Our History

How it all started...

The history of Emmanuel Church is intertwined with the history of its community.  In 1903, Egg Harbor City was largely German in its cultural heritage, and all of the city’s churches had initially held services in that language.  Most went through a bi-lingual transition, preaching in both English and German, beginning with the St. Nicholas Roman Catholic church in 1866, and ending when the Lutheran Church converted to English in 1932.  By the 1890’s a German Baptist Church was established at a time when exclusively German-speaking churches were declining in the small town, and it never prospered.

In April of 1903, the Reverend Oscar von Barchwitz from the German Baptist Church met with a group of believers at a building on the corner of Agassiz Street (White Horse Pike) and London Avenue. This group, who desired to establish a Christian work for worship and the preaching of the Gospel, formulated and unanimously passed a constitution, by-laws, and articles of faith.  They also adopted the name “Emanuel Church.”  A certificate of incorporation dated September 12th of that year was confirmed by the signatures of Rev. Barchwitz and several other church officials, including Richard Carter, Christian Kaiser, Henry S. Stover, and John W. Kirkbridge. The church was officially named “Emanuel Church of the International Gospel Association,” and Egg Harbor City had its first church founded in the English language.

Reverend Barchwitz remained pastor of the church until December 1904. After he left to minister elsewhere, the pulpit was filled by Congregational pastors from Philadelphia. Then on June 8, 1905, a special meeting of the church was called to change its name and affiliation. This was accomplished as documents were filed on November 6, 1905, and the church was renamed Emanuel Congregational Church.  Not long after, William J. Richards came to pastor the church.  From Coaldale, Pennsylvania, Pastor Richards had a wife, Lydia, and three children.  Using the musical talents of the Richards family, a church choir was formed.
During its earliest years, the church met in a vacant factory on the corner of Agassiz Street and London Avenue. The basement of the building was used as a gymnasium, and an athletic club was formed for competitive sporting events.  This concept fit well with the German philosophy of “a sound mind in a sound body.”  For several years, Emanuel Congregational Church moved from its original building and met at the Odd Fellows Hall, on the corner of Philadelphia Avenue and Beethoven Street.  But by 1906, the leaders of the church believed that the time had come to erect their own building. A lot at the corner of the White Horse Pike and Liverpool Avenue was purchased for $600.00 on September 18, 1906, and plans were made to build in the near future.

Pastor Richards helped to formulate the plans for the new church building, but progress was stalled when several founding members of the church went home to be with the Lord.  In April of 1908, Pastor Richards submitted his resignation, stating that “the members would not work in harmony with him.”  Although he was asked by the church to reconsider, he left to serve a church in Baltimore, Maryland; and Emanuel Church was once again without a pastor.  A series of preachers filled the pulpit until February of 1909, when Rev. Oscar Klar, formerly of the Snyder Avenue Congregational Church in Philadelphia, and ordained by the Free Baptist Church of Langdon, New York was unanimously called to the pastorate.  He was formally installed on March 23, 1909, and given a salary of $650.00, half of which was paid by the Home Missionary Society of New York. But Pastor Klar only stayed until October of that same year, citing poor health as the reason for his departure.  Although his stay was brief, it was during Pastor Klar’s tenure that the church building program was begun, and the church’s walls and roof were erected.  No further work was done on the building during that winter. A series of supply pastors, including the Reverend Franklin E. Weider, once again filled the pulpit of the church which numbered twenty-three members.
During the winter of 1909-1910, it was discovered that the legal documents associated with the official name change in 1905 had been misplaced; the church’s twenty-three members had the name recertified in January 1910.  At the same time, a correction was made in the spelling, to Emmanuel Congregational Church of Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.  The original spelling, however, is on the church’s cornerstone.

On March 27, 1910, a special meeting of the church was convened at Odd Fellows Hall, where Mr. Clarence B. Roberts was unanimously voted to the pastorate of Emmanuel Congregational Church.  He too was given a salary of $650.00, and began his ministry the following week. With Pastor Roberts in the pulpit, work was resumed on the new building and was completed in August, 1910, with a dedication service held on October 2.  The Reverend Moseley Williams of Philadelphia preached at the service, where “the building was dedicated to God for the worship of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  Later that same month, Pastor Roberts returned to West Chester, Pennsylvania and married his wife Fannie.  He remained at the church for fifty years, with Fannie working by his side until her death in 1948.

