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In Spring Township

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A number of members in the vicinity of Elliottsburg, then Tyrone, now Spring Township, belonged to the church at Loysville, and some to St. Peter's.  To either of these churches the distance was considerable.  Hence, the members prevailed on the 

Rev. John W. Heim,

to preach for them occasionally at what was known as Carl's School-house, about one mile and a half east of Elliottsburg.  Rev. Heim preached at fist on week-days at this place, from 1837 to 1840.  This school-house stood on a tract of seven acres of land, which Henry Ludolph Spark, some fifty or sixty years ago, donated in his last will and testament for school purposes.  He was a German school-master, a member of the Lutheran Church, and sometimes preached and administered baptism in this community at the beginning of the present century.  He had no family.  From what we can learn he was a good man, and sought to do good.  On these seventeen acres of land, Mr. Spark had a school-house erected, where for many years he taught the children in that neighborhood.  He also died here, and lies buried in the old graveyard, now overgrown with underbrush and small trees, about fifty rods northeast of the church and present graveyard.  After Mr. Spark's death, a Mr. Carl taught school here for some twenty years.  Hence, it used to go by the name of "Carl's School-house." As the land had been donated for school purposes, after the church was erected on it, the school directors claimed it; but to obviate all difficulties said directors sold, on the 6th of March, 1852, one acre and one hundred and twenty-six perches strict measure, for one dollar, to Jacob Dumm and Abraham Kistler, then the trustees of the church.

Encouraged by the occasional visits of Rev. Heim, the members in all that region were collected and regularly organized into a congregation in 1840.  But as their number was considerable, the school-house was too small to accommodate them.  Thus, the necessity of erecting a church was seen by all.  This church they built on the land donated by Henry Ludolph Spark, and they therefore called it Ludolph Church.  Rev. Heim wrote the following Church Constitution in the German language:


In the name of God the Father, of God the Son, and of God the Holy Ghost.  Amen.  God is a God of order, and nothing can be acceptable to Him, or redound to His glory, unless it be done in the spirit of order, of love and peace.  Therefore, We, the Church Council and Church Members, do solemnly obligate  ourselves, on this the 20th day of May, 1841, to observe most faithfully and conscientiously the following Constitution:

Of the Church, Land, Graveyard and School-house.

Our church, bearing the name Ludolph Church, to be built on the land which Henry Ludolph Spark donated in his last will for the use of a school-house and a school-teacher, consisting of seventeen acres, situate in Tyrone [now Spring] Township, Perry County, State of Pennsylvania, shall for all time to come be a Union Church, and so it shall be used by both religious denominations, namely, the Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed, until, by the mutual agreement of both denominations, the one denomination shall buy the right of the other.  And it shall not be allowed at any time, that any other doctrine than our Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed, according to the Bible and the Augsburg Confession, be set forth or preached in this church.  Of these two religious denominations, the one shall not interfere in the divine-worship of the other; but the one shall have divine service on one Sunday, and the other on the Sunday next following, except when there is a funeral on Sunday, and then that denomination which has the funeral shall have the use of the church.  [The remaining part of this Constitution is word for word the same as that of the Loysville Church, ....and need therefore not be repeated here.]

To the above Constitution, We, the Church Council and Church Members, herewith subscribe our names:

Lutheran Church Council 

David Stambaugh, George Beistlein; Elders
John Shearer, Jr., Daniel Rupsomen; Deacons
John Shearer, Sen., Trustee
Michael Foose, Treasurer
Daniel Preisler, Secretary

German Reformed Church Council 

Peter Shearer, Frederick Dumm; Elders
Simon Shull, Jacob Dumm; Deacons
William Shively, Trustee

The above Constitution has long since become obsolete, and each congregation manages its own affairs according to its own General Synod's Church Constitution.

