Recently released: Ancestry.com now has " Records" from St. Paul's German Presbyterian Church - September 2017
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St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church Records
Book 1 - “Baptisms, Births, Marriages, Deaths” English version
This record starts with a cover page documenting the start of the St. Paul’s Church in Fosters Meadow in 1865. The contents are in English and are as follows:
Book 2 - “Register” German version
This record starts with a cover page documenting the start of the St. Paul’s Church in Fosters Meadow. This book is written in German and the script from 1870 to 1876 is old German and very challenging to read. The script from 1876 to 1885 is still challenging but not as difficult. The German from 1886 to around 1904 is fairly easy to read. From 1904 to 1925 the records are in English. The contents are as follows: (Note – there are no minutes of session in the German version.
These records are only in Book 1- English version)
Book 3 - Session and Register” – Continuation version
The name is misleading as there are no session records.
This book is a continuation of the Book 2 - German version of records that ended in 1924. These records are in English. The contents are as follows:
Below we have a list of the names from the St. Paul’s Church records through the 1879-1880 time frame, that were mentioned in the records. The names are from the various registers contained within the records. Not all of the names may be members of the St. Paul’s Church as some are listed as parents of wedding couples or as relatives of deceased members. All names may not be listed as some may have been missed since they were illegible during the compiling of the list. This is just a compiled list of names as they appear somewhere in the records. The spellings of the names are interpreted as they appear in the records.
Altheimer, Barberding, Batsch, Batz, Bauer, Bausch, Beerle, Benthin, Berghorn, Bing, Blum, Botsch, Bremer, Buchmann, Buck, Burkhardt, Camann, Case, Christ, Conrad, Daryss, Dauenhauer, Deckhut, Dehnnlein, Diederich, Dieroff, Distelkamp, Ebbing, Ebert, Edward, Eible, Eppinge, Eschenbacher, Feld, Flattig, Flügel, Focke, Freitag, Friedel, Friedlein, Garms, Garnis, Gasser, Geiser, Goeller, Graf, Grän, Gressing, Gritzbach, Grünner, Grüttner, Günther, Gustke, Haas, Hahn, Handlen, Hannemann, Hapfner, Hartung, Hasmann, Heiss, Henni, Henry, Herkammen, Hernie, Herrmann, Hess, Hirshel, Hoephner, Hofmann, Holz, Hopfensack, Huber, Hudelmeier, Hummel, Jacobs, Kallies, Käpke, Karkheck, Kase, Kassner, Kicherer, Kiefer, Kiesel, Kiester, Kiln, Kinsey, Kirsch, Klaiber, Klamm, Klatt, Klin, Kocher, Kraft, Krapf, Kreuscher, Kurzenhäuser, Kuster, Lindner, Ling, Maid, Maxiner, Metzler, Miller, Mirshel, Moser, Muerrle, Muller, Musgnug, Naumann, Neitzke, Newman, Newmann, Ober, Opper, Paese, Pamann, Pasch, Pash, Patt, Pfinder, Pflug, Piehl, Piel, Raberding, Rachkarv, Rackow, Radcka, Radetzki, Räese, Rassweiler, Rast, Rasweiler, Rau, Reinberger, Reush, Reuter, Riff, Rinke, Röder, Roehl, Röhl, Rollz, Ryff, Sabel, Scharf, Schlegel, Schmidt, Schmoll, Schneider, Schnitzer, Scholz, Schroeder, Schröher, Sebald, Segel, Sharf, Shlegel, Shubert, Siebreicht, Siehler, Sigel, Simburger, Simon, Smith, Steeneck, Steffens, Steger, Stegner, Stich, Stiehler, Stigner, Stolp, Theis, Thieman, Thom, Urlacher, Van Pott, Vogel, Vohs, Voller, Wagner, Wahl, Wallmuller, Walther, Wanderer, Watter, Weber, Weckmann, Weeks, Weh, Weidemann, Weikerle, Wenner, Werling, Werner, Wich, Wills, Windler, Wiser, Woerst, Wolf, Wright, Zeller, Zernickaw, Zollinger
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Extracted from “The German Settlements of Nineteenth Century Long Island" by Paul D. van Wie
German Evangelical Lutheran Church - St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church
While a majority of the Germans in Fosters Meadow were Roman Catholic, Protestant settlers were also present from almost the beginning. Most Protestant families were from a Lutheran background. Missionary pastors from established German congregations in East New York visited Fosters Meadow to minister to the settlers. Their trip by railroad was by no means difficult, certainly not much more than an hour. The missionary pastors carried on religious services at various points on Fosters Meadow road between Hempstead Road (Turnpike) and Merrick Road. Evidently these services were held in private homes or in one of the small hotels in the community.
As a result of the missionary work, a German Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in Fosters Meadow. Plans were made to construct a small church on Fosters Meadow (Elmont) Road, and a 100X200 foot site was donated for this purpose by Johann Seufert . In March 1864 a cornerstone bearing the date Maerz 28st,1864 was laid. The church, which measured 70X28 feet, was dedicated in December of the same year and was named St. Paul’s. The congregation eventually acquired adjoining property for use as a cemetery.
In the late 1860’s the congregation of St. Paul’s broke with Lutheranism and became affiliated with the German Presbyterian congregations in the United States, as well as the regional Presbytery. This change of denomination was by no means unique among German Protestant congregations on Long Island, and while there were theological changes the German language remained at the center of church life. At first, seminary students ministered to the small congregation.
The first resident pastor of St Paul’s was Pastor Schmoll, who arrived in 1870. Under Schmoll’s leadership a parsonage was constructed. Pastor Schmoll was succeeded by Pastor Wunderer in 1878, J.P.H. Schweitzer in 1888 and Remi Buttinghausen in 1894. During these pastorates St. Paul’s remained an exclusively German-speaking congregation. This orientation continued after the arrival of Pastor August Espach in 1903; indeed Pastor Espach assisted in the organization of a German Presbyterian congregation in New Hyde Park, and he often preached there.
The congregation at St. Paul’s was also growing in the early twentieth century, for just as new branches were being carved from its territory plans for a new and larger building were being drawn up. The old church structure from the 1860’s was still sound, and in fact it was sold and moved from its original site. The new church, dedicated in March 1905, featured stained glass and a beautiful round window on its façade. The German Presbyterians undoubtedly viewed their new building as a mark of achievement and permanence. At the same time, however, English was making inroads into what was becoming an increasingly American-born congregation. In the first years of the century, even the tombstones in the church cemetery reflected an increasing use of English. Pastor Espach, who was apparently bilingual, therefore decided to hold one service per month in English. With the accelerated use of English in the twentieth century, the arrangement was changed to two English services per month, then three. German lingered on one Sunday per month until the end of August Espach’s long pastorate in 1938. The transition to English was completed in 1939 with the appointment of a new pastor, Duncan Kennedy, who in a significant departure from tradition was not an ethnic German. While many of the original families continued to be affiliated with St. Paul’s, by the mid-twentieth century it could no longer be considered a German-American congregation.
“The German Settlements of Nineteenth Century Long Island” by Paul D. van Wie
Available for purchase from the: Franklin Square Historical Society
PO Box 45
Franklin Square, NY 11010
Please allow 2 weeks for delivery.
Additional historical information by permission of the German Genealogy Group - Taken from the 80th Anniversary Booklet of 1944
Over eighty years ago a group of preachers from East New York carried on religious services at various points on Foster’s Meadow Road (now Elmont Road), and from the efforts of those men the Presbyterian Church in Elmont sprang.
On March 28, 1864, the Cornerstone of the German Evangelical Lutheran Church was laid, and dedication of the church followed on December 26th of the same year. Later the church became affiliated with the Nassau Presbytery (now Brooklyn-Nassau Presbytery) and was known as the St. Paul’s German Presbyterian Church. At that time the pulpit was supplied by students of Bloomfield Seminary, Bloomfield, NJ. The congregation was German speaking and all services were conducted in the German tongue. However, during the pastorate of the Rev. Augustus C. Espach (1903-1938) there was a marked change taking place in the character of the parish. German yielded to English, first to the extent of one English service a month, later two, and then three services a month were conducted in English. Since the coming of the present pastor the transition from German to English has been completed.
In the early years of his pastorate, the Rev. Augustus C. Espach conducted afternoon services in New Hyde Park and Rosedale, and though his endeavors coupled with those of the Willing Workers League of Rosedale, a thriving church was established in that community. At about the same time (October 1903) the other daughter church in New Hyde Park, now the New Hyde Park Presbyterian church, was established by our church.
Prior to the ministry of the Rev. Augustus C. Espach, St. Paul’s was served by Rev. Remi J. Buttinghausen, who began his ministry of this congregation in 1894.
The earlier pastors were Pastor Schmall, who came in 1870, and built the first church parsonage. In the spring of 1878 Pastor Wanderer was installed; in 1888 he was succeeded by Pastor J. P. H. Schweitzer, now ministering to the congregation of the Corinthian Church in Philadelphia.
Thus looking back over eight decades we review our achievements and those whom God called to make such achievements possible. Now, we turn our faces toward the future, confident that in a changing neighborhood and an even more rapidly hanging worked we may find ever-widening fields of service as new and more challenging need arises.
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church is still open today, Services every Sunday at 10 A.M.