A. P. Lentz

 

REV. A. P. LENTZ, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church of Ellwood City, and sustaining the same relation to Mt. Hope or Zion Lutheran Church in Wayne Township, Lawrence County, and to a growing church at Lilleyville, in Beaver County, is one of the busiest and most useful clergymen in his religious body in Western Pennsylvania. He was born at Paxton, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, February 25, 1869, and is a son of Augustus B. and Rebecca (Miller) Lentz.

The Lentz family history presents many interesting facts. The great-grandfather of Rev. Lentz was Frederick Lentz, who probably was born in Germany. For a time he lived in the Schoharie Valley, New York, but evidently that section did not present opportunities for the agricultural life which he desired to follow, and at a very early day, the family annals tell, he decided to seek another and more favorable location. He was evidently a man of resource and ingenuity, otherwise he would not have thought of building rafts and floating on the waterways to a section his judgment approved of. A colony seems to have accompanied him, but whether any but his own family finally reached Dauphin County is not in evidence. He, however, took up a large body of what was known as public lands, these being bounded as follows: South, Mahantonga Mountain; north and east by Mahantonga Creek, and on the west by the Susquehanna River, a territory that at present supports 300 people. Rev. Lentz owns the original tract which was his great-grandfather's home.

The paternal grandparents of Rev. Lentz were David and Salome Lentz, and they spent their entire lives in Dauphin County. The maternal grandparents were Abraham and Anna Miller.

Augustus B. Lentz, father of Rev. Lentz, was born in Dauphin County in 1846, followed farming all his life and died there in 1905. He married Rebecca Miller, who was born in Dauphin County in 1851, and died in 1902. They had the following children: Andrew Philip; Salome, who is the wife of David Spotts, resides on the old homestead in Dauphin County; Anna, who married Arthur Moore, lives in Luzerne County; Mary, who married Daniel Kauffman, resides in Northumberland County; Wesley, who married Alice Lucas, resides in Northumberland County; Kate, who married Charles Welker, lives at Harrisburg; Mabel, unmarried, lives in Harrisburg; Clinton, lives with his family in Indiana; Grant, unmarried, lives on the old homestead; and William Clayton, who resides with his family in the State Capital.

Rev. Andrew P. Lentz was reared on the home farm and through boyhood was subjected to strict, but just discipline. He attended the public schools and later Muhlenberg College, at Allentown, Pa., where he was graduated in the class of 1895, and took a post graduate course at the Mt. Airy Theological Seminary in 1898. His first charge was at Sunbury, Pa., where he was engaged in pastoral work for three and one-half years, serving two churches. In 1902 he came to Ellwood City, taking charge of Trinity Lutheran Church on the 1st of April of that year.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Ellwood City belongs to the General Council and was organized in 1895 by Rev. R. Durst and Rev. P. Riffer, the latter of whom served the congregation until the fall of 1901. The congregation includes 108 communicants, additions having been made since Dr. Lentz has been in charge. The present handsome church edifice, on the corner of Fifth Street and Spring Avenue, was built in 1902. The Mt. Hope or Zion Lutheran Church, in Wayne Township, has thirty-five communicants. This church formerly was located near Wurtemburg, the building having been erected in 1854. The Lilleville Church in Beaver County, has sixty communicants. In addition to serving these charges, Rev. Lentz assumed other responsibilities, following what he believed the path of duty, in organizing, in 1905, the Siebenburgen Church, on Franklin Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, Ellwood City, a religious home for foreigners, with the entire service conducted in German. Already 200 communicants have responded to Rev. Lentz' invitation and in caring for the spiritual needs in performing the offices pertaining to his pastorate and also in carefully looking out for the material interests of each one of these charges, Mr. Lentz certainly finds life full of usefulness and his reward in the comfort, peace and hope that he has brought to so many souls.

In 1900, Rev. Lentz was married to Miss Alice Ritter, who is a daughter of Solomon B. and Amanda Ritter. She was born and reared at Allentown, Pa. They have one daughter, Margaret. The Lutheran parsonage is situated at No. 423 Spring Avenue.

Many honors have come to Dr. Lentz, both from his church and from his fellow citizens, marks of appreciation and approbation. He is president of the Ministerial Association of Ellwood City and is the oldest minister in point of service here. He is treasurer of the Hospital Association of the city, is president of the Volunteer Fire Company and is a member of the Board of Health. In political sentiment he is in sympathy with the Republican party.

Twentieth Century History of New Castle and Lawrence County, 1908, page 748

 

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