HISTORY OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN
AN ACCOUNT OF THE CAUSES, WHICH GAVE RISE TO ITS
ORGANIZATION; ITS ORGANIZATION AND NAME; ITS
POSITION AND CONFESSIONAL BASIS; OBJECT OF
ITS ORGANIZATION; WORK, DEVELOPMENT,
AND VARIOUS SESSIONS; ITS POLICY;
AND ITS FUTURE.
SOCRATES HENKEL, D. D.
NEW MARKET, VA.:
HENKEL CO., PRINTERS AND PUBLISHERS.
Names and Addresses of Ministers Now in Connection with
the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod.
Rev. J. R. PETERSON, Dallas, North Carolina.
REV. T. MOSER, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina.
REV. S. HENKEL, D. D., New Market, Virginia.
REV. C. H. BERNHEIM Conover, North Carolina.
REV. D. EFIRD Lexington, South Carolina.
REV. J. M. SMITH, Conover, North Carolina.
REV. L. A. BIKLE D. D., Dallas, North Carolina.
REV. J. I. MILLER, D. D., Luray, Virginia.
REV. I. CONDER McGaheysville, Virginia.
REV. J. N. STIREWALT, Stony Man, Virginia.
REV. A. L. CROUSE Hickory, North Carolina.
REV. J. P. STIREWALT New Market, Virginia.
REV. PROF. M. L. LITTLE, Dallas, North Carolina.
REV. J. C. MOSER, Hickory, North Carolina.
REV. J. K. EFIRD Rightwell, South Carolina.
REV. J. A. CROMER, Columbia, South Carolina.
REV. E. L. LYBRAND, Summit Point, South Carolina.
REV. PROF. R. A. YODER, Conover, North Carolina.
REV. PROF. J. S. KOINER, Waynesboro, Virginia.
REV. D. A. SOX, Edwardsville, Alabama.
REV. D. A. GOODMAN, Happy Home, North Carolina.
REV. J. W. HAUSENFLUCK, Alma, Virginia.
REV. PROF. W. P. CLINE, llex, North Carolina.
REV. D. J. SETTLEMYRE, New Sterling, North Carolina.
REV. J. A. RUDISILL, Henry, North Carolina.
REV. R. H. CLINE, Orkney Springs, Virginia.
REV. P. C. WIKE Maurertown, Va.
REV. D. C. HUFFMAN Hickory, North Carolina.
REV. PROF. J. G. SCHAID, Conover, North Carolina.
REV. J. P. PRICE, Concord, North Carolina.
REV. J. F. MOSER, Monroe, North Carolina.
REV. W. L. DARR, Chapin, South Carolina.
REV. D. I. OFFMAN, Julian, North Carolina.
REV. J. P. MILLER, Conover, North Carolina.
List of Churches Now in Connection with The Evangelical
Lutheran Tennessee Synod.
CLEBURNE COUNTY-ST. Michael's. CALHOUN COUNTY.-Zion.
LEXINGTON COUNTY.--ZION St. Peter's (M.), St. Paul's, Cedar Grove,. St. James's Immanuel St. Peter's (P. W.), St. John's St. Jacon's Bethlehem, St. Thomas's.
RICHLAND COUNTY.-St. Andrew's, Mt. Tabor.
ALMANCE COUNTY-Mt. Pleasant.
ALEXANDER COUNTY. -Friendship, Salem, Shiloh.
BURKE COUNTY. -Luther, Lutheran Chapel.
CALDWELL COUNTY. -Philadelphia, Mt. Zion, Lutz's.
CABARRUS COUNTY.-St. Martin's, Lutheran Union.
CATAWBA COUNTY-St. James's, Grace, Concordia, St. John's, St. Paul's, St. Peter's, St. Stephen's, Zion, Holy Trinity, Newton, Sardis, Bethel, St. Timothy's, Mt. Olive.
CLEVELAND COUNTY.-St. Matthew's
DAVIDSON COUNTY.-Pilgrim, Beck's, Emmanuel, New Jerusalem, Holly Grove.
GASTON COUNTY-St. Mark's, Philadelphia, Lutheran Chapel, St. John's, Antioch, Christ's, College Chapel, Mt. Holly.
GUILFORD COUNTY. -Coble's.
IREDELL COUNTY.-Sharon, St. Martin's.
LINCOLN COUNTY.-Daniel's, Trinity, Salem, Bethphage, St. Luke's, Sharon.
MECKLENBURG COUNTY.-Morning Star.
RANDOLPH COUNTY. -Melanchthon.
ROWAN COUNTY.-Mt. Moriah, St. Mark's, Phanuel.
STANLEY COUNTY-St. Martin's.
UNION COUNTY. -Emmanuel, St. Luke's.
WATAUGA COUNTY.-Valle Crusis, Mt. Pleasant.
AUGUSTA COUNTY.-Bethlehem, St. Paul's.
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY.-Bethany (St. Jacob's), McGaheysville, Trinity, St. Peter's, Rader, St. John's Bethel.
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY.-Bethel.
PAGE COUNTY.-St. Paul's, St. William's (Fairview), Grace, Mt. Calvary, Morning Star, St. Marks, Cedar Point.
SHENANDOAH COUNTY. -Emmanuel, Mt. Zion, Solomon's, St. Mary's (Pine), Powder Springs, St. Paul's, St. Jacob's, Zion, St. Matthew's, St. Stephen's, St. David's, Mt. Calvary, Morning Star.
MADISON COUNTY.-Mt. Nebo.
These obituaries were published as part of the minutes of the Synod Sessions.
pp. 67-70 Sixth Session of the Synod meeting at St. John's Church, Lincoln County, now Catawba County, North Carolina, September 5, 1825
Obituary of Rev. Paul Henkel.-Rev. Paul Henkel was a son of Jacob Henkel who was a son of Justus Henkel who was a son of Rev. Gerhard Henkel who was a German Court preacher, and came to America about 1718, and located at Germantown, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rev. Gerhard Henkel was a descendant of Count Henkel, of Poeltzig, who was instrumental in sending Rev. Muhlenberg to America. Count Henkel was a descendant of Johann Henkel, D. D., LL. D., born in Leutschau, Hungary, and was Father Confessor to Queen Maria about 1530. He sympathized with Protestantism, and maintained friendly relations with Melanchthon, Erasmus, Spalatin, and others who were engaged in the Reformation of the sixteenth century.
Rev. Paul Henkel was born on the Yadkin River, Rowan County, North Carolina, December 15, 1754. Whilst he was a youth, his parents, with their family, moved to Western Virginia. About the year 1776, Paul Henkel determined to prepare himself for the Gospel Ministry, placing himself under the instruction of Rev. Kruch, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Fredericktown, Maryland. After having taken a course in the German, Latin, and Greek languages, and other studies necessary to the ministerial office, he applied to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Pennsylvania and adjacent States, the only Lutheran Synod then in existence in this country. He was examined and licensed to preach. Having received a call from congregations in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, at and near New Market, Shenandoah County, he accepted, and located at New Market, Virginia, and extended his labors into other sections, as Augusta, Madison, Pendleton, Wythe, &c., where he laid the foundations of a large number of congregations. On the 6th of June, 1792, he was solemnly set apart to the office of Pastor, in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His ordination was performed by Rev. John Frederick Schmidt, pastor of a church in that city. He afterward located in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, and labored in that section about three years. He then returned to New Market, Virginia, and resumed his labors among his former congregations. In 1800 he received a call to congregations in Rowan (his native County), North Carolina. He accepted it, but even there, as in Virginia, he did not confine his labors simply to those congregations, but extended them to other places in the surrounding counties. But finding that section unhealthy, on account of chills and fever, he returned in 1805 to New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, and became an independent missionary. Not depending for a support on any special missionary fund, but on the promises of his Master and the good will of those to whom he ministered, he made several tours through Western Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, gathering the scattered members of the Church, administering to them the Word and Sacraments, instructing and confirming the youth, and, as far as practicable, organizing new congregations. During the War of 1812-1815 he took up his residence at Point Pleasant, Mason County, Virginia, and organized several congregations in that section, but at the close of the war, he returned to his old residence at New Market, Virginia, and resumed his missionary labors.
In 1803, whilst he resided in North Carolina, he, with several other ministers, formerly belonging to the Pennsylvania Synod, organized the North Carolina Synod. In October, 1812, while he resided at Point Pleasant, about ten of the brethren of the Pennsylvania Synod held their first special conference west of the Alleghany Mountains, in Washington County, Pennsylvania. To this conference he was invited, but for certain reasons was unable to attend. But at the conference which was held the next year at Clear Creek, Fairfield County, Ohio, he was present, and was recognized as one of their body, although he still belonged to the Synod of North Carolina. In 1818 he took part in the organization of the Ohio Synod, and in 1820, in that of the Tennessee Synod.
