and variants:

and even CREGAR & RIKER from REGER


of Darke Co., OH

Dedicated to the memory of:
Sarah Margaret (CREAGER) SHIELDS, my grandmother,
wf/o Raymond Dale SHIELDS,
Picture below of Sarah & Raymond.

Eldest child & dau/o Gideon Winfield CREAGER & Mary Jane DUNHAM
50th Anniversary Picture below of my g-grandparents, Gideon & Mary

Gideon, s/o John C. CREAGER & Sarah Ann PRUGH of Montgomery Co., OH

Gravestone Photos

Courtesy of: Audrey (Shields) Hancock
East Zion Cemetery
Greenville Township, Darke County, Ohio

Information Below
Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
Thank you, Joyce


I welcome any additional pictures, articles, or information of the metamorphosis of the CREAGER Church to its existence as the East Zion Church today.

I'm sure there are other members' surnames associated with this church that have not been identified. All I have right now are the surnames that Joyce from her records has graciously shared with me. If you are aware of other members and have information, please contact me. It would be great to have information concerning your family members or relatives. If your family members were buried in the church cemetery, please send that information. That would probably indicate that they were members of the church or related to members of the church. If you have gravestone pictures or pictures of the cemetery, please feel free to send for inclusion on our East Zion Cemetery site. If you have any other information, please share. I even notice that there are no SHIELDS mentioned per se, but would imagine a few of the SHIELDS families in Darke County were members of the church also. If you have anything that will help build information for the site, I would be happy to put it on the site. Audrey

Known family names associated with this congregation: Ashman, Aukerman, Bair, Bateman, Baird, Barrach, Bookwalter, Binkley, Brumbaugh, Buttinger, Burkett, Brubaker, Butt, Craig, Creager, Cline, Clark, Cromer, Crawford, Dickey, Dunn, Dunham, Duebner, Eliker, Etter, Estey, Eshleman, Freeman, Frock, Fenstermaker, Garner, Grimes, Greathouse, Greenwalt, Hay, Heffner, Hershey, Hoffert, Huffman, Hoerner, Jarvis, Johnson, Keefauver, Lent, Lecklider, Livingstone, Lutz, Marks, Mackley, Mann, Miller, Mullan, North, Palmer, Paulin, Paulding, Ryan, Rasor, Reed, Rheinhammer, Sebring, Seibert, Smith, Stewart, Sentman, Slonaker, Swadener, Swartz, Stolz, Scholl, Voght, Wion, Westfall, Wilson, Woodman, Wright, Wellbaum and Zimmerman.

SEE NEAR BOTTOM OF WEBPAGE: Contributions from others of individuals or families connected to the CREAGER Congregation or its future affliates: marriages, burials, family relationships, etc.

[NOTE, Sep 2000: The CREAGERs & the PRUGHs were also associated with DAVID's CHURCH located on Far Hills Ave. (St. Rt. #48) South, in Kettering, Montgomery Co., OH. There is a cemetery associated with this church also. Numerous PRUGHs are also buried at another cemetery, VanBuren Twp. Cemetery, off E. Dorothy Lane behind Kettering Town Shopping Center. Courtesy of: Harry EBELING)]


Darke Co., OH

Information Below
Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
Thank you, Joyce


Listing is Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
1865    PARENTS                        CHILDREN
Feb 11  Adam & Mary J. Zimmerman       Harvey Geo Zimmerman
  "     Daniel & Jane E. Palmer        No name given
  "     Daniel & Jane E. Palmer        No name given
  "     George & Kesiah Keefauver      Jessie May Keefauver
  "     George & Kesiah Keefauver      John clement Keefauver
  "     John & Magalen Vogt            Amelia Vogt

Feb 17? David & Mary Ellen Slonaker    William Martin Slonaker
  "     Wm. W. C. & Sarah E. Johnson   Mary Elizabeth Johnson
  "     Wm. W. C. & Sarah E. Johnson   Alice Menervia Johnson
  "     Wm. W. C. & Sarah E. Johnson   Charles Esaias Johnson
  "     Mary Jane Jarvis               Alfraetta Lonama/Lavama/Lorama Jarvis
  "     Mary Jane Jarvis               Susan Belle Jarvis

Deaths of members   from Oct 8th 1864
Rev. I. Jesse Jarvis at Barnid Klefickrs [no date actually given  here,
just the start of a list w/ only this name...Joyce]
Feb 5 1862 
Idia Elen Zimmerman b Aug. 30, 1859
Corer? [?Cora] Frances Zimmerman b Nov. 14, 1860
Keffauver, J. M.(or O. M.) Aug. 22, 1875 Rev. J. Stuck
Keffauver, G. A.(or J. A.) Aug. 22, 1875 Rev. J. Stuck
Miller, Levina E.          Aug. 22, 1875 Rev. J. Stuck
Sentman, Huburt            Feb. 6,  1876 Rev. R. B. Reichard
Cline, Ellen               Feb. 6,  1876 Rev. R. B. Reichard
Mackley, Maud              Jan. 28, 1877 Rev. D. R. Taylor
[NOTE: No parents names are given on this list.]

E. C. Bair died Jul. 16, 1879 age 50y 10m 28d
Funeral sermon by the Pastor Rev. Dingledine
Text: Ps 116 first part of 7 v.
"Return unto thy rest, O my soul,"

Kate Wise died June 16, 1881
Funeral sermon by the Rev. Dingledine

Kate Lecklider died July 31, 1882 
Funeral services conducted by Rev. H. I. Comfort
She was married several months only to a Mr. Brown
Mar. 1   Mr. Charles P. Baird to Miss Adda Lecklider
         by Rev. D. R. Taylor

March    Elizabeth A. Eshlaman to John Stocker

Feb. 25  Mathew Myers to Alice Miller

Oct. 18  Samuel Hershey to Sadie A. Eliker
         by Rev. J. Stuck, Woodington O.

Items below are from the keepsakes of my grandmother,
Sarah "Sally" Margaret (CREAGER) SHIELDS
(Pictured Above)

It is my wish to give full credit to Mrs. Delbert Boomershine as the author of this wonderful Church history. I wish to contact her or a representive member of her family. Does anyone have any information concerning Mrs. Delbert Boomershine?   Audrey (MILLS/LEHMANN-CREAGER-SHIELDS) HANCOCK.



by Mrs. Delbert Boomershine

This year, 1958, East Zion Community Church celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the building of the Church on Zion Hill. Many people ask about the history of our Church; how did East Zion Community Church come into reality? What was the Church's beginning?

The East Zion congregation started in the year 1844, one hundred fourteen years ago, near Gettysburg, Ohio. The East Zion Congregation was originally known as the Creager congregation.

In the early 1840's, the Rev. Jacob Kercher, a young talented minister, visited Gettysburg. He preached the Gospel to members of the Reformed Church who had come from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland to settle in the fertile lands of Darke County, Ohio. It is thought that he continued to preach among the Reformed people for three or four years.

Picture Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
East Zion Community Reformed Church,
by Rev. Albert S. GLESSNER, pp. 5-6
Issued Day of Dedication
Sunday, 24 Apr 1921.

Rev. Jacob Kercher was succeeded by Rev. Reuben Good, a keen young man with much foresight. He was a graduate of the Eastern Theological Seminary, and later became a professor in Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio. He began his ministry in a systematic way by organizing the Creager congregation. This congregation consited of six members: Solomon Creager, Maria Creager, Thomas Creager, Elizabeth Creager, Daniel Lecklider, and Elizabeth Lecklider. On that same day Thomas Creager was elected elder, Solomon Creager and Daniel Lecklider were elected deacons. A congregation must have a place to worship, so in the year 1844-1845, the Creager Church was built South of New Harrison, down by the Greenville Creek. This Church was eventually moved and now is a dwelling on Route 36, being the second house East of the Bears Mill-Arcanum crossing, on the right side of the road. Rev. Good remained until the year 1847, and at this time, he resigned.

Rev. Colliflower was chosen to be his successor, who served as Pastor until the 12th of April, 1852. At the close of this pastorate, the Creager congregation was without a minister for probably a year or more.

Rev. J. M. Lefever accepted the call in 1855 to minister to the Creager congregation. He served until 1858. With Rev. Lefever leaving, the Creager congregation was without Church services. At the outbreak of the Civil War, Rev. Stuck became Pastor of the Charge and ministered to the Creager Congregation until the summer of 1864.

Early in the year 1864, a committee of Rev. T. P. Bucher, Rev. M. Wittenweiler and Rev. P. C. Prugh, met with the Pastor and officers of the Creager and Beamsville congregation, with the intentions of constituting a new charge to be called the Beamsville Charge, with the organization to meet in the Village of Greensville. At this point we stop and ponder. History does repeat itself. To think, almost a hundred years from this time, the East Zion congregation (formerly Creager congregation) and the Beamsville Congregation are closely connected by being ministered to by the same Pastor.

A congregation was organized in Greenville on September 19, 1864 and was called St. Paul's congregation. Rev. Wm. McCaughey became the Pastor of the new congregation and also preached regularly at the Creager congregation and frequently held services in the school house near Bears Mill.

In the year, 1874, Rev. D. R. Taylor became the Pastor and ministered until 1877. During Rev. Taylor's pastorate, on May 30, 1875, the congregation was re-organized. The reason is not known. John Eshleman and Wm. Burkett were elected elders. G. W. Stewart and E. Miller were elected Deacons.

Samuel Hershey was elected clerk. The total membership of the reorganized congregation consisted of eight males and eight females. The named adopted was the "Creager congregation of the Reformed Church in the U.S.". It was during this pastorate that the Creager congregation had its largest membership, the enrollment being sixty eight.

The next Pastorate was that of Rev. J. E. Dingledine, which began and continued until 1881. Rev. Dingledine was succeeded by Rev. H. I. Comfort who served the charge only one year.

In 1883 Rev. J. Stuck became Pastor for the second time and served for a period of six years. At the beginning of Rev. Stuck's ministry the second time, the home and name of the Creager congregation was changed. In June, 1883 the name "Creager" was changed to "Zion Reformed Church of Greenville Township, Darke County, Ohio." The first steps were taken to negotiate with the Lutheran Synod for the "Klefeker" brick Church. Sometime during the summer of 1883, the title to the Klefeker Church was transferred to the trustees of the Zion Reformed congregation. The sume of $650.00 was paid for the Klefeker Church.

Picture Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
East Zion Community Reformed Church,
by Rev. Albert S. GLESSNER, pp. 5-6
Issued Day of Dedication
Sunday, 24 Apr 1921.

This old brick Church, which became the home of the East Zion congregation was erected in the year 1858-59. It was known as the Klefeker Church because Rev. Alexander Klefeker donated the lot on which the Church was built and contributed the major portion of the money to build and complete the Church. The Klefeker Church served as a worship place for East Zion congregation for sixty years almost to the day.

Darke County, Ohio Recorder's Office
Volume L-2, Page 373
Alex Klefeker to Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church - Dated 6-27-1860
Trustees, Abdel Slanaker [See: SLONAKER Family below], John Westfall and Samuel Bear
81 square rods on pike (Route 36 & Willis Road)
Section 32, Township 10, Range 3 East.

Witnesses:  Sarah Schrenick                    Signed: Alexander Klefeker
            John A. Corbin                        Anna Klefeker, his wife
Information Courtesy of:
Jan Abbott
as shared via the Internet, 1 Sep 2001, with ASH
Jan adds, "Anna Bear Klefeker was a sister to my gr-grandmother, Magdalena Bear Hershey (wife of Emanuel Hershey). My gr-grandfather was marvelous about making all kinds of notes and journals and I am fortunate to have several of them."
Thank you, Jan.

In this House of Worship East Zion Congregation were served by the following Pastors:

J. Stuck..................................1883-1889
R. R. Lachey..............................1890-1891
H. S. Hart................................1891-1893
D. R. Taylor..............................1894-1896
S. U. Snyder..............................1897-1899
F. M. Shultz..............................1899-1904
D. S. Miller..............................1905-1906
D. E. Tobias..............................1911-1913
S. V. Rohrbaugh...........................1913-1916
Albert S. Glessner........................1916-

At a special meeting, held February 27, 1919, it was unanimously voted by the East Zion congregation and community to remodel and build an addition to the Church. So the work was started - a basement was to be dug under the Church. It so happened that in May, 1919, the men were working on the Church had either gone home to dinner or to plant potatoes and corn, when the Old Brick Church groaned and collapsed, never more to serve as a dwelling place for the Spirit of God. The East Zion congregation worshipped in the Concord Grange Hall until the new Church was completed. The cornerstone to the new Church was laid on September 28, 1919. The building committee consisted of:

Rev. Albert Glessner........President
J. H. Norris................Secretary
W. H. Eshleman..............Treasurer
L. E. Strobel...............Builder
A. C. Stocker
Ed. Irwin
Martin Cook
I. Keefauver
Chas. Lecklider.............Honorary members

Bricks from the old Klefeker Church and the Concord Church helped to build the present East Zion Church. The Church was built at the cost of between $17,000 and $18,000. The East Zion Church was dedicated April 21, 1921.

Picture Courtesy of:
Joyce Van Tassell of Darke Co., OH
East Zion Community Reformed Church,
by Rev. Albert S. GLESSNER, pp. 5-6
Issued Day of Dedication
Sunday, 24 Apr 1921.

On the day of dedication, the congregation was short of $1500 to pay for the Church. The Church was built from the members and the community which took a period of two years to collect. Rev. Albert S. Glessner served as Pastor during this period, 1916 until March 1, 1922. During this time East Zion was connected with the Hillgrove Church until February, 1922. During the years that Rev. Glessner served as Pastor, the membership was the largest in the history of the Church. The Church membership was 120. The Sunday School enrollment was 250. The Christian Endeavor enrollment was 95 and was the largest Young People's society in Darke County.

From the year 1922 to August 1, 1927, student ministers Pastored the East Zion Charge. On August 1, 1927 the Rev. H. S. Hart accepted the pastorate of the East Zion Church. At this time we were connected with the West Zion Reformed Church. During the pastorate of Rev. Hart, East Zion was blessed with an orchestra under the leadership of Mr. Hopkins. Rev. Hart served the East Zion congregation until October 10, 1931.

