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Pastor and Mrs. Henry Johnson and David Groff studying church history.

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Visiting authors, from left, Hector Allen, Heidi Sprouse, Melinda Hayes Mackesey (standing). Others, continuing clockwise, Lisa Black Fox, Janet Groff Werfelmann, and Richard Bellinger.

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Crum Creek Lutheran Church.

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"Just Us" performing at the ice cream social.


Crum Creek Lutheran Church holds fifth reunion weekend

Wednesday, July 02, 2014 - Updated: 1:44 PM

ST. JOHNSVILLE -- The Crum Creek Lutheran Church was closed in 2009 by the Upstate New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, after which the Crum Creek Church Preservation Society, Inc., (CCCPS) was established.

The church has since been added to the New York State and National Registers and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status has been achieved for the CCCPS. With the establishment of the new group, an annual reunion service is held on the first Sunday in June. Other services throughout the year include the Harvest service in September, Advent service in December and Palm Sunday service.

“Old Home Days” weekend was developed to celebrate the Fifth Annual Reunion of the CCCPS. The weekend activities began at the Crum Creek Lutheran Church Friday, May 30, with an ice cream social and music by the local group “Just Us."

Saturday, May 31, was Old Home Days Open House at the church. This event was well-attended by current and former members, historians, community members and others from greater distances. There were new connections regarding history and genealogy made, between people from many areas, which led to several hours of  discussion.

Of great interest, and the centerfold of the weekend, was the display of over 20 books that contain the original church records dating back to 1853. These are excellent primary sources for vital records and also provide fascinating community history. Some of the minutes contain details of the renovation and relocation of the church in 1906. 

There is information concerning the various churches with which the Crum Creek Lutheran Church was linked at various points and so much more. The lists of the early 1900s Sunday School classes denote which Sunday School library books were borrowed by the children (those children were ancestors of many of the attendees of the weekend events) and many of these library books are still maintained.

Another popular display contained the binders and scrap books of materials relating to the Crum Creek Lutheran Church, the former Grange, and other community history.

Debra Test, a former church member, provided some entertaining activities for the children. Hot dogs and beverages were available and a cookie sale was very popular. A drawing was held for three prayer shawls that had been donated for the event.

Each family attending received a Crum Creek Lutheran Church post card.

Another interesting activity was provided by the sets of stilts made by David Groff and his family, although not many folks were brave enough to attempt this feat. The stilts, along with the relaxed crowds under the large tent, provided a true “Old Home Days” feeling to the weekend.

Sunday, June 1, the annual reunion church service was held, led by the Rev. Henry K. Johnson, of Chambersburg, PA, assisted by Darlene Spaulding. Pastor Johnson began his ministerial career with the shared parishes of the Crum Creek and St. Johnsville Lutheran Churches in 1964. Since the preservation society has been established, he has been welcomed back each year for the reunion services.

The annual meeting of the CCCPS followed the service Sunday. The final event for the Old Home Days weekend was the reception held under the tent with fellowship shared by those gathered.

For more information contact the Crum Creek Church Preservation Society, Inc. at

Photo submitted - Reunion attendees test out the stilts.


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