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The history of this church is involved in considerable obscurity, as we have no data to guide us with certainty.  It is located in Watts Township, about one mile west of the borough of New Buffalo on the west bank of the Susquehanna.  The town of New Buffalo was laid out in 1800 by Jacob Baughman.  In a survey of land, adjoining the church-land, made May 29th, 1800, it is said, "Vacant land for church and school purposes."  As here stated, about three acres of land lay vacant for the purposes specified, though it would seems no church was as yet built on it.  No legal right was secured for this land till 1840, when we find the following:  "Warrant to Samuel Albright in trust for the Presbyterian and Lutheran congregations, dated September 28th, 1840."  On the basis of this warrant, some years ago, Mr. Albright made a deed to the congregation therein named.

Tradition says that in the Half-Falls Mountain Gap a small church was erected by the early settlers some eighty years ago, near a beautiful spring, on land vacant only a few years ago.  This church, in the heart of Half-Falls Mountain, was burnt down about the beginning of the present century. The stones which served as the foundation of the building may still be seen lying in the order they were placed by the builders. There is no graveyard here.  It is supposed this church was located here in order that the settlers on both sides of the mountain might enjoy the advantages of divine worship.  Where the present church is located, in the valley on the southeast of Half-Falls Mountain, there is an old and very large graveyard, and here the early settlers buried their dead.  When, therefore, the old church in the Gap of the Mountain and been burnt, another church was erected, at the beginning of the present century, on the three acres of land, which contained the graveyard and was reserved "for church and school purposes," about one mile west of New Buffalo on the west bank of the Susquehanna River.  This was about the origin of this church.

Among the earliest settlers of this region on the west of the Susquehanna were Germans, belonging to the Lutheran Church.  In 1767, Christopher Mann located the land on which New Buffalo was afterwards laid out.  In 1772, George Albright (German, Albrecht) settled on the "south side of Buffalo Mountain," and Jacob Buck (German, Bock), on land called "Buck's Field," now the east end of Buck's Valley on the Susquehanna.  In 1773, Christopher Heyne, Jacob Luckenbeel, Augustus Millichsack, and, in 1774, Frederick Hummel and Nicholas Littich settled this section of country.  These pioneer settlers were from time to time joined by others from the east of the river, so that before the close of last century their number was considerable.  It is not known who preached first for them.  The first minister whose name is remembered was

Rev. Mathias Guntzel,

who preached also for the early Lutheran settlers in Foutz's Valley.  The length of time he preached here is not known for certain; it must have been, however, from about 1789 to 1796.  He preached in the old log church on Half-Falls Mountain.  He was succeeded, in 1796, by the 

Rev. John Herbst,

of Carlisle, who no doubt preached also in the old church in Half-Falls Mountain Gap.  We suppose the members had at this time only occasional visits by the minister, who performed home missionary labor in a new and sparsely settled district of country.  Rev. Herbst resigned at Carlisle in 1801, and, in 1804, he was succeeded in Foutz's Valley by the 

Rev. Conrad Walter,*

then residing at Middleburg, Snyder County, Pa., who, we are told by aged persons, preached also here.  He preached in Foutz's Valley from 1804 to 1809, and about the same time at this place.  So far as we can learn, it was during this time that the church was built on the three acres of vacant land near New Buffalo.  It was a log structure without galleries, about thirty-six by forty feet in size.  If the church had a distinctive name, we have never heard it.  It is probable that, during winter, school was also kept here for some time.  This old church was removed in the fall of 1860, and a new one, just completed, has been erected on the same site by the Lutherans and Presbyterians.  An unusually large, and, to all appearance, old graveyard is attached to the property.  For more than a century the dead of this vicinity have been buried here.  The pioneer settlers of this region repose here, and from year to year has the ground been broken to receive the remains of three generations.  What a heaving of earth will there be here on the resurrection day!

*Rev. Conrad Walter died at Middleburg on the 11th of August, 1819, in his 44th year.  At the time of his death he served eight congregations, of which he had been pastor for fifteen years.  It is supposed that not less than fifteen hundred persons attended his funeral.  He was a good man and highly esteemed by his people, and did much towards the establishment of congregations over a large territory of country.

In 1809, Rev. Walter ceased to preach in the territory now embraced in Perry County.  Rev. J. George Heim succeeded him that year in Foutz's Valley and at Liverpool; but as Mr. Heim has himself told us, he did not preach at the New Buffalo Church.  Hence, we suppose Rev. Osterloh preached occasionally for this congregation from 1809 to 1814, or perhaps they were visited at times by some minister from the east of the Susquehanna, or there was perhaps no preaching here during that time.  There is not a document or man to be found that can give us the desired information.

Rev. John William Heim,

at the request and under the care of Rev. Walter, first visited the congregation in April, 1814.  He received license to preach in June, 1814, and then commenced to preach here regularly once every four weeks.  In his pastoral journal he says:  "On the 18th of June, 1814, I preached the third time at Buck's from Luke 13:18.  Hymn:  Ich will von meiner missethat, &c.  At Liverpool I preached from John 3:16.  Hymn:  Also hat Gott die welt geliebet, &c.  Baptized nine infants."  Some families by the name of Buck (German, Bock) resided then in the vicinity of the church, and hence Rev. Heim called it Buck's Church or School-House.  We have no means of knowing the numerical strength of the congregation, or who the members were at the time Rev. Heim commenced to preach here.

During the summer of 1816, Rev. Heim instructed at this place a class of catechumens, and as he says in his journal:  "On the 30th of November, 1816, I preached the preparatory sermon at Buck's from Gal. 6:4,5.  Hymn:  Ich will von meiner missethat, &c.  Baptized three of my catechumens.  December 1st, 1816, I preached the communion sermon from John 7:37.  Hymn:  Der gnaden-brunn, &c.  At Liverpool I preached from Rom. 13:11-14.  Hymn:  Such wer da will, &c.  Baptized one infant."  This was the first time Rev. Heim held communion here.  Who and how many were confirmed, or what the number of members was at this time, we have no means of knowing.

Rev. Heim preached here till about 1830.  As his charge was so very large, and, as we think, this congregation was not large, he did not preach regularly here, and only visited it at long intervals during the last four or five years he was pastor of it.  Then for about three years the congregation had no preaching at all.  

In 1833, the Liverpool pastorate was formed, of which, in the same year, the

Rev. C. G. Erlenmeyer

took charge.  For a time Rev. Erlenmeyer preached here regularly, then only occasionally, and in 1836 or 1837 ceased altogether.  After this, we are told, Father Heim again visited and preached for the congregation on week-days.  Rev. Erlenmeyer resigned the Liverpool pastorate in the spring of 1842.  In November of the same year, the

Rev. Andrew Berg,

partly in the capacity of a home missionary, took charge of Liverpool and the congregations and preaching places connected with it.  He preached also occasionally at New Buffalo for about six months.  But to the regret of these weak and struggling congregations, Rev. Berg resigned in June, 1843.  In the fall of 1843,

Rev. Levi T. Williams

took charge of the congregation at Petersburg, and also preached sometimes at New Buffalo.  We are unable to say whether he confirmed any here or not, or what the condition of the congregation was at this time.  Neglected and only partially supplied with preaching, it could not but dwindle down to a mere fragment of what it once was.  In September, 1845, Rev. Williams resigned, and on the 1st of October following, the

Rev. Lloyd Knight

took charge of the congregation and served it in connection with Bloomfield.  At the first communion he held here, in the fall of 1845, he found seventeen communicant members.  During the early part of 1848, he instructed some persons in the Catechism, and on the 28th of May, 1848, the following were confirmed:

William Finicle; Samuel Littig; Louisa Finicle; Sarah Littig.

Again, on the 20th of August, the same year, the following persons were confirmed, viz., Levi Siders and Catharine Siders.

Having preached here about three years and a half, Rev. Knight resigned in June, 1849, and in July following, the

Rev. Jacob Martin

took charge of the congregation and served it about one year in connection with Bloomfield.  In February, 1850, when the Petersburg charge was formed, this congregation was attached to that charge.

Rev. John P. Hiester

took charge of the Petersburg pastorate in November, 1850.  He preached for the congregation, though not regularly, and he met with no success.  For reasons we have not been able to learn, the congregation was opposed to being attached to the Petersburg charge.  Hence Synod, in September, 1852, "appointed a committee, consisting of Revs. Gerhardt, Erlenmeyer, and Williams, to go to Buffalo, to preach for the Lutheran congregation of the place, and endeavor to bring them into connection with the Petersburg charge."  The congregation afterwards united with said charge.  In November, 1853, Rev. Hiester resigned, and in June, 1854, the 

Rev. George A. Nixdorff

took charge of the pastorate.  He preached occasionally at New Buffalo.  It was counted only as a preaching-place.  It seems various difficulties were in the way of success whilst he was pastor of the congregation.  In May, 1858, Rev. Nixdorff resigned, and in August of the same year, he was succeeded by the present pastor,

Rev. William H. Diven,

who has since been preaching regularly here.  Hitherto the want of a more suitable house of worship had been a great hindrance to the growth of the congregation.  The old church had become dilapidated, was inconvenient and in every respect unsuitable.  Hence, in the fall of 1860, the old building was removed, and on the site of it a new church was erected, of frame, and thirty by thirty-five feet in size.  This new church was dedicated on the 2d of June, 1861, when the Rev. Diven preached a suitable discourse.  The church and land connected with it belong to the Lutherans and Presbyterians.

This congregation has in a measure been neglected for a long time, and as a consequence the members were gradually scattered and their number was greatly reduced.  Difficulties, also, of various kinds seemed constantly to be in the way of its progress.  The want of a suitable house, the transition from the German to the English language, the want of regular preaching, and the fluctuating nature of the population along the river, as well as abounding wickedness, tended all to retard and bear down the rise and progress of the congregation.  The few members still left are a noble band; and now that they have a new church and regular preaching, it is to be hoped that a brighter day will dawn upon them, and this congregation will ere long attain its pristine strength and glory.  May the Lord revive his work among this people, and glorify his name in their godly lives and final salvation!  

On the 1st of June, 1861, the following were admitted to membership by certificate:

Mary Gray; Lydia Hemperly, Mary A. Shatto.

On the 9th of February, 1862, the following persons were admitted by certificate and confirmation:

John Garman, Esq; Frederick Liddig; Elizabeth Liddig; Samuel Liddig; Sarah Liddig; Benjamin Livingston; Esther Livingston.

At this time (June, 1862), the congregation consists of the following members, viz.:

George Swartz                                Christiana Siders
Elizabeth Swartz                             Sarah Hammaker
Daniel Livingston                            George Arnold
Christian Livingston                        John Garman, Esq.
Benjamin Livingston                       Barbara Arnold
Margaret Livingston                        Margaret Shatto
Esther Livingston                            Frederick Liddig
Catharine Livingston                      Mary Gray
J. Liddig (German, Littick)             Lydia Hemperly
Catharine Liddig                             Elizabeth Liddig
Samuel Liddig                                 Mary A. Shatto
Sarah Liddig

"Yes!  we trust the day is breaking;
Joyful times are near at hand:
God the mighty God, is speaking
By his word in ev'ry land:
When he chooses
Darkness flies at his command.

"Let us hail the joyful season;
Let us hail the dawning ray:
When the Lord appears, there's reason
To expect a glorious day:
At his presence,
Gloom and darkness flee away."

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