In 1809 he published a small work in the German language, on Christian Baptism and the Lord's Supper. This work was afterwards translated into the English. In 1810 he published a German hymnbook for the benefit of the Church, containing two hundred and fortysix hymns. In 1816, he published another hymn-book in the English language, which was afterwards enlarged and improved, and contains four hundred and seventy-six hymns,-a portion of which are adapted to the Gospels and Epistles of the Ecclesiastical Year. A considerable number of these hymns both German and English, were composed by him. In 1814, he published his German Catechism, and not long afterwards his English Catechism, for the especial benefit of the young, not changing the substance of Luther's Catechism. To these Catechisms be appended an explanation of all the Fast and Festival Days observed in the Church. Soon after this, his little work, written in rhyme, entitled Zeilvertreib (Pastime) made its appearance, to the amusement of some, and the annoyance of others,-it was a satirical rebuke to fanaticism and superstition, vice and folly.
He was well proportioned, large and erect, standing about six feet, with well developed physical organs, full of energy and perseverance. His mind was well balanced. His attainments were liberal. As a citizen, he was kind, affectionate, and forbearing. As a neighbor, he was universally esteemed and beloved. As a preacher, he had few superiors in his day. He was animated and often eloquent. His soul was in his Master's cause. Few ministers performed more arduous, faithful, efficient labor than he did. In all the relations of life, he was true, faithful, pious, reliable, and upright.
On the 20th of November, 1776, he entered into the holy estate of matrimony with Miss Elizabeth Negley, who, with her father's family, had emigrated from New Jersey to Virginia. They became the parents of nine children,-six sons and three daughters. The oldest son entered the medical profession, and the other five, the ministerial, becoming Lutheran ministers.
He preached his first sermon in Pendleton County, Virginia, now West Virginia, in the year 1781, on Phil. 2, 5, and his last one, in New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, Oct. 9, 1825, on Luke 2, 34.
After faithfully serving his generation for many years, it pleased the great Head of the Church to call him from his labors here to his reward in the Church triumphant. He died of paralysis, on the 17th day of November, 1825; aged 70 years, 11 months, and 11 days, and was buried at New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia; Rev. Geo. H. Riemenschneider officiating. The sermon was based on Phil. 1, 21.
In speaking of the Rev. Paul Henkel, John G. Morris, D. D., LL, D., says, in his work, "Fifty Years in the Ministry," he "was, in early life and for many years, a laborious missionary among the scattered Anglo-German population in the South. He may indeed be considered as one of the pioneers of the church in that region, which was in those days truly desolate. His narrative, which was printed, has all the interest of romance, and if he had performed the same self-denying labors in the service of any other church he would have received a great earthly reward."
pp. 80-82 Twelfth session of the Synod, Buehler's Church, Sullivan County, Tennessee, September 12-16, 1831.
Obituary of Rev. David Henkel.-We, the members of the committee, appointed to report the particulars relative to the last illness, death, &c., of our worthy and highly esteemed brother in Christ, the Rev. David Henkel (son of the Rev. Paul Henkel), a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, beg leave to submit the following:
This much esteemed and venerable fellow-laborer, having finished the work assigned him by Divine Providence, departed this life, June 15, 1831, at 9 o'clock in the morning, to the great grief of his friends and relatives; aged thirty-six years, one month, and eleven days. He was born in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, May 4, 1795. His last illness was Dyspepsia, which disabled him from officiating in a public capacity for the term of nine months. He bore his afflictions with a perfect resignation to the will of his Divine Redeemer. He embarked in the cause of his blessed Savior when a youth (A. D. 1812). And we are happy to say, to the praise of this worthy servant of Christ, that his assiduity and vigilance to study and deep researches into the truth of Divine Revelation have seldom been equaled by any. He remained immovable in the doctrines he promulgated to the end of his life. This venerable servant of the Lord had to endure many trials, crosses, and temptations, but he maintained his integrity through them all, trusting to the promises of his Redeemer; and notwithstanding the difficulties he had to encounter, he left a bright example to succeeding pilgrims. His ardent desire for the promotion of his Redeemer's Kingdom, and his love of truth, caused him to submit cheerfully to the difficulties connected with his official labors. When on his death-bed, being interrogated by his friends, whether he still remained steadfast in the doctrines which he had taught, he confidently answered in the affirmative. Being again asked, whether he feared death, he replied in the negative. The last words which he was heard to utter, were: " O Lord Jesus, thou Son of God, receive my spirit!" and in a few moments expired.
He entered into the holy estate of matrimony with Miss Catharine Heyl (Hoyle), daughter of Hon. Peter Heyl (Hoyle), of near Lincolnton, Lincoln County, North Carolina.
The perishable remains of this worthy brother were followed to the grave by his loving companion and seven children, together with a numerous train of mourners, who were left, to lament the loss of a kind father, an affectionate husband, a friend and benefactor. The body is deposited at St. John's Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina. The funeral sermon was delivered by the Rev. Daniel Moser, from Phil. 1, 21 - " For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Lord so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom!
The committee, appointed to draught the obituary notice of the Rev. David Henkel, requested the Secretary to add any particulars relative to his ministerial labors and writings which he may be able to obtain.
In conformity with the above request, I am enabled, from notes made by my lamented brother during his life time and other sources of information, to which I have had access, to give the following particulars, viz.:
He commenced his Gospel labors at St. Peter's Church, in South Carolina, where he preached his first sermon, November the 1st 1812, from which period up to the time he preached his last sermon at Philadelphia Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, on Sunday, the 12th of August, 1830 where he administered the Lord's Supper, which concluded upwards of three thousand and two hundred sermons; delivered generally to crowded and attentive congregations. He baptized two thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven infants, and two hundred and forty-three adults, and he confirmed one thousand one hundred and five persons.
During the whole course of his ministry, which was distinguished for industry and perseverance, in the cause of his Divine Master, he traveled in all seasons, even the most inclement, and frequently preached two and three times in a day, in the German and English languages. Besides which he maintained an extensive correspondence with many individuals, distinguished for piety and learning, and wrote the following works:
His first work, containing a sermon, entitled, " The Essence of the Christian Religion, and Reflections on Futurity," was published in 1817.
His second, called " The Carolinian Herald of Liberty, Religious and Political," published in 1821.
His third, - Objections to the Constitution of the General Synod, made its appearance, annexed to the Minutes of the Tennessee Synod, held in 1821.
His fourth, entitled " The Heavenly Flood of Regeneration or Treatise on Holy Baptism," published in 1822.
His fifth, " An Answer to Joseph Moore," who wrote in opposition to the doctrines contained in his Heavenly Flood, published in 1825.
He then draughted 6thly the Constitution, together with the remarks thereon, of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, in 1828: and annexed to the Minutes of the same year, his Treatise on Prayer appeared.
His seventh, A Translation from the German of Luther's Small Catechism, with Preliminary Observations by the translator, published in 1829.
His eighth, "An Essay on Regeneration," published in 1830.
His ninth, "A Treatise on the Person and Incarnation of Jesus Christ, in which some, of the principal arguments of the Unitarians are examined, - which has just left the press.
pp. 85-86 Fourteenth Session of the Synod, St. John's Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, September 9-12, 1833.
Obituary of Rev. Philip Henkel.-Before these Minutes could be put to press, the sad and heartbreaking news was received, that our much beloved brother and fellow-laborer, in the Lord's vineyard, the Rev. Philip Henkel, departed this life, October 9, 1833.
For the satisfaction of his friends and relatives, we subjoin the following brief account
The deceased was a son of the Rev. Paul Henkel, and a fellow member of the Lutheran Tennessee Synod, of which he also was one of the first framers. He was born on the 23d September, 1779, in Pendleton County, Virginia.
In early life he imbibed the principles of the Christian religion, and in a short time became a zealous defender of the same. In 1800 he commenced his Gospel labors in the Lord's vineyard, in whose service he continued with undaunted zeal, for 38 years and 3 months, during which time he preached upwards of four thousand three hundred and fifty sermons, of which one hundred and twenty-five were funeral sermons. He baptized four thousand one hundred and fifteen infants, and three hundred and twenty-five adults; and confirmed to the Christian Church one thousand six hundred and fifty persons.
At the present session of our Synod, we frequently had the pleasure of hearing him proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here he was also, (but alas, for the last time!) nominated President of our Synod. And after the close of the Synod, he proceeded, in good health, to visit the congregations in Guilford and the adjacent counties. After he had arrived in Randolph County, North Carolina, he preached in Richland Church, on September 21st from Col. 3, 1-5. (His last sermon on this earthly stage!) Being invited by a neighboring friend, he retired to his house, where he was at the same evening attacked with the bilious fever, to which, after a short illness, he fell a victim. He departed this life on Wednesday, the 9th of October, 1833. On the day following, he was buried at Richland Church.
His earthly abode was 54 years and 17 days. A short time before he expired, he said : "If it is the will of the Lord, to take me to rest, I am willing." And then repeated the following lines (which also were the last words that were heard from his lips):
"Christ is my life alone,
To die is gain for me;
I give myself to be his own
O may I ever with him be."
pp. 92-93 Seventeenth session of the Synod, Koiner's Church, Augusta County, Virginia, September 11-15, 1837.
