ON AUGUST 12, 1933 REVEREND EARL J. BOWMAN DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS TO THE ENTERLINE ASSOCIATION AT MEMORIAL PARK IN ELIZABETHVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA.
It has been said, that it is more important that we know where we are going than where we came from. There is much truth in that statement. The past is beyond our reach. It cannot be changed. Its record is written. Of it we must say as Pilate did; "What I have written I have written." But it is interesting and profitable to look back into the past and see the rock whence we have been hewn. In recent years there has been a greater tendency to honor the past and to look into the life and habits and customs of our ancestors. This is quite evident in the search for antiques, the revival of the custom of holding family reunions when the members of a clan gather annually, the greater interest in the recording and preservation of old documents of every description. I believe this is a good thing. It gives us a better appreciation of our heritage and that in itself ought to make of us better men and women.
This group meets today as descendent from a common ancestor, John Michael Enderlein. I have been asked to speak about the life and work of this pioneer who was the father of this group.
In order to appreciate the life and work of this man we must transport ourselves back about 150 to 175 years and see just what conditions were here in Pennsylvania when he came here to live. Settlements of white people were few and far between. Large sections of Eastern Pennsylvania were in control of the Indians. The red men of this state were subject to the Iroquois Confederacy, a union of five or six nations organized in 1570 with headquarters at Onandaga where the city of Syracuse now stands. All along the Susquehanna were villages of Indians inhabited by the Shawnee, the Tutelo, the Delaware and the Susquehanna or Conestoga and Tuscarora tribes. The largest and most important town was Shamokin where Sunbury now stands. It had about three hundred people. It was presided over by Shikellan, an Oneida Indian of good character and great prominence. He was the viceroy of the Six Nations and ruled as their representative the entire valley of the Susquehanna River. He made a great many treaties with the white men and he died at Sunbury, December, 1784, a Christian.
White settlements in these regions were small as we think of towns today. It is interesting to note the size of various towns at that time.
Dr. H. E. Jacobs in Lutheran Quarterly, July 1928, tells us that Philadelphia had a population of about 28,500, Lancaster in 1754 had 300, York had 2076, Gettysburg had 30 houses, Carlisle had 1500 people, Reading 2200, Harrisburg was a thriving village of about 1000 people with a ferry and an important trading post. Allentown had 540 people. Three-fourths of Eastern Pennsylvania was a howling wilderness. The settlers were English Quakers who bought their land from the Indians; German Lutherans, Reformed, and Moravians who treated the Indians fairly for the most part, and Scotch-Irish who were the Indian fighters and like Joshua of old believed the inhabitants of the land should be driven out and exterminated. The Blue Mountains running diagonally across the State on the north side of the mountains extending from Allentown to the Maryland line. In this vicinity were Fort Manada, Fort Harris here at Harrisburg, Fort Hunter at Rockville, Fort Halifax, Fort Augusta at Sunbury. Many others were at Carlisle, Shippensburg, and Chambersburg. Indian raids into the settled country were frequent and scalping expeditions, leaving death and the blackened ruins of some settler's cabins, were the order of the day, following the Penn's Creek Massacre at Selinsgrove Oct. 17, 1755, and all through the period of the French and Indian War.
It was into conditions of that character that John Michael Enterlein came in 1760 or 1768. There seems to be some doubt which year is correct, the earlier year has more in its favor. J. W. Early in "Jubilee Memorial Volume of Danville Conference of Ministerium of Pennsylvania" Page 220, give 1768 as the date of his coming to America. Dr. Schmauk in his "History of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania from original Sources 1638-1820." says he landed in America 1760. He was educated at the University of Leipsig, one of the best schools of Germany. November 1, 1760, he was married. I have not learned the maiden name of his wife, nor whether his marriage took place in Germany or not until he arrived in America.