Rev. Edgar V. Loucks, minister of St. Paul's Reformed Church in Greenville, held services every Sunday morning from the year 1932 thru 1939. His ministry touched our lives in many ways, through dedication, marriage, or death. From May, 1940 until October, 1941 Rev. Charles T. Myers served as pastor of East Zion congregation.

In October 1941, a mere high school lad heard and accepted the call of God to be a Minister. He was Keith Bailey, the boy across the road from East Zion Church. It was in the pulpit of East Zion that Keith began his ministry. East Zion is very proud to have played a part in Keith's life. Keith now is a missionary to the American Indians in Minnesota. Keith left us in September, 1943.

From September, 1943, until November 1945, Rev. Herman Peffley was Pastor of the East Zion Church. East Zion holds very dear to their hearts the memory of this saint of God who has passed on to his reward.

During the years between November 1945 and April 1947, we were without a pastor. In April 1947, Rev. Roger Clevenger, a student at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, accepted the pastorate of the East Zion congregation. East Zion as a Reformed Church ceased to exist. Re-organization of the East Zion Church took place during the year 1947. A letter of dismissal was received from the Reformed Synod releasing East Zion from their charge. The East Zion congregation was accepted into the Eastern Indiana Association of Congregational Christian Churches. So East Zion was now a Congregational Christian Church; wtih new by-laws being instituted. The name of the Church was to be the "East Zion Community Church." The Rev. Roger Clevenger asked for his release in August, 1949.

In December, 1949 Rev. Fred Luthy, a student at Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, accepted the Pastorate of the East Zion Community Church. During Rev. Luthy's pastorate, the Church received a new face. In September 1952 a medium rough white stucco was put over the bricks in order to stop moisture from coming through the walls of the Church. We are now known as the beautiful white Church built on a hill. At the end of May 1953, Rev. Fred Luthy accepted the full time ministry of the Philipsburg Church. Rev. Luthy is now a Professor at Taylor University.

After the resignation of Rev. Luthy, East Zion joined with the Beamsville Congregational Christian Church in calling a full time minister. Rev. Raymond Gillis accepted the pastorate of these Churches in October, 1953. At the beginning of the year, 1954, the interior of the East Zion Church was to undergo a change. The old salt bricks from the Concord and Klefeker Churches used in building the present East Zion Church, were causing the plaster to crack and crumble.

An air space between the brick organ wall and plaster was built in, with new plaster and paint being applied. At the completion of the redecoration, an electric Hammond Spinet organ was presented to East Zion in memory of J. H. Norris, by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hartzell and the Norris family.

In 1957, during the merger between Congregational Christian and Evangelical and Reformed Churches, East Zion Community Church was the first Church to withdraw from the Eastern Indiana Association of Congregational Christian Churches, with 36 other churches, who had also withdrawn from the Eastern Indiana Association, a Conservative Congregational Christian Fellowship was formed, of which East Zion Community Church is a charter member. Rev. Raymond Gillis resigned in June, 1958 to accept a pastorate in the state of Maine.

In October, 1958, Rev. Harry Aufiero accepted the pastorate of the East Zion Community Church. The present membership is 77. Sunday School enrollment is 125. The membership of East Zion Community Church is made up of people of various backgrounds and faiths. It is said thatwe have as high as nine denominations represented in our congregation. East Zion Community Church is a growing Church, where the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached and taught. On this one hundredth anniversary honoring the first Church, the "Klefeker," Zion Community Church continues to be a lighthouse, throwing out the light of God to those in the community. May the East Zion Community Church continue to prosper in the future as it has in the past, and may it be an instrument in the hands of God to point many a weary wanderer to the Pearly Gates of teh Celestial Abode - Zion, the City of God.

Come, we that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known,
Join in a song with sweet accord,
Join in a song with sweet accord,
and thus surround the throne,
and thus surround the throne.

We're marching to Zion,
Beautiful, beautiful Zion,
We're marching upward to Zion,
The beautiful city of God.

Courtesy of: Audrey (Mills-Lehmann/Creager-Shields) Hancock
from the Collection of my grandmother, Sarah Margaret (Slonaker-Dunham/Prugh-Creager) Shields

Unknown Newspaper Publication

Courtesy of: Audrey (Mills-Lehmann/Creager-Shields) Hancock
from the Collection of my grandmother, Sarah Margaret (Slonaker-Dunham/Prugh-Creager) Shields

Commemorative Church Bulletin


Courtesy of: Audrey (Shields) Hancock


The CREAGER-KRIEGER & Variants Family Homepage

Webpage by:   Audrey (Shields) Hancock of Portage, Michigan

Created: 16 September 2000
Revised: 28 July 2006

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