The History of the Germans in Buffalo and Erie County, N.Y. - Part I, pages 322 - 326

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object of this gathering was to consider the subject of founding a new evangelical congregation in this locality of our city. This meeting resulted in the organization of the present "St. Lucas" church. The Rev. Feld was chosen pastor and the organization perfected by the election of the following first officers: President, Christopher Werner, Secretary, Peter Hoffmann, Treasurer, Wm. Mueller, Trustees: George Scherer [1], Henry Tauer [2], Fred. Kissinger, John Funk, Elders: Andrew Vogt, Christian Mueller [3] and Peter Funk.

Soon after the organization was perfected a place of worship was also found. The Westminster Presbyterian church built a small, but beautiful chapel called the Hope Chapel on the corner of W. Utica and Rogers Street, (now Richmond Ave.) for the purpose of conducting a Sunday school therein. The newly organized congregation was permitted to hold its first services in this chapel, which was purchased then in February of the year 1873.

After serving the congregation three months the Rev. Feld resigned his position and the Rev. Zur Nedden was chosen as his successor who served a little over three years. On the 1st of June, 1875 the Rev. J. Schlegel of New York was installed as pastor of the church and served unto the 8th of April 1877 when he returned to his former church in New York. The Rev. Rosch became his successor and upon the 10th of April, 1878 the Rev. J.G. Kottler was called as pastor of the congregation. At this time a new period in the history of the church began. The Rev. Kottler being a very energetic worker, a talented and forcible preacher, served the congregation unto the 4th of January, 1897, a period of almost 19 years. Under his pastorate many improvements were successfully made.

In the year 1881 a new and larger church was erected. This church was dedicated to the service of the Triune God on the 9th of October, 1881. The church costing complete $8,332.46. In October 1883 the congregation resolved to erect a parsonage on the lot adjoining the church. The parsonage costing $2,177.04

All this was accomplished after many struggles and only by stenous [sic] efforts on the part of pastor and congregation, for at that time almost the entire locality which now has become one of the beautiful sections of our city was a large vacant tract of land, known as the old "Shingle Town."

Early in its history a Sunday school had been organized and it proved to be a blessing to the congregation, for out of it the church developed constantly so that today nigh onto 400 families or about 1000 communicants consider the "St. Lucas" church as their religious home.


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

[2] The German text gives the name as "Heinrich Sauer." Return to text

[3] The German text gives the name as "Christian Miller." Return to text

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In 1885 a Young People's Society was organized. Previous to this a ladies Society was organized in the year 1880, which has always proven itself a blessing to the congregation. This society has for many years been under the capable leadership of Mrs. Magdelena Hoffmann.

In the year 1888 the Pipe organ was purchased and in 1892 a necessary addition was made to the church gaining thereby 150 seatings.

Upon the resignation of the Rev. J.G. Kottler, which occured on January, 1897, the Rev. H.H. Fleer of Allegheny, Pa. was called to succeed him. In May 1900 the present pastor, the Rev. A. Eiermann was installed. Since then the congregation has made good progress in its various branches. A young People's Society of Christian Endeavor has since been organized and has at present a membership of 80. - Since September 1900 the congregation issues its own church monthly, in an appropriate form of 12 pages, with 3 columns each, edited by the pastor.

The present officers of the church are: President, C.A. Hennicker, Secretary, J. Gram, Sr., Treasurer, John M. Schmahl; L. Brockmann, Peter Hoffmann, H. Bindemann, J.C. Hart, H. Daniels, Elders; W.J. Kleine, H. Kautz, P. Fund, Jr., H. Emmerling, F. Griesinger, Phil. L. Smith. [1]

St. John's United Evang. Church

This congregation being one of the largest of the German Evangelical churches of our city was organized in the year 1850 by the Rev. J. Krummel and is located on Amherst Street, near Dearborn. The first religious services were held in an english Baptist church on East Street. Two years later in 1852 the young congregation was able to erect its own house of worship. In the year 1863 a tract of land on Military Road near the N.Y.C. crossing was purchased and has since been used as the church cemetery.

Being the only German church of this faith in this locality of the city where Germans settled and built their houses it was evident that the young congregation would soon develop into a large and flourishing church. In the year 1867, it became necessary to enlargen [sic] the church and at the same time a tower was erected and a church bell added.

In the year 1880 the church was struck by lightning which partly destroyed the tower, damaged the Organ and Fresco-painting of the interior, consequently a new tower was erected involving the sum of $4,000. In the year 1884 a second bell was added.


[1] The German text give the name as "Phil. J. Schmidt." Return to text

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The congregation still increased in number so that the old church proved itself too small to accomodate the attendants. It was, therefore, resolved to tear down the old church with the exception of the new tower and to erect a new, more capacious church edifice. This was done in the year 1890; the new church was erected at an expense of $32,000. - And in the year 1900 a new pipe-organ was purchased costing with necessary alterations the sum of $4,100.

The following pastors served the congregation in rotation in the fifty years of its existence: J. Krummel, G. Borchert, C.A. Hildebrand, J. Saul, Kretschman, C. Siebenpfeiffer, K. Runk, A. Grotian, H. Zimmer, Wm. Angelberger, A. Zeller and since 1881 William von Gerichten.

The congregation consists of 500 families and has a Sunday-school of 535 children. It also has a Women's Society of 325 members.