The foundation work of the church was commenced on the 26th of April, 1841, and on Thursday, the 20th of may following, the corner-stone was laid.  On this occasion divine services were held in "Carl's School-house," when and where Rev. Heim preached an appropriate sermon in the German language.  If any other ministers were present at the laying of the corner-stone, we have failed to ascertain the fact.  The Trustees were the building committee.  On account of sundry difficulties, the church went up slowly, and was not ready for consecration till November, 1842.  Rev. Messrs. Heim and Leinbach officiated on this occasion.  Mr. George Wolf did the carpenter work of the church.  The edifice is of rough stone walls, about thirty-five by forty feet in size.  Inside it has but one floor, no end gallery, and the pews are not painted-- all is plain and unadorned; but it is a Union church, or more correctly, a disunion church.  Sometimes it is called Germany Church, because at the time it was erected the German language was almost the exclusive language spoken in that vicinity, and then, as now, a large number of Germans from the Vaterland settled and still settle in that section of Spring Township.  The use of the English language begins, however, to prevail.

In the spring of 1844, among others, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation, after they had been faithfully instructed by Father Heim in the Catechism:

Daniel Shoemaker; Daniel Shull; Martin Stambaugh; Jered Nunemacher; William Nenemacher; John Bernheisel; William Foose; Michael Foose; John Beistlein; William Shearer; John Souder; George Burkepile; Mrs. ---- Dale; Mary Comp; Catharine Beistlein; Eliza Beistlein;  Mary Shearer; Rebecca Shearer; Susan Shearer; Mary Shoemaker; Susan Rice; Mary A. Nunemacher; Susan Bernheisel; Catharine Bernheisel; Eliza Bernheisel; Susan Foose; Mary Stambaugh; Catharine Stambaugh; Ann Burkepile; Rachel Burkepile; Mary Shull; Julian Stambaugh.

Some time in the year 1848, Rev. Heim confirmed at this place another class of catechumens, but for want of a record we cannot give their names.  He preached exclusively in the German language.  On the 27h of December, 1849, the Lord called him from his labors on earth to rest in heaven.  The congregation was then vacant about ten months.  Having accepted a call from the Loysville charge in October, 1850, the

Rev. Frederick Ruthrauff

commenced his pastoral labors here.  Here, as well as in all the other congregations of the charge, he at once introduced the use of the English language in the preaching of the Gospel.  At the communion held on the 10th of May, 1851, the number of communicants was forty-eight.  Having for some time faithfully instructed a class of catechumens, on the 15th of May, 1852, the following persons were received by confirmation:

Philip Burkert; Mary A. Grove; Susan Beistlein; Mary Ann Spohn; Isabella Shoemaker; Sarah Shoemaker; Elizabeth Foose; Mary Ann Kistler; Catharine Frey; Susanna Loy; Elizabeth Smith; Julian Minich.

Having served the congregation as pastor a little over two years, Rev. Ruthrauff resigned in November, 1852.  The congregation was then without a pastor for about five months.  Having accepted a call from the Loysville charge, the 

Rev. Reuben Weiser

commenced his labors here as pastor on the 1st of April, 1853, and served the congregation about two years and a half.  He resigned in September, 1855.  We cannot learn from the church record, or from any other source, that any were added to the congregation whilst Rev. Weiser was pastor of it.  The congregation was again vacant about seven months.  Then a call was extended to the

Rev. Philip Willard

by the Loysville charge.  He accepted that call and entered on the discharge of his pastoral duties on the 25th of May, 1856.  This indefatigable and zealous minister of the Gospel labored in season and out of season, and the Lord crowned his labors with great success and gave him many souls as a reward for this diligence.  In February, 1857, during a protracted meeting, the Lord poured out His Holy Spirit on the congregation, when many Christians were revived and many sinners hopefully converted to God.  The subjects of this revival were then formed into a class and thoroughly instructed in the Catechism of the Church, and on the 18th of April, 1857, the following persons were received to full communion by the rite of confirmation: 

David Grove; Josiah C. Foose; Samuel Hassinger; Samuel Fleisher; James G. Messimer; Hugh Moffitt; Abraham Kistler; Jacob Kistler; David Wentzel; Abraham Reem; Anna Rice; Catharine Rice; Mary Jane Loy; Susan Rempfer; Catharine Spohn; Margaret Spohn; Eliza Spohn; Catharine Fleisher; Rebecca E. Shoemaker; Sarah Beistlein; Lucinda Wentzel.

At the same time the above were confirmed, three persons, whose names were not recorded, were received by certificate.  In the fall of 1857, Rev. Willard met another class of catechumens, and another precious revival was enjoyed, during which a large number yielded their hearts to God.  These were still further instructed for some time, and on the 20th of February, 1858, the following persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:

John M. Smith; James A. Gray; John S. Kistler; John Loy; Henry Spohn; William Perry; Jacob Shoemaker; George W. Gehr; Levi F. Gehr; Mrs. Mary Ann Smith; jaen F. Kacy; Sarah J. Kacy; Mary Jane Gray; Catharine Loy; Catharine Stambaugh; Sarah Foulk.

Having served the charge and this congregation with such marked success for two years and a half, to the great regret of all, Rev. Willard resigned in November, 1858.  The charge was then vacant about five months.  In April, 1859, the Loysville charge extended a call to the

Rev. G. M. Settlemoyer,

who, having accepted that call, commenced his ministerial labors here.  On the 21st of April, 1860, George Shuler was admitted to membership by baptism and Mrs. Maria Boyd and Miss Cless were received by certificate.

Having been carefully instructed for some time, on the 23d of March, 1861, the following persons were received as communing members by the rite of confirmation:

John Reapsoma; Sinary Wentzel; Caroline Wentzel; Anna E. Shoemaker; Mary E. Clouser; Elizabeth C. Clouser.

After Rev. Settlemoyer had served the congregation two years, he resigned in April, 1861, and on the 1st of September following, the

Rev. Peter Sahm,

accepted a call from the Loysville charge, and preached his introductory sermon here on the 22d of September in German from Heb. 13:17, and in two weeks afterwards in the English language from 2 Cor. 5:20.

After the pastor had instructed them in the Catechism of the Church, and being found qualified on the 8th of March, 1862, the following fifteen persons were confirmed:

George Fleisher; Reuben Shuler; Joseph Shuler; Michael Loy; John Shuler; Samuel Ream; Elizabeth Fleisher; Elizabeth Rice; Mary Ream; Elizabeth Ream; Matilda Reapsoma; Elizabeth Shuler; Ann Beistlein; Mary Wentzel; Catharine Kistler.

This congregation still requires that about one-half of the preaching be in the German language.  In a letter, Rev. Sahm remarks:  "In the fall of '61, before I held my communion meetings, I visited the members of my charge, and found that two hundred and four belonged to the congregation at Loysville, ninety to Mount Zion and seventy-eight to Ludolph's.  Since then forty-three have been added to this number in the charge, making at this time (June, 1862) in all four hundred and fifteen members.  Between fifty and sixty persons profess to have been converted since I have taken charge of this pastorate, and they were of different ages from fifteen to sixty."

In May, 1862, Mr. Sam. Dunkelberger, as delegate of the charge, attended Synod at Selinsgrove, Pa.

At different times since its organization the following persons have served as officers of the Lutheran congregation worshipping at Ludolph's Church:


David Stambaugh, from 1841 to 1853
George Beistlein from 1841 to 1856
John Loy from 1853 to 1860
Daniel Wentzel from 1856 to 1860
Henry Fleisher from 1856 to 1860
Benjamin Rice from 1860 yet in office
John Beistlein from 1860 yet in office
Dr. Lewis Ellerman from 1860 yet in office


John Shearer, Jr. from 1841 to 1853
Daniel Rupsomen, from 1841 to 1854
John Burrel, from 1853 to 1856
William Hassinger, from 1854 to 1860
Martin Stambaugh, from 1858 to 1860
John Rice, from 1856 yet in office
John Cless, from 1860 yet in office
James G. Messimer, from 1860 yet in office


John Shearer, Sen., from 1841 to 1851
Abraham Kistler, from 1851 to 1858.

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