Obituary of Rev. John N. Stirewalt.-It is with feelings of deep sorrow that we record the death of our worthy and beloved co-laborer, Rev. John N. Stirewalt, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod. He departed this life, August 13, 1836, in Rowan County, North Carolina; aged 34 years and 6 days. He died of lung disease, with which he was afflicted a number of years.
The Lord, in whose hands stand the death and life of man, saw fit to remove this useful laborer in his Vineyard from time into eternity.
At an early age, he was instructed, by his parents, in the rudiments of the Christian religion, and after he had completed his literary and classical course of study, he entered the ministry, in the year 1827, and was ordained to the office of Pastor, August 10 1829, during the Synod held in Salem Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina.
He was an earnest and zealous teacher of the principles of religion, fearlessly proclaiming the everlasting Gospel eight years and ten months, with great joy and zeal. During this period he dispensed the .bread of life; and, notwithstanding his sickness, he made known the saving Gospel of the crucified Savior, with efficiency, to many who had been deprived of it, both in his native State and in adjoining States.
In view of his fidelity to the end of his days, we trust, in yonder, glorious day, he is crowned with an unchangeable crown, and clothed with immortality. During his sickness he frequently admonished his friends and visitors to continue steadfast in the doctrines he had taught them, and shortly before his departure he said : I hope that God the Father, through Christ, may be merciful to me and all others, saying I hope and trust to die in the same faith I taught others, exclaiming, God help us all. Amen.
After the cold hand of death had closed his eyes, his body was placed in the silent grave at Sewitzen Church, Rowan County, North Carolina, to await the resurrection morning. Rev. Daniel Moser rendered the funeral services, and preached a sermon from Phil.1, 21-23.
As the deceased had intended to move to Virginia, his family, consisting of his wife and four children, soon after his death took their departure, and located on a farm which he had previously purchased, adjoining the corporate limits of the town of New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia. -Jonathan R. Moser, Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod.
pp. 98-99 Nineteenth session of the Synod, Emmanuel Church, Sullivan County, Tennessee, September 1839.
Obituary of Rev. Daniel Moser.-On the 11th day of July, 1839, our worthy and highly esteemed friend and co-laborer in the vineyard of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Rev. Daniel Moser departed this life, in Lincoln, now Catawba, County, North Carolina; aged 49 years, 2 months, and 3 days.
On the 8th day of May, 1790 he was born of Christian parents, in Orange County, North Carolina, and, in his infancy, was baptized by Rev. Henry Barnhardt. On the 3d day of October, 1808 he was confirmed, by Revs. John L. Markert and Philip Henkel to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Lauen Church, Guilford County, North Carolina. He entered the ministry in the year 1812, and was ordained to the office of Pastor in the year 1820 during the Synod which met, in that year, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in Lincolnton, North Carolina.
In this office, he maintained honor, dignity, and firmness, adhering closely to the Gospel of our Divine Redeemer, and gave diligence in serving God, and leading an upright life and irreproachable conduct, in his labors, rightly dividing the word of truth.
As a preacher, it may be said with truth, that he was firm in the faith, and worthy of his vocation ; as a husband, he was kind and affectionate; as a father, pleasant and instructive; as a citizen, he was friendly and liberal; and, in a word, his whole life was irreproachable, as far as it is possible for that of man to be. Well may it be said, that in his death the community, in which he lived, was deprived of one of its best members, and sustained an irreparable loss. Yet we must bow to the will of our heavenly Father, and exclaim: He is the Lord; he doth what seemeth good in his sight.
Brother Moser labored in the gospel ministry about twenty-seven years. During this period he preached 1,943 sermons, baptized 2,450 persons, and confirmed 821. He preached his last sermon in St. Peter's Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, on the 30th day of June, 1839, on Matt. 28, 20: "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you," &c.
His last sickness was paralysis. He was found about a mile and a-half from his residence, sitting at the road. His right side was entirely paralyzed. When he was found he was speechless, and remained so till his end, which took place on the seventh day of the attack. Consequently, he was deprived of the power to speak to his relatives and neighbors, which they so much regretted. Yet, we have reason to believe that, in view of his well grounded hope, he was fully assured of his gracious acceptance. His earthly remains were interred in the grave-yard at St. John's Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina. His funeral services were rendered and a sermon was preached on the occasion by the writer of this notice, from 2 Tim. 4, 7, 8 : "I have fought a good fight &c." Rev. A. J. Brown then followed with impressive and pertinent remarks, suited to the sad and solemn occasion. in conclusion we add, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth ; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them, "-Adam Miller
p. 106 Twenty-second session of the Synod, Trinity Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, September 12-16, 1842.
Obituary of Rev. John Rhodes.-Departed this mortal life, on the 3d of September, 1842 the Rev. John Rhodes; aged 22 years and 14 days.
This amiable and interesting young man was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod. He was ordained and set apart to the gospel ministry, on the 13th day of December, 1841. He manifested great zeal in the cause of his divine Redeemer, and bade fair for great usefulness to society, as an "able minister of the New Testament." About three months previous to his death, he visited the churches under the pastoral care of Parson Dreher, in South Carolina; and, sometime during the month of August, he returned to his native State, (North Carolina, Lincoln County,) to visit his affectionate mother and family, and to attend the ensuing session of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod; when and where, in all probability, he would have been promoted to the office of Pastor. He returned home in the enjoyment of excellent health, to enjoy (for a few days) the society of relatives and friends. But, alas! in the midst of those scenes of social enjoyment, so agreeable and interesting to kindred spirits, he was attacked with fever, which, in a short time, terminated his earthly existence. He bore his afflictions with much Christian fortitude and resignation to the will of his Heavenly Father. He said, that if it was the will of God to take him into Eternity, he did not crave his life." A short time before his death, he called his mother and family to his bedside, where he united with them in prayer to God, to aid them in the trying moments of their separation. He then proceeded, though laboring under great bodily debility, to give them an expression of his faith, upon which he was about to leave this world; he solemnly warned them to guard against false doctrine and teachers; admonishing them to continue in the true doctrine, "as once delivered to the saints." He solemnly assured his affectionate mother, that she should be entitled to an interest in his prayer, to his last moments. He yielded up his soul to God, his Heavenly Father, without a murmur about five minutes after 7 o'clock, A. M. In the person of the deceased, the mother has been deprived of a dutiful son the family of an affectionate brother; and society of an invaluable member. The body of the deceased was deposited in a family graveyard, near Vestal's Ford; his funeral sermon was preached in Philadelphia Church, on the same day, by the writer of this notice, from Phil. 3, 20-21 : "For our conversation is in heaven; from whence we also look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
pp. 108-109 Twenty-fourth session of the Synod, Zion's Church, Catawba County, North Carolina, October 5, 1844.
Obituary of Rev. Adam Miller, Sr.-Departed this mortal life, Rev. Adam Miller, Sr., our venerable, esteemed, and most worthy brother, and fellow-laborer in the vineyard of our benign Redeemer, Jesus Christ, on the 6th day of July, A. D., 1844; aged 84 years, 2 months, and 18 days.
Mr. Miller was born in York County, Pennsylvania, on the 18th day of April, 1760 of Christian parents, who, in his infancy dedicated him to the Lord, by observing his own appointed means, the ordinance of Holy Baptism. He was brought up and instructed in the nature and observance of this sacred vow, made by his parents, until matured by age and discretion; and upon being convinced, by the solemn and divine truths of the everlasting Gospel, he publicly confessed his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by being confirmed, according to the custom of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, a member of the same, in which he continued to occupy a respectable station, as a private member, until the 53d year of his age, having previously migrated to Sullivan County, Tennessee. That part of the country being quite destitute of ministers, who were members of the Lutheran Church, the calls for ministers were many. These things, with the very many pressing solicitations of his friends and brethren in the church, so wrought upon his philanthropic mind, that he was ultimately induced to embark in the ministry of the Gospel. He delivered his first sermon in the year 1813, and was ordained to the office of Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the year 1820, by the members composing the first regular session of the Tennessee Synod, convened at Solomon's Church, Green County, Tennessee, in which capacity he continued successfully to act until his death.
He served in the gospel ministry about thirty years, during which time he labored much, preached a great many sermons, and broke the bread of life to many immortal souls. And, indeed, his labors everywhere appeared to be owned, blessed, and crowned with abundant success, by the great Head of the Church. He preached his last sermon in the Poor Valley Church, Washington County, Virginia, from Luke, 4th chapter and 18th verse, six days before he breathed his last.
Notwithstanding the simplicity of his style, and the plainness of his manner of delivering his sermons, he, as far as acquainted, was universally distinguished and admired for his candor, zeal, faithfulness, and untiring diligence in the performance of the duty assigned him by his Divine Master. In a word, his character, as a minister, may truly be said to have been highly exemplary and interesting. As a husband, he was kind and endearing; as a father, he was gentle and indulgent; and as a citizen and member of society, he was affable and inoffensive. Hence, it may truly be said, that, by his death, the church has been deprived of a useful minister; his relatives of a valuable friend; and society of a worthy and exemplary member. Nevertheless, we would feel a disposition to bow with due deference to every event directed by heaven and say, Thy will be done, O Lord!
His last illness appears to have been a violent attack of the Scarlet Fever. His sufferings were truly great, though he bore them with great fortitude and submission, until the 5th day after his attack ; when, feeling that he was fast sinking, he requested the 71st Psalm to be read in his hearing, which having been done, he declared the contents to be his own sentiments, and then added, "Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength fails me." He then requested the 573d hymn in the Lutheran Church Hymn book to be sung. On the next day the violence of the disease grew too powerful for his age and weak frame, and he closed his eyes in the sleep of death. His perishable remains were committed to the narrow confines of the grave, in a family graveyard, near the place where he expired. His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. A. J. Brown, from Hebrews, the 11th chapter and 4th verse, at Poor Valley Church, and was followed by the Rev. William Hancher with appropriate and interesting remarks.
We add, in conclusion, that we trust that while his perishable body reclines in the cold mansions of the dead, his disembodied and never-dying spirit is reaping the rich reward of all his earthly toils, in the world of never-ending bliss and glory.
p. 120 Twenty-eighth session of the Synod, Solomon's Church, Shenandoah County, Virginia, September 30, 1848.
Obituary of Rev. Nehemiah Bonham.-" The following is an abstract of the facts collected by the Rev. George Easterly and D. Forester, in relation to our departed brother in Christ, the Rev. N. Bonham :
The Rev. N. Bonham was born on the 1st day of November, 1765. He studied theology under the care of the Rev. Paul Henkel, and received license to preach in the year 1790 being 25 years of age; and in the year 1791 he was ordained pastor by the Rev. John George Butler, a member of the Maryland and Virginia Synod. In the year 1824, he attached himself to the Tennessee Synod, and continued an active member of the same until the year 1844, when he was thrown from his carriage and severely wounded, by which he was disabled from rendering further services to the church, as he never recovered from the injuries he received by the fall.
He departed this life on the 5th of November, 1846; aged 81 years and 4 days, of which about 54 years had been devoted to the ministry. His death was lamented by an affectionate wife and eight children, and also by the little flock which he had gathered at Morning Star Church, Haywood County, North Carolina, at which place his remains were solemnly deposited.
pp. 159-60 Forty-second session of the Synod, Grace Church, Catawba County, North Carolina, October 1862.
Obituary of Rev. Jacob Costner.-The Rev. Jacob Costner was born August 27th, 1788, and departed this mortal life March 19th, 1862, at the advanced age of 72 years, 7 months, and 2 days. He intermarried with Mary Ann Rudisill, December 10th 1810 who bore him ten children, five of whom preceded him to eternity.
Mr. Costner was born of pious parents who dedicated their son to God in infancy, by the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, and at an early age he was admitted to full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church by the rite of confirmation. In Mr. Costner's early life, the scarcity of ministers in the Lutheran Church was very great, and he was ordained to the office of Deacon, as it was then established in the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, but from causes not clearly understood by the writer, he never labored in the ministry. Mr. Costner was warmly attached to the Church of his fathers, and was active in the performance of whatever he considered his duty, and so long as strength permitted, his place in the congregation was never vacant; but for a number of years before his death, his strength so far failed as to prevent his regular attendance upon the public ministrations of the Gospel. His concern, however, for the prosperity of the Church continued unabated, and, as he neared the grave, his prospects for heaven grew brighter. The writer visited him during the somewhat protracted and painful sickness which terminated his earthly existence, and had opportunities of hearing from him expressions of a well grounded hope of acceptance with God.
In all the relations of life, Mr. Costner was exemplary. He was an affectionate husband, a kind and indulgent father, and a useful citizen.
pp. 180-182 Forty-ninth session of the Synod, Emmanuel Church, New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, October 15, 1869.
Obituary of Rev. Jacob Stirewalt.-Rev. Jacob Stirewalt was born near Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, on Saturday, August 17, 1805 and departed this life, at his residence, in New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, on Saturday the 21st of August, 1869, at the age of 64 years and 4 days.
He was the second son, the third and youngest child of Capt. John and Elizabeth Stirewalt; was baptized n infancy, and eventually confirmed to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. By his pious parents he was trained up and educated, and acquired that firmness of Christian character and those habits of' persevering and systematic labor which marked his entire life. In his day the advantages for acquiring an education were not equal to what they are now, still by close study and personal application he attained an eminent degree of literary and theological knowledge.
He was married to Henrietta Henkel, the daughter of Elias Henkel, at New Market, Virginia, on the 8th day of January, 1833. Two of his sons, John N. and Jerome Paul, are now actively engaged in the work of the Gospel ministry.
He was ordained Deacon, September 14, 1837, and preached his first sermon at Mt. Calvary Church, Page County, Virginia. On September 14, 1838, he was ordained Pastor, in Lincoln County, North Carolina. On the same day of his ordination to the office of Pastor, the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, of which he was a most faithful member, "Resolved, That Revs. A. Henkel, Jacob Killian, and Jacob Stirewalt, be requested to compile a Liturgy for the use of our church, and present it to the next session of the Synod for examination." This duty was performed; the Liturgy was adopted, published, and is yet extensively used in our church.
As evidencing the energy and devotion, with which he discharged the duties of the office of Pastor, it may not be improper to state that, in the 32 years of his ministry, he preached 3132 sermons, of which 560 were funeral discourses; he confirmed 708 persons, and baptized 1259, and united in marriage 171 couples in the same period.
As if to complete the circle of his life, just three months before his death, he preached his last sermon in the same county and near the same place, at which he preached his first. A life of such protracted usefulness, and crowned with such fruits, may well lead us to ponder upon the character and habits of the man, and studying the means by which he accomplished so much, we may find in his example many useful hints to ourselves.
His character, like his features, was clearly defined and individual. Regulating his own life, even in its minor details, by the sternest and most critical rules of the severest discipline, he always had a charitable word for the faults and errors of others. Proclaiming the enormity of sin and the eternal punishment of the ungodly with terrible distinctness, he delighted most in picturing the absolute perfection of the character of Christ, and wooing by the sweet inclinings of a Savior's boundless love. He never denounced the evil without presenting the remedy; never threatened with punishment, that he did not more forcibly offer the rewards which attend the good. To him the Christian religion was an active, controlling principle-indispensable to man's happiness, not only in the world to come, but in the every day affairs of life. He did not merely preach in the pulpit he so lived in practice that his whole life was but a continued application to his sermons
The Bible and the works of Luther were his almost daily study, and the churches to whom he ministered listened as he preached, with that confidence and inclination to belief which generally follow the knowledge that the preacher has given to his subject the full benefit of all his ability, energy, and research. His opinions and conclusions were firmly formed after he had thoroughly examined and carefully and prayerfully studied his subject.
Just before his departure, the sainted subject of this notice called his son to his bedside and requested him to repeat the Lord's Prayer, this being done, he quit this earthly habitation, to be present with the Lord. Rev. Ireneus Conder improved the visitation of Providence by preaching an eloquent discourse on the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them."
pp 185-86 Fiftieth Session of the Synod, St. Peter's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, November 5, 1870.
Obituary of Rev. Ambrose Henkel.-Rev. Ambrose Henkel, the fourth son of Rev. Paul and Elizabeth Henkel, was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, near Solomon's Church, 8 miles northwest of New Market, on the 11th day of July, 1786, and was initiated into the church through the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, in his infancy, and, at a more mature age, entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, through the ancient and solemn rite of Confirmation.
In 1802 he started, on foot, to Hagerstown, to learn the printing business. After working with Mr. Gruber, of Almanac reputation, and at Reading and in Baltimore, for three or four years, he purchased the bed and irons of a Ramage press and some old type, and, in 1806 established the first printing office in New Market, Virginia. With these old type, and cuts made by himself, he published a pictorial German spelling-book of his own arrangement. In 1807, he commenced the publication of a weekly German paper, called the Virginia and New Market Popular Instructor and Weekly News, which continued for two years-and suspended for want of advertising patronage. The office was, however, continued as a Book and job office by him, until he sold to his brother Solomon, about 1817.
He entered the ministry in the year 1823, and preached his first sermon; in German, in Mt. Calvary (Hawksbill) Church, Page County, Virginia, on the 23d day of November, 1823, from I Corinthians 10 1-12, and continued actively, faithfully, and successfully in the ministry till 1860. He preached his last sermon in Bethlehem Church, Augusta County, Virginia, in the year 1868. He was engaged in the office of the ministry 47 years. His labors in all the departments of his ministerial office, were extensive. He preached 3,995 sermons, of which 402 were funeral discourses; he baptized 1,625 persons, of whom 90 were adults; he confirmed 1,952 persons in the Church, and united in the holy estate of matrimony 400 men and women.
In 1838, under order of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, he prepared and published the Church Hymn-Book, which has now passed into its 4th edition.
In 1833 he was appointed, by the same body, chairman of a committee to prepare a Liturgy or Book of Forms and submit it to the Synod; which was done, and it was approved and published in 1843.
He also aided in the preparation of a purely literal translation of the Augsburg Confession, the Apology, the Smalcald Articles, the Appendix and the Articles of Visitation, which appeared in print in the Christian Book of Concord, in the year 1851.
In the years 1857-8, he prepared a similar translation of the first volume of Luther's Church Postil on the Epistles, as extant in Plochman's edition, which work, after having been carefully compared with the original German, revised, transcribed, and prepared for the press, was issued in serial numbers. He was, perhaps, the oldest practical printer and editor in the State-having edited a newspaper in New Market 62 years before his death.
As a writer and translator, he was noted for the precision and accuracy of his style, rather than ornament. He was a profound thinker, an earnest student, and a forcible speaker.
He was married three times. His first wife was Miss Catharine Hoke, daughter of Frederick Hoke, Esq., of Lincoln County, North Carolina, his second one was Miss Mary Kite, daughter of Mr. Martin Kite, of Page County, Virginia, and his third one was Miss Veronica F. Heyle (Hoyle), daughter of Peter Heyle, Esq., of Lincoln County, North Carolina.
He departed this life on the 6th day of January, 1870, at 1 o'clock, A. M.; aged 83 years, 5 months, and 26 days. He left 6 children, a number of grand-children and great-grand-children.
His funeral services were rendered by Rev. Jacob Killian, in the presence of an unusually large concourse of people, in Emmanuel Church, New Market, Va., near which his body awaits the resurrection.
pp. 186-87 Fiftieth Session of the Synod, St. Peter's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, November 5, 1870.
Obituary of Rev. Adam Efird.-And again another. The Rev. Adam Efird, of Lexington County, South Carolina, September 13, 1870. And all his days were forty-nine years, four months, and twenty-three days.
He was born in Stanley County, North Carolina, April 20, 1821, confirmed in St. Martin Church, by Rev. A. J. Fox, April 6, 1839, and ordained to the ministerial office, in St. Peter Church, Sullivan County, Tennessee, in October, 1847. He removed to Lexington County, South Carolina, in October of 1854, and took charge of several churches in connection with the Tennessee Synod. Actively engaged in the work of his Lord, beloved by his people, and honored and respected by the community, he proved himself to be a workman that needed not to be ashamed. His health, however, failed, and he, unable from bodily infirmity to continue his labor in the sacred office, finally offered his resignation; but his people would not give him up. He was unanimously re-elected, though unable to officiate. His five churches clung to him while he lived, and though his demise was not generally known, he was followed to his last resting place by a large multitude of mourning and attached people.
He served, during the war, as a member of the Legislature for two years, and filled the office of Probate judge for Lexington County, at the time of his death. He had held the office for nearly six years. He left a wife and six children to watch, wait, and follow in the narrow path. One son had gone before him, to the happy land on high. Rev. Dr. Rude, of Columbia, performed the funeral services.
pp. 187-88 Fiftieth Session of the Synod, St. Peter's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, November 5, 1870.
Obituary of Rev. Christian G. Reitzel.-Christian G. Reitzel was born -March 30, 1805, in Guilford County, North Carolina. On the 15th day of November, 1827, he entered into the holy estate of matrimony with Miss Delilah Ingold, with whom he had eleven children,
September 17, 1835, he entered the ministry as a Deacon. September 16, 1841, he was ordained to the office of Pastor, in Rader's Church, Rockingham County, Virginia.
In the year 1841, he located in Catawba County, North Carolina, and took charge of St. Peter's, Miller's, and Zion's congregations, in that county, and of Friendship Church, in Alexander County, and served them till 1849.
On the 4th day of February, 185o, his first wife departed this life. A few years after this event, he married a second time. By this union he had six children.
On the 25th day of October, 1870, he departed this life ; aged 65 years, 6 months, and 26 days. He was buried at St. Peter's Church, Catawba County, North Carolina. His funeral services were rendered and a sermon was preached by Rev. J. M. Smith, on 2 Tim. 4, 7, 8.
Whilst he was a plain, humble, common man, he possessed excellent native talents and fine mental capacities and powers. He was well indoctrinated in the teachings of Divine Revelation and the sound principles of the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, derived from the Holy Scriptures. He was very exact and rather critical. He was a faithful, zealous preacher, a devout Christian, a good neighbor, a reliable citizen, an affectionate husband, and a kind father.
pp. 190-91 Fifty-first Session of the Synod, Philadelphia Church, Gaston County, North Carolina, October 14, 1871.
Obituary of Rev. William Hancher.-We make up the following in regard to this venerable minister, from an address delivered by Rev. A. J. Brown, D. D., before the Evangelical Lutheran Holston Synod of Tennessee :
Rev. William Hancher, born in Frederick County, Virginia, September 7, 1788, venerable alike for his years and his long and successful work in the ministry, is entitled to special mention and honor on this memorable occasion. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry in 1836 and died in 1870, at the advanced age of four score and two years, minus only two days. From the time he entered the ministry, till disabled by disease, embracing a period of nearly forty years, he labored constantly and assiduously in this calling. He occupied during this time, for much of it almost alone, an extensive, and an important and fertile field in the territory of the Holston Synod, and faithfully and successfully did he cultivate and develop its resources. His labors were confined principally to Sullivan County. He was for years the pastor of the principal churches now composing the charges of his son, brother J. K. Hancher, his grand-son, Rev. William G. Wolford, and Rev. A. J. Brown. It was at an important and critical time in the history of the Lutheran Church in this country. It was in the midst of her transition state from German to the English language. At the time of his ordination, father Hancher was perhaps the only minister in the Tennessee Synod who could speak the English language only. Under the difficult circumstances by which he was surrounded, when so much valuable material was lost to the Lutheran Church in many other sections of country, he not only retained in the church in the field of his operations the old members, but also brought into it most of their children, and many others whose proclivities were by education and early associations anything else rather than Lutheran. To his labors are we largely indebted for the firm hold of Lutheranism in Sullivan County, and for its prosperity in after years.
Father Hancher was a man for whom nature had done much, and had he enjoyed in early life the advantages of thorough, mental culture, he might have attained distinction in any of the great departments of human activity and interest. But such was not the case. His youth, his early manhood, and much of his riper years, were spent in manual labor. We speak of him now particularly as a minister of the Gospel. Much as we may regret his want of education, it may have been the best for the church at that particular juncture in its history. . . . . . . . . While it is important, if not absolutely necessary, for the minister to be in advance of his people generally in education and general intelligence, it is not best that he should be too far in advance of them in these respects. For if so, they will fail to appreciate his labors and to be benefited to the fullest extent by them. But I am wandering from the subject, and will return.
For his work father Hancher had many fine, and some rare natural endowments. He was a ready speaker, and had a soft, mellow voice of sufficient volume and compass to address with ease to himself large audiences in the open air, and there was in his mental organism a deep, pathetic vein, which was clearly seen in his preaching, and seldom failed to be deeply felt by his hearers. We have witnessed moving scenes under the influence of his preaching.
Father Hancher was not a systematic sermonizer. While he attached great importance to soundness in doctrine, and gave prominence in his preaching to the distinctive doctrines of the Lutheran Church, his preaching was mostly practical and hortatory, and looked to the immediate conversion of sinners. His themes were generally such as treat of the deep innate depravity of the human heart, of repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the glories and felicities of heaven, the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and the importance and wisdom of making immediate and speedy preparation for death and judgment. He preached as a dying man to dying men, deeply impressed with the importance of his mission and the tremendous responsibility which it involves. And he was successful in bringing many souls to Christ, which shall adorn his crown when the Master comes to make up his jewels.
During his life he received many evidences of the esteem and love of his brethren, and when he died, he died deeply lamented. Like a ripe sheaf, he has been gathered home into the heavenly garner, full of years and of honors.
pp. 191-92 Fifty-first Session of the Synod, Philadelphia Church, Gaston County, North Carolina, October 14, 1871
Obituary of Rev. Jacob Killian.-Rev. Jacob Killian was born of a well-known, influential, Christian family, in Lincoln County, North Carolina, June 8, 1818. He was dedicated to God in infancy, and, at a more mature age, he entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
After securing a respectable education, he commenced the study of theology, with a view to the ministry. May 11, 1836, he entered the ministry, in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod. In the year 1837, be located near Waynesboro, Augusta County, Virginia, where he took charge of Koiner's Church, and other congregations in that section, and lived and labored there, till he was called from time into eternity. He entered into the estate of holy matrimony with Miss Julia A. Koiner, daughter of George Koiner, Esq., of near Fishersville, Augusta County, Virginia.
He was a large, portly man of commendable bearing and extensive influence, commanding general respect and esteem. He was possessed of fine native talents and excellent oratorical powers. He was an influential speaker, and frequently grew quite eloquent in the delivery of his sermons, His voice was clear, strong, and forcible. He was a faithful and zealous laborer in the vineyard of his Lord and Master, true and faithful to the doctrines and usages of the Church, and strictly conservative. He made a good impression wherever he went. He was well acquainted with the history and doctrines of the Church, and always inculcated them in the best and most impressive manner.
He was a good, reliable citizen, a kind neighbor, and an affectionate husband and a loving father.
After spending a useful, successful, Christian life, in the Church, the Family, and the State, he departed this life, July 5, 1871; aged 53 years and 28 days, and entered his rest in the upper Sanctuary, leaving four children, --three sons and one daughter, with numerous relatives and friends to lament their irreparable loss. He was buried at Bethlehem Church, near his residence, Revs. J. I Miller, D. D., and I. Conder officiating, in the presence of an unusually large and sympathetic concourse of relatives and friends.
"At length released from many woes,
How sweetly dost thou sleep;
How calm and peaceful thy repose,
While Christ thy soul doth keep."
pp. 200-01 Fifty-Fifty Session of the Synod, Mt. Calvary Church, Page County, Virginia, September 1875.
Obituary of Rev. Godfrey Dreher.-Rev. Godfrey Dreher departed this life at the residence of his son-in-law, Rev. Daniel Efird, at Pine Ridge, Lexington County, South Carolina, July 28, 1875; aged 85 years, 7 months, and 24 days. Funeral services were rendered and a sermon preached at the said residence, by Rev. H. W. Kuhns, from 1 Thess. 4, 14, in the presence of a very large, sympathizing congregation. His earthly remains were then conveyed, in solemn procession, to St. Michael's Church, twelve miles distant, where another sermon was preached by the same minister from Psalm 71, 9, at the request of a large assembly, which had gathered there, to pay the last tribute of respect to departed worth. His body was then placed in the grave, to await the final resurrection, in rear of the pulpit of St. Michael's, between the graves of Revs. Wingard and D. Dreher, the place which he had selected and which had been reserved for that purpose,-a pulpit which he had filled with so much acceptance.
He entered the active services of the ministry in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of North Carolina, in the year 1811 and confined his labors chiefly to ministerial services in Lexington County, South Carolina, in a community generally known as "Dutch Fork," where he labored with acceptance and success. He was one of the first ministers who preached in the English language in that community. He was present at the conference which met in St. Michael's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, in 1824, where and when the Evangelical Lutheran South Carolina Synod was organized, and elected as president of that synod. At that time the parochial reports show that he had six churches in his charge. From that time till 1835, he was elected treasurer of synod, successively each year. In that year, the constitution of the synod was so changed as to require a layman to fill that office. About the year 1834, some difficulties and differences arose in the synod which were not satisfactorily adjusted. In 1837, he met a committee appointed by the president of the synod, to meet at Lexington Court House, South Carolina, to adjust the differences. After some consultation, he was, at his request, permitted to withdraw from the synod in an amicable manner. Eight congregations went with him. These congregations he faithfully and zealously served, aided occasionally by visiting ministers and such other assistance as he could command, till 1851, preaching as many as two sermons on three of the Sundays in each month, although his congregations were situated a very considerable distance from his place of residence, and from five to eight miles distant from each other. From 1851 to 1854, he was permanently assisted by Rev. Daniel Efird. In 1854, he received an attack of paralysis. This ended his ministerial career.
He was always regular and punctual in his attendance at his appointments. The inclemency of the weather never prevented him from filling his engagements and complying with his obligations. It seems he was prompt in all the relations of life, and strong in his convictions. He was true and faithful, zealous and energetic in the performance of his duties. He was a man of excellent native powers and abilities, firm and indomitable. As a minister, he was earnest and effective, and often, and especially when he spoke on his theme in which he most delighted, "Justification by Faith," he grew most eloquent and pathetic. He wielded a very decided and beneficial influence in the community in which he labored. He contributed liberally of his temporal means towards the establishment of the theological seminary of the South Carolina Synod, first erected at Lexington
Court House, South Carolina. As a man, he was generous, liberal, just, kind, and affectionate in all the departments of life. "He now rests from his labors, and his works do follow him."
pp. 204-05 Fifty-sixth Session of the Synod, St. John's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, October 5, 1876.
Obituary of Rev. Thomas Crouse.-Rev. Thomas Crouse died April 1 1 1876, at 12.30 P. M. He. was born in Davidson County, North Carolina, June 6, 1822.
His paternal ancestors came from Germany to Pennsylvania, thence to Forsyth County, North Carolina, where Andrew Crouse, the father of the deceased, was born. He married a Miss Daniels, whose parents came from Ireland. They afterwards settled in Davidson County, North Carolina, where the subject of this sketch was born.
He was baptized in infancy, in Beck's Evangelical Lutheran Church, where he afterwards received religious instruction, and was confirmed.
He received his literary education at Prof. Dusenberry's school, Lexington, North Carolina, and his theological training under the direction of tutors. He entered the ministry in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, in 1845, and continued in its work until his death, having been engaged in the Master's service about 31 years.
Soon after he began his work, he moved to Randolph County, North Carolina, where he married Barbara Fox, a descendant, through her maternal line, from one of the Electors of Saxony. She died in about eight years, leaving four children. He afterwards married M.C. Fox, youngest sister of Rev. A. J. Fox, M. D., by whom one son was given him.
As a theologian, he was a sound and firm defender of the doctrines and customs of the old type of Lutheranism.As a preacher, he was attractive, because of his earnestness of manner, clearness of thought, force of style, and persuasive voice.
He labored in Guilford and Alamance, and organized Melanchthon, the only Lutheran Church in Randolph County.
In 1873, he moved to Davidson County, and rebuilt Beck's, the church of his youth, of which, with three other congregations, he was pastor until his death. His last sermon was preached in Beck's Church, ten days before he died.
Surveying his work, we are convinced that he was a "workman that need not be ashamed," and that he has many jewels in his crown.
p. 208 Fifty-eighth Session of the Synod, St. Matthew Church, Shenandoah County, Virginia, August 29, 1878
Obituary of Rev. Henry Goodman-The subject of this notice was the son of Michael and Elizabeth Goodman (Guthmann), born April 9th, 1798, was baptized in infancy, and in the year 1819 entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by the imposition of hands and prayer, by Rev. Daniel Scherer, at St. John's Church, Cabarrus County, North Carolina.
He was licensed to preach by Revs. Daniel Moser and David Henkel, on the 29th of November, 1830, and preached his first sermon on the 19th of December, following, at his uncle's, George Goodman, in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.
He was ordained by Revs. Philip Henkel, Adam Miller, and Daniel Moser, in Buehler's Church, Sullivan County, Tennessee, September 13th, 1832.
During the whole of his ministry, as also before entering the ministry, he labored faithfully in defence of the pure Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; often, especially in the early struggles of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod for the pure faith of the Church of the Reformation, sacrificing much time as well as other means, to forward the work in this great crisis.
He preached his last sermon on the 4th Sunday of November, 1877, in Sharon Church, Iredell County, North Carolina, from I John 5, 7, 8.
The subject of the above notice died at his late residence in Iredell County, North Carolina, on the morning of the 26th of January, 1878; aged 79 years, 9 months, and 17 days his consort having been called to her reward October 17th, 1876; aged 74 years, 8 months, and 22 days.
His perishable remains were deposited in the cemetery at St. Martin's Church, Iredell County, North Carolina, on the next day after his departure from this life; and notwithstanding the day was very rainy, a large concourse of people assembled to take a last view and to sympathize with the many relatives whose faces were bathed in tears, but in hopeful resignation to the will of Him who had taken His faithful servant home.
After the burial service ended, the many relatives and friends of the deceased repaired to the church to hear the funeral sermon, by Rev. P. C. Henkel, based on 2 Tim. 4, 7, 8,
pp. 217-18 Sixty-second Session of the Synod, St. Jacob's Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, October 14, 1882.
Obituary of Rev. John Silvanus Bennick.-Rev. John Silvanus Bennick, after several days confinement to his bed, departed this life at 8 P. M., on March 22, 1882; aged 44 years, 5 months and 29 days.
He was born, a son of Philip J. and Susan (nee Henkel) Bennick, in Catawba County, North Carolina, and came to New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia, in the year 1859, where he entered the New Market Academy, and pursued a literary course with a view to the Gospel ministry.
In September, 1861, he entered the Confederate Army, in the infantry service, in which he continued till the surrender. As soon as he returned from the army, he resumed his literary branches, and entered on a theological course of study under the supervision of Rev. S. Henkel, D. D.
He entered the ministry of the Gospel in the year 1866, still, however, pursuing his regular course of studies under the direction of his preceptor, until he was well indoctrinated. After the death of the late, lamented Rev. Jacob Stirewalt, he received a regular call to that charge, and continued to labor in it most successfully and efficiently till June, 1880 when his health and strength partially failed. From this date, his charge being unwilling to accept his resignation, he continued to serve it, with occasional interruptions, however, till August, 1881. In September, 1881, he tendered his resignation, after which he performed few ministerial acts. He was most actively and energetically engaged in the work of the ministry for 15 years. Besides serving his large charge, he performed considerable missionary labor, often preaching on week days.
Three excellent church edifices of modern style were erected in his charge during his ministry, and one congregation organized, and an ordinary church erected for its occupancy. His ministerial acts, in regard to baptisms-infant and adult-confirmations, funerals, &c., were numerous. The number of marriage ceremonies performed was one hundred and sixty-five.
He was a grandson of Rev. David Henkel, one of the founders of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, and a nephew of Revs. P. C. Henkel, D. D., and S. Henkel, D. D.
He was naturally endowed with all the traits, qualities, and faculties so essential to the office of the ministry, and these with liberal attainments and indomitable energy, fidelity, and perseverance, gave him that success which so signally crowned his efforts.
On December 22, 1867, he entered into the holy estate of matrimony with Miss Elizabeth Emma, only living daughter of the late Peter J. and Elizabeth Wise of Rockingham County, Virginia.
His funeral services were rendered in Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, New Market, Va., and his body appropriately interred in the cemetery of said church, in the midst of a large and sympathizing concourse of people from the town and country. The services were rendered and a suitable sermon preached by Rev. J. Paul Stirewalt, accompanied with appropriate remarks and prayer by Rev. J. A. Snyder.
Thus a faithful laborer in the vineyard of Christ has been removed from the church militant to the church triumphant, to enjoy that crown of life secured by the Savior for all the faithful.
pp. 230-31 Sixty-fourth Session of the Synod, St. Mary's (Pine) Church, Shenandoah County, Virginia, September 27, 1884.
Obituary of Rev. A. J. Fox, M. D-Died on the 10th day of June, 1884, at his home in Lincoln County, North Carolina, after an illness of one week, Rev. A. J. Fox, M. D.; aged 66 years, 9 months, and 4 days. On the day following, his remains were buried at Salem Church, Lincoln County, North Carolina, Rev. R. A. Yoder rendering the funeral services, assisted by Rev. J. M. Smith. Notwithstanding the inclement weather and in the midst of harvest, there was a very large congregation present, to pay a last tribute of respect to an aged and venerable minister of the Gospel. Rev. R. A. Yoder addressed the congregation, basing his remarks on Numbers 23, 10: "Let me die the death of the righteous!"
The Rev. Dr. A. J. Fox was married to Lydia Bost in the year 1842. He leaves a widow and 11 children, 7 sons and 4 daughters.
He entered the Lutheran ministry in 1837, and labored constantly in that work until within a few days of his death; extending over a period of 47 years. He labored during this whole period in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod; while his work was confined within the limits of the Tennessee Synod, his influence was felt in the whole Lutheran Church of this country, as he was frequently corresponding delegate to other Lutheran bodies. He always held positions of honor and trust in his Synod, and was for many years one of her leading spirits. He gave direction and counsel in all her interests, and was an able advocate and defender of the pure doctrines of the Church of the Reformation.
He was a man of extraordinary energy and physical strength. He served as many as eight or nine congregations at the same time, in addition to his professional duties as physician, and the cares and duties of a large household.
Two of his sons are in the Lutheran ministry-one Rev. L. A. Fox, D. D., is an eminent scholar, and an able professor in Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia. The other, Rev. J. B. Fox, is laboring in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Holston Synod, in East Tennessee. Two of his sons are following the medical profession with eminent success. One, Dr. A. C. Fox, lives in Waynesboro, Virginia; the other, Dr. Frank Fox, is at the old homestead and was practicing in connection with his father. Of his remaining sons, one is a farmer, and the other two are boys at home with their mother.
Of his four daughters, three are the wives who grace the homes of some of our best citizens, and one a widow.
An eminently successful career has closed with his life, and by his death, the State and community have lost a valuable citizen; the Church and Synod, an able, active, and energetic minister; and the family, a kind father and dear husband.
By his "works of faith and labors of love," he "being dead yet speaketh." The souls whom he has been instrumental in saving, the churches which he has helped to build, the brethren whom he has counseled, the voice of pen and pulpit, all speak:
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace."
He has been called to his reward, and is now in the fellowship of angels and saints, around the throne of God.
He " fought a good fight, " he " kept the faith, " and now he wears the victor's crown.
pp. 238-39 Sixty-sixth Session of the Synod, College Chapel, Dallas, North Carolina, November 6, 1886.
Obituary of Mr. Thomas E. Armentrout. -It is sad to part with our loved ones, and especially with those who are faithful servants of the Church, but, the rider upon the pale horse is no respecter of persons. lie calls alike upon the noble and ignoble and commits his solemn deed. He has made his visit in the person of Mr. Thomas E. Armentrout, who departed this life of malarial fever, after an illness of several weeks; aged 31 years, 9 months, and 11 days.
Mr. Armentrout two years ago went to Missouri, and remained there some two months, after which he went to Florida, and returned home to his father's the next spring, his health being somewhat improved. He was advised to go South again; he accordingly went to North Carolina. Shortly after his arrival there, he commenced teaching a school which was secured for him through the kindness of Rev. W. A. Lutz. He obligated himself to teach one month, and if his health would admit, at the end of said mouth, he proposed to continue the school through the winter season. As his health seemed to be sufficient for the task, he continued, and finished a five months' term.
After taking a rest of one or two months, he was requested by his patrons to teach a summer school of two months at the same place, which he consented to do, and having continued it within two weeks of its close, he was taken with malarial fever, accompanied with chills, but was not confined to his bed until the 18th of September, when he became very sick, and his hopes of recovery doubtful. He gradually grew worse until the evening of the 24th at 6.40 P. M., when his soul took its final departure into the presence of God, to receive its final reward.
His brother, C. F. Armentrout, arrived the second day before his death, but he was not conscious of his presence; he took charge of his remains and brought it back to his father's; from thence it was removed to the cemetery in McGaheysville, Va., accompanied with an unusually large number of persons, where it is to rest until the morning of the resurrection.
His character was without reproach, his piety unquestionable, and his love for the Church highly commendatory. We feel that we have lost a precious jewel in his departure, but we bow in humble submission to the dispensation of him who doth all things well, believing that our loss has resulted in his everlasting gain.
He pursued a regular collegiate course of studies in the New Market Polytechnic institute, New Market Virginia, and received the degree of A. B., and then pursued a post-graduate course, and received that of A. AM. He was an excellent scholar and a close student.
pp. 248-49 Sixty-eighth Session of the Synod, St. Peter's (P. W.) Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, December 1, 1888.
Obituary of Rev. Michael L. Fox, M. D.-At his residence in Randolph County, North Carolina, July 22, 1888, Rev. Michael L. Fox, M. D., departed this life; aged 63 years, 6 months, and 10 days.
He was a son of Christian and Charity Fox. In his infancy he was dedicated to God through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, and at a more mature age he entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, through the rite of Confirmation, Rev. Henry Goodman officiating.
In early life he commenced the practice of medicine, and in that profession he proved most successful and efficient. His practice was extensive, not only in his own county, but also in adjoining counties. He represented his county, one session, in the State Legislature, with satisfaction to his constituents.
In 1871 he entered the office of the Gospel ministry, in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, and, in that capacity, proved zealous, faithful, and efficient. He served acceptably, during his ministry, three congregations; one in Randolph County, one in Guilford County, and one in Alamance. Notwithstanding his practice as a physician was extensive and laborious, he never failed to meet his appointments, in an ecclesiastical point of view.
His remains were placed to rest, till the resurrection morn, in Melanchthon church yard, Rev. B. W. Cronk rendering the burial service in the midst of an unusually large concourse of relatives and sympathizing friends. In all the relations of life, he gained the highest esteem among all who knew him.
On the second Sunday of November, 1888, his funeral was preached at Melanchthon Church, Randolph County, N. C., by Rev. P. C. Henkel, D. D., from 1 Thess. 4, 13-18, in the presence of a very large congregation of relatives and affectionate friends, taking his position at the door of the church, as not more than one-third of the people could get room in the house.
He leaves a widow, two daughters, and five sons,-two of whom are practicing physicians,-to lament their irreparable loss of a kind husband and an affectionate father. Thus another true soldier of the cross has been promoted to the triumphant army in that better country.
pp. 249-50 Sixty-eighth Session of the Synod, St. Peter's (P. W.) Church, Lexington County, South Carolina, December 1, 1888.
