1907 Hebron Church History - Preface



History of the Hebron Church, Madison County, Virginia 1717-1907



This little volume is the result of investigations begun in 1904, in order to write a short sketch of the Hebron congregation for publication in The Lutheran Visitor. The article appeared, July 27, 1905. Many mistakes are to be found in it. I pursued my investigations: the more I learned, the greater became my desire to preserve in permanent form, for my people and the church at large, the facts concerning this the oldest Lutheran congregation in the South.

Many difficulties have had to be me, owing to the lack of early records. Mistakes may be expected, especially in the early history which is very misty and hard to clear up. There were missing links which I could not find. However, I have done my best with the material at hand, trusting that wherein I have failed the future historian will succeed.

I have gone as far as possible to original sources for information. But I have been compelled to use translations from the Hallische Nachrichten and other German works. In addition to a number of foot-notes, I give the principal sources from which the material for this work has been gleaned. They are the Church Records, namely, Treasurer's Reports 1733 and 1734, 1799 to 1807, and 1840 to 1853; Subscription Book of Rev. Stoever, 1735-1739; Baptismal Register from 1750 to 1825; Register of Communicants from 1775 to 1812; Church Books from 1861 to 1907; Records of Spottsylvania, Orange, Culpeper and Madison Counties; Records of the Land Office, Richmond; Documentary History of the Evangelical Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, 1898; Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, 1903, Vol. II., Nos. 1, 2, 3, pp. 1-17, 98-110, 140-150; Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Richmond;-- [Moravian Diaries of Travel Through Virginia, Vol. XI., (1903-4), No. 2, pp. 113-131; No. 3, pp. 225-242; No. 4, pp. 370-393; Vol. XII., (1904-5), No. 1, pp. 55-82; No. 2, pp. 134-153; No. 3, pp. 271-284; Early Westward Movement of Virginia, Vol. XII., (1904-5), No. 4, p. 350 f.; Vol XIII., (1905-6), No. 4, pp. 362-373; The Germans in Madison County, Virginia, Vol. XIV., (1906-7), No. 2, pp. 136-170]; History of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, Vol. I., by Rev. T. E. Schmauk, D. D., Philadelphia, 1903; Hebron Luteran Congregation in Madison County, Virginia, a series of articles prepared by Dr. Beale M. Schmucker and published in The Lutheran Visitor, Newberry, S. C., April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1886; The Lutheran Church in Virginia, 1776-1876, by Rev. D. M. Gilbert, D. D.; Minutes of the Virginia Synod, 1829-1906; Obituaries and Sketches of Pastors kindly furnished by friends.

I am indebted to many brethren and friends for valuable help, to whom I wish to return publicly my sincere thanks.

The reader must remember that the first Lutherans settled in Essex County; that from 1720-1734, they were in Spottsylvania County, though in the meantime they had moved to the Robinson River; and that Orange was formed from a part of Spottsylvania in 1734; Culpeper from Orange in 1748; and Madison from Culpeper in 1792. The congregation has been located respectively in the last four and the church in the last three counties.

The engravings added at considerable cost, it is hoped, will make the work more valuable.

I have added Appendices I. and II., giving respectively a short sketch of Mt. Nebo Lutheran church at Rochelle and copies of documents obtained from the public record office, London, England.

With the hope that it may awaken, among our people, a deeper interest in the history of their church, increase their love for it, and arouse them to make greater efforts to transmit to their posterity the priceless heritage they have received from their German ancestors, this volume is sent forth on its mission.

May the Lord bless this feeble effort to the good of His church and the glory of his name.

Madison, Va., August 1, 1907.


Chapter I.
German Lutheran Colonists Near Germanna, Virginia. 1717-1725.
The Germans--First Lutherans in the Territory of the United States--Oldest Lutheran Church Built and Still Used by Lutherans--Settlement of the First Permanent Lutheran Colony in Virginia--German Reformed Colony at Germanna in 1714--Names of Lutheran Colonists--Whence Came They and Why?-- Another Colony or Colonies--Life Near Germanna--Lutherans Sued by Col. Spottswood--Petition--Mr. Zollikoffer Sent to Germany--Rev. Anthony Jacob Henkel--No Church at or Near Germanna.
Pages 1-9

Chapter II.
The Removal and Settlement of the German Lutheran Colonists on the Robinson River and White Oak Run. 1725-1733.
All did not Move at Once--Time of Removal--First Religious Services--Character of the Settlers--Two Men Sent to Germany--First House of Worship--First Germans to Patent Lands--Date of the Organization of the Congregation--Oldest Pieces of the Communion Service--The Name Hebron--Did the German Reformed Worship in Hebron Church?
Pages 10-19