"John Michael Enterlein was born in Germany in 1726, He was educated at the University of Leipzig. He married Nov. 1, 1760; came to America 1768; was pastor at Indianfield, etc., 1768-1770; we find him at Hummelstown 1771, where he remained several years; he took up 250 acres of land in Lykens Valley Oct. 6, 1773, but was driven back by the Indians.
He served St. John's, Lyknes Valley 1773-1793 and most probably organized the congregation.
He also served Hasinger (Christ) 1785-1790; Botschaft's about as long; Rau's (Salem) as an occasional supply; Himmel's also served Werth's, Fetteroff's, Dreisbach's, etc., as he was the only Lutheran pastor in that section, and these were nearly all organized about that time.
Some claim that he came as an ordained minister, but Muhlenberg calls him a catchiest, and the Synod always records him among candidates.
He died March 9, 1800, and is buried at St. John's Church in Lykens' Valley.
(Above sketch by J. W. Early in Jubilee Memorial Volume of Danville Conference, Page 220)
The earliest record we have of John Michael Enderlein as a preacher is as pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Springfield, of the Springtown Charge, Bucks Co. Pa. This Church was organized in 1757 and in the History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of East Pennsylvania, page 62, the statement appears that in 1763 John Michael Enderlein became pastor. Close by Nockamixon, Bucks Co., a Lutheran Church organized 1752 and the same history, page 65, says that he was regular pastor of the congregation beginning 1766. Both of these congregations are at present flourishing organizations, each having over 400 members.
One of the oldest Lutheran Churches in Pennsylvania is in Franconia Township, Montgomery Co. It is called Indianfield, and was the mother organization of the township. It was organized about 1730 and had among its members a number of German Lutherans from the Palatinate who came to America and settled there 1710-1720 on account of religious persecution. Reverend Enderlein was pastor from 1767-1771.
About this time he seems to have transferred the scene of his pastoral labors from the above territory which was along the Delaware River just south of Easton to what are now Lancaster and Dauphin Counties. From 1771 to 1777 he was pastor at Mayton, serving also Elizabethtown, Lancaster County, and from 1771 to 1778 he is mentioned as the second pastor of the venerable Lutheran Congregation at Hummelstown, Pa., which was started about 1756. During this period he evidently lived at Maytown or Hummelstown, from the history of St. John's Evangelical Church, Maytown, Pa., 1765-1904, by Rev. George Philip Goll, pages 20-24.
In 1771 Rev. Michael Enderlein entered upon his labors in the Maytown Congregation., he with his two predecessors Helmuth and Horsel, also serving the weak and struggling Lutheran Church at Elizabethtown, which sprang into existence about the same time as did the Lutheran Church in Maytown, there being no authentic records of any previous pastors; though there are two other names mentioned in the Elizabethtown Lutheran Church records, one of them being inserted in the wrong place and for the other no authority is at hand; their earliest record dating from 1780.
On May 12, 1771, his first communion season is recorded at which there are twenty-four communicant present. During Reverend Enderlein's ministry the colonies were in the throes of the Revolutionary War, and the following more important events took place; The battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, the Declaration of Independence and many other notable engagements. In 1777 Pennsylvania became the battleground for a time, when the battle of Brandywine was fought, Philadelphia captured by the British. The Continental Congress fleeing to Lancaster, and thence toYork, and the Continental Army's retreat after the desperate battle of Germantown, when victory was almost in their hands.
But during all these exciting events, and most of the turmoil's of a bloody war, made all the more terrible through the fiendish atrocities of the Indian allies of the British, through the earnest efforts of pastor Enderlein the Church grew slowly in strength as well-kept communion records clearly show.
In the year 1777 the church sustained a severe loss in the death of the founder Ludwig Lindemuth. Reverend Enderlein closed his labors in this field in 1777.
From the dates that appear in various records it appears that about the middle of his pastorate at Maytown, he moved to Lykens Valley in upper Dauphin County. This occurred Oct. 1773. While here he organized the historic St. John's Lutheran Church between Berrysburg, and Elizabethville, the members of which were German Lutherns. He served this congregation until his death which occurred March 6, 1800, and he was buried in its burial ground. Many Enderleins are sleeping in that cemetery as the inscriptions on the stones indicate.
While living in Lykens Valley he extended his missionary labors
over a wide area, including the lower end of Northumberland County and
crossing the Susquehanna River into Snyder County, visiting Lutherans in
Schuylkill County and no doubt looking after his people in Maytown, Elizabethtown
From 1785 to 1790 he had his parish Hassinger's Church about two miles from Middlesburg, Snyder County. Botchaft's Church near Freeburg the same County he also served in its early days, visiting it occasionally over a period of years to baptize the children and bury the dead. He urged them to build a church and it was during his pastorate that the first church and school house was built. Salem Church at Salem, Snyder County, organized in 1775, is considered the oldest Lutheran Church in Central Pennsylvania, west of the Susquehanna River. Here he was also an occasional supply. In Northumberland County several churches were organized near Mahony at an early date. He served these also.
"The Rev. J. Michael Enderlein, the Lutheran pioneer in this part
of the state, was pastor on this territory from the time of the first Lutheran
organization in 1773 to the year 1787." St. Peter's (Fetterhoff's
) Church in Armstrong Valley, Upper Dauphin Co., has records that go back
to 1788. From 1795 to his death Reverend Enderlein also preached
at this place.
A description of the way people went to church there was probably true in most of these churches served by our ancestor in the latter years of the 18th century.
"History of the Ev. Lutheran Synod of East Pennsylvania." Pages 133-134.
On Sunday, the early worshipers of this church came with their guns on their shoulders; not so much on account of the wily savage, as on account of the wild beats that might come across their pathway. For a number of years this was the only church in Armstrong Valley. The settlers of Powell's Valley worshipped here. From all around the people came on horseback, or on the big wagon; more often on foot, walking many miles. It was nothing unusual for mothers to cross the ridge with their babes on one arm, and their shoes on the other. They were accustomed to go barefooted, but put on their shoes, which they carried with them, before entering the church."
Speaking of the territory covered by Reverend Enderlein in his missionary travels in Snyder, Northumberland and Dauphin Counties Rev. S. E. Ochenford in Jubilee Memorial Volume of Danville Conference, page 13, says:
As early as 1748 it appears that no Lutherans had settled in sufficient numbers in this part of the Providence to bring about the organization of congregations.
Our people had no doubt begun to settle on this territory early in the century, as they generally were the vanguard of civilization in nearly all the earliest settlements of Pennsylvania.
We know that German settlements all along the Susquehanna in Central Pennsylvania outdate the Revolutionary War; but we have no evidence of the presence of Lutheran Ministers on this territory until the year 1775 when the Rev. John Michael Enderlein began his Lutheran Congregations on the west side of the river in the present Snyder County.
The official relationship which Rev. Enderlein bore to the Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania, which is the oldest Lutheran body in America, and the only Lutheran Snyod in existence at that time in this state, is contained in the Documentary History of the Lutheran Ministerium of Penna. 1748-1821. Vo. I.
23 Convention 1770
Wed. Oct. 24
"The members of the honorable Ministerium who were present were the following." Nineteen are mentioned and the sixteenth is Mr. Enderle.
Among the business transacted were papers and reports from the
various congregations. It is stated:
"Those of Maytown and Dishop congregations are altogether satisfied with Mr. Enderle and had in a communication."
No mention of him in minutes until 26 Convention June 12-15 Philadelphia 1773. Among the seven "Brethren absent" we find "Enderlin."
Then no mention until 29 Convention Oct. 6, 1776, at Yorktown,
Pa. Among the "assembled preachers" "Catchiest Enderle" is mentioned.
This note from Muhlenberg's Journal.
Then no mention until 31 Convention Oct. 4, 1778, at New Hanover. Among the eighteen members of the Ministerium present is named "Mr. Enderlin."
This note from Muhlenberg Journal.
32 Convention Oct. 4, 5, 1779, at Tulpehocken, facts from Muhlenberg Journal.
"Enderlein" without "Mr." or "Rev." is noted among the absentees.
34 Convention 1781, June 10-12, Philadelphia. A new constitution was adopted.
28 preachers signed it, number 25 was "Johann Michael Enderlein."
There his name appears side by side with such famous preachers as:
Carl Frederich Wildbahn
Heinrich Muhlenberg Jr.
Jacob V. Buskirk
35 Convention June 3-4, 1782, Lancaster. Monday, June 3, synodical meeting opened. Among members we find "Rev. Mr. Michael Enderlein from Shamokin." Under business on afternoon of June 3 was business about him.
"After a long examination of the compliant of Mr. Enderlein, it was resolved that the New Church Constitution which Mr. Enderlein wished to introduce be withdrawn for the present, and that both parties make concessions and bear with each other in patience. Mr. Enderlein promised to do his best in this direction, and in case the congregation were thrown into confusion by his remaining, he would rather give it up altogether."
36 Convention June 15-16, 1783, at Lancaster. His name not
mentioned among those present or absentees. He must have had trouble
at his work among the congregations of Shamokin pastorate.
At 9 o'clock the morning of June 7 we note presentation of matters for consideration. Matter No. 8 was:
"Question from several congregations in Shamokin," June 8 in the
morning this note appears. "No. 8 Various persons from Shamokin asked
verbally whether some other preacher than Catchiest Enderlein may not hold
Communion service, as they are not satisfied with him. They were
advised against it, but permission was granted to ask Rev. Mr. Kurtz Jun.
for a visiting sermon, who might then investigate the matter." Which
Kurtz I do not know as minutes that year show:
P. Nicolaus Kurtz of Yorktown.
P. Wilhelm Kurtz of Lebanon.
P. Here pastor, as it is used for all members present.
Next mention of him is 40 Convention June 3-5 1787. Licent Enderlein is among the members who sent letters of excuse. At 2 o'clock, June 4, business was taken up and this statement appears:
"A letter of excuse from Mr. Enderlein for his absence from this and the previous meeting was read, and declared satisfactory. It was also ordered that his license be renewed."
Next mention of him is 43 Convention May 30, June 2, 1790. Philadelphia, May 31 A. M. Among business is a statement that Licentiate Enderlein from Schamoky excused self in writing for his absence.
June 1 A.M., statement appears:
"Also a letter from Licentiate Enderlein was laid before the Synod and it was resolved that his license be renewed."
Next Mention of him is 46 Convention May 27, 1793, Philadelphia. Candidate Enderlein was among those absent and he was not excused for his absence. "This above is under the business of May 27 A.M.
Among the business of P.M. May 28, was examination of candidates. Several are mentioned as handing in sermons, their license papers and diary of their work, but this statement appears, "Candidates Enderlein, Lutge and Meier were not present and had not sent in any sermon or diary."
Among business of morning of May 29 it was decided that Mr. Enderlein should still be regarded as a licensed candidate.
This is the last reference to him.
We are interested in knowing the relation between our ancestor John Michael Enderlein and Mr. Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg, the patriarch and founder of the American Lutheran Church. Muhlenberg came to America from Halle, Germany, in 1742. Most of his life was spent in Pennsylvania. He made his home at Trappe along the Schuylkill River below Pottstown. From there he looked after the Lutherans in Philadelphia, Germantown, and the Schuylkill Valley and made journeys to Lancaster, York, Hanover and even Frederick, Md., to care for the Lutherans who were scattered in those communities and who had no pastors. Muhlenberg wrote regular reports to Halle, Germany to the offices who had sent him to America. These reports are of great value today as they give an immense amount of information on conditions in those colonial days.
