ST. JOHN'S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH
COLUMBIA COUNTY, NEW YORK
By Captain Franklin Ellis144
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran church was organized with thirty-nine members, Nov. 12, 1866, by Rev. William Hull, who has remained its pastor until the present time. Its first trustees were Richard Hallenbeck, R. William M. Holsapple, Abram F. Miller, Peter I. Bachman, John Pulver, and Frederick Shaller. Its first elders were Rev. William Sharts, Alfred R. Westfall, and Jeremiah Wagoner. Its first deacons were Stephen G. George, Charles H. Lown, and Lewis W. Bachman.
For two years and a half the society hired the use of the old Universalist church for Sunday afternoon services; at the end of that time the Universalists, having built a new church on Warren street, sold the old building to the Roman Catholics for a school, when the Presbyterians invited this society to worship in their building until the completion of the Lutheran church, then in course of erection on the corner of North Sixth and Diamond streets.
The new church was completed an dedicated Sept. 2, 1869, Rev. Dr. Henry N. Pohlman, of Albany, president of the New York synod, preaching the consecration sermon. The building is fifty by eighty feet in dimensions, contains one hundred and twenty- six pews, and cost about $25,000.
The present number of members on the roll is one hundred and fifty, of whom about one hundred reside in the immediate vicinity.
The following persons are now officers of the church; Trustees, Richard Hallenbeck, John W. Holsapple, Lewis W. Bachman, Walter Coons, Robert Allison, Jonas L. Potts; Elders, William M. Holsapple, M.D., Thomas Lasher, Stephen H. Lasher; Deacons, Peter F. Bachman, Valentine Raab,, A. C. Obermeyer.
The Sunday-school was organized on the first Sunday in January, 1870, by Rev. Wm. Hull, who was elected superintendent. Eugene D. Smith was the first, and is the present, secretary. The school commenced with twenty-two scholars, and now numbers twenty-two officers and teachers and one hundred and five scholars. The library comprises about two hundred and fifty volumes. The present officers of the school are: Superintendent, Rev. William Hull; Assistant Superintendent, Franklin W. Taylor; Secretary, Eugene D. Smith, Treasurer, Lewis W. Bachman; Librarian, Willie J. Decker.