The present officers are: President, Adam Wolff, Secretary, Geo. Wolff, Treasurer, J. Albrecht, John Dahlmann, H. Riexinger, Carl Pfeiffer, F. Fuhrmann, Wm. Schultz, Wm. Kadau, Albert Mets, Fr. Roller and Geo. Riexinger.

Bethany German Evangelical Church

For some time the necessity of organizing a new German Evangelical church on the east side of our city was felt. To meet this demand the pastors: C.L. Schild, Edward Jung and O. Bueren members of the German Evang. Synod of N.A. in the year 1886 resolved to found a new Ger. Evang. Church on the east side of Jefferson Street. Their efforts were not in vain but rather crowned with good success, for in the beginning the following 16 men united with the new church: Michael Allespach, Carl Crockel, John Hauenstein, William Klein, Christian Hanks, Louis Bernicke, Ehrhart Schussler, John Norman, Daniel Molke, Benjamin Decker, Martin Kohler, George Mueller, Daniel Ritzert, John Schneider, John Jung and Wm. Meyer. This was, indeed, a good beginning in the membership roll which has constantly increased to the number of 175.

The first religious services were conducted by the three above named pastors until the end of the year 1886. The Rev. William Wagner was chosen to take up this missionary field. He was very successful in his labors so that the present new church could be erected under his leadership. He resigned in the year 1892. In the following year 1893 the Rev. Paul Zeller was chosen as his successor who served the congregation faithfully unto the year 1899 when he resigned to accept the pastorate of the Ger. Evang. Church at Lockport, N.Y. The Rev. W. H. Schild of Sharpesburg, Pa. was called to succeed the Rev. P. Zeller and is the present pastor of the congregation. In the summer of 1900

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the lot adjoining the church which is located on Eaton Street, near Jefferson was purchased whereupon the congregation built a parsonage for the pastor.

Bethany church has grown to be one of the flourishing churches of our city, with some of the most influencial [sic] business men of its locality enrolled upon its membership.

The present officers are: Wm. J. Meyer, President, Louis Seel, Secretary, Michael Allespach, Treasurer, Ferd. Ring, Louis Bernicke, Henry Danz, Geo. Schaaf, Chas. Hildebrand, Wm. Grambow, Aug. Bund, Fred. Puffpaff and John Dieb.

The German Deaconess Home

February 26, 1895 can truly be considered the birthday of the German Deaconess Society. Prior to this time it had earnestly been suggested in the midst of a small circle under the leadership of the Rev. C.L. Schild, that it might be desirable to organize in our city this christian Deasoness work which had proven itself as a blessing to mankind in many places of our land. Upon this day a seed had been sown which sprung up and developed into a large, mighty and flourishing tree. It was deemed wise to unite all who were interested in this work and thus a meeting was held in the evening of the 26th of February 1895 in the St. Paul's German Evang. Church in which the Rev. C. Mueller of Dayton, O. [1] delivered a lenghty [sic] address upon the history and blessing of the Deaconess Work. In this meeting attended by representatives of many German churches, it was unanimously resolved to organize a German Deaconess Society and a committee of seven was appointed for the purpose of preparing a suitable constitution. In the second general meeting, held in the Zion Ref. Church this committee was able to submit its prepared constitution which had been adopted by the Society and the organization had been definately [sic] perfected by the election of the following Board of Directors: Rev. Dr. O. Becher, Rev. A.E. Dahlmann, Rev. F.A. Kaehler, Rev. C.L. Schild, Rev. C. Staehler, Mrs. Philip Becker, Mrs. O. Bueren, Miss Carrie Houck, Mrs. H.C. May, Mrs. N. Moerschfelder, John Ansteth, Chas. Boller, Wm. Hengerer, Jacob Ritzmann and Theo. Speyser.

The following paragraph of the adopted constituion may be of general interest: The object of the society shall be a) the gathering and training of young ladies and widows for the purpose of executing this work of christian charity, and b) the founding and maintaining of institution in which the Deaconesses may practice, this service for the benefit of the suffering and perilous classes of mankind.


[1]The German text adds that Pastor C. Miller was the founder and chief administrator at the large Deaconess House and Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Return to text

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The Board of Directors as elected above met on the 11th of May and organized as follows: President Rev. C.L. Schild, Vice President, Rev. F.A. Kaehler, Corresponding Secretary, Rev. A.E. Dahlmann, Financial Secretry, Theo. Speyser and Treasurer, Rev. Chr. Staebler.

Encouraged by successful work and the accession of many new members, the society resolved to rent the well adapted and fine located house of No. 27 Goodrich Street to carry out its purpose. An appropriate service, held in the St. Marcus Church on Oak Street preceeded the opening of this new home which occured on the 26th of October of the same year.

Very soon after the opening of this new home it proved too small to carry out the grand object of the society, and thus in the first annual meeting of the society, held January 28, 1896 it was unanimously resolved to erect a suitable new building, appropriate in every respect to carry out the aim of the society.

After careful consideration the large site on Kingsley Street was chosen and purchased for the sum of $10,000 and the new building begun. On the 12th of July of the same year the corner-stone of the new building was laid and at the end of November the dedication took place with appropriate services.

The German Deaconess Home has since become one of the chosen hospitals of our city. The best known and most skillful physicians of our city recommend this quiet, well adapted institution in which many have not only been cured, but also found comfort and help. For a number of years Miss Ida Tobschall has been the efficient Leader of the institution.

In connection with the Deaconess Home there is also an

Caption under picture at center reads The German Deaconess Home.


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Revised May 14, 2005
Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks