Emmanuel Evangelical Church at Laona NY Record Book 1912-1960 [Extracts from] Transcribed by Wendy J. W. Straight, 2019. [Transcriber's notes are in brackets and italics. According to various published accounts, this church was organized in 1868. However, the original record book is missing as of this writing. According to the Dornheim historical account below, the original record book was in poor condition as of 1912. It was most likely written in German.] [Cover] Church Record Emmanuel Evangelical Church at Laona NY Started - By H. E. Dornheim, May 10, 1912 [Page 2] Index 3 - 75 History of the Congregation 75 - 90 Special Church Meetings 90 - 100 Annual elections 100 - 175 Record of Members 175 - 185 Marriages 185 - 195 Baptisms 195 - 215 Deaths and funerals 215 - 225 Children's Catechetical School record, 225 - 275 Journal of Prominent Events 275 - 285 Lists of converts on this field 286 - 287 Deed [Pages 3 through 8] History of Laona Congregation [The following is handwritten by H. E. Dornheim] In April 1912, the Erie Conference convened in Dunkirk, N.Y., at which session the Laona Mission was separated from Dunkirk charge the second time. This made Laona an English Mission independent of Dunkirk, and the writer was stationed as preacher in charge at Laona. The first resident pastor in twentytwo years, this was the answer the conference gave Laona after receiving a list of petitioners pledging $400.00 salary support and hearty cooperation for a resident pastor. On taking charge we found the old church record started by Rev. Geo. Ott (Jan. 26, 1880) in such torn condition that pages were beginning to fall out, which made this new record imperative. Culling from the brief history record as given in the German language in the old book, as far as it was kept or "unkept" by the preachers who labored here since 1879, I submit the following sketch of history of Emmanuel Evangelical church of Laona, N. Y., under date of September 12, 1912. Phillip J. Miller was the first preacher of our denomination who preached the Gospel in Laona. In 1868 while preacher in charge of Dunkirk church, then belonging to the New York Conference, he began to visit Laona and preached there several times. He reported John Goldberg and his wife as the first members of Laona Mission. During 1869 & 1870, Rev. C. F. Boller [Transcriber's note: Rev. Charles F. Boller, 1833 - 1930] served Dunkirk and also preached the Gospel in Laona. God so blessed his efforts that a number of his listeners accepted Christ, were converted and organized a mission congregation to be henceforth served with Dunkirk by order of the Conference. 1871 to 1874, Rev. [Martin] Jauch served Laona with Dunkirk and success also crowned his efforts. There were several conversions, the congregation was strengthened. Rev. Jauch was succeeded by Rev. J. J. Lang [from] 1874 to 1877. In the Spring of '76, the Erie Conference was formed and Dunkirk with Laona was put within her bounds. Rev. G. Heinrich served as missionary during 1877 & '78. In March 1879, the conference sent Rev. Geo. Ott [Transcriber's note: Rev. George Ott, 1852 - 1926] to Laona. The congregation at that time consisted of forty-one discouraged and careless members. But 14 people came to hear the new preacher's first sermon, and Rev. Ott himself reports that the absent church members had in his opinion no reasonable cause for staying away. The Sunday School had disappeared, and this new missionary found himself confronted with "a charge" in the real sense of the word. Nevertheless, undaunted, this faithful servant of God at once studied the causes and intelligently discovered one of the causes of this unpromising condition to be the lack of a church home, where meetings might regularly be held. For up to this time, services were conducted every two weeks in one or another of the farm homes, or in the village. Fully realizing the mission's greatest need, Rev. Ott, soon after beginning his ministry here, decided with God's help, to build a church as soon as possible. This was in the third week of April 1879. The little congregation enthusiastically brot [sic] their offering - a little more than three hundred dollars ($300.00) - the energetic pastor collected more from the German and English friends in the village: Mr. Clothier donated the building site, and soon the ground was broken for the Laona Evangelical Church. Already on the 18th of May, the corner stone was laid. An appropriate service was held for this occas

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