In a letter to Halle, written at New Providence, Pa. (Trappe), Oct. 31,1778, Hallische Nachrichten, page 1413, Dr. Muhlenberg makes a reference to Enderlein. He says:
"Der Katechet Hr. Enderlin,der ehedem in das seligen Herrn Pastor Starks Erbaunngstunden zu Frankfurth zum Ernst im Christenthum aufgeweckt worden, einige Zeit in Philadelphia Schule gehalten, von da zu enige abgelegenen Gemeinen als Katechet bestimmet, und zuletzt mit seiner Familie nach Schamoken, einer neuen Neiderlassung, Gezogen war, ist nun ein Exulant, weil er neulich wegendes Lerms von den feindlichen Indianern Nebst andern Einwebnern die Flucht orgreifen mussen."
"The Catchiest, Mr. Enderlein, who at an earlier time in the devotional hours of the blessed Pastor Stark of Frankfort was awakened to the seriousness of Christianity, at a former time taught school detailed to certain outlying parishes as a catchiest and lately had moved to Schamokin with his family, which is a new settlement, is now an exile, because he recently, in addition to other inhabitants, had to flee on account of the alarms from the fiendish Indians."
Shamokin was the name given to the entire region about Sunbury. This refers to the time when Enderlein lived in Lykens Valley and preached there and in Snyder County and Northumberland Co.
Dr. Schmauk in "A History of the Lutheran Church in Penna. from
Original Sources 1638-1820" pages 405 says:
"Enderlein was ordained as a minister in Germany in 1751. The facts however, do not bear out that statement. He seems to have been rather a catechist who served mission churches and had his license to preach renewed from year to year.
John Michael Enderlein was University trained man, a school teacher in Philadelphia and pioneer missionary when Pennsylvania was a foreign mission territory. He was a builder of churches, and of congregations, a faithful and intrepid servant of God in the days when the forest of this state contained many dangers from man and beast alike. He traveled long distances without comforts or conveniences to give his scattered brethren in the faith the Bread of Life. Most of the churches he planted are still thriving in the work of the Lord. We honor him for his labor and sacrifice, his life is a challenge for us to follow in his train.
Earl Jerome Bowman was born at Millersburg, Pa. Nov. 5, 1889, the son of Joseph and Agnes (Holtzman) Bowman and died at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Jan. 5, 1934. He was, therefore, 44 years and 2 months of age.
Dr. Bowman was graduated from the Millersburg High School in 1906. He entered Gettysburg College and was graduated with the A. B. Degree in 1911 and received the B.D. Degree from Gettysburg Theological Seminary in 1914. For graduate work the Seminary conferred upon him the Degree of S. T. M. in 1928, and at its Centennial Commencement in 1932 the College conferred upon him the Honorary Degree of D. D.
Dr. Bowman was licensed to preach by the Allegheny Synod in 1914.
He was pastor of the Lutheran Church at Phillipsburg, Pa., from 1914-1919....
St. Johns Lutheran Church Steelton, Pa. 1919--1923; and of St. James
Lutheran Church Gettysburg, Pa. from 1923 until his death. On June
12, 1916, he was joined in marriage with Miss Alma S. Alleman of Millersburg,
Pa., by whom he is survived, together with his mother and one brother.
Dr. Bowman held many positions of service in his church. At the time
of his death he was a Trustee of Tressler Orphans' Home at Loysville; of
the Committee on Ministerial Education of the West Penna. Synod, and Vice
President of the Alumni Association of the Gettysburg Seminary.
NOTE: The above was taken from "Geneology of Rev. Johann Michael Enterline 1726-1800 and Descendants", by William E. Enterline, Sr.
INDEXES TO THE FIVE MAIN ENTERLINE BRANCHES
Johann Michael Enterline II... John Paul Enterline... Daniel & Lucinda Enterline...
Anna Maria (Enterline) Lenker... Elizabeth (Enterline) Wirth...