The history of the Reformed and Lutheran congregations of Ebenezer Church, like all histories, is a narrative of events, a chronological record of the development of a Christian institution arid its people over a period of two hundred fifty years. However, such a history becomes richer and more meaningful if it is placed in context with the political, social, and economic progression taking place in the same time frame, especially during the colonial period and early years of our great republic.
Generally speaking, we have found much of the recorded history of our church, including both congregations, to be rather intermittent, especially during the first one hundred forty years of its development. Numerous records appear to be missing. Original records which are on hand, particularly those pertaining to the time frame starting with 1760 and extending through the first quarter of the nineteenth century, are in a fragile, brittle, fragmented state, and frequently bear stains and smudges. Without a doubt, the aging process of the paper appears to be the main culprit.
All early church records pertaining to the eighteenth and most of the nineteenth century were recorded in the German language. Often, information was difficult to comprehend because of frequently misspelled words or interrupted thought patterns due to fragmentation of a document. Therefore, translation became a time-consuming task. However, we are deeply indebted to two gentlemen, Raymond Hollenbach and Arthur Klingaman, who preceded us approximately ten years ago in translating and collating many of the records, making copies, and placing them in binders for storage. Because of their labors, they have saved us countless hours of arduous translations.
We offer our thanks to each and everyone who in some way contributed to the publication of this history. However, special recognition is extended to:
Mr. William Masters for his devoted, untiring service as the Anniversary Committee Chairman, and for his advice and assistance in the planning of this history.
Dr. Forrest O. Moyer, a native of Lynn Township, for the beautiful church photographs, one of which appears on the 250th-Anniversary Plate.
Miss Mabel Mantz for her suggestions and help in procuring the special photographs used for the 250th Anniversary Plate and the frontispiece of the church history.
Mrs. Lucy Reichard for the expeditious typing of the manuscript in preparation for the publisher and for her advice and suggestions regarding style and format to be used.
Mrs. Marie Boger for the laborious task of compiling all the statistical material appearing in the history.
Mrs. Janice Metzger, Mrs. Kay Symons, Mrs. Bessie Jacobs, and Mrs. Carolyn Hamm for the reading and compilation of background material.
Mrs. Karen Bivans, Mrs. Doris Bruder, Mrs. Ruth Frey, Mrs. Carolyn Hamm Miss Edna Reitz, and Miss Jodi Werkheiser for typing the statistical material published in the history.
Mr. Carl D. Snyder, a lifelong parishioner of Ebenezer Church, for his advice, suggestions, statistical materials, and the various federal coins which were placed in the cornerstone box during the 250th-Anniversary Celebration; also, for the numerous reproductions of original photographs presented for inclusion in this publication by other persons. All uncredited photographs, however, have been presented to us by Mr. Snyder for this historical work.
Mr. Kenneth Morton for his contribution of various federal coins for placement in the cornerstone box during the 250th-Anniversary Celebration.
Mr. Louis Donat, a native of Lynn Township, and a noted historian, for his interest, help, and advice.
We have tried to present to the readers of this history the thoughts, the plans, and the accomplishments of our predecessors at Ebenezer Church from its inception to the present time. Based on the information available to us, we are of the opinion that it is a quite accurate and factual record. Given the number of documents to be translated and read and the amount of research that had to be done, it is quite natural that some errors or omissions may have occurred. If this be the case, we can only say that it was done inadvertently, and we offer our sincere apologies.
RICHARD K. MILLER
GLENN D. KOCH
April 1, 1990