The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 317 - 321


by more than 500 children, who receive religious instruction in German every Sunday by members of a staff of 40 Sunday school teachers. Besides this the congregation has a Young People's Society of about 150 members and a German Women's Society of about 125 members.

The future of the church is most promising. Pastor A. Goetz, organizer of the congregation, is still its minister.

Salems Evang. Church

The 24th of January, 1892, was the birthday of the Evangelical Salems Church. On that date 13 men undertook the foundation of the same. Services were first held in the Sunday School-room of the Methodist congregation by the pastors of the Buffalo Pastoral conference. September 11th of the same year the new and beautiful church on the corner of Garfield Street and Calumet Place could be dedicated. The first pastor was Rev. R. Köhler who was installed March 1, 1893, and served until December 1, 1894. During this time the congregation was incorporated and the Ladies' Aid Society was organized. Mr. Köhler's successor was Pastor P.C. Bommer, who was installed on the twelfth of December, 1894. Developing of a never tiring activity he met with splendid success. In the summer of 1895 the church was throughly renovated; in October, 1895, the Young People's League was organized. In the summer of 1896 a room was added for meeting purposes. A magnificent organ, costing $1,000, was dedicated the 29th of May, 1898. The 24th of September, 1899, Pastor Bommer resigned as pastor. His successor and the present pastor of the congregation is Rev. G. Nussmann, who entered upon his duties the 3rd of January, 1900.

Evangelical Reformed Jerusalem Church

The idea of founding this mission had its origin with William Dieckmann and Moritz Heinze, the former being pastor of the Ev. Reform Zion's Congregation, the latter pastor of the Ev. Reform Salem's Congregation. On the third advent Sunday, 1889, the 15th of December, the congregation was organized and February 11, 1891, it was incorporated under the name of The German Evangelical Reformed Jerusalem Society.

The parish built a frame church on Miller Avenue, near Broadway. The mission was placed under the care and guidance of the mission board of the German synod of the East, which still supports it pecuniarily. This congregation numbers at present 211 confirmed members.

Mr. Wm. Bollmann served the young congregation from its organization to November, 1895, and he was succeeded by the present pastor of the mission, Mr. Hugo Eickelberger.

Caption under picture at left center reads Salems Evang. Church


Elders of the church are: Wm. Helbrand and Jacob Denne; Trustees are: Karl Schwedel [1], George Hines, Karl Braun and Louis Schreibdinger.

Evangelical Reformed Zoar Society

This church was organized as the seventh of the German Reformed churches of the city of Buffalo by the pastors William Bollmann, A.E. Dahlmann and Valentine Rettig on the second advent Sunday of 1895. When founded it numbered twenty families, and chose pastor A. Bollman for its minister and enjoyed under his direction a most prosperous growth. At present the congregation numbers 170 members, the Sunday school 140 children. During the first half year services were held in a vacant store. Afterwards the church property situated on the corner of Genesee and Rohr Streets was purchased for a chapel. In it the congregation at present holds services. Pastor Wm. Bollman is still its minister.

The St. Jacob's German Evang. Church

As recorded in the minutes, the "St. Jacob's" Congregation was founded in the following manner: "On the 24th of August 1883 a meeting was held in the St. Jacob's Church on Oak Street, attended by a number of men who were chiefly members of the "St. Marcus" church. The object of this meeting was to discuss the relations existing between the Rev. O.H. Kraft and the "St. Marcus" church and to take into consideration the founding of a new evangelical church.

On the 10th of September they actually proceeded to organize a new church. A board, consisting of four elders and four trustees was elected. As Elders: Carl Dittmann, Ferdinand Gruhlke, Conrad Swain, Jr., Frederick Schultz; as Trustees: Henry Dedo, Adolf Kelling, Ernst Schmidt and John Dedo. Henry Dedo was chosen President, Frederick Schultz, Secretary and Ferdinand Gruhlke, Treasurer. This board was commissioned to rent the vacant St. Jacob's Church on Oak Street for a term of two years. As the original St. Jacob's church existing under the Rev. Vogt dissolved, the newly organized congregation assumed the name: "St. Jacob's" Evang. Church.

In a meeting held September 19th, it was resolved to extend a call to the Rev. O.H. Kraft, who resigned as pastor of the "St. Marcus" church August 10th of the same year. At the same time it was decided to engage Mr. L.W. Lehmann as teacher and organist.

On the 7th of October the Rev. O.H. Kraft reported that the "St. Marcus" church had unexpectedly released him from his pastoral duties whereupon the new "St. Jacob's" church immediately engaged him as pastor. And on the 14th of October the congregation united to hold

[1]The German text gives the name as "Karl Schödel." Return to text


the first service in the "St. Jacob's" church on Oak Street. The constitution of the church was adopted November 3rd.

In the middle of the month of November of this year the congregation purchased the "Providence Chapel" on Jefferson Street, near High. The lot 29 x 148 and building involving the sum of $1400. From this time on the morning services were held in the church on Oak Street and the evening services in the chapel on Jefferson Street. Sunday school was also conducted in both places. The school soon increased to 200 - 260 children.

On the 15th of February, 1884, 67 men signed the constitution of the church and on Palm Sunday thereafter 47 children were confirmed.

Encouraged by this rapid progress, the congregation concluded to purchase the lot 60 x 180, situated next to the chapel on Jefferson Street which was on sale for $40 a foot. After the congregation came into possession of this land, it was deemed wise not to undertake any more at the present time.

