Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church

175th Anniversary of the Organization of the Congregation

(1817-1992)+ 11 October 1992

Deavertown, Ohio

 

ďThere are different accounts of the history of the Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church.  However, the Church and its Cemetery are one of the oldest in York Township.  The Cemetery has grave stones beginning in 1802.  [The oldest today, according to findagrave.com is George Sourdesí 1800 tombstone, if thatís correctly transcribed; otherwise, the next oldest is Zinsmeisterís 1820 stone, but there is no photograph available].

 

The Congregation was represented at the first joint Synod of Ohio and the Reverend Augustus Miller and two lay representatives attended at St. Paulís Evangelical Lutheran Church April 22-24, 1811. [Note: ďthat synod had been the English-speaking district of the mostly German-speaking Joint Synod of Ohio,Ē according to Joel Thoreson, Archivist for Management, Reference, and Technology Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America].

 

The first church building was constructed before Pastor Millerís death in 1816.  The people of the church were Hessian Mercenary Soldiers who were hired [actually, to desert for 50 acres of land after 14 August 1776] by the Continental Congress in Truth [sic for Trenton?], New Jersey, to [not] fight [for the English]Ö[but to settle and not return to Ďforeign despotismí] in Southeastern Ohio [see, Edward J. Lowell, The Hessians and the Other German Auxiliaries of Great Britain in the Revolutionary War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884)].  Pastor Miller was the Chaplain assigned to the company.  When they reached York Township they found a second group from Hesse of Germany.  After Pastor Millerís death they couldnít find another German Lutheran Pastor.  For several years there was a succession of non-ordained pastors until Andrew Henkel came in 1818.

 

The first officers of the Church were Nicolas Swingle, Peter Stoneburner, and Henry Stainbrook, Sr.  The original members were Peter Stoneburner and Wife; Casper Trout and Wife; Henry Weller and Wife; Henry Smith and Wife [Eva Bar-Beer-Bair]; John Pletcher and Wife [Elizabeth Stoneburner]; Jonas Boyd; John Weller and Wife; Henry Stainbrook and Wife; Adam Leffler, Sr.; Eva Leffler; A. Stainbrook, Margaret Hampshire, Susanna Ellison, John Swingle, Peter Stainbrook and Wife; and Jacob Swingle and Wife.

 

The first church edifice was built of logs in 1817 at a cost of $50.00.  It was 20 x 30 feet.  The present church is a frame building 40 x 60 feet.  It was built in 1859 at a cost of $2,500.00.  The ceiling was lowered and a new one was put up in 1892.  The church was remodeled and the belfry added in 1926.  The basement was put under in 1952 and dedicated in 1953.

 

In 1886 there were 175 members and 60 attending Sunday school.

 

Jerusalem is today a member of a three point parish which was established in 1991.  It is known as the Roseville Parish, other members are Solomonís, Dutch Hill, and St. Paulís Ė Roseville. [In the earlier period, it was known as the English District among German speaking congregations].

 

Services at the church are held on alternate Sundays with Solomons [in Eagleport, OH].

 

Many pastors have served since Reverend Paul Henkle, 1817-1820: 

Rev. Samuel Kemmerer [trained by Paul Henkle]

1820-1836

Rev. Amos Bartholomu [from St. Johnís, Newark]

1836-1839

Rev. James Manning [trained by Paul Henkle]

1864-1871

Rev. Jacob Singer

1871-1874

Rev. Charles Whitmer

1874-1878

Rev. John Hunton

1878-1885

Rev. George Smith

1885-1890

Rev. C. H. Hemsath

1890-1895

Rev. C. P. Drumellor

1895-1895

Rev. Luther J. Smith

1895-1907

Rev. C. P. Weiscotton

1907-1911

Rev. Paul R. Siebert

1911-1914

Rev. W. E. Buchholtz

1915-1951

Rev. R. R. Garrett

1952-1956

Rev. William C. Haggis

1957-1961

Rev. Thurlowe A. Scudder

1962-1971

Rev. Russell Snyder

1972-1990

Rev. Theodore I. Bessey

1991-

[Rev. Albert R. Laese]

 

 

Great is the Lord our God, And let His praise be Great;

He makes His churches His abode; His most delightful seat.

These temples of His grace, How beautiful they stand.

The Honors of our native place.Ē

 

The most likely text source: Robertson's History of Morgan County, Ohio (1886), p. 526. For more information about the three earliest pastors after Henkle, see J.P. Hentz, History of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Germantown, Ohio (Dayton: Christian Publishing House, 1882), p. 43.For more about the Bar family, click here (i.e., Bar, Bair, Bayer, Bear, or Berr) family.

Latest Revision: 5 May 2017; revision history: retyped, photo scanned, and mounted on the web: 10 August 2009; bracketed revisions: 21 June 2010; links added: 8 May 2012 and 16-17 August 2016.