Although Pastor Roberts had graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1909, he had not yet been ordained.  Some questioned his authority to perform duties such as baptism and administering the Lord’s Table.  In a letter from the Congregational denomination dated in June 1911, the church was advised to commission Pastor Roberts to perform these services.  After a church meeting on July 3, 1911 the church began remembering the Lord’s Table on the first Sunday of alternating months, a schedule which is still in effect at the church’s 100th anniversary.

Even in its earliest years, the church’s Sunday Bible School was an integral part of its ministry.  While the church was still being constructed, several Sunday School classes raised ten dollars each to pay for the stained glass windows in the sanctuary.  The No. 3 class met weekly, making peanut brittle to sell until their ten dollars was reached.  In 1912, the basement of the church was finished, providing a place for the Sunday School classes to meet.  The Sunday School practice of buying and distributing candy to the students was a major point of discussion at a meeting in 1913; and in 1915, a notation was made about planning the Sunday School picnic, dating this annual event early in the church’s history.

During World War I, Emmanuel Congregational Church expanded its ministry to include special offerings to the Red Cross, the Armenian and Syrian Relief, the Near East Relief, the European Relief, and the Hoover Relief funds.  Additionally, Pastor Roberts personally provided New Testaments to seventy-five young men who served in the war from the Egg Harbor area.  Evangelistic meetings were held in the spring of 1916, and a number of children and adults professed Christ as a result.  Despite the war, attendance remained strong, with only a slight drop in weekly attendance (from 51 to 50) on Sunday mornings.  The Sunday School attendance dropped from 115 to 100, and prayer meeting from 17 to 15.  Christian Endeavor, a group of young people who met after church, also dropped from 30 to 25; but the number of church members actually rose from 48 to 61.

At this time there were seven members of Emmanuel Congregational Church in military service.  In the last week of fighting, Carl Stutzbach was seriously injured, and Bart Daddario was discharged.  With the end World War I, the church received a special offering for a granite memorial in the city’s park to remember those who had lost their lives in the war.

In June of 1919, having served Emmanuel Congregational Church for almost nine years, Pastor Roberts performed his first baptism by immersion.  The service for William Vogel was held at an Egg Harbor City public pool at 6 p.m. on a Saturday evening.  A few months later, in September, his sister Kathryn (later Garnich) was baptized at the same pool.  Many years later, the baptistery in the Roberts Memorial Building was built as a memorial to “Bill” Vogel.  Later that same year, a committee of Congregational ministers met to ordain Pastor Clarence Roberts, who had been serving under the authority of a certificate issued annually from the Congregational denomination.  An examination of the candidate was held at 3:15 on December 2, and a service of ordination and confirmation was held that evening.

Soon after his ordination, Pastor Roberts began performing wedding services.  Among the earliest were Edward Lawrence Batsto and the widow of William Weisner, as his first, and Emil Garnich and Kathryn Vogel in June of 1920.  The first wedding to be held in the church building was that of Rush Steelman and Elsie Wills on November 1, 1924.  Over the course of his ministry, Pastor Roberts presided over 350 weddings.

The need for a parsonage became increasingly evident to the Board of Trustees, who with the consent of the congregation purchased property adjacent to the church for a sum of $450.00 in March, 1921.  Construction of the pastor’s residence began in 1923, with a “handsome parsonage erected facing Agassiz Street.”  Pastor Roberts and his wife moved into the house by the end of that year.  It was during this time that the church also began working on a constitution and by-laws for Emmanuel Congregational Church, a project that took three years, with its final draft adopted on May 4, 1926.

Another significant addition to the church was its bell in 1925.  Mrs. Edna Voss volunteered to purchase a bell, and her offer was accepted by the Board of Trustees.  Within a month, a 31 inch, B- tone, 600 pound bell was cast by the McShane Bell Foundry at a cost of $480.00.  A belfry was installed, and the bell was dedicated on Palm Sunday in 1925.  Mr. Louis Lauer was chosen to be the bell ringer, and continued in that position for many years.  Also in the 1920’s, Miss Frieda Doernbach became the first missionary to be supported by the church.  A missionary nurse in Guatemala with Central American Missions, Miss Doernbach, was supported by offerings made by individuals in the church.

During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, church minutes suggest financially difficult times, with the pastor’s salary deficit growing each year.  When the church did not have enough money to pay the pastor, the Sunday School contributed.  Despite diminished pay, Pastor Roberts continued at Emmanuel, and in 1935 his twenty-fifth anniversary of service was celebrated.
The year 1937 brought with it some new additions.  On August 29th the church was given a Kilgen pipe organ by Mrs. Emma Voss.  To protect this costly instrument, the trustees installed new shingles on the roof over the place where the organ was to be installed.  A small folding organ was also purchased to be used for summer services on the church lawn.  These instruments were used in worship, along with a piano that had previously been given to the church by the choir.  The year ended with the founding of the Tri Sigma Society, a women’s service organization.  Over the years this group, whose name means “Self-Sacrificing Service,” has donated both time and money to fulfill countless projects and services to benefit both the physical atmosphere of the church as well as ministering to its congregation.

With the advent of World War II, young men of the church were once again called upon to serve their country, and Pastor Roberts once again met to pray with them and to present them with a New Testament.  One such member who served in the war was Victor McAnney.  On August 8, 1923, his ship, The Astoria, sank in the Pacific Ocean, and Victor went home to be with the Lord.  He is considered to be the first Egg Harbor City resident to die in the war, and the local VFW post was named in his memory.

Another loss to the church was the home-going of Mrs. Roberts in 1948, leaving the pastor to minister alone.  Both the church and the Sunday School encouraged and assisted him during this time.  Also in 1948, a building fund was established to pay off the mortgage for the parsonage.  An even more significant decision was made in 1949, when the Congregational denomination planned to merge with the Evangelical and Reformed churches to form the United Church of Christ.  In a unanimous vote, Emmanuel Congregational Church decided that they would separate from the denomination. The Congregational denomination was hesitant to drop the church from its membership, and kept its name on their roll until 1966, when another vote by the congregation led to a request that their name be removed.

Special services in 1960 commemorated Pastor Roberts’s fiftieth year at Emmanuel Congregational Church.  Highly regarded and loved by the community as well as the church, Pastor Roberts had participated in many baptisms and weddings of local residents.  In preparation for the fiftieth anniversary, railings were installed on the front steps of the church.   Shortly after the anniversary celebration, the pastor attended a reunion at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, accompanied by Mr. Jack Brooks.  Then on December 20th, after participating in a men’s meeting at the church, Pastor Roberts, returned to the parsonage, and while resting in a chair given to him by the Sunday School, he slipped into the presence of the Lord.  Although deeply missed by the congregation, the ministry of the church was uninterrupted because of the stability maintained by the pastor in his fifty years of service.

Several pastors filled the pulpit in January 1961, including Reverend Warren A. Allem, who had previously pastored Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Tennessee, and served as executive secretary of Bryan College.  Although he was currently teaching at Atlantic City High School, he was also available for pulpit supply.   His first opportunity to preach at Emmanuel was on January 12th, and he was formally called to the pastorate on March 13th.  Pastor Allem began his service to Emmanuel on March 26, 1961, bringing with him his wife Helen, and four of his seven children: Grace, Priscilla, Susanna, and Rebecca. The church formally welcomed them with a reception on May 23rd.   The Allem family continued to live in Longport, New Jersey while renovations were completed on the parsonage, which continued into the fall.  On November 19th an “open house” was held so that all could view the remodeled and redecorated parsonage.

During the first two years of his ministry, Pastor Allem was involved in a doctoral program at Columbia University in New York City, and was only at home on weekends.    Mr. Wilbert Cramer, who had filled the pulpit at various times, was appointed by the Board of Trustees to aid the church as the assistant pastor.   Also at this time, plans were being formulated to construct an education building in memory of Pastor Roberts.  Before doing so, the church made plans to pay outstanding mortgages to the Congregational missions board.  A special meeting was held on May 29, 1962, the congregation voted to move forward with the new building.  After the morning worship service on October 21st, a groundbreaking ceremony was held.  Most of the work was done by volunteers, including the electrical work by Bob Weiler, and the plumbing by Jim Werner.  When work on the new building was completed, it was dedicated on October 13, 1963, with Dr. Douglass McCorkle of Philadelphia College of Bible as guest speaker.

The summer of 1963 again brought change to the church, with Pastor Allem (now Dr. Allem) taking a position as dean of the King’s College in Briarcliff Manor, New York.   Although the pastor commuted weekly between the college and church for the next year, in 1964 he resigned to be closer to the college.  A number of pastors once again filled the pulpit until Reverend Renald Showers was called to the church.  A graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Pastor Showers began his ministry at Emmanuel in January 1965.  The last sermon of his tenure at Emmanuel was preached on March 6, 1966, when he left to pastor Grace Bible Church in Philadelphia, and later to teach at Philadelphia College of Bible, and Moody Bible Institute.  While at the church he established an annual missions conference, a tradition that continued for several decades.

With the departure of Pastor Showers, the church voted to invite Pastor Allem to return to his former position.  Having left The King’s College, he was now serving as a school principal in Goshen, Virginia, and speaking at area churches.  Pastor Allem, his wife, and his two youngest daughters, Susanna and Rebecca, returned to Egg Harbor City in the summer of 1966 and were given a reception on August 24th.  Soon after the pastor’s return, the church purchased the Dickerson home on the corner London Avenue and the White Horse Pike.  The house was subsequently razed, leaving a vacant lot which was enclosed in wire fencing.  This piece of property was later used as a playground for The Pilgrim Academy and is presently utilized as a much-needed parking lot.

Having paid the mortgage on the Robert’s Memorial Building as well as previous debts, a “mortgage burning” was held on January 28, 1968.  Just a few months later, on May 29, the congregation voted unanimously to enlarge and remodel the sanctuary.  A special service was held on June 23rd of that year, and the pastor’s brother, the Reverend Harold Allem preached the last morning service under the starry, blue dome above the pulpit.  A dedication of the building project was held afterward, as many gathered around the newly-dug hole between the church and the parsonage.  On the very next morning, the building project commenced.  There was much discussion as to how to enlarge the sanctuary without changing its original architectural design.  Mr. Henry Bange constructed trusses that matched the original remaining arched beams.  The building committee included Fred Filling, Ron Hesse, Fred Morgenweck, Robert Weiler, and James Werner.
Many members utilized their God-given talents in wiring, plumbing, plastering, and painting.  New carpeting was laid, pulpit furniture was re-finished, and a new choir loft was constructed. Additionally, a glass partition and doors was constructed to separate the sanctuary from the lobby. Care was taken to match the stained-glass windows and lighting fixtures with the remaining originals.  While the men labored, the women provided coffee and home-baked refreshments, and everyone pitched in to paint.

At the completion of the re-building project, seating capacity in the sanctuary was doubled; a new grand piano and organ were also added.  After eight months of holding services in the Robert’s Building, the congregation returned to the newly-remodeled sanctuary on March 2, 1969, with a dedication slated for May 25th.
In February 1970, the church assumed the mortgage of the property at 537 Philadelphia Avenue.  This home was to be used by the director of Christian education and assistant to the pastor.  Pastor Allem also instituted the children’s sermon, a practice that endures more than thirty years later.

In 1971 Christian schools were being founded around the country, and the need for one in this area was recognized by church.  Rooms in the Roberts Building had been constructed with foresight and planning so that they could one day be used as a Christian day school.  After much discussion and prayer, the plan to move ahead with a school was approved by the congregation.  The Pilgrim Academy of the Emmanuel Congregational Church officially began in the fall of 1971.  Twenty-one students in grades seven through nine were taught by three full-time teachers:  Susanna Allem, Betty Spragg, and John Sahl. Additionally, Pastor Doug Robinson taught physical education part time. In successive years, grades ten through twelve were added.

Around this time, it was brought to the church’s attention that the State of New Jersey had no record of Emmanuel Church.  Apparently, the papers of incorporation were misplaced while being transferred from the county office to new state offices.  After much work by an attorney, the church was notified that it could maintain its tax exempt status, as well as The Pilgrim Academy, since it was part of the church.

As The Pilgrim Academy was being established, changes were also in the works at the church.  On September 1, 1971 John E. Sahl became the Director of Christian Education, and worked with the youth and Sunday School.  “Teams for Christ” met at Hamilton Hall for basketball games, and the “Second Saturday Nighters” was established for young married couples to fellowship in a variety of social activities.  Additionally, iron grating was installed over the ground-level windows to discourage break-ins, and the church parking lot was black-topped.