In September 1884, however, a new church-edifice was agitated and a plan prepared by the architect, Mr. Saenger was submitted and the decision reached to erect a new church not to exceed the sum of $10,000. A Building committee consisting of the following

Caption under picture at center reads St. Jacob's German Evang. Church


members was elected: Rev. O.H. Kraft, H. Dedo. Fr. Beyer, A. Kelling, C. Petzing, E. Schneider and C. Ballschmieder. On the 9th of October this committee met Mr. Saenger who again submitted a plan for a building costing $14,000 which was accepted. The erection of the new church edifice was begun and completed under many difficulties. The new church 54 x 115 was dedicated to the service of the triune God on the third Advent-Sunday in the year 1885. The financial burden which the congregation had taken upon itself proved to be a great hindrance in its quiet growth and development. Dissention between Pastor and congregation occured which ultimately resulted in the resignation of the Rev. Mr. Kraft as pastor of the "St. Jacob's" church. This occured toward the end of December in the year 1887. A large number of members withdrew with Rev. Kraft and formed another new church. The Rev. E. Ernst was called as his successor who entered upon his duties as pastor February 1st, 1888, but was soon released again. The Rev. Paul Foerster became his successor and served the congregation conscientiously unto August 1893. On the 1st of October 1893 the Rev. V. Crusius was installed as pastor of the congregation and has since been laboring with great success. About 200 families are connected with the church.

A Women's Society, Men's Society, Young People's Society, Sunday School Teachers Society and a Male Choir are very active in the interest of the church.

The present officers of the church are: President, Henry Dedo, Vice-President, Fr. Becher, Secretary Louis Wegener, Treasurer, Fr. Hilbrecht, H. Oster, Fr. Kohernuss, Jacob Mueller, Julius Lacroise, Fr. Fuhrmann, Val. Nuss and Fr. Todtenhagen.

St. Marcus German Evangelical Church

In the year 1873 about 74 members with the Rev. C. Schornstein at the head seperated [sic] themselves from the St. Paul's Evang. Church for the purpose of organizing a new congregation. The first meeting was held August 5th, 1873 in the "Houck" Block, cor. Genesee and Oak Streets and the following officers were chosen: President, Louis Zimmer, Vice-President, Wm. Meister, Treasurer, Charles Person, Secretary, Dan. Wander and Organist, F. Erfling. The Rev. C. Schornstein officiating as pastor.

The first church services were held in the little "French Protestant Church," cor. Ellicott and Tupper Streets, which was rented for this purpose. The young congregation grew rapidly, many German families uniting with this church so that the little rented church soon became too small for church services. The present lot, situated on Oak


Street, between Genesee and Tupper was therefore purchased for the sum of $7000, for the purpose of erecting a suitable sanctuary thereupon. This hope and desire could not be realized at this time as difficulties arose which selfevidently delayed the erection of a new church edifice. After two years of service the Rev. C. Schornstein resigned as pastor of the congregation at the end of May 1875.

A worthy successor was found in the person of the Rev. Dr. G.A. Zimmermann, at that time professor in the College at Elmhurst, Ill. On the 4th of July, 1875 the new pastor was installed. With renewed vigor the congregation now undertook the erection of a new church to be built upon the lot as mentioned above. A building committee consisting of the Rev. Dr. G.A. Zimmermann, Chairman, Jacob Mayer, Treasurer, Geo. Laub, Sr. and Carl Hornung was chosen. A plan for a church, dimensions 115' X 52' to be built in the Gothic style was prepared by the architect Mr. Saenger and accepted. Without any delay the building was begun so that the cornerstone could be laid on the 10th of October of the same year, many German evang. churches and societies of the city participating in this service. On the 21st of May, 1876 the hope of the young congregation was realized, for upon this day the new edifice was complete and was dedicated to the service of the Triune God. The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. Joseph Hartmann of Chicago, Ill. On this occasion many of the charter members manifested their love and interest in the new church by liberally donating useful articles in furnishing the church. Especial mention should also be made of the assistance given by the Ladies' Aid Society of the church.

Owing to failure in health the Rev. Dr. Zimmermann resigned as pastor in July 1878. On the 21st of August, 1878, the Rev. O.H. Kraft was chosen to succeed him and served to the 10th of August, 1883. The Rev. O. Bueren of Rochester, N.Y. became his successor. The beautiful church on Oak Street, built of brick has a seating capacity of about 900 persons and is the property of the congregation [1]. On the 1st of July, 1899 the Rev. O. Bueren resigned his position and the Rev. Theo. Munzert of Lockport, N.Y. became his successor and is at present pastor of the church.

The present officers are: President, Fr. Nagel, Vice-President, John Scheidt, Secretary, H.S. Wetter, Treasurer, Ph. Bachert, Elders: Geo. F. Lamy, Ph. Christmann, L. Miller, F. Schwedler, Val. Dechert, A. Lehner; Trustees: J.P. Oberst, C.F. Siekmann [2], H.N. Dilcher, Jacob Neumann and Wm. Bender.

"St. Lucas" United Ger. Evangelical Church

On the 10th of January in the year 1872 about 30 men assembled in the residence of Mr. Wm Mueller of No. 470 W. Utica Street. The

[1]The German text states "the property is fully the property of the congregation" which means that there is no debt on the church. Return to text

[2]The German text does not list this name. Instead it lists "C.F. Hartmann" among the trustees. Return to text

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Revised May 13, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks