Is this Mt Giliad?
(written in early 1930′s)
The first positive date of the existence of a church called Coldwater is taken from the Shinn Family book, in which
it is recorded the marriage of Silas Shinn and Eleanor Overcash, who were married in the old Coldwater Church
in 1766, by the Reverend Samuel Suther . It is believed that he was the first regular pastor of
this church but there was probably a congregation there much earlier as it is known that some of the members of this
congregation came to this section as early as 1753.
There is still in existence an old graveyard with a few legibly marked graves belonging to this church. Some of the names
familiar in the history of the early church and still in existence, although their names have gone through some changes in
spelling, are Pfeiffer, Misenheimer, Klein, Walter, Walcher, Mitchler, Barnhardt, Slough, Berberich, Peck, Penninger,
Schmidt, Iyerly, Sell, Seener, Neishler, Gober, Shinn, Krimminger, File, and Foil, these to names belong to unrelated
Probably among the officers of the church were Martin Phifer, Nicolas Nishler, Jacob Misenheimer, Christian Barnhardt,
Christian Abenshine, Philip or Christian Berberich, Adam or Frederick Peck, and Michael Klein for they were all men of
intelligence and well-educated.
After the Rev Suther left this church for another field there was a period in which they were unable to procure a pastor,
because of the unsettled state of this country and the connection with the old country being broken, for it is about this
that we find them going into the churches of other denominations or of the same denomination in other sections, such as
Grace Bethel Reformed or Bear Creek, the Presbyterian Church, Coldwater Lutheran and probably others that were
nearer their homes.
In the record of St John’s Lutheran Church during the period we find that the pastor of this church was called upon to
bury their dead, baptise their infants, and to marry the members of Coldwater. We can find nothing to lead us to believe
that there was ever any connection with St John’s and Coldwater Reformed Church or any Lutheran church at the time
Rev Suther was pastor, but we do know that in later years that descendants of those first members came back and
revivifed this church calling it Giliad, and established it just short distance from the old church site.
Some interesting entries in the St John’s records kept by Rev A N Marcard when he was the pastor there, which concern
Coldwater, read as follows: (Translated from German)
Item 3……Buried at Coldwater Mar 12, 1798, Catherine, born November 14, 1734 in the German part of Lorraine. Her
father was George Shuffert. She married Michael Klein, who died in 1782. From this marriage there descended 14
children of whom 7 are still living, morever 54 grandchildren and until now 8 greatgrandchildren. In the year she married
John Schmidt. From this marriage there are no children. The deceased expired Mar 11, 1798 from a prostration.
She attained an age of 63 yrs and 4 mos. less 3 days.
Item 7……Buried at Coldwater Church Aug 26, 1799 Mary Elizabeth, born Aug 26, 1724 at Schweigern in Wutenburg.
Her father was Matthias Barringer. She was married in 1750 to Christian Barnhardt bore ten children of whom 5 are still
living. She saw 26 grandchildren, of whom 5 are now dead. She died Aug 24, 1798 of hectic fever and attained an age
of 74 years less 2 days.
Item 16….Buried at Coldwater/gratis/ Feb 14 1799 John Jung (Note: this is probably now Young). Died Feb 13, 1799 in
the evening of pleurisy. He was born in 1766. Led an unhappy marriage with the widow of Christian Berberich who
perished on the way to Charlestown. The widow is Elizabeth, nee Diderich. From the marriage of 8 years, there is one
child, who is a girl.
Item 22…..Buried at Coldwater Church Aug 8, 1799, Catharine the dau of Philip Jost, and the wife of Christopher Luis
born Feb 13, 1772, died Aug 6, 1799 of a complicated disease which began only Aug 5 in the afternoon. She attained
an age of 27 yrs less 7 days, was married almost 6 mos.
Item 23….Buried at Coldwater Aug 11, 1799 John Christian Barnhardt born in St Johnnes in the Palatinate Apr 5, 1719.
He married Elizabeth Barringer, lived with her in marriage 49 yrs, begat 10 children, of who 5 are still living; lived to see
the birth of 28 grandchildren of whom 5 so far have died. He died Aug 10, 1799 after a protracted illness and attained
an age of 80 yrs 4 mos and 5 dys.
Item 26…Buried Jacob Koch at Coldwater Church, unmarried Dec 10, 1799. He died of a disease which lasted 5 yrs.
Was born in 1722 in Grelshein in the lower Palatinate in Germany. Age 77 years.
Families belonging to Coldwater Church as early as 1766.
Samuel Shinn and his wife Abagail Urie Shinn
Jacob Misenheimer and his wife Margaretha
Matthias Mitchler and his family
Paul Walter and his wife Catharine
John Megadant and his wife and step son
Adam Walcher and his wife Christina
William Mitchell and his wife Rebeccah
Christian Barnhardt and his wife Elizabeth Barringer Barnhardt
Christian Abenshine and his family
Martin Penninger and his wife Catherine
Michael Penninger and his family
Michael Klein and his family
Martin Pfeiffer and his family
Jacob Pfeiffer and his family
and in later years – the children of these included……..
David Suther and Catharine Abenshine Suther and their family
John Suther and Sophia Barnhardt Suther and their family
George Barnhardt and Mary Mitchler Barnhardt and their family
Jacob Muetschler and his wife Catherine
Leonard Berberich and his wife Elizabeth
Stephen Mayfeld and his wife Margaret
Jacob Koch and his wife Susanna Koch
Paul Terr and his wife Mary Terr
John Behm and his wife Catherine Behm
John Hegler and his wife Catherine Hegler
Rhynehold Abenshine and others.