Geneva First Evangelical Church, 1932, Historical Sketch
THE CHURCH, now known in Geneva as The First
Evangelical Church, was organized in 1874, with about 20 charter members all of whom are now in glory. The work was begun by Rev. J. Reuber stationed at the time at Lyons, New York. He first organized the people into a Class with Mr. K. Wilkens as its first class leader.
The first minister who was stationed to Geneva to serve the Geneva Mission of the Evangelical Association as it was called then, was Rev. L. A. Wiesseman. About this time. 1876, the Sunday School was organized -with Mr. H. Schroeder its first Superintendent. For many years Mr. Sam. Nagel served the School in the capacity of Superintendent. And the School is still doing good work under its present Superintendent Frank Estes.
The first meetings of the Society were held in what was then the second Presbyterian Church located on the side occupied now by the Y. M. C. A. And in the Dutch Reformed Church. Also over a Carpenter on North Main Street, and in the First Presbyterian Chapel.
God was with our people, and prospered them and soon they were to have a Church of their own. So, the present Church located on North Main Street was erected in 1885, was finished and dedicated by Bishop Baumann of Allentown, Pa., while Rev. Vosseler was Pastor in 1886. The Church was called the Ebenezer Church of the Evangelical Association. The total cost for Building lot and, structure amounted to $6,426.00.
Seven years later in 1893, during the pastorate of Rev. A. Holzwarth the Young People of the Church were organized into a Jugent Bund—now known as the Evangelical League of Christian Endeavor. The League is still active under the leadership of Marg. Black its present President.
During thf ministry of Rev. J. Burkhardt about 1895, the women of the Church were organized in a Frauen Verein now known as the Ladies' Aid Society, with Mrs. F. A. Behrens as its first President. With the exception of a few years Sister Behrens has been the President of the organization during its entire existence. For 33 years she has served the Society as a faithful leader and competent President.
In 1918, during the ministry of Rev. C. W. Neundorf a Woman's Missionary Society was organized with Mrs. C. W. Neundorf as its first President. The society is still active and pursuing the purpose for which it was organized under the faithful leadership of Mrs. Jesse Dildine as active President.
The Church comparatively small is doing a great work-in the Community for God. Maintains a high moral standard and is active in community affairs. Though originally a German Church, its services are now conducted in the English language. Its membership is now 87. Its people are true Evangelicals loyal to their Pastor, serving Christ the Lord.
1. "Historical Sketch," Year Book and Church Directory of The First Evangelical Church, Geneva, New York, 1932, page 8.
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