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Philip Wieting


Mr. Wieting was born in Minden, Montgomery county, N.Y., September 23, 1800, and entered the ministry in 1825, at Le Roy, Jefferson county, N. Y., from whence he removed to New Rhinebeck in 1828, to officiate over that church and Dorlach, which position he held for forty years, and brought them from a "fading" shadow to their present high standard by his untiring labors and fervent godliness. Upon the division of the Synod, Mr. Wieting and his followers claimed the Rhinebeck church property, while the Dorlach charge, which held to the old Synod, commenced litigation to retain it. After many years of legal dispute the courts decided against the new school's (Franckean Evangelic Lutheran Synod) right to the property and Mr. Wieting and flock found themselves destitute of a house of worship. Measures were immediately taken, and in 1849 the church of Gardnersville was dedicated but the building was burned soon after--supposed to have been the work of an incendiary. Not daunted the present one soon took its place in which the greatest efforts, in the cause of the Master, of Mr. Wieting's life were witnessed. The congregation was large--covering a wide extent of territory, and it became necessary to build a branch at Lawyersville, which was done in the latter part of 1849, and dedicated in February, 1850.

Mr. Wieting preached his valedictory sermon on the 1st day of October, 1868--the fortieth anniversary of his pastorate over his charge, in which he said "The aggregate of money raised by these two churches during my ministry is $35,000, or an average of $800 a year." His last sermon was preached in the new brick Lutheran church at Cobleskill on the 18th day of July, 1869. The fruits of his ministry in the sparsely settled section in which he was placed was, "received to membership, 1,250; baptized, 1,300; marriages solemnized, 800, and 1,700 funerals attended." "Fifteen of his spiritual children," says his memoir, "entered or are about to enter the ministerial calling."

On the 7th of September, 1869, Mr. Wieting died in the sixty-ninth year of his age, and was buried in the "Slate Hill Cemetery" by a large concourse of friends, by whom he was dearly loved. His biographer says, which is true, also of his whole life in all relations--"the secret of his successful ministry was, Earnestness, Fidelity and Perseverance."

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