worship was erected in Foutz's Valley, where he had but three male members.  In the month of March, 1850, he made an effort to organize a Lutheran congregation at Millerstown, and upwards of forty united themselves in that organization; sixteen more were added on the 5th of this month (January, 1851), at which time the Lord's Supper was administered.  A considerable number has been added to the Church, and much good has been done for the cause of God in general during his ministry among us.  Like many other faithful ambassadors of Christ, he met also with some opposition; but by his consistent deportment he secured the entire confidence of his people and of the community in general.   May the Lord abundantly bless his efforts in his new field of labor!  Should any brother feel inclined to visit this charge, or desire more information, he will please address,---
"William Rice, P. Laudenslager.
"Millerstown, Perry County, Pa., 
"January 24th, 1851"*

*(See Lutheran Observer, February 7th, 1851.)

After Rev. Weaver had resigned, the charge was vacant till October, 1856; though Synod, by passing resolutions in the meantime, made repeated efforts to have it supplied.

As the territory embraced in the charge was too extensive and the number of preaching-places too great, in September, 1850, when Rev. Weaver expressed before Synod his intention to resign the charge at the expiration of this pastoral year, Synod then changed the charge by adding some congregations to it and taking others from it.  The following resolution was passed:

"Resolved, That the Liverpool, Banner's, Richfield, Neiman's, Hunter's Valley and Leininger's congregations be advised to form themselves into a new pastoral charge, and that Rev. C. G. Erlenmeyer be requested to visit these churches and inform them of the action of Synod, and aid them to the extent of his ability in securing the services of a minister."  What was to become of Millerstown, Wild Cat Valley, Foutz's Valley and Turkey Valley, is not stated.  Probably it was designed that they should form themselves into a separate pastorate.  But whatever the design of Synod may have been, it is certain that the project did not succeed.  The congregations not provided for had no preaching, and Rev. Erlenmeyer was unsuccessful in securing a minister for the new pastorate.  Thus this large field lay vacant, and as a consequence many of the members became discouraged or united with one of the many sects, then so rampant in that section of country.  Hence, in September, 1851, Synod took the following action:

"Resolved, That the churches (above named) in Perry County and vicinity (some being also located in Juniata County), in which the Lutheran Church has an interest, be hereby declared vacant.

"Resolved, that these vacant congregations be referred to the favorable notice of any ordained minister or licentiate, at present, or hereafter to be connected with this body.

"Resolved, That they be recommended to the Executive Committee of the Home Missionary Society for an appropriation.

"Resolved, That the President of Synod be requested to endeavor to secure for them the services of a minister as soon as possible."  The designs of Synod were certainly good, and it passed good resolutions, but unfortunately they were resolutions only on paper.  Hence, in September, 1852, the President of Synod reported, that though he was last year requested to secure a minister for the vacant congregations in Perry County as soon as possible, he "was not able to carry out the wishes of Synod."  The Synod then, "Resolved, That the vacant churches in Perry County be recommended to the attention of the Domestic Missionary Society for aid."  Here the matter ended for the time being.   In September, 1854, the last time the West Pennsylvania Synod took action relative to this vacant field, was in these words:  "Millerstown (or Liverpool) charge, reported vacant, was referred to Juniata Conference, which was directed to supply it with preaching as often as possible."  From what we know, the members of this Conference preached but seldom, if any, for any of the congregations composing the Liverpool charge.  During these years of almost total destitution, it need not surprise us that the congregations dwindled down to the very verge of extinction.  But a brighter day was soon to dawn upon this neglected part of the Lord's vineyard. 

