Search billions of records on

View some of the stones in the cemetery

Click here to see inscriptions for this cemetery on Jane Peppler's Bachman Valley and Manheim Township website

(The following was excerpted from "History of York County, Pennsylvania" by George Prowell, 1907):

St. David's Lutheran and Reformed Church, in the extreme southern part of West Manheim, near Mason and Dixon's line, is locally known as "Sherman's Church."  Since the time of its origin in 1750, it has been known by its ecclesiastical name, and has been a Union church and generally ministered to by clergymen who resided in Hanover.

Rev. J. A. Metzgar, who has been pastor of the Lutheran congregation since 1882, furnished the following concerning the Lutheran congregation and church building, most of which was obtained from documents in German:

In the latter part of 1750, or early in 1751, a meeting of the Lutherans of this community was called, having for its object the organization of an Evangelical Lutheran congregation.  Their efforts at organizing were successful.  The Rev. John George Bager (Baugher) who was a pioneer Lutheran clergyman west of the Susquehanna, and who was then pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Hanover, organized the Lutheran congregation here.  The ground upon which the first building was erected was donated by David Lauer and Peter Zapp.  The first church was small, rude in construction and in every way harmonized with its primitive surroundings.  Services are reported as having been regularly held in this building until 1781, when a larger house of worship was erected.  In the second building the congregation worshipped a number of years without stoves or fire, and the interior of the church was not plastered until 1832.

The introduction of night services in country churches always formed an important epoch in their history.  St. David's congregation first permitted services by "candle-light" under the pastorate of Rev. Frederick Ruthrauf in 1843.  In 1867 the third church was erected on the original site, during the pastorate of Rev. Samuel Yingling, who was also pastor of St. Matthew's Church at Hanover.  The building committee of the second church were George Motter, Philip Wolfard, Conrad Sherman and John Wampler.  The committee to whom was entrusted the third and present church building were John W. Hoffacker, Henry W. Craumer and David Garrett.

The following is the list of Lutheran pastors from its organization to the present: Rev. Carl Frederick Wildbahn, 1751-52; John George Bager, 1753; John Daniel Schroeder, 1790; Frederick Valentine Melsheimer, 1790-1814; John Frederick Melsheimer, 1814-29; Jacob Albert, 1829-39; Jeremiah Harpel, 1839-42; P. Williard, 1842-43; Frederick Ruthrauf, 1843-45; Eli Swartz, 1845-48; Jacob Kempfer, 1848-53; D. P. Rosenmiller, 1853-57; M. J. Alleman, 1857-63; P. WArner, 1863-65; M. J. Alleman, 1865-68; S. Yingling, 1868-72; D. J. Hauer, 1873-82; J. A. Metzgar, 1882 to date.

The Reformed congregation for a long time was served by the pastors of Emmanuel Reformed Church of Hanover.  Among those of later date were Revs. J. C. Kurtz, Samuel Gutelius, J. D. Zehring, W. K. Zieber, Jacob Sechler, Henry Hilbish, E. D. Miller and J. H. Hartman.  The combined membership of the two congregations in 1907 was nearly 700.  A union Sunday school is held in this church.

Surrounding St. David's Church is a large cemetery in which the first burials were made about 1752.