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Rev. John J. Cressman


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Born 1/10/1841

Died 1/5/1914

Burial Date 1/10/1914

Rev. John J. Cressman

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Compliments of Hope Cemetery, Kutztown, Pa.


The funeral of J. J. Cressman, the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church , which took place Saturday afternoon, was one of the largest that has taken place here for some time. The deceased minister was beloved by everyone - not only by members id his own congregation, but also those of other denominations, who knew him for what he was, a kindly christian man, always ready to help when help was needed.
The services at the pastors home were of the most simple character, consisting of prayer by the Rev. George Scheirer and a few words of comfort to the bereaved family by the Rev. M. J. Bieber, both of whom are sons of the congregation which the deceased has served for 37 years. The choir of the church, under the direction of prof. J. C. D. Koch, sang "Rock of Age."
Following the brief home services the cortege proceeded to the church, where the main services were held. The sacred edifice was crowded to the doors.

Proceeded by a delegation of some 20 or more clergymen, the funeral party entered the church, the corpse resting in front of the alter during the service. The interior and doorway of the church were draped with Crepe, as also was the chair on the rostrum which was used by the deceased minister. The church services were in charge of Revs. Bieber and Scheirer, assisted by Rev. E. H. Leinbach, reformed pastor, and Rev. D. P. Longsdorf, pastor of Grace United Evangelical Church . The Rev. Mr. Scheirer opened with a prayer and was followed by Rev. Mr. Leinbach, who delivered an appropriate address in German. The choir then sang the hymn "When I can Read My Title Clear," after which Rev. D. P. Longsdorf offered prayer.

The sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Bieber, who selected as his text the 26th verse of the fifth chapter of Job. "Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age." He paid a glowing tribute to the deceased, whom he said he loved more than anyone next to his parents, who had long since past to their eternal home. Preceding his sermon, Rev. Bieber recounted many incidents in the life of the departed pastor at the time of his coming to this place and during the early years of his ministry here. "The Nunc Dimittis," feeling rendered by the choir, closed the services, after which the congregation filed slowly past the remains to take the last look at their beloved pastor. The services at the grave were brief, consisting of the commitment by Rev. Mr. Bieber. The choir sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee." Interment was made in a stone vault on the family lot in Hope Cemetery.

Deceased, who was dressed in his ministerial robes, reposed in a black cloth-covered casket with antique bar handles, the lid bearing a plate engraved with name and age of deceased. The remains were covered with a handsome elderdown blanket, the gift of Dr. and Mrs. U. S. G. Bieber and family. The 12 members of the church council acted as pall bearers. They are: Dr. H. W. Saul, Samuel M. Smith, Edwin Kutz, George Schuler, Milton Wessner, Clinton Angstadt, Joel Trexler, Jeremiah Bennicoff, Charles Herbein, Harry Miller, William Wessner, and James Herman. The floral tributes were a large wreath of roses and magnolia leaves from the family; spray of carnations, catechetical class; wreath of carnations and galax leaves, members of the congregation; "Gates Ajar," church council; spray of carnations, the Sunday school, wreath of palms, Board of Trade; pillow, Mrs. Maria S. Rentchler; spray of carnations, carries and clerks of the Greenville, Mercer County post office. Deceased age was 72 years 11 months and 25 days. During his 37 years of ministry in Kutztown Rev. Cressman had officiated 844 funerals, 348 marriages, and 1531 baptisms. He had confirmed 693 members into the church, five of whom are now engaged in the ministry.

Among the visiting clergyman who attended the obsequies were: Rev. Dr. Brownmiller and Rev. I. W. Eary, Reading; Rev. F. K. Bernd, Rev. Dr. C. C. Boyer, Rev. George S. Kressly, Rev. George B. Smith, Rev. E. H. Leinbach, Rev. D. P. Longsdorf, Rev. R. B. Lynch, Rev. Dr. W. W. Deatrich, Kutztown; Rev. M. J. Bieber, Toronto, Can.; Rev. George Scheirer, Millersville; Rev. A. M. Weber, Boyertown; Rev. George Scheirer, Millersville; Rev. A. M. Weber, Boyertown; Rev. C. E. Kistler, Reading; Rev. J. O. Henry, Rev. William H. Kline. Topton; Rev. Wm. F. Bond, Shamrock; Rev. H. J. Deisher, Jonestown; Rev. Mr. Long and Rev. J. H. Miller, Harrisburg; Rev. J. H. Raker, Rev. C. K. Fegley and Rev. J. H. Ritter, Allentown.
Undertaker J. H. Stump, of Kutztown, had charge of the arrangements.
SOURCE OF INFORMATION: KUTZTOWN PATRIOT 10 JAN. 1914
Pvt. Co.A 26th Regt. Inf. Pa. Vol. G.A.R.

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Rev. John J. Cressman, son of Abraham J. and Lydia (Frutchey) Cressman, was born at PetersviIIe, Northampton County, June IO, I841. He entered Pennsylvania CoIIege at Gettysburg in 1860, and was graduated in 1864.
In 1863 he enlisted in the Company A, Twentv-sixth Regiment, Pennsylvania Militia. He was taken prisoner and paroled at Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Upon graduation from Mt. Airy Seminary in I861 he became pastor of a congregation in South Easton and continued for a period of ten years. In connection with his pastoral duties he was prinicapl of the Easton High School for six years. In 1877 he became the pastor of St. John's congregation, Kutztown, and continued until the time of his death, January 15,1915. In connection with St. John's; Rev. Cressman served the congregations of North Heidelberg, Frieden's, Bernville and Bethel until 1901. He was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. J. W. Bittner, November 1, 1914.

In 1896 the Union congregation was dissolved and there now exist two distinct congregations. The building is however still used by both congregations, and is used by the Lutheran congregation every alternate week. The congregation numbers 340 communicant members, while there is an average attendance of 313 in the Sunday School. This congregation has three sons active in the ministry: The Rev. Milton Bieber, Field Missionary of Canada, The Rev. George Shiery, Millersville, Pa. and The Rev. Edwin L. MiIIer, Boston, Mass.
The officers and members of the church council are: President, Rev. J. W. Bittner; Secretary, Charles Herbein, and Treasurer, Austin Herman; Trustees, George Schuler, Joel Trexler, Charles Herbein, and Samuel M. Smith; Elders, Edwin Kutz, Joshua Angstadt, James O. Herman and Milton Wessner; Deacons, Dr. H. W. Saul, Harry MiIIer, Jeremiah Benecoff, and William Wessner.

Rev. J. J. Cressman was born in Moore township, Northampton county, Jan. 10, 1841, and was baptized in the Kreiderville Church on July 25th of the same year by Rev. W. F. Mensden. His boyhood was spent upon the farm, and in his father's mill, engaged in duties and pastimes adapted to his strength. On reaching the required age he was sent to the district school where he soon became known for his studious habits and good conduct, qualities that all through his scholastic career were marked characteristics. Rev. Dr. F. A. Muhlenberg, Professor of Greek in Pennsylvania College, said of him: "Rev. Cressman was one of the best students I ever had." At sixteen he took a course of catechetical instruction under Rev. Augustus Fuchs, and by him was confirmed in Immanuel Lutheran Church near Petersville, Northampton county. He next sought employment at teaching and for several years taught in the public schools of Moorestown and Flicksville with very gratifying success. For the purpose of attaining a higher education, and to prepare himself for the sacred calling he had in view, he then quit teaching and entered an academy at Weaversville under the management of Prof. Savage. After spending a year in Prof. Savage's academy he entered the Collegiate Institute of Easton, Pa., of which Rev. William Phillips was principal and Selden J. Coffin, D. D., one of the instructors, and under them completed his academic course. In the fall of 1860 he entered the freshman class of Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg, and graduated from that institution in the summer of 1864. This college being situated near the theatre of the great Civil war, and for a time actually enveloped by the conflict, he pursued knowledge under disturbing and distracting circumstances. When the Confederate invasion came in 1863 he and many of his fellow students enlisted in Company A, 26th regiment of Pennsylvania Militia, and under General Couch assisted in the defense of the State. Their regiment was one of the first commands upon the ground and participated in the early stages of the battle of Gettysburg, and a large portion of it, including abo
Served in the Army
During the Civil War: Union

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