The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 287 - 291


The first officers of the congregation were: Jacob Hamscher, Christoph Eller, Conrad Goembel, Paul Koepler, Heinrich Freischlag and Heinrich Moell.

The location on Detroit Street, where the chapel then stood, was not very suitable, because the low church, which stood somewhat back, was hidden by the neighboring houses, it became necessary to look for a better location and a suitable lot of 90 feet front was found on Broadway, near Fox Street, which was bought for $4,500, and the chapel moved thereon.

The place on Detroit Street was sold for $1,600 and a mortgage on same for $1,000 to the Young Men's Society of St. John's church was paid.

After the first year in its new location on Broadway the church proved too small, and was extended 38 feet. At the same time a schoolhouse was built. Until this was finished the school was held in the chapel. That a christian school is the foundation of a christian congregation was evident, and therefore a parochial school was organized and was held by the pastor until the congregation was able to call a teacher. These were troublesome days, but the love and zeal of the members persevered and the school to-day is a blessing for the congregation.

In the year 1891 the enlarge church building became too small and the congregation was constrained to build a new house of worship. In order to get more room 58 feet of land was bought on Fox Street, on which the old church was moved which is now used for school purposes.

The corner stone of the new church was laid on sunday Rogate 1892. The consecration took place on the first sunday after New Year 1893. The size of the church is 58 by 115 feet. It cost $35,000 and has room for 1100 persons.

The several societies of the congregation assisted faithfully. The Men's Society donated from its treasury $300 for the gas fixtures; the Women's Society bought the organ; the Young People's Society the bell, and the two singing societies the fence in front of the church, and all the members of the congregation proved themselves cheerful givers. The Young People's Society now has 100 members and is very active.

In the weekday school there are 75 children and in the Sunday school there are on an average 650 children. Otto Dupernell is the teacher, and Mr. Erhard Sticht the superintendent of the Sunday school. Every 3 months children's services are held in the church.

There is also a benevolent society in the congregation. Its aim is mutual assistance of its members and of the widows and orphans of


deceased members. Its officers are Chr. Schniepf, Lud. Offenhamer, Emil Schmelzer, Wm Ludwig, Heinrich Heller. The church officers at present are: Emil Schmelzer, Erhard Sticht, Friedrich Wendling, Heinrich Koberg, Johann Hufnagel, Conrad H. Goembel, Heinrich Heller, Adam Weiss and Wilhelm Kerwin.

Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Congregation

In the fall of 1890 Rev. J. Brezing, who died in November 1895, then pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran St. John's congregation, addressed the Young Men's Society of the congregation, in which he expressed the urgent need of the mission work in the city, and encouraged the society, who already had been very active in founding the Christ Church, to organize a new mission. In pursuance thereof on the 3rd day of May 1891 a Sunday school was started in Rochevot's Hall, at the corner of Jefferson and Best Streets with about 90 persons. In the following month a meeting was held in the same hall of such men who intended to join a new congregation. A committee was chosen to look for a suitable building lot. It was afterwards decided to take the place where the church now stands, which was bought for $4,150. The place is favorably situated on Northampton Street, about 400 feet east of Jefferson Street, and running through to Kingsley Street. On the 29th day of June, 1891 the congregation was organized as the Evangelical Lutheran Concordia church and joined the Evangelical lutheran Ministry of the State of New York. It was resolved to build a chapel and the contract to build was given to the contractor G.A. Hoerner. The dedication took place on the Sunday after Easter April 25th, 1892, with the participation of the local German and English sister-congregations, especially the mother congregation of St. John with its pastor Rev. Brezing. On the following sunday Mr. Ernst F. Bachmann, stud. theol. preached as a candidate, and followed the unanimous call as pastor of the congregation. Until he was ordained as pastor, the director of the Wagner College, of Rochester, N.Y., pastor J. Steinhaeuser, served the congregation with the word and sacrament. On the 21st day of July the congregation was incorporated under its consistory F. Barth, J. Metzger, W. Schott, L. Sipp, C. Ulrich, Martin Ulrich and the minister as President ex-officio. In January 1893 the congregation took possession of the church property, which had thus far been in the hands of the Young Men's Society of the St. John's church.

Certain circumstances made it necessary to organize an english Sunday school and on the 12th day of March, 1893 one was started with over 160 teachers and scholars. The apprehension that english service in the evening, would soon follow was groundless, as the children of the congregation learn enough German in the German sunday school,


so that they can be confirmed in german and understand a german sermon. Both Sunday schools increased rapidly that after two years an addition to the school building became necessary, which is now occupied by the small children.[1] In the German Sunday school there are about 275 children and 24 teachers, and in the English branch about 300 children and 22 teachers. A Mission society organized in October 1892, proved itself to be a great help to the congregation, as well as the Women's society, which was organized in June 1896. In order to unite the confirmed young people, a Luther League was organized, at easter time of 1894, the aim of which is to promote its members religiously and intellectually and to lead them to christian benevolence. In October 1986 a Young men's society was organized, the aim of which is not only to promote the wellfare of the congregation, but also to give a weekly benefit of $4.00 to its members in the event of sickness.

The officers of the congregation now are: C.J. Meyer, secretary, G. Guillaume, assistant secretary, Theo. Guenther, treasurer, F. Borth, H. Henrich and M. Ulrich. These men form the consistory as elders, wardens and at the same time the trustees of the congregation. In every meeting of the congregation and consistory the pastor acts as chairman.

Rev. E.F. Bachmann serves the congregation since 1892. He was born in Witten, Westphalia, and came to America in 1881 as a boy with his parents. His scientific education he received at the Wagner College at Rochester, N.Y., and afterwards studied theology for three years at the theological Seminary Mount Airy, at Philadelphia, and after having passed his examination before the Evangelical Lutheran Ministry of the State of New York he was ordained as a minister.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Redeemer
(Doat Street, east of Bailey Avenue.)

The preliminary steps in connection with the organization of this church were taken by the St. John's Lutheran Young Men's Association. A committee was appointed for the purpose of ascertaining a suitable location for this mission. They decided upon the present location of the church on Genesee Street, near Bailey Avenue. Rev. C.F. Bambam was called upon to take up this work in this vicinity. The need of a new Lutheran congregation in this part of our city was shown by the many attending the church services and thus the necessary preparations were made without delay for the erection of a church. A suitable lot was purchased on Doat Street and the plans for a church edifice with basement were prepared. The corner stone for this house of worship was laid on the 30th of June 1995.[2] The church dedication which was attended by a large number of the "household

[1] The German text states that the same building is used by local clubs and organizations. Return to text

[2]The German text states "The church dedication was held October 6th, approximately 6 month previous to this work had been begun." Return to text


o faith," took place on the 6th day of October of the same year.[1] This was a day of rejoicing for the new church. The above named committee assisted in the young congregation in many ways unto the end of the year 1896 when the church was duly organized. In the first general meeting of the congregation the following church officers were elected: Jacob Schaller, Carl Schultz, William Buechi, Henry Schaller, Stephan Schamber, John Ullinger. On the 11th of November 1897 the congregation was incorporated under Art. IV of the new law of 1897 governing religious societies. The title of the church property which had thus far been held by Jacob Guenther as trustee for the mission was at this time conveyed to the church. This was a forward movement on the part of the congregation thus obtaining possession of the church property. In regard to the payment of the debt for this property it may be said that Rev. C.F. Bambam put forth stenuous efforts to reduce it and in the winters of 1894 - 95 he collected the sum of $2,389.10 from friends in the city who thus showed their interest in the promotion of this German cause in this part of our city.

It was indeed, a difficult task for this young congregation whose membership was still limited to raise sufficient money to pay its pastors salary and meet the current expenses of the church, but by the help of God it was able to fulfill all its promises in this respect.

The Ladies Society of the congregation has since its existence proven itself as a great help to the congregation in securing large sums for its sustainance. This society consists of 30 members. Aside from this there is a Young People's Society, also a Sunday School which is in a flourishing condition; the school consists of 160 children with 14 active teachers. Twice a week the pastor gives German instructions.

A church choir under the direction of Mrs. Emma Schaller exists. On the 7th of October 1900 the congregation celebrated its fifth anniversary. This church being located in a flourishing part of our city the congregation has the brightest prospects for the future.

Memorial Chapel

The foundation of the Memorial Church of the Evangelical Association, formerly called Fillmore Avenue Mission, was effected by four Young Men's Associations, which called a meeting in the church on the corner of Sycamore and Spruce Streets, Aug. 28th, 1892. It was resolved to organize a Missions Sunday School in a hall located on the corner of Utica Street and Fillmore Avenue. The pastors of the different churches appointed Mr. Geo. C. Degen, Superintendent and Mr. A.F. Unholz assistant superintendent. At the opening of the school 57 children

[1] The German text has a sentence immediately after this one not translated into English - "Thus the congregation could sing in jubilation: The bird has found a home and the swallow her nest." Return to text


were present. For six years services were held quite irregularly, after a mission had been organized from the Sunday school, until in 1898 the demand for an own chapel and pastor became more and more apparent. For this purpose a lot was bought at the corner of Utica and Wohlers Avenue, and September 1st, 1898, the erection of the present church was begun. It was called Memorial Church of the Evangelical Union. In October of the same year pastor Geo. C. Degen was appointed pastor of the mission. Pastor Degen followed this call the more readily as he had been active before in the Sunday school which developed into the present church; he is still its pastor. Officers of the church at present are: Albert F. Unholz, Charles Seeman, George Froehlich, Frank Wiseman. Trustees: Albert F. Unholz, Jones Barnes, Wm. Young, Philip Somers and George Froehlich.

First German Baptist Church

The first members of this church originally belonged to the English Baptist Church on Washington Street. As, however, the German members felt the necessity of founding a German Church, more and more, on February 14, 1849 a council was held at which the First German Baptist Church was founded and acknowledged. In 1850 the congregation bought the present church property, 41 Spruce Street on which an old school house stood, in which services were held.

The new present church was dedicated February 6th, 1870. The congregation numbering at present 300 church members was served by ten different pastors. The first pastor was Mr. Albert Alexander Leopold von Puttkamer, a brother of the late Prussian Minister; the present pastor is Mr. Frederick Hoffmann.

The names of the present directors [1] of the congregation are: William F. Becker, N.W. Bodenbender, W.D. Aug. Hanke, Hugo Mendershausen, Henry Beuermann.

From this congregation by and by four other congregations have been formed, namely: The second, third, Ebenezer and Bethel Baptist Churches.

The church publishes its own weekly paper "Der Hausfreund" [The Household Friend] and developes an excellent activity in the matters of mission.

Ebenezer German Baptist Church

In 1893 the Second German Baptist Church released 54 of its members which organized the above named church in the eastern part of our city.

The first meetings were held in a frame building, 20 x 32, in No. 16 Metcalfe Street. Rev. Charles Vahlsing was its first pastor, who served

[1] The German text uses the term "Deacons." Return to text

Translator's Note: You'll notice on these pages more than any others many words, which should be capitalized but are not. There are also a couple of misspelled words and some bad punctuation - these mistakes are the fault of the writer of the text or the typesetter. It's fair to assume that the writers and typesetters were more fluent in German than English. Seldom while examining the German text have I found errors.

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Revised May 8, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks