The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 292 - 296


the congregation four years. Under the prevailing circumstances the congregation grew quite rapidly, so that in two years its membership increased to 84. Later, however, through some misundertanding it lost 20 members again.

In February 1898 Rev. Vahlsing resigned as pastor and accepted another call in Folsomdale, N.Y. Rev. F. Herrmann was chosen his successor who entered upon his labors here in June 1898. The present locality of the church being very unfavorable, this property was sold in 1899 and a new place, No. 248 Fillmore Ave., purchased. In 1899 - 1900 a suitable church was built under the pastorate of Rev. F. Herrmann.

The congregation has 5 Trustees and 2 Deacons. The church board consists of 7 members and meets monthly. The present membership is 62. The congregation has a Sunday school of 65 children, and a Young People's Society of 24 members.

The present Trustee's are: Fred. Strauss, Julius Au, Leopold Krause, Louis Ewert and Paul Demke.

The Second German Baptist Church of Buffalo, N.Y.

In the evening of the 30th of January 1859, 52 members assembled in the church of the First German Baptist congregation on Spruce Street with the consent of its members and with Prof. A. Rauschenbusch, D.D. presiding, to organize the Second German Baptist Church.

About 700 members have since been connected with the congregation. Four other German Baptist churches have been formed by members of this church, viz: "Wheatfield and Pendleton" in Niagara Co., in 1872; the congregation in Tonawanda, Erie Co., N.Y. in 1878; the Third German Church on High Street [1] in 1875 and the Ebenezer congregation on Fillmore Avenue, near Clinton Street.

Out of its midst ten young men have entered the ministry and are now active in our own country, in Germany, in Africa, at Congo and in Natal.

The following clergymen have served the congregation to the year 1896: Edward Gruetzner 1859 - 63; G.A. Schulte 1863 - 70; Reinhard Otto 1870 - 74; John Senn 1875 - 77; H.W. Nagel 1878 - 84; H. Struckhoff 1885 - 87; Robert Stracke 1888 - 90; S. Rabe [2] 1891 - 93; R. Wanzloeben 1895 - 96. Since 1896 Rev. W.L. Rabe who had been pastor of the Third German Baptist Church of our city for 14 years and whose labors were crowned with success has served this congregation as its pastor with the word of God.

Since its organization the following men have served as deacons: Conrad Baas until he left Buffalo in the year 1863; Stephen Weisgerber

[1]The German text adds that the church was on High Street "at the corner of Mulberry." Return to text

[2] The German text gives the name as "Ludwig Rabe." Return to text


unto his death 1879; Carl H. Gruetzner also unto his death 1881. For many years the present deacons, Samuel Bartsch and Carl Kurth have been serving the congregation in this capacity.

The first Trustees were: Conrad Baas, Herman Schulte and Stephan [1] Weisgerber. The present Trustees who have been active for some time are John Erion, Samuel Bartsch, Carl and Ernst Kurth and Wm. Roos. Carl Kurth is the Treasurer and Gustave Hammer the secretary of the congregation.

In the year 1860 the congregation purchased the lot No. 478 - 480 Hickory Street and built a church thereon.[2] The dedication took place August 26th, 1860. Alexander von Puttkammer, the founder of the first church preached the dedicatory sermon.

In 1893 the congregation sold this property and built a new church at the corner of Northampton and Wohlers Avenue. February 10th, 1895 this church was solemnly dedicated.

Caption under picture at lower right reads Old Zions Church

[1] The German text consistently spells the name "Stephan." Return to text

[2]The German text adds that a parsonage was also built. Return to text


The German Ev. Ref. Zion's Congregation

The German Evang. Ref. Zion's congregation of Buffalo, N.Y. on Lemon Street, near Virginia, was founded September 5th, 1845. It is one of the oldest German churches of the city, and has rendered important services in preserving and fostering christianity among the Germans. The following gentlemen organized the congregation: Pastor Johann Althaus; Messrs. Adam Menkel, Sr. [1], J. Adam Guth, Sr., Johann Kalle, Adolf Meyer, Johann Diehl, Johann Fries, Peter Schulz, Christian Hormel, Adam Guth, Jr., Michael Ott, Johann Riebling, Johann Wagner, Heinrich Kurtz, Jacob Wurst, Heinrich Kuhn, Wilhelm Gumbrecht, who was the first secretary.

The pastors of the congregation were: Johannes Althaus, September 1845 - 1846; G.S. Vogt, 1847 - Sept. 1848; F.W. Hesselmann, Febr. 4th, 1849 - Febr. 20th, 1850; H. Bielfield, May 9th, 1850 - Oct. 23rd, 1853; J. Lichtenstein, Dec. 1853 - 1862; J.B. Kniest, D.D., March 1863 - July 1884; J.F.H. Dieckmann, D.D., Sept. 1884 - Febr. 1893.[2] A.E. Dahlmann, D.D., from Aug. 1st, 1893.

The first church was built in 1846 on the property at the corner of Cherry and Spring Streets, where now the "Star" Brewery is located. The second church was built

Caption under picture at center reads New Zions Church

[1]The German text gives the name as "Adam Minkel, Sr." Return to text

[2] The German text states "J.F.H. Dieckmann, D.D. from the middle of Sept. 1884 until his death on February 11, 1893." Return to text


in 1855 on the lot on Lemon Street, between Cherry and Virgian Sts. This church was enlarged in 1886 by erecting two side-buildings, so that in the basement a Sunday school of 1000 pupils has place and in the church 1500 persons can be seated.

The church built the first parsonage in 1866, and the second one, which is furnished with all modern improvements, in 1896. The property of the church has a frontage of 140 feet on Lemon Street, of which 95 feets extend through to Locust Street. Its property represents at least $55,000. It has an own cemetery at Pine Hill, Cheektowaga. For about 30 years a German-English parochial school has existed in the congregation. At one time it had 230 pupils with several teachers. Since 1884, however, the school has been closed.

At present the congregation numbers about 550 families and 1300 communicants. Services are held every Sunday, at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; every Wednesday evening at 8 o'clock. With the exception of the first Sunday evening of the month, when services in English are held, the services are German. Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock Sundayschool is conducted. The parsonage is at 71 Locust Street. The Consistory of the church is composed of the following gentlemen: Pastor A.E. Dahlmann, D.D., president; Church - Wardens: William Haller, Fin. Secr., William Gottwald, Friedrich Heemann, Georg Lehr, William Gisel. Trustees: John Jungmann, Justus Moeller, treasurer; Friedrich Buddenhagen, record. secretary; George F. Meyer, Louis Schell.

The St. Paul's Evangelical Church

In the beginning of the year 1843 about 30 families separated themselves from the St. John's Evang. Lutheran Church on Hickory Street and resolved to found a new German Evangelical church. They assume the name of "German United Evangelical Church", and thus organized the new church on the 16th of June

Caption under picture at center reads Pastor A.E. Dahlmann

. 1843. On the 7th of August of the same year a meeting of the congregation was held at which the following first Trustees were elected: Daniel Devening, Jacob Krettner, Jacob Weber, John Hellriegel and John Bodamer. These first Trustees were authorized to incorporate the congregation according to the Laws of our State as "The German United Evangelical Church of Buffalo, N.Y." Under this name the congregation existed some time, but to distinguish itself from other evangelical churches it adopted the name "St. Paul." This occurred at the time of the dedication of the new church in the year 1844. The first services of this young congregation were held in the basement of the "Pearl Street Presbyterian Church," corner of Pearl and Genesee Streets.

The first aim of the congregation was to procure a suitable lot upon which a house of worship might be erected. This was soon realized when in a meeting of the congregation the Trustees were authorized to purchase a lot in the east side of Washington Street, between Genesee and Chippewa Streets. At the same time it was resolved to erect a brick church edifice upon this lot, the dimensions to be 50 by 80 feet.

The first pastor was Jan van Linge, who had been chosen in the first year of its existence in 1843. But at the end of 1844, before the completion of the building, he resigned his position and the congregation called Rev. Frederick Soldan of Rochester, N.Y. Eight years he served the congregation faithfully, but, nevertheless, he was not able to prevent a division which resulted in the seceding of many members from the church. These seceders at once united themselves to organize a new evangelical congregation - the present St. Stephan's church - with Rev. Soldan as their pastor. This was a sad experience for the congregation, the result of which was felt more seriously as the congregation was not able to recover from this effect under the successors to Rev. Soldan, the pastors Kalthaeuser and Wm. Schmidt.

A recuperation began under the Rev. Otto Burger of Niagara Falls, N.Y., whom the congregation has chosen as its pastor on the 12th of July 1856. Henceforth the progress of the church was continuous. The financial condition had become better, the church debt was reduced and a new organ purchased for $900. As the location of the old church surrounded by the noisy market, a sooty factory [1] and many business places became unfavorable, a committee was appointed in the year 1868 to select a more favorable location for a new church. After hearing the report of this committee, which proposed several suitable sites for a new church, the congregation at this time refrained from purchasing one, but resolved instead, to make such necessary alterations and improvements that would comply with the wishes and meet the demands of the people.

[1]The German text uses the term "iron foundry" rather than "sooty factory." Return to text

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Revised May 9, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks