FIRST LUTHERAN CHURCH
1830 - 1930
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Nov. 9-10-11
Centennial Sermon by the Rev. Samauel Trexler, D.D., President of the United Lutheran Synod of New York.
Monday, November 10th, 1930 at 7:30 P.M.
Addresses by the Rev. W. Krumwiede, President of the Western Conference of the United Lutheran Synod of New York and the Rev. Ernest Heyd, D.D.
Tuesday, November 11th, 1930 at 7:30 P.M.
THE CHURCH COUNCIL
Rev. Albert Heyd - President Ex-officio
Charles M. Baltzel
In the year of our Lord 1830 or perhaps a year previous. several Lutheran families, emigrating from Alsace, which at that time formed a part of France, settled in and near the village of Lyons. These people were neither rich nor very poor, but sturdy, industrious and desirous of making an honest living for themselves and to contribute their share in the upbuilding of their new country. They were God-loving and Christian people. They had brought with them catechisms, hymn books and bibles. Altho born under the French flag, they were of German stock and now surrounded by people who used the English language exclusively, these Alsatian settlers hailed with joy the coming to Lyons of a German speaking minister of the German Reformed Church, the Rev. Dietrich Willers, who was making his annual trip thru the western part of New York state in search of Germans to whom he could preach the Word of God. Rev. Willers conducted the first service for these Lutherans from over the ocean, in Creager's school house, 3 miles southeast of Lyons July 18th, 1830. As near as can be ascertained about 20 families were represented at this service. Later the court house was used as a place of worship. Having been served by the Rev. Willers during the summer and fall, the congregation was incorporated as the 1st German Ev. Lutheran Church on the 6th day of November, 1830, the German Reformed missionary being called as their first pastor.
Five children were baptized during the year 1830 according to the Parish record book. These were: Phillip Bernhard, Magdalena Stoetzel, Magdalena Mentzer, Elizabeth Ehrhard and Eva Becker. The first class of children was confirmed December 1st, 1830, consisting of Peter Hill, Frederick Romiche, Catherine Berg, Anna Berg, Marie Romiche and Magdalena Stell. In the year 1832 the congregation built a church of its own, a frame edifice on the east side of Broad Street. Rev. Willers served the congregation as pastor until 1836 when the Rev. John J. Beilharz was called. The first Church record book was begun, in which a record of baptisms, confirmations, communions, marriages and funerals was kept from January 1st, 1836 until 1856. The fourth record book was begun in the year 1905.
The first recorded Church Council was inducted into office in the year 1836 by Rev. Bilharz, composed of the following; Elders: Balthasar Gansz and George H. Boehmler; Deacons: Michael Strohm and Michael Faulstich; Building Committee: Philip Ehrhardt, Dietrich Ehrhardt and Louis Studer.
Rev. Philip H. Dennler served the congregation from 1838 to 1852. During his pastorate, in the year 1850 the Presbyterian church, located on the west side of Broad Street opposite the park, our present property was bought. Rev. Grotrian served as associate pastor during the years 1851 and 1852 when both resigned. Then followed Rev. C.A. Ebert (1853-1856), Rev. T. Heischmann (1856-1858), Rev. Stahlschmidt and Rev. Berger (1859), Rev. C.H. Thomsen (1860-1964), Rev. E. Schoeppe (1864-1867) and Rev. J. Schmaltzl (1867-1870).
The Rev. G.C. Manz was pastor until 1877 when he resigned and organized St. John's Lutheran Church in the eastern section of our village. This daughter congregation was self-sustaining from the beginning and today is still rendering efficient service in the up-building of the Kingdom of God in our community. The Rev. H.C. Kaehler came to our church in 1877 and remained until 1884. He organized the Ladies' Aid society in the year 1882, which is still working and flourishing.
Rev. J.A. Timm was called as pastor in the year 1884. During his pastorate the church building was destroyed by fire. Seemingly a terrible calamity at the time, this was used by divine providence to bring a wonderful blessing to the congregation, as the fire destroyed the cause of friction among the pew owners and other members. At the time, 24 years previous, when the Presbyterian church property was acquired, the members raised the necessary funds by buying the pews as their individual property. Members uniting with the congregation after all the pews on the main floor of the church had in this manner been disposed of, had to be satisfied with seats in the gallery which extended around the three sides of the church. These seats were free, but the members occupying them were asked to contribute towards the current expenses of the church. The pew-owners, however, were in control of the affairs of the congregation. When the present church building was erected in the year 1886, all pews were rented annually, premiums being given for the choice of seats until all were sold. At this time English evening services were introduced, the need of which had been felt for some time. During the following twenty years the German language was used at the morning service and English at the evening service.
Rev. Ernest Heyd became Rev. Timm's successor in the year 1894 and worked with marked success for six years until he left Lyons to take charge of Zion's Lutheran Church of Rochester, N.Y. The present pastorate dates from February 1st, 1900.
In the year 1905 we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the founding of the congregation. The Ministerium of New York was our guest at that time, holding its convention in our church.
During the past thirty years the Lutheran League, the Brotherhood and the Junior Luther League were organized, the Young Men's Society dating its organization during the Rev. Timm's pastorate. One of the outstanding changes during this period of time was the introduction of the English morning services. This was done gradually and successfully. First one every month, then two were held. At the present time English services are conducted every Sunday at 11:00 A.M. A German service is held on the 2nd Sunday of every month at 9 A.M.
A progressive step was taken about ten years ago by the congregation in substituting for the anti-quated pew-rentals the weekly Duplex Envelope system of giving on the part of every confirmed member of the local church. This has been put into successful practice from year to year thru the Every Member canvass.
The congregation has grown numerically from the few of one hundred years ago to the many of today, comprising about 1000 contributing members.
Gratefully remembering the work and sacrifices of the founders of the congregation and those that followed them in the course of the past one hundred years, may the present members as they enter the second century dedicate themselves anew to the service of Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior to whom be glory and honor now and forever.
LADIES' AID SOCIETY President - Mrs. Albert Deuchler Vice President - Mrs. Philip Mindel Secretary - Mrs. Charles Clausz Treasurer - Mrs. Philip Baker Members 160
YOUNG MEN'S SOCIETY
JUNIOR LUTHER LEAGUE
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION
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