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This church is located in Wheatfield Township, about five miles southwest of Petersburg, and near the site of the old Fio Forge.  Some of the members of this congregation had belonged to Mount Zion in Fishing Creek Valley, some to Mount Pisgah, a few to Petersburg, and a number seldom attended preaching anywhere.  To all the places named, the members here had a considerable distance to go.  During the summer of 1845, Rev. L. T. Williams preached occasionally at Fio Forge school-house.  The members, in union with another denomination, felt encouraged and able to build a church in their midst.  We are informed that no corner-stone was laid.  The edifice was erected in the summer of 1845, and was consecrated to the services of God in November, 1845, by the name of St. David's Church.  Rev. Messrs. John W. Heim, Jacob Shull and Lloyd Knight, were present and conducted the various religious exercises on this solemn occasion.  The church-edifice is a frame, about thirty feet by forty in size, is weather-boarded and painted white, is entered by two front doors, and has inside two aisles, a low pulpit, and no galleries.  It is well located, presents a pleasing external appearance, and the internal arrangement is judicious.

Rev. Lloyd Knight

of Bloomfield commenced to preach have regularly once every four weeks after the church was consecrated.  He was the first pastor of the congregation, which was regularly organized on the 20th of June, 1846, with twenty-seven communicant members.  The names of the first officers we have not been able to learn.  No entries were made in the church-book at first, and very imperfectly and irregularly afterwards.

On the 14th of November, 1847, after having been instructed in the Catechism, the following were confirmed:

Rachel Billow; Rebecca Findley; Mary A. Findley; Priscilla White.

During the summer of 1848, another class of catechumens was instructed by the pastor and on the 4th of November, 1848, the following twelve persons were confirmed:

Henry Souder; George Wetsel; Joseph Leppert; Joseph Matlock; Samuel Matlock; Mrs. Catharine Leppert; Mrs. Rebecca Strough; Louisa Matlock; Hannah Billow; Caroline Mickey; Alesonna Wetsel; Mary A. Frey.

As this is the first time the names of communicants were recorded, we will give the names of the members who communed with the above twelve persons on Sunday, the 5th, viz.:

George Billow                                    John Leppert
Susan Billow                                       Henry Leppert, Sr.
David Billow                                        Henry Leppert, Jr.
Daniel Frey                                         John Souder
Anna Frey                                            Rachel Souder
David Ensminger, Sen.                     Sarah Souder
Barbara Ensminger                           Abram Mickey
David Ensminger, Jr.                         Mary Mickey
Sarah Ensminger                               Aaron Keim
Jacob Ensminger                               Mary Keim
Regina Ensminger                             Eve Cornman
Solomon Ensminger                          Mary Cornman
Susan Ensminger                              Mary Findley
Henry Ensminger                               Rebecca Findley

At this time (1848) the congregation numbered about forty members.  Having preached here three years and a half, Rev. Knight resigned in June, 1849, and was succeeded, on the 1st of July of the same year, by

Rev. Jacob Martin

who preached here once every three weeks.  In February, 1850, this congregation was united with others to form the Petersburg charge.  Rev. Martin preached here only one year, resigning on the 1st of July, 1850.  If any persons were confirmed by him here, their names were not recorded, and can therefore not be given by us.  For about four months the Petersburg charge, as now formed, was vacant.

Rev. John P. Hiester,

having accepted a call, commenced his labors as pastor of the charge in November, 1850.  Whilst he was pastor a number of persons were confirmed here; but for want of a record we are unable to give their names.  Having served the congregation about three years, he resigned in November, 1853.  The charge was then vacant about six months.  Having received and accepted a call, the

Rev. George A. Nixdorff

entered on the discharge of his pastoral duties in the charge in June, 1854.  We can find no record of admissions to membership whilt he was pastor of this congregation, though there were some accessions.  After he had served the congregation in the Gospel about four years, he resigned in May, 1858.

It is to be greatly regretted, that whilst Rev. Messrs. Martin, Hiester and Nixdorff were pastors of this congregation, no record was kept of their official ministerial acts.  It is to be hoped that a matter of such vital importance will not be neglected hereafter by this or any other Lutheran congregation in Perry County.  A word to the wise will suffice.  After a vacancy of a few months, the 

Rev. William H. Diven

accepted a call, and commenced his labors as pastor on the 22d of August, 1858.  After having been instructed for some time in the doctrines of the Christian religion, on the 18th of December, 1859, the following eight persons were confirmed:

Joseph Marshall; Martha J. Billow; Ruth Ann Fisher; Matilda Cooper; Sarah Cooper; Susan Heiner; Mary A. Green; Eliza S. McConnal.

On the 7th of October, 1860, Eli Young by baptism and John Ziegler by confirmation were admitted as members of this congregation.

We regret that for want of church-records and other authentic documents our historical sketch of this congregation could not be made fuller.  We availed ourselves of every source of information, and herewith submit the result of our investigation.  In compliance with the wish of many, we will yet add a list of all the members of this congregation at the present time, June, 1862.

David Ensminger                            Mary Cornman
Wm. Henry Ensminger                   Anna Frey
Barbara Ensminger                        Eli Young
Rebecca Ensminger                       Mary Young
Susan Ensminger                            Mercy A. Green
Benjamin Jones                               John Ziegler
Elizabeth Jones                               Susan Ziegler
Ruth A. Fisher                                   Margaret Ziegler
William Smeigh                                Samuel Weaver
Susan Smeigh                                  Leah Weaver
Augustus McKenzie                         Henry Leppert, Sen.
Catharine McKenzie                        Henry Leppert, Jr.
Samuel McKenzie                            Hannah Leppert
R. K. Adams                                     Aaron Keim
Susan Adams                                   Mary Keim
Ludwig Cornman                              Mrs. Spiece
Susan Heiner

"Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

"People and realms of ev'ry tongue
Dwell on his love with grateful song;
And with united hearts proclaim
That grace and truth by Jesus came."

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

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