Chronicle of the First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Pages 18 - 21

All celebrations of the Day of Repentance would be remembered with this episode for where truth confronts injustice God finds abomination. The Lord is aggrieved by such days of celebration. The Silesians took a cask filled with wood and shavings, lit it and Mr. Mayer threw the ban in the blazing flames, saying these words: "As you have defiled the sanctity of the Lord, so may you suffer and be consumed by the eternal flame." They stayed with the fire until it burned out to make sure there was no danger. In the afternoon Pastor Krause recounted the matter from the pulpit and lied, saying that the Silesians were guilty of burning the Dresden Cathechism (39)."
On September 18, 1841 Pastor Krause traveled to a congregation in Wisconsin (
40), having received an appointment there from Pastor Grabau (41). The Silesians knew that they were a deserted and reviled group; their own spiritual leader had abandoned them and issued an ecclesiastic ban against them.

The Congregation acquires a Pastorate

Thus it stood for the Silesian congregation when Pastor E.M. Bürger, on his trip to Germany from Missouri, stayed in Buffalo in October 1841(42). He became aquainted with a member of the Silesian congregation through his traveling partner, Dr. Marbach and when he heard the story of the congregation he became convinced of the injustice of the ban (43). He accepted the call issued by the congregation and became the spiritual caregiver for this abandoned and persecuted congregation (44). At first services were held in Ferdinand Langner's house on Cherry Street between Mortimer and Jefferson. Then the congregation rented a hall in the Becker Block at the corner of Main and Huron Streets. Later they purchased a plot of land and they constructed a frame house, which Pastor Bürger paid for


My soul searches for Your Salvation. I listen for Your Word - Psalm 119, 81.
          E.M. Bürger


out of his own living expenses. They held their church services there until they had a small brick church built on the corner of the lot, which served the congregation for a number of years as both church and schoolhouse.

The order issued on November 22, 1841 by the congregation for the church and school still exists and it contains the same signatures as the pastorate request given to Pastor E.M. Bürger (45). The following is the list of names: Carl Gottfried Faude, Ernst Faude, John Ch. Sieffert, Gottfried Grottke, Ernst Mayer, Ferdinand Langner, Joseph Hanschke, Daniel Keller, Christian Gräser, Carl Toy, Ignatz Pelzel, Wilhelm Stern.

Documents (46)concerning the dismissal from Pastor Grabau's congregation and the appointment of Pastor Bürger from the following individuals are on hand: C. Dissmar, Theo. Chabot, Heinrich Homelius, J.C.F. Wedel, Georg Dopf, negotiations agent and Gottlieb Meissner.

Thanks and praise be to God, the First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Congregation, as it stands now celebrating its 50th birthday in its beautifully decorated church, has little concept of the need and poverty, the battles and the humiliations our fathers, founders and spiritual caregivers suffered. But the grace of God helped them through each difficulty and bestowed them with victory over the others. In all deprivations and all battles and tribulations He remained their comfort, He gave them His True Word and His unblemished sacraments, He led them to a land where they could practice their Evangelical-Lutheran beliefs undisturbed. God fortified them so that they did not weaken; He comforted them so they did not dispair and He made himself known to them. The little congregation grew; its children were educated to become true Lutherans and in God's Grace they became the salt of this city. The few old ones who


saw those days can tell us and our daughter church, Emmaus, all about things which aren't related here(47).

The most important events in our history can be found in the book "History of Buffalo and Erie County". Information taken from this book will allow us to further report how the Lord has made himself known to this congregation and its nursery, our lovely school.

In 1842 the congregation purchased a building site at the corner of William and Milnor Streets and constructed a small brick church. The forward part was used for the school and during the week it was used by Pastor Bürger for confirmation instruction. In February 1844 the congregation was incorporated as the First Trinity Evangelical-Lutheran Church, U.A.C. The trustees back then were: Ferdinand Langner, Heinrich Philippe and J. Th. Chabot. The successor to Pastor E.M. Bürger was Pastor A.G.G. Franke from 1851 to 1852 (48). In June 1852 the congregation selected Teacher Fritsche of Fort Wayne. In July 1852 the congregation sent a call to Pastor Diehlmann. During the pastorate of Pastor Diehlmann cholera devastated the city, and a number of the congregation died. The entire family of Ignatz Pelzel died. In his last will and testament he made a bequest to the congregation. The inheritance of $555 was used in 1853. In 1854 Pastor Diehlman and a member of the congregation, Mr. Tubesing, founded the family paper "Die Abendschule" [The Night School], which was first published February 1, 1854. The newspaper still exists today. On April 24, 1854 Teacher Fritsche was called to Missouri and in May 1854 Pastor J.H. Pinkepank was called here to become assistant pastor and school teacher. On June 5, 1855 the congregation, which had joined the Missouri Synod along with other states in 1847, voted to divide into 4 districts and they elected Pastor Keyl as District President. On December 16, 1855


A. Franke


Pastor Diehlman was sent to Reinham, Canada and the congregation soon after appointed Mr. Sauter as provisional teacher. In November 1866 *  Pastor Pinkepank died (49). On December 7, 1866 the congregation assembled to commemorate this tragedy and held a humble repentance ceremony. The congregation paid for the burial costs and supported the widow.

In January 1857 Pastor L. Dulitz was appointed and he remained the congregation's pastor until 1864. Teacher Sauter, who had been appointed provisional school teacher, was permanently appointed in May 1857. On August 9 he left the post and Mr. Westphal became school teacher. In December 1858 Pastor Dulitz was given permission to serve the pastorless sibling congregation in West Seneca due to Pastor Bürger's removal to Washington, D.C. On February 20, 1859 the congregation established the graveyard, which is now known as the Concordia Cemetery. On September 2, 1860 Teacher Westphal retired and the congregation on March 10, 1861 acquired seminarian Barthing of Addison as teacher for 9 months until November 24, 1861 when Teacher Kestel of New York was appointed. On June 19, 1864 Pastor Dulitz was called to the congregation in Huntington, Indiana. During the vacancy period the congregation was served by Pastor Hugo Hanser in Johannisburg and Pastor Muckel in West Seneca. During this time pastors Stubnatzi, Jox and Klinkenberg were asked to lead the congregation but the requests were not accepted. On January 15, 1865 Pastor Fr. Ruhland of Wolcottsville, Niagara County, N.Y. answered the called of our congregation. On May 14, 1865 a lot was chosen for a new church.

*Translator's note: I think this is a misprint. The date should be November 1856. The memorial service probably took place in 1856 too. Return to text


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