Page 4 - The German Citizen
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German and Protestant in Buffalo Hamlin Park Germania IV

Trinity Old Lutheran Church (24 Gethsemane Lutheran Church

by Martin Ederer among the Lutherans, who often Richmond/Elmwood Brunswick) (427 Goodyear Ave.)

About a year ago, I presented incorporated that fact into their St. Luke’s German Evangelical Evangelical Lutheran Church of Evangelical Lutheran Church of
a list of German Catholic names. The most notable “Eng- Church (Richmond & W. Utica: the Atonement (222 Northland) the Resurrection (Doat & Genesee)
parishes in Western New York. lish” church was Holy Trinity now Pilgrim-St. Luke’s United Lutheran Church of Our Savior Jerusalem German Evangelical re-

In the interest of ecumenism and Lutheran on Main St. Language Church of Christ) (94 Northland) formed Church (125 Doat &

in the interest of …well, interest, change often reflected genera- West Side Germania I Goembel)

here is a list of German Protes- tional and business realities. St. Paul & St. Mark’s United First Trinity Lutheran Church St. Andrew Evangelical Church
Trinity was the church of the Church of Christ (185 Niagara & (655 Michigan Ave.) (Genesee & Domedion)
tant churches in Buffalo.
Full disclosure: I am far less prosperous German business Huron: originally at Genesee & St. Peter Evangelical Church Germania V: Jammerthal
Pearl, then Oak & Tupper) (Genesee & Hickory) Grace Reformed Church (875 E.
an expert on German Protestant families such as the Hengerer Zion English Evangelical Luther- New Apostolic Church (480 Hick- Delavan & Moselle)
history in Western New York and the Kleinhans families who an Church (West Ferry & 19th) ory) Tabor Lutheran Church (265 Le-
than on the Catholic were ready to Americanize. In English Evangelical Lutheran First Evangelical Church (183 roy)
history…and I expect that there other instances, the combination Church of the Redeemer (W. Ferry Sycamore & Hickory) Golgotha German Evangelical
will be errors. Still, starting a of younger generations losing & Elmwood) First German Baptist Church (41 Church (2080 N. Fillmore)
user-friendly list to help gather a the language and World War I Black Rock Spruce St.) University Heights

good amount of basic WNY anti-German bigotry caused the St. John United Evangelical Lloyd’s Memorial United Church Bethel Evangelical Lutheran
German Protestant information shift to English in worship ser- Church (85 Amherst St.)
in one place outweighs the risks. vices. of Christ (459 Clinton & Spring Church (Englewood & Devereaux)

Zion German Methodist Episcopal St.): After merger with St. Peter Bailey/Kensington North
It also bears mention that lists, in (4) Significant German im- Church (221 East St.)
renamed New Covenant United Grace Evangelical Church

and of themselves, are only data. migration into Buffalo and Immanuel German Evangelical Church of Christ 1974 (Parkridge & Hewitt)

That’s an essential first step, but Western New York predated the Church (70 Military & Glor) Hydraulics Trinity Reformed Church (1075

data becomes much more useful major Irish immigration surge Riverside St. Matthew German Evangelical Kensington & Freeman)

only after it is interpreted, ex- (late 1840s) and the still later Nazareth Lutheran Church (265 Protestant Church (680 Swan & Bethany Lutheran Church (2930

plained and contextualized. major Polish and Italian surges. Skillen & Wiley) Hagerman) Bailey & Collingwood)

The following list comes (5) Buffalo is only part of a Parkside/Central Park Germania II Bailey/Kensington South

from James Napora’s Houses of much bigger local German im- Parkside Lutheran Church (De- St. Stephen Evangelical Church Evangelical Lutheran Church of

Worship: A Guide to the Reli- migration story. There was sig- pew-Wallace-Linden) (Peckham & Adams) the Ascension (Dorris Ave. & Bai-

gious Architecture of Buffalo, nificant German immigration to North Park St. Andrew Evangelical Lutheran ley)

New York (1995). This work is rural areas. Often rural settle- North Park Evangelical Lutheran Church (Sherman & Peckham) Lovejoy
online at Buffalo Architecture ments had fairly solid denomina- Church (Starin & Wingate) Bethel German Baptist Church Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran

and History, tional affiliations. Bergholz and Fruit Belt (172 Johnson St.) Church (321 Longnecker), a very Wolcottsburg were Lutheran. St. Paul Evangelical Church (53 Christ Lutheran Church (Broad- Trinity United Evangelical Church
Grape St.) way & Fox) (115 Gold)
useful site that Chuck LaChiusa Swormville, East Eden and Shel- High St. Baptist Church (215 High Salem Evangelical Reformed Babcock
has been assembling now for don were Catholic. I have not & Mulberry) Church (413 Sherman St.) St. Paul German Evangelical Lu-
over 10 years. attempted a list of German Prot- St. James Evangelical Church Zion Reformed Church (Lemon theran Church (132 Scoville)
estant churches outside Buffalo. (526 High St.) St.) Christ German Evangelical
The main challenge now is Usually these histories are told Cold Springs Germania III Church (1335 Clinton & Baitz)
that Napora’s work is already

almost 25 years old. Names have as part of town histories. Assem- Calvary English Evangelical Lu- Pilgrim English Evangelical South Buffalo-Seneca
changed, congregations have bling a wider WNY list is the theran Church (1007 Ellicott & Church (Best & Fox)
moved, and buildings have obvious next step. Any takers? Dodge) Grace English Evangelical Luther-

Bethlehem German Evangelical an Church (172 Cazenovia &
disappeared. Still, it’s an (6) The story of German Emmaus Lutheran Church (204 Church (Genesee & E. Parade) Glendhu Pl.)
excellent starting point. Protestantism outside Buffalo Southampton)
Zoar Reformed Church (Genesee South Buffalo-S. Park/Abbott

A few observations: would also need to include less Concordia Evangelical Lutheran & Rohr) St. John Evangelical Reformed

(1) Napora’s Germania I-V “mainstream” denominations Church (398 Northampton) Emmanuel Evangelical Reformed Church (14 Good)

categories for the German East such as the Mennonites and Memorial Evangelical Church (E. Church (Humboldt & E. Utica): Salem Lutheran Church (Whit-

Side are kind of artificial, but Amish as well as short-term reli- Utica & Wohlers) see also Zion Reformed field & McClellan Circle)

they do reflect really well the gious experiments such as the

remarkable growth of Buffalo’s Ebenezer community and the

German community into a more Thilerites.

German-American community. (7) Napora’s list also shows

His “Jammerthal” designation a number of one-time Swedish

refers to the stone quarries in the churches in Buffalo. Unlike the

Bailey-Amherst-Leroy-Main German Protestants with whom

neighborhood that employed they often shared Lutheran and

many Germans. UB Main Street Reformed orientations, their

sits on that same escarpment. communities seemed to have

“Jammerthal” means “valley of simply vanished – to Jamestown,

tears.” We can only imagine the perhaps?

working conditions that earned (8) South Buffalo is not as

the quarries their name! Irish as we all think! There was

(2) Evangelical Reformed, significant German settlement in

Reformed and Lutheran denomi- South Buffalo! – both Catholic

nations dominate the list. Evan- and Protestant. Proximity to

gelical Reformed and Reformed German settlements in West

generally align with Calvinist Seneca was a factor. For the re-

traditions. Evangelical Re- cord, there was also an Italian

formed churches eventually de- parish in South Buffalo!

veloped into what today are (8) Some of Buffalo’s origi-

called the United Church of nal German Protestant churches

Christ. As most Lutherans are – especially in the Ellicott-Elm-

well aware, major branches to- Oak-Swan-Michigan areas – fol-

day are the Evangelical Lutheran lowed their communities else-

Church of America (ELCA) and where thanks to downtown

Missouri Synod. A 19th-century growth and/or urban renewal

schism in Lutheranism actually projects.

yielded a Buffalo Synod branch The list:
for almost a century.
(3) Language of worship led ware
to divisions and new congrega- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
tions. This is especially true (1080 Main St.)
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