Obituary of Rev. J. P. Smeltzer, D. D.-Dr. Smeltzer was born in Frederick County, Maryland, September 10 1819. He received a liberal education, and about the time he reached manhood was ordained a minister of the Lutheran Church. He was for several years principal of a well-known and popular educational institution at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and was at different times pastor of the churches at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and Salem, Virginia. In 1861, so great had become his reputation as an instructor, that he was elected president of Newberry College, South Carolina. He removed to South Carolina, and conducted the affairs of this institution with signal ability when the college was located at Newberry, and after its removal to Walhalla until 1879, when the college was again taken back to Newberry. In that year he resigned the presidency of the institution, and established at his mountain home the Walhalla Female College, of which he was the head until 1885
During his labors as a teacher, Dr. Smeltzer did not discontinue his work in the pulpit. Last spring, his health having given way under the ceaseless toil of many years, Dr. Smeltzer came to Charleston, where he spent the last few months of his life. Dr. Smeltzer was a very forcible preacher, He was possessed of profound powers of analysis, and preached with great effectiveness. For his theological learning the degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon him by Erskine College.
He was one of the oldest as well as one of the ablest and most impressive preachers of his age.
Soon after the death of his wife, he resigned his position in Walhalla Female Seminary, South Carolina, and having received a call, he took charge of the Springhill, South Carolina, charge, and this charge being in connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, he received an honorable discharge from the Evangelical Lutheran South Carolina Synod, and was received into the said Tennessee Synod, October, 1886.
He died at the residence of his son, Mr. John B. Smeltzer of Charleston, South Carolina, October 31, 1887; aged 68 years, 1 month and 21 days. His funeral services were conducted by Rev. Dr. Muller and Rev. Dr. Horn. His remains were conveyed to Walhalla, and interred.
pp. 253-55 Sixty-ninth Session of the Synod, Holly Grove Church, Ilex, Davidson County, North Carolina, November 8, 1889.
Obituary of Rev. Polycarp C. Henkel, D. D-On the 20th of August, 1820, was born the oldest son of Rev. David and Catharine Henkel, in Lincoln County, North Carolina. That son was the Rev. Polycarp C. Henkel, D. D., who is a descendant of a long line of distinguished Lutheran ministers. He inherited very great physical and mental powers from both his parents.
He was early dedicated to God in Holy Baptism, and was received into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church with St. Peter's congregation, Catawba County, North Carolina, having been catechised by Rev. Daniel Moser and confirmed by Rev. Adam Miller. On the 5th day of September, 1843, he was married to Rebecca Fox, of Randolph County, North Carolina, daughter of David Fox. The issues of this union were two sons and one daughter. The youngest son preceded his father into the spirit world. The other son, Hon. David S. Henkel, of New Market, Virginia, and Mrs. Catharine C. Lail, of Conover, North Carolina, and his aged widow, survive him, to mourn their loss.
He died at his late residence in Conover, North Carolina, on the 26th of September, 1889, after a few days of intense suffering, at the age of 69 years, 1 month, and 6 days, and was buried at St. Peter's Church, Catawba County, North Carolina, September 28 1889. Rev. J. M. Smith preached the funeral from 2 Tim. 4, 6-8, in the presence of hundreds of people who came from far and near. He was followed in brief, appropriate addresses, by the pall-bearers, Revs. Yoder, Schaid, Koiner, Bernheim, Little, and Rudisill.
Dr. P. C. Henkel was an extraordinary man, and unique in his character. He has been so long and so favorably known in this country, that anything like an attempt at a sketch of his life, would seem useless; yet we offer these few lines as a tribute of respect to his memory. As a husband and father, he was kind and devoted to his wife and children, anxious for their welfare, both temporal and spiritual, and supplied them with both precept and example.
As a neighbor and citizen, he was kind and obliging, always ready to do a favor, if it were in his power, frequently disobliging himself and family to oblige others.
Intellectually, he was a powerful man. He was an original thinker and a fine logician, He would clinch every argument, and in debate and controversy was a formidable antagonist. He would consider well, make up his opinion deliberately, and when once made up, was very decided. He was immovable from an opinion which was the result of long and careful consideration. He would never, for any consideration, go back on his word. His word was as sacred to him as a most solemn oath. In his manners he was humble and unassuming. Humility was manifest in all his intercourses with his fellow man. Integrity was also a salient point in his character. He was rigidly honest and truthful.
As a minister, he was a power. His style of preaching was expository, plain, and forciful. He entered the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Tennessee Synod in 1843, having been ordained in Green County, Tennessee. He preached for forty-six years without interruption, and wholly in the Tennessee Synod, except a few years, while in the State of Missouri, where he led in the organization of the English District of the Missouri Synod. He labored exceedingly hard in the vineyard of the Lord. At one time he had pastoral charge of fifteen congregations. He did an immense amount of missionary work, traveled thousands of miles, in cold and heat, and rain and storm, in obedience to the call of the Master to this work. He never shirked from duty, but was always punctual, and ready to speak the word of encouragement to the weak, the word of comfort to the sorrowing, the word of life to those seeking a knowledge of the way of life. He was an uncompromising antagonist of error, and boldly and fearlessly denounced it wherever he met with it.
As a theologian, he was very profound. His range of study was broad, and his investigations were intense and searching, and descended into the very depths of theological problems, perhaps as far as human mind could go. His chief text-books were the Bible and The Confessions of the Lutheran Church. On Dogmatic Theology he was all acknowledged authority, in the Lutheran Church in the South, at least.
As a writer, he showed the same originality of character as in other fields. His ideas were original, and his style bold and vigorous. His writings are not numerous, but the treatment of the subjects he handled is exhaustive. It is to be regretted that he could not devote more of his time to writing, and thus transmit to generations to come, the results of his deep researches in theology.
His influence in all the relations in which we have mentioned him, as husband and father, as neighbor and citizen, as a man and as a preacher, and as a theological writer, was very great. In the Lutheran Church of the South, he was, perhaps, the greatest man in its history.
He labored hard and made great sacrifices to establish our school, Concordia College, for the Tennessee Synod, in which the Word of God should be recognized as a factor in education, and in which the Bible and Luther's Catechism should be taught daily. His influence is felt far beyond the limits of his own Synod, even throughout the whole Southern Church. He was in the midst of his earnest labors, both writing and preaching, to raise the Lutheran Church of the South to a higher plain of doctrine and practice, when the Master called him to his reward. Thus ended his work. A good and great man has fallen.
pp. 255-256 Sixty-ninth Session of the Synod, Holly Grove Church, Ilex, Davidson County, North Carolina, November 8, 1889.
Obituary of Rev. Henry Wetzel.-At his residence, near Calvary, about two miles west of Woodstock, Shenandoah County, Virginia, March 3, 1890 after a complicated illness of three or four months duration, Rev. Henry Wetzel departed this life; aged 74 years, 2 months, and 20 days.
His funeral services took place from Mt. Calvary Church, March 5, at 10 A. M., Rev. P. C. Wike officiating. His remains were then conveyed to Zion's Church, a distance of six miles, and laid to rest by the side of his consort who preceded him to eternity.
He was born in Southwest Virginia, near the Tennessee line, of Christian parents, who brought him up in the nurture and admonition of God. He prepared himself for the Gospel ministry, and was ordained to the office of pastor, by the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod, at its session held in Rader's Church, near Timberville, Rockingham County, Virginia, in the year 1841, and continued in the active services of the ministry until within a few months of his death, -a period of forty-nine years. During his ministry, he served congregations in Augusta, Rockingham, and Shenandoah Counties, Virginia, as well as congregations in West Virginia, doing much missionary work. He also served a congregation in Baltimore, Maryland for several years.
He was a man of strong mind and indomitable energy, an able and impressive preacher, both in the German and English languages, sound in the faith, and ever ready to promulgate, maintain, defend, and perpetuate the true doctrines and usages of the church, in their purity and simplicity. He was an able, fearless, formidable debater, full of zeal and perseverance.
By assiduous effort and close application to study and investigation, He attained an eminent degree in literature and theology, as well as in church history and dogmatics. He was one of the ablest ministers in the Valley of Virginia. He possessed an extensive library, and he really used it. He took great delight in reading the Confessions of the Church and Luther's Entire Works. He was quite familiar with them, frequently making translations from them.
When the translation of the Christian Book of Concord, or the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, into the English language, was undertaken, He was selected to make a purely literal translation of the Epitome; so, too, when Luther's Church-Postil on the Epistles was translated for publication in the English, he was selected to prepare a similar translation of the third volume.
He was a son of George and Margaret Wetzel. He entered into the estate of matrimony with Miss Mary C. Staubus daughter of Christian and Mary E. Staubus, of Augusta County, Virginia December 5, 1839, with whom he had seven children,-six daughters and one son.
He leaves two daughters and several grand-children, with numerous other relatives and friends, to lament his departure. Having finished his course here, he has now gone to the spirit world, to enjoy, as we trust, that rest and those rewards prepared for the faithful.
VISITORS SINCE MARCH 22, 2000
Send comments to:
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids