CHURCHES BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS
A HISTORY OF THE
LUTHERAN CONGREGATIONS IN
PERRY COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
REV. D. H. FOCHT, A.M.
ST. ANDREW'S (SHUMAN'S) CHURCH
IN SAVILLE TOWNSHIP
Home | Up
At the close of the last century and the
beginning of the present, a large number of Lutherans settled at and east of
where Ickesburg was afterwards located, in Juniata, now Saville, Township.
Of these, the Ickes, Lyons, Shuman, Long, Anders, and a number of others, were
among the earliest Lutheran families that settled here. They had however
no church nearer than Loysville or Bloomfield, to either of which places they
had to go a distance from eight to twelve miles. Occasionally they were
visited by a minister of their own Church, who preached in private dwellings and
school-houses. Some time in 1812, the
Rev. Frederick Oberhauser,
a native of Holland and a man of great
literary attainments, but lamentably deficient in other respects, located
somewhere in Toboyne Township, in the vicinity of Blain, and for a number of
years regularly visited and preached for the scattered members of the Lutheran
Church in the neighborhood of Ickesburg and some other places in that part of
Sherman's Valley. About two miles east of Ickesburg, at the house of Mr.
Andrew Shuman, and at Mr. Crist's, he preached one every four weeks for about
two years. He instructed a class of catechumens in the Catechism in this
neighborhood, and in 1815, at the house now occupied by Mr. Andrew Shuman, near
his mill and St. Andrew's Church, he had communion, and confirmed the following
Peter Long; Henry Long; Daniel Sunday; Isaac
Frantz; Nicholas Lyons; John Crist; Daniel Hall; Elizabeth Long; Rebecca Hall;
Elizabeth Beistlein; Margaret Long; Sarah Hartman.
A number of the above persons are still with us, and among the most useful aged
members of the Church. They are all venerable for age. Forty-seven
years ago they united with the Church; six of them have gone to the grave, and
six of them still linger on its verge. They formed the nucleus of the
congregation organized about fifteen years after the time of their
confirmation. A few years hence, and they will be among us no more.
Most of them were useful in their day, and their names are intimately associated
with the history of St. Andrew's Church. Besides these, and still older
than these, we may mention the name of Andrew Shuman, who put the roof on the
old log (Christ's) church at Bloomfield in 1798, donated the land on which St.
Andrew's Church was erected, and died in peace and a bright hope in 1852, aged
78 years,--also Adam and John Lyons, and the Anders,---all of whom took a deep
interest in having the Gospel regularly preached in their midst. These
have all gone to their rest.
Rev. Oberhauser preached and administered the sacraments in the houses of the
members, and deserves the credit of having collected the members and laid the
foundation of a future and prosperous congregation. At a time when
the country was distracted by the English war he did what he could for
Christ. He was learned, but unable to make his learning of much
avail. As he was not supported by preaching, he also practised
medicine. Thus he endeavored to do good to the bodies and souls of his
people. On account of the increasing infirmities of age, soon after he had
confirmed the above persons, he ceased to preach in this vicinity. He died
on the 12th of April, 1821, aged 75 years. His large library, consisting
of books chiefly in the Dutch and Latin languages, was afterwards sold at half
its real value. Some forty volumes of it are now in the writer's library.
After Rev. Oberhauser ceased to preach here, as the members were not regularly
organized into a congregation, they scattered like sheep without a
shepherd. When in 1815, the
Rev. John William Heim
commenced to preach at Loysville, in passing
from Juniata to Perry County, he preached occasionally in private dwellings at
Ickesburg and the surrounding neighborhood. Still, if the members wished
to attend preaching regularly, they had to go to Loysville or Bloomfield, and to
the one or the other of these places the young people also went to attend
catechetical instruction. At that time people did not deem it hard to go
on foot from eight to twelve miles to preaching and catechizing. Then they
could endure more than they now can, or they had more religion than they now
have, or probably, they then endured and possessed what is now by many only
looked at and professed. "The tree is known by his fruit."
In the spring of 1828, Rev. Heim moved to Loysville, and after this he preached
in this neighborhood on week-days about once every four weeks. Thus the
members were collected and encouraged, and soon the want of a suitable house
wherein to worship God was felt, and measures taken to erect such a house.
The following headlines of a subscription was circulated with encouraging
"We, the subscribers, consider ourselves bound to pay the sum opposite our
names to such place as subscribed for, * for the purpose of erecting a German
church in Saville Township, Perry County, near Andrew Shuman's lower mill, or
near Ickesburg. The 16th day of September, 1829."
*ie. either near Shuman's mill or Ickesburg, both places being
proposed as proper locations.
The amount obtained by subscriptions justified the members in proceeding
to erect the proposed house of worship. A site near Shuman's lower mill,
and about two miles east of Ickesburg, was selected for the location of the
church. In the meantime, Rev. Heim continued to preach in private
dwellings. The congregation was also regularly organized, and a
congregational constitution was drawn up. The following brethren
constituted the first Lutheran Church-council here:
Frederick Anders, Elder
John Beistlein, Deacon
Peter Long, John Swartz, Trustees
Rev. Heim wrote the following constitution in the German language. This
instrument of writing is substantially the same as the constitution adopted at
Loysville in 1827,and we will therefore introduce here only that part of it
which differs from the Loysville constitution. It makes no mention of the
Augsburg Confession or any other specific rule, except the Bible, according to
which the Gospel is to be preached. It reads as follows:
CONSTITUTION OF ST. ANDREW'S CHURCH
In the name of God the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost. Amen.
God is a God of order, and, therefore, every undertaking that is to meet with
His approbation and redound to His glory, must be carried on in the spirit of
order, of love, and of peace. As we have concluded to erect a house, which
we intend to consecrate to the service of God, and in which we, our children and
their posterity, will conduct our public worship of God, therefore, We, the
Church-Council and members of the congregation, do, on this day, -----, 1830,
pledge ourselves to observe most conscientiously, and as far as lieth in the
power of man the following constitution:
Of the Church, the Land thereto belonging, and the Graveyard.
Our church, called St. Andrew's, built on one
acre of land, which Andrew Shuman gives for the purpose by a deed of conveyance,
situate in Saville Township, Perry County, and State of Pennsylvania, is and
shall always continue to be a Union church in the use of the two religious
denominations, namely, the Evangelical Lutheran and the Evangelical Reformed,
and so it shall remain until, by mutual agreement of both denominations, the one
congregation shall purchase the right of the other; and it shall at no time be
allowed that any other doctrine than the Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical
Reformed be preached in this church, but the doctrines held by these two
religious denominations shall be preached in purity according to the Bible
without any admixture of error. [The remaining portion of the Constitution
is word for word the same as the Loysville constitution, and need not be
To ratify the above Constitution, we, the Church-Council and members, subscribe
Frederick Anders, Elder
John Beistlein, Deacon
Peter Long, John Swartz, Trustees
German Reformed members
The above Constitution has long since become in a great measure obsolete.
For after the resignation of Rev. Heim in the spring of 1849, each denomination
elected its own church-officers, had its own treasury, and administered
discipline and church affairs according to the constitution of its own Synod or
General Synod, so that the congregations, after that time, had nothing in
common, except that they worshipped in the same church-edifice.
On the third of April, 1830, Mr. Andrew Shuman and his wife Elizabeth made a
deed "for one acre of land for one dollar, in trust of Peter Long, John
Miller, and John Swartz, of Juniata (now Saville) Township, appointed for the
Buffalo German Lutheran and Reformed Church," &c.
Andrew Shuman and John Bealor were elected the building committee. The
church-edifice was erected in the summer of 1831, is a log building, thirty-four
feet long by twenty eight feet wide. In the fall of 1831, the word of life
was first preached in the new church, though the gallery on three sides, the
pulpit and pews were not constructed till 1833. We have been informed that
no corner-stone was laid, and the time of the consecration of the church, if it
ever was formally consecrated, we have not been able to learn.
Rev. Heim preached here regularly once every four weeks, exclusively in the
German language. Having been faithfully instructed in the doctrines of our
holy religion, a large class of catechumens was confirmed in April, 1833, of
which class the following persons were the majority:
Henry Kleckner; William Yohn; Jacob Reisinger; George Kochenderfer; David Crist;
Isaac Long; Samuel Orris; Isaac Flickinger; Henry Flickenger; Mrs. Sarah Lyons;
Mrs. Catharine Reisinger; Mrs. Margaret Yohn; Mrs. Catharine Jacobs; Mrs.
Elizabeth Reisinger; Mrs. Margaret Flickinger; Mrs. Sarah Smith; Mrs. Barbara
Orris (baptized); Mrs. Elizabeth Long; Catharine Long; Mary Kochenderfer;
Elizabeth Shuman; Mary Anders; Elizabeth Frantz.
It is to be regretted that no church-record was kept whilst Father Heim was
pastor of the congregation. We are wholly dependent for names and dates on
the frail memory of some members. But as might be expected, the names of
many of those who were confirmed by Rev. Heim can not be remembered.
In 1836, the following, and a number of others not now remembered, were
David Swartz; George Markel; John Hall; Simon Yeager; Jacob Yeager; George
Jacobs; Daniel Smith; Jacob Utly; Jonathan Hall; Jacob Kleckner; Joseph
Flickinger; Jacob Barrick; Elizabeth Hall; Mary Hall; Mary Yeager; Elizabeth
Kleckner; Elizabeth Zimmerman.
In 1840, a large class of catechumens was confirmed. The following persons
are a few of this class:
George Wallet; David Long; George Utly; Mrs. Christiana Berkley; Mrs. Sarah
Anders; Mrs. Margaret Comp; Mrs. Elizabeth Beistlein; Susan Comp; Mary Utly.
In April, 1842, Rev. Heim confirmed a class, the last he confirmed here,
consisting of the following persons:
John Peck; George Long; Henry Long; Christian Wagoner; George Kretzing; John
Flickinger; Joanna Wagoner; Christiana Wagoner; Eliza Flickinger; Margaret Maul;
Ann Long; Diana Kretzing; Catharine Kretzing; Rebecca Hall, and some others,
whose names are not remembered.
Whilst pastor of this congregation, Father Heim preached regularly once in four
weeks in the German language. The want of preaching in the English
language began to be deeply felt. Hence the members proposed to Rev. Heim
that they would support him as they had always done, and that he should continue
to preach in German, but that he should allow them to associate with him a
minister who could preach in the English language. To this reasonable
proposition he objected, and after holding communion in May, 1849, he resigned;
and on the 27th of December following, he departed this life in peace. In
June of the same year, he was at this place succeeded as pastor by the
Rev. Jacob Martin,
who was then pastor of the Bloomfield
charge. Rev. Martin preached for this congregation once every three weeks,
alternately in the German and English languages. A church-record was now
secured, and hereafter baptisms, confirmations, &c., were regularly
recorded. During the summer of 1849, the church was rough-cast outside,
and other repairs were made, as the following heading of a subscription shows:
"We, the subscribers, promise to pay to the Trustees of St. Andrew's Church
the several sums annexed to our names, to be applied by them to repairing the
said church by plastering, painting, and whatever else may be by them and the
other members thought necessary, and also to make all suitable repairs to the
graveyard in fencing the same. 1849."
After being duly instructed and found properly qualified, on Saturday, the 8th
of June, 1850, the following persons were confirmed:
Robert Survell (baptized); James Campbell (baptized); Joseph Flickinger; John
Lyons; Henry Long; Darius J. Long; Mrs. Catharine Frey; Mrs. Susan Reisinger;
Mrs. Nancy Flickinger; Mrs. Lydia Ann Hench; Elizabeth Long; Sarah Lyons;
Catharine Shuman; Margaret Long; Margaret Long.
On the 3d of January, 1851, the following persons were received by confirmation:
David Barrack; Hugh Campbell; David Frey.
Having served the congregation about two years and ten months, Rev. Martin
resigned the Bloomfield charge on the 1st of April, 1852, and was succeeded on
the 1st of June following by the
Rev. William Gerhardt,
who preached here once every three weeks,
alternately in the German and English languages. Having been faithfully
instructed in the Catechism of the Church, on Saturday, the 18th of June, 1853,
the following persons were admitted to full communion by the rite of
Andrew J. Shuman; Frederick Barrick; Henry Alexander Long; Joanna Long; Cath.
Ellen Long; Rebecca Long; Mary Ellen Long; Julian Lyons; Susan Shuman; Catharine
Swartz; Maria Spriggle (baptized); Catharine Kleckner; Mary A. Reisinger;
On Sunday, the 19th of June, Rev. Gerhardt, at one and the same time, preached a
sacramental sermon, a funeral sermon, and his farewell sermon, from 2 Cor.
13:14, having served the congregation about one year. The Bloomfield
charge was then vacant about eight months. On the 1st of March, 1854, the
Rev. Adam Height,
having accepted a call from the charge,
commenced his pastoral labors here. He preached to this congregation once
every three weeks. The use of the German language in the pulpit was
scarcely needed at this time.