Chapter III.
The First Pastor, Rev. John Caspar Stoever, and His Work in Holland and Germany. 1733-1739.
His Early Life--Ordination--Spiritual Condition of his People-- The "Glebe' Bought and First Parsonage Built-- Did Rev. Stoever Establish a School?--Need of a Church and Commissioners Sent to Europe--Petition of Germans and Court Order--Collectors in England, Holland, and Germany--Old Subscription Book--Results of Work in Europe--Last Pieces of the Communion Service--Rev. Stoever's Narrative--Studied at Darmstadt--Return Voyage--Stoever's Will--Death at Sea--"Augustine" Stoever
Pages 20-30

Chapter IV.
The Church Built and the Congregation Permanently Established Under Rev. George Samuel Klug. 1739-1764.
His Life Before Coming to Virginia--Second Farm Bought--Church Built--Slaves Bought--School-house Built and School Established--Moravian Missionaries Visit the Neighborhood of the Church--Pastor Klug's Visit to Pennsylvania--His Death--Buried Under Church
Pages 31-38

Chapter V.
Revs. John Schwarbach and Jacob Frank--Rev. Paul Henkel as Supply (?) 1764-1785.
Rev. Schwarbach's Work in Pennsylvania and his Coming to Virginia--Letter to the Ministerium of Pennsylvania in 1768 -- Letter from the Deacons of the Church00Last Account of Rev. Schwarbach at Synod--Extent of his Parish--His Work as Pastor--Ministry of Rev. Frank--Re-established School--Introduced Constitution--Built New Parsonage--Condition of Congregation--A Vacancy and Pastoral Services--Rev. Paul Henkel as Supply (?)
Pages 39-47

Chapter VI.
Pastorates of Revs. William Carpenter and Michael Meyerhoeffer. 1787-1821.
Rev. Carpenter's Early Life and Preparation for the Ministry--The Annex to the Church Built and the Deed to the Church Lot Made--The Pipe Organ Purchased--School Continued--Rev. Carpenter Preaches in English--Teaches Daniel Flohr--Real Estate of the Church Increased--His Character, Work, Death--Rev. Meyerhoeffer Pastor--Preaches in English and German--More Land Bought--His Work Successful--Rev. Jacob Crigler--Gown Worn in Pulpit
Pages 48-57

Chapter VII.
Pastorates of Revs. John Kehler, William Scull, Thomas W. Miller, and Samuel Allenbaugh. 1821-1849.
Rev. Kehler's Work in the Pastorate--Taught School--Rev. Scull--No Records of his Work--First Sunday-school on Record--Church Land Sold--Slaves Still Owned--Rev. Thomas W. Miller--Slaves Sold or Died--Work of the Congregation and of the Synod Discouraging -- Rev. Samuel Allenbaugh--Church Very Weak--Meeting at the Hoffman Chapel--Synod held in Hebron Church--Dr. Schmucker's Visit
Pages 58-68

Chapter VIII.
Pastorates of Revs. Alonzo P. Ludden, W.S. Bowman, D.D., and Levi Keller. 1850-1867
A Period of Growth--Successful Meetings Held by Rev. Ludden--Sunday-school--Prayer-meeting--The Church Repaired--Rev. S.W. Harkey's Visit to Collect Money--Rev. D. Harbaugh Collected Money for Hebron Church in Kentucky--Church Lands Sold--Rev. W.S. Bowman, Pastor--Rev. Daniel Bittle Given Money for Roanoke College--Rev. Keller, Pastor--Wafer-box Carried Away During the Civil War
Pages 69-79

Chapter IX.
Pastorates of Revs. R.C. Holland, D.D., Wright G. Campbell, and George H Beckley. 1868-1885.
Rev. Holland, Pastor--Rev. B.C.Wayman--The "Glebe" Sold--Second Parsonage Farm Bought --Chancel Put in Church--Effort to Have a Church Cemetery--Resolution to Collect Money for Church Purposes--Spiritual Condition of Congregation--Rev. W. G. Campbell--Money for Church in Richmond--Barn Burned--Rev. G. H. Beckley, Pastor--Church Repaired--Rev. J.W. Strickler
Pages 80-88

Chapter X.
Pastorates of Revs. Jacob S. Moser, Bachman S. Brown, and J.A. Flickinger. 1885-1895.
Rev. J.S. Moser, Pastor--Second Parsonage Farm Sold--Present Parsonage Bought--Taxes Returned--Meeting of the Virginia Synod--Rev. B. S. Brown's Pastorate--Rev. J.A. Flickinger's Pastorate and the Establishment of Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church
Pages 89-96

Chapter XI.
Pastorates of Revs. C.B. Miller and W.P. Huddle. 1895-1907
Rev. C.B. Miller's Pastorate and Work--Rev J.F. Crigler--Effort to Establish a Cemetery--Rev W.P. Huddle's Pastorate--Sixth Meeting of Virginia Synod Held in the Church--Cemetery Established--Church Funds--Conclusion
Pages 97-104

Pastors of the Church
Page 105

Meetings of the Virginia Synod held in Hebron Church
Page 106

Synodical Connections of the Church
Page 106

Appendix I
Page 107

Appendix II
Page 110





Madison County, Virginia