TOWN OF FAYETTE
Association Burgh Church
Pennsylvania Conference, Williamsport, Pa., district, Seneca
station, Seneca county, N.Y., locally known as "The Burgh" church,
was organized in 1816, by the Rev. Jacob KLEMFELTER. It was then
called the Lake mission, Canaan district, Rev. John DREISBECH,
presiding elder. The plan adopted was preaching from house to house
and holding camp meetings. Many were converted and added to the
church. The following are the pastors who served the society the
first eighteen years: Rev. Jacob KLEMFELTER, 1816; John STILLING,
1817; Fred KALTRIETER, 1818; John KLEMFELTER, 1819; Samuel MUCK,
1820; M. Walter, 1821; J. DEHOFF, 1822; F. W. GLASSER, 1823, 1824;
Christian WOOLF, 1825; J. ERLY, 1826; G. REICH, 1827; Philip WAGNER,
1828; G. REICH, 1829; F. GLASSER, 1830; G. SCHNEIDER, 1831; J. S.
HIMMELREICK, 1832; D. KEHR, 1833; J. HARLACHER, 1834.
During this period of eighteen
years, the work of the Lord had prospered and the numbers had
increased so fast that it was deemed advisable to build a house
suitable for the worship of God, and, under the leadership of Rev.
Phillip WAGNER, presiding elder, and Rev. M. F. MAZE, pastor in
charge, the work was begun, the money raised, and the building
completed and dedicated in 1835. The following trustees were
appointed to take charge of the church property: Jacob REIGEL, Henry
MANGER, Jacob BACHMAN, John HOSTER and Samuel PONTIOUS. The
land upon which the building and sheds stand was donated by Jacob
REIGEL. The society was legally incorporated May 4,1846. During the
first forty years the preaching was entirely in German. In 1837,
under the preaching of Rev. WAGNER, a powerful revival took place,
resulting in a large addition to the membership. Some time in the
Sixties, the church building was twice struck by lightning and
considerably damaged, but it was again repaired. In 1871, under the
leadership of Rev. L. HORNBERGER a new roof was put on.
In 1874, the Rev. R. J. SMITH was
sent to the charge; the church and parsonage were in a very bad
condition and the pastor was so disheartened at the outlook that he
was tempted to decline the place, but changed his mind and went to
work. He urged upon the people the need of building a suitable house
in which to worship God, and, at the first quarterly conference, the
following ladies were appointed to solicit subscriptions to
accomplish the work: Miss Debbie HOSTER, Miss Sadie PONTIOUS,
Mrs. H. RIEGEL, Mrs. W. SHERRIDAN, Mrs. M. SHERRIDAN. A building
committee consisting of Henry HOSTER, John RITTER and Jacob BACHMAN,
was also appointed, with R. J. DERRICK, treasurer, and George HOSTER,
secretary. The repairs commenced September 1, 1874, and the church
was dedicated February 7, 1875, by Rev. S. F. BUCK, one thousand
dollars being raised on that day, to pay the balance of
indebtedness. In March, 1877, Rev. U. F. SWENGEL was appointed by
the conference, to this pastorate. In November and December, 1878, a
very interesting protracted meeting took place and forty-seven
presented themselves at the altar. In March, 1880, E. SWENGEL, a
brother of the preceding, was appointed as pastor and served four
years. Rev. A. STAPLETON was appointed in the spring of 1884. Rev.
J. HORNBERGER was appointed, March, 1885, and served two years. Rev.
M. J. SNYDER served from March, 1887, to March, 1889. The conference
of 1889 did not send any pastor, but Rev. G. HUNTER preached several
Sabbaths, and in June of the same year, H. B. BARSHINGER, at the
solicitation of the presiding elder, assumed charge; but at the
close of the conference year the church was in a sad condition, both
spiritually and financially. Since that time it has had no regular
pastor, but has had occasional preaching services, Rev. A. N. DEPEW,
a retired clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal church being the last
to fill the pulpit. The church and parsonage buildings are now
wholly out of repair, and we will not make any prophecies for the
future, but leave our case with the Lord.
It has been said lightning will
not strike twice in the same place, but the photo-engraving of the
church, herewith produced, shows the damage caused by the third
lightning bolt upon the same steeple.
The Evangelical Association, to
which the Bergh church belongs, though never very strong in New York
State, has a large membership in Pennsylvania and some parts of the
West. This denomination owes its origin to the "strict construction"
which Bishop ASBURY of the M. E. church placed upon the plan of
About 1790, Jacob ALBRECHT, or as
he is better known, ALBRIGHT, a "Dutch" Methodist Itinerant, urged
the bishop to organize a presiding elder district of German speaking
preachers and people. Bishop ASBURY, however, felt that the
itinerant plan required that every preacher should be eligible to
every charge, and so refused. ALBRIGHT, then, with no ill feeling
but from a firm conviction of duty, originated his church of German
speaking Methodists, with doctrines and discipline the same as the
Methodist Episcopal at that time. The denomination was long
popularly known as the "Dutch Methodists." The wisdom of ALBRIGHT's
suggestions to Bishop ASBURY, has since been justified by the
organization of German conferences in the Methodist Episcopal
from "Manual of the Churches
of Seneca County with Sketches of Their Pastors, 1895-6," compiled
and published by the Courier Printing Company, Seneca Falls, N. Y.
1896, pp. 98-100.
Last modified June 17, 1999. For more
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