On Saturday, the 19th of March, Henry Reisinger was admitted to full membership
by confirmation and John Shuman and Mary A. Reisinger were received by
certificate. Having preached here about seven months, in September, 1854,
Rev. Height ceased his ministry. The Bloomfield charge was again vacant
about eight months. Having accepted a unanimous call from the Bloomfield
charge, on the 1st of June, 1855, the
Rev. David H. Focht
entered on the discharge of his ministerial
labors here. He preached his introductory sermon at St. Andrew's Church on
Sunday, the 3d of June, from Exod. 33:14, to a large and attentive
congregation. At this time the German language in the pulpit is required
no more. What a change a short time has wrought! Not longer than six
or seven years ago all the preaching in this church was in the German language,
and Father Heim thought the request of the members to have English preaching,
unreasonable and wholly unnecessary. He meant it well, but was clearly
behind the wants of the congregation, and the people in general in Perry County,
on the subject of English preaching.
Having been faithfully instructed, the following persons were confirmed on the
27th of October, 1855:
William Hench; Daniel Lyons; Henry F. Long; Sarah Berkley (baptized); Elizabeth
Long; Caroline Long; Ellen Lyons; Rheuamma Long; Mary Ann Swartz; Matilda
Steinberg; Mary Catharine Shuman; Sarah Ann Shuman; Lydia Ann Smith.
"Jesus! we come at thy
With faith, and hope, and humble zeal--
Resign our spirits to thy hand,
To mould and guide us at thy will."
On the 12th of April, 1856, George Jacobs was
confirmed, and on the 7th of September following, Mrs. Margaret A. Crist was
received by certificate. On the 18th of October, the same year, Mr. Andrew
Shuman was received by certificate, and the following persons were confirmed:
Jeremiah Lyons; William Trostle; Rebecca Lyons; Mary Kleckner; Mrs. Agnes Shuman
"Prepare us, Lord, by
For they bright courts on high;
Then bid our spirits rise and join
The chorus of the sky."
On the 25th of April, 1857, the following
persons were admitted to full communion by confirmation:
John K. Shuman; Samuel Markel; Oliver Reisinger; Mrs. Mary Ann Reisinger.
"How firm a foundation,
ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he has said?
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled."
On the 10th of October, 1857, the following
two persons were received to full communion by confirmation:
Daniel Kleckner; Rebecca Jane Kleckner
"O watch, and fight, and
The battle ne'er give o'er;
Renew it boldly every day,
And help divine implore."
On the 5th of November, 1859, Mr. John M.
McKee and Mrs. Catharine Glock, and on the 22d of April, 1860, Mr. Samuel
Clouser, were received as members by certificate. The Lord bless these
Having been instructed in the Catechism every week for more than four months, on
the 8th of December, 1860, Mr. Job Shinn was received by certificate, and the
following persons were confirmed:
Jacob B. Shuman; Peter Long; Jacob H. Kleckner; John T. Baker (baptized); Robert
Paden, (baptized); Mrs. Maria Paden, (baptized); Mary Eliz. Blain, (baptized);
Rebecca Shuman; Charity Long; Susan Long; Catharine Long; Elizabeth Ann Long;
Sarah Long; Mary Ann Klinepeter; Cath. Angeline Barrick,
"O! to grace how great a
Daily I'm constrain'd to be!
Let that grace, Lord, like a fetter,
Blind my wand'ring heart to thee!
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love--
Here's my heart, Lord, take and seal it,
Seal it from thy courts above."
This congregation, now numbering about one
hundred members, has a weekly prayer-meeting and a Sunday-school, both of which
are well attended. Piety and intelligence are advancing among the members,
and benevolence and every good cause meet a hearty response at their hands.
Since 1849, when Rev. Heim resigned, the following brethren have at different
times served as officers of this congregation:
Andrew Shuman, Sen., from 1849 to 1852
Nicholas Lyons, from 1849 to 1856
Henry Long, from 1852 to 1856
Jeremiah Burkepile, from 1856 to 1857
Samuel Shuman, from 1856 to 1858
Isaac Long, from 1857, yet in office
Andrew Shuman, from 1858, yet in office
George Kochenderfer, from 1849 to 1851
Isaac Long, from 1849 to 1853
Samuel Shuman, from 1851 to 1856
Daniel Long, from 1853 to 1857
David Barrick, from 1856 to 1858
John K. Shuman, from 1858 to 1860
Darius J. Long, from 1857 to 1861
John Lyons, from 1860 to 1861
Daniel Lyons, from 1861, now in office
Henry Long, from 1861, now in office
Christopher Wagner, from 1849 to 1856
Peter Long, from 1856 to 1861
Home | Up