In February, 1855, the Lutheran Synod of Central Pennsylvania was organized, and all Perry County was included within the bounds of the new Synod.  Efforts were put forth as soon as possible to resuscitate the congregations of the Liverpool charge by sending them a minister of the Gospel.  Hence, in May, 1856, the President of Synod reported, that "the congregations of the Liverpool charge were still vacant,"  and "recommended them to the special attention of Synod."  Accordingly, a Committee on Home Missions was instantly appointed, to whose care and attention all vacancies within the bounds of Synod were referred.  This committee did its utmost to secure a missionary for the Liverpool charge, and the efforts thus put forth were successful.  For the on the 1st of October, 1856,

Rev. Josiah Zimmerman

took charge of the Liverpool pastorate or mission, under trying and discouraging circumstances.  Rev. Zimmerman resided at Millerstown.  He gives the following account of his labors in this charge:

"I took charge of the congregations, composing of the Liverpool charge or mission, on the 1st of October, 1856, and preached my first sermon on the 5th of that month.  Several Sabbaths afterwards, I preached my introductory sermon from Rom. 15:29, 30.  Amidst various successes and reverses, I served the congregations two years and a half, and resigned on the 1st of April, 1859.  During the first year I preached at eight different places, and occasionally at school-houses.  My regular appointments were Millerstown, Wild Cat Valley, Liverpool, Richfield, Pfoutz's Valley, Wright's School-house, and for about three months at Nieman's (St. John's) Church.  I preached also occasionally at Watt's School-house, at Cagill's School-house, and in Raccoon Valley, near Donally's Mill.  After I had explored the territory thoroughly, I obtained, at the end of the first year, permission from Synod's Committee on Home Missions, to drop some points and confine my labors to the following five congregations, viz., Millerstown, Wild Cat Valley, Liverpool, Turkey Valley and Richfield.  At each of these places I then preached once every two weeks until I resigned.  Whilst laboring in this field, I received during the first year two hundred dollars from Synod's Home Missionary Society, and during the second year one hundred dollars.  During the next six months I received nothing from said Society; but would have received fifty dollars had I remained in the charge to the end of the year.  In regard to my success that attended my labors in the charge I will say nothing.  I tried to preach only three or four times in the German language--more was, however, needed in the charge.  Rev. Hackenberger, I understand, is most successful where I could do least, especially at Christ's Church in Wild Cat Valley, where none were confirmed whilst I was pastor.  The only person I confirmed at Liverpool was Mr. George Tharp."

When Rev. Zimmerman entered on his pastoral labors in the charge, he found at Liverpool no organization and but few members belonging to the Lutheran Church; though there was, however, material enough to build up a large congregation.

In May, 1857, Mr. A. Kohler of Richfield attended Synod at Perryville as delegate of the charge.  In May, 1858, as delegate, Mr. John Dimm attended Synod at Bloomfield, and in May, 1859, Mr. Samuel Dimm attended Synod as commissioner of the charge.

Though Rev. Zimmerman's labors were not crowned with that immediate success he could have desired, he nevertheless did a good work.  He explored the field, he collected the scattered members and aroused them from their lethargy, he removed difficulties, organized the congregations anew, prepared the way for his successors, and advanced the charge so far that it could sustain a pastor without aid from Synod.  His consistent walk as a Christian, his humility, his mildness, his kindness, together with his high tone of piety and manly defence of the Gospel, made a deep and abiding impression for good on all ingenuous and well-disposed minds.  Though he left, yet the result of his labors remained and continued to bear testimony to his unwearied efforts for man's good, and the seed of the word he sowed with prayers and watered with tears bears now a glorious harvest.  Thus one sows and another reaps.  Having spent two years and a half in this field, and having undergone much self-denial and performed hard labor, Rev. Zimmerman resigned on the 1st of April, 1859.  The charge was then vacant about four months.  The officers of Synod were instructed to secure a pastor for the charge.  In August of the same year, the 