Pastor Allem retired from the Atlantic City school system in 1973 so that he could minister full time at Emmanuel Church and The Pilgrim Academy.  September 9th of that year brought Pastor Showers back to speak at the church’s 70th anniversary.  And on December 16th a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the site of the new Pilgrim Academy Upper School.  A twenty- acre plot of land on Moss Mill Road in Galloway Township had been given to the church in 1972.  Construction on a seven-room classroom building was completed in 1975, and students in the upper grades moved in.  Grades kindergarten through sixth were added, but remained in the church and Roberts Building.

For the entire year of 1978, the church’s 75th anniversary was remembered, and a dinner was held on April 17th in honor of the occasion.  The church purchased a five-octave set of brass cathedral bells.  A bell choir was formed and later dedicated and used for a performance to end the anniversary year on December 31st.  Two more properties were donated to the church, one on McCormick Avenue on the Mullica River, and the property adjacent to the church on Liverpool Avenue, now known as Bethany House.  A highlight of 1978 was the ordination of John E. Sahl, assistant to the pastor, on November 12th.  Among those present for the ordination was George Miles, president of Washington Bible College, who spoke at the event, along with many local clergymen.

In September of 1979, Pastor Allem was reunited with two of his brothers who had made up the Allem Trio, for a week of special services at Emmanuel. Renovations were made to Bethany house, and a handicapped ramp was constructed to allow wheelchair access to the sanctuary.  A new piano was purchased for the church the next year.

Although he remained at the school for another year, Pastor Allem resigned from the pulpit at Emmanuel in 1980.  A farewell dinner was given for the Allems on May 31st, and George Miles was on hand once again to speak.  Pastor John Sahl was chosen to replace Pastor Allem, and he began his ministry on June 1, 1980.  A reception to welcome the new pastor, his wife Rebecca (Allem) and their five children, John, Janet, Jeremy, Jason, and Joshua was held on September 20th.  It was at this time that Emmanuel Congregational Church joined the Independent Fundamental Churches of America after a vote by the congregation.

In 1981, Pastor Sahl started a weekly radio broadcast called “Bible Time.”  It aired on Sunday afternoons for the next eighteen year. Although it was quite popular in the area, “Bible Time” was canceled when the radio station changed its programming. Other outreaches that the church was involved in include ministering at the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation, the Atlantic City Rescue mission, and Harborfields.  With the addition of many new babies in the church family, the need for an additional nursery became evident.  A small area between the original church and the Roberts building was enclosed and equipped to provide an area for infants in 1984.  The original nursery continued to be used for toddlers only.

Expansion continued at The Pilgrim Academy with the addition of a gymnasium in 1982 and an elementary wing connecting the gym to the original “Upper School” building in 1983.  Elementary classes that had remained in the church were now united at the Moss Mill Road campus.  The final wing of the school was built between 1989 and 1990.  A library, lunchroom, music room, and computer lab, as well as several additional classrooms comprised this wing.  With the wings of the school forming a horseshoe shape, the space between provided an area which could be developed into a courtyard.  Over the years, under the direction of Headmaster, Bob Peterson, this area has been landscaped with trees, shrubs, and flowers.  A fountain, pond, gazebo, and benches also add to its beauty, as it provides a place for students and faculty to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation.  A headmaster’s home, originally planned by Dr. Allem, was built across the street from the school. The Peterson family, who had been living in the church parsonage, moved into the new home in 1992.

The emphasis on missions has had a prominent place both in prayer and finances at Emmanuel, but in 1985 Tom and Robin (Weiler) Coleman were commissioned to begin missionary work in Papua New Guinea.  Robin was the first person raised at Emmanuel to become a full-time missionary.  A few years later in 1992, Dave and Susan (Barnhart) Burt also left for the mission field. Sue was also raised in Emmanuel, and the Burts continue to serve the Lord in China.

Although the adults in the church had been able to minister in a senior choir since the very earliest years of the church’s history, a junior choir had not been active for a number of years.  In 1987, the “Patch the Pirate” club was initiated, with Miss Elizabeth (Betsy) Surpless as the leader and captain.  Over the years, many children have gone through the Patch program, which emphasizes personal devotions as well as preparation for a special musical selection each month.  In 1991 the Sunday School honored Mrs. Goetz for fifty years of service as the Sunday School secretary.  She was presented with a plaque by Sunday School Superintendent Dean Cramer at the annual Christmas program.

For several years, the church had been supporting two Russian pastors in Minsk, Belarus by receiving an annual Thanksgiving offering.  In 1993, the church sent Pastor Sahl and Rebecca to visit Light of the Gospel Church, Emmanuel’s “sister church” in Minsk. This visit coincided with a dedication of their new building program.  A highlight of the trip was Pastor Sahl’s opportunity to speak at the prayer meeting at the Minsk church.

The church’s van ministry, which had been providing transportation from the city’s apartment complexes to Family Vacation Bible School for a number of years, was expanded in 1994 to include picking children up for Sunday School each week and returning them home.  Also in 1994, a new roof was designed and built to end the recurring problem of flooding in the church’s basement.  This new design changed the contour of the building and allowed space so that an “upper room” could be added in the future.

With the maturing of the young children that once filled the nursery, a new focus on youth ministry became necessary.  Various members had volunteered their time over the years to fulfill this need.  In 1998, Mr. Bradley Holen was invited to fill the position of youth pastor, with the help of his wife Paula (Weiler).  The Holens traveled from California in the summer of 1998, and moved into the parsonage adjacent to the church.  A Bible club was begun at the Washington Avenue apartments in 1998.  This ministry grew out of contacts with children from Family Vacation Bible School and the van ministry.  The club was originally administered by Miss Betsy Surpless, Mrs. Charlotte Weiler, and Pastor Sahl.  In 2002, Jeremy Sahl replaced the pastor at the club when he was appointed as the pastor’s assistant.  In addition to helping with the Bible club, Jeremy also works with the college and career age members, and participates in various visitation outreaches.
With the new millennium came new additions and changes to the church.  One focus was wheelchair accessibility for members as well as visitors to the church.  Plans were set in motion to finish the Upper Room, including a handicapped accessible bathroom, a classroom, and small foyer.   A wheelchair lift was also installed for access to this area.  Although the Upper Room was completed in 2001, work continues in the renovation program.  Modifications were made to the Roberts building in 2003, which included remodeling the downstairs bathroom to make it accessible.  In the future, an additional lift will be installed in the Roberts Building for wheelchair access.

The year 2003 was one of special significance to Emmanuel Church, as it commemorated one hundred years since its inception.  Much has changed over the years, with new buildings, new ministries, new pastors, and new programs; but the original purpose of the church has not changed.  It remains “a Christian work for worship and for the preaching of the Gospel,” and a testimony of God’s faithfulness in preserving a Bible-based ministry for one hundred years. The centenary was observed throughout the year and highlighted by a 100th anniversary dinner on September 12th, the date of the church’s incorporation in 1903.  Historic pictures were on display, and testimonies and memories were shared.  On Sunday, September 14th, Pastor Renald Showers returned to preach in commemoration of the anniversary.

Although the year 2003 was one of celebration, it was also one of remembrance as two key figures went home to be with the Lord.  On August 1st, long-time church member and headmaster of The Pilgrim Academy, Robert A. Peterson, unexpectedly passed into the presence of the Lord, leaving behind his wife Susanna (Allem) and seven children.  The church family experienced another loss on October 15th, when Dr. Warren A. Allem slipped into eternity at the age of eighty-nine.  Although these men will be missed by many, their legacy at the church and school will continue to live on.

The year 2003 came to a close with the church’s annual Watchnight Service.  Videos of past church gatherings were shown, testimonies of God’s goodness were given, and the church’s bell tolled, while Emmanuel Church members and friends prayed for God’s blessing in the year ahead.  Pastor Sahl’s messages from the Book of The Revelation and events in recent years confirm in the hearts of many that the time is nearing when the shout will be heard, and the Lord will descend to gather His people.  The once small gathering in a vacant factory has grown into a church of more than one hundred members whose multi-faceted ministry has touched the hearts of thousands.  May the Lord continue to find Emmanuel Church faithful in continuing the work God entrusted to its founders so many years ago.  Even so come, Lord Jesus.
Revised and compiled by Gail Cramer, January 3, 2004
(Notes by early church members, and a historical document by Dr. Warren A. Allem were used in preparing this history.)