Rev. Jacob A. Hackenberger

commenced his pastoral labors in the charge.  He resided at Liverpool.  The charge now sustained itself without aid from the Home Missionary Society.  During the first year he was pastor, Rev. Hackenberger preached at Liverpool, at Christ's Church in Wild Cat Valley, at St. Michael's in Pfoutz's Valley, at St. James's in Turkey Valley, at Richfield, and also occasionally at Millerstown, in Raccoon Valley near Donally's Mill, and some other places.  Thus his charge extended from river to river, and even west of the Juniata.  Finding his labors too much scattered to be effectual, in August, 1860, he ceased to preach at Millerstown and all the stations bordering on the Juniata, and confined his labors to Liverpool and the congregations on the Susquehanna.  This was a judicious move, as it opened the way for a division of this extended territory and the formation of the Millerstown Mission or charge.  With regard to the congregation at Liverpool, Rev. Hackenberger says:

"The name of the church, if it ever had any, cannot be remembered.  I have not been able to find a constitution; though I suppose the congregation had one, but it is lost.  We have now adopted the one prepared for congregations by the Synod of Central Pennsylvania.  We removed the old pulpit and put a new one in its place, and have in other respects made improvements in the internal arrangements of the church.  I preach every Sabbath at Liverpool, alternately in the morning and evening, and at the other places every two weeks.  The congregation is now in a promising condition, and, if it receive proper attention, may become a large one.  Since I have been here, considerable progress has been made.  The Sunday-school, which was in a languishing condition, is now prospering, and the attendance on the stated services of God's house is encouraging."

On the 5th of December, 1859, Peter K. Moyer and Mrs. Sarah Moyer were confirmed, and in the spring of 1860, Frederick Staily, Mrs. Abbie Staily, and Mrs. Elizabeth Shuman.

In May, 1860, Mr. Jonathan Wert, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Petersburg, Perry County.

On the 7th of October, 1860, Mrs. Sarah Lutz, Miss Sarah J. Kepner, Miss Mary J. McCracken, and Miss Sarah Moyer were confirmed, and on the 20th of April, 1861, the following persons (some of them from Hunter's Valley) were confirmed:

David Wagner; James Coulter; Mary J. Seiler; Leah J. Shusely; Mary A. Shusely; Susan Hunter; Hannah Coulter; Hannah Reisinger; Elizabeth Cargill,

and at the same time the following were received from other denominations by certificate:

George Kepner; Mrs. E. Kepner; Mrs. Lydia Hain; Mrs. Mary Hackenberg; Isabella Wagner; Jane Wells.

Including the preaching-station in Hunter's Valley, the number of communicant members, in June, 1861, was forty-seven at Liverpool.  Of these, one-half were received by Rev. Hackenberger.  His labors of love were successful and greatly blessed.  The congregation prospered and promised fair.  To the regret of all Rev. Hackenberger's health failed, and in August, 1861, he resigned the charge, having served it two years. The charge was then vacant about seven months.  On the 1st of April, 1862, the 

Rev. John H. Davidson

having accepted a call, entered on the discharge of his pastoral duties in the pastorate.  The charge, as now served by him, consists of the following congregations, viz., Liverpool, Christ's Church in Wild Cat Valley, St. James's in Turkey Valley, St. Michael's in Pfoutz's Valley, and in Snyder County, Zion's Church at McKee's Half-Falls.  With regard to the charge, Rev. Davidson says:  "There is certainly room in the charge for the doing of good, and there are indeed many things to encourage.  One the other hand, there are also many things to discourage.  I am resolved to do all I can to promote the glory of God in seeking the salvation of immortal souls.  I have to labor very hard.  Generally I preach three times every Sabbath.  At Liverpool infidelity stares me in the face, and I am sometimes discouraged; but I have the promise of the Savior:  'Behold, I am with thee,' and I can see a change for the better."

In May, 1862, Mr. Jeremiah Hall, as delegate, represented the charge in Synod, at Selinsgrove, Pa.  May the Lord bless the labors of the pastor of this charge, and pour out His Spirit on the members!

"Their hearts from things of earth remove,
Sprinkle them, Lord, from sin and fear;
Fix their affections all above,
And lay up all their treasure there.

"Give them an ear to hear thy word;
Thou speakest to the churches now;
And let all tongues confess their Lord,
Let ev'ry knee to Jesus bow."


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