150th Anniversary—1988

John George Schumm Family History

History 18

Pioneers are engaged in a struggle for their daily bread. The dread spectre of bodily want is ever before their eyes. They need not be told that the existence of their body depends to a great degree upon their diligence. It may sound like a paradox, but just among the pioneers of the beginning of the nineteenth century, the religious element as a rule was more clearly ex­pressed than it is found among those living in more settled conditions. They had religious convictions and they lived up to them. Instead of allowing the grim struggle for food and shelter to darken their eyes toward the One Thing needful, the sustenance of their soul, they in fact from the first used the Word of God diligently. The first years the Schumms worshipped among them­selves, sang out of their hymn-books, read in the Bible, or solaced them­selves by reading a sermon out of an old Lutheran postil. And with what happiness was their soul filled when they heard their first sermon from a Lutheran pastor in the backwoods.



















Here in the wilderness the Schumms did not forget their God, their Savior. They remained true to their Lutheran faith, and despite many tempta­tions to deny the faith of their fathers, they clung to the church of their confession. It is quite certain that Friedrich Konrad Wyneken, that pioneer missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran church in Ohio and Indiana, first preached to them. This man, filled with the love of Christ, burning with zeal to bring the Word of God to his Lutheran brethren living scattered in the wilds of America, often made long trips on horseback, preaching and teaching, baptizing and consoling. It was no doubt on one of these trips that he met with the Schumms in Van Wert county. Needless to say, he was received with great joy. Later on the people were supplied with a resident pastor, whose name was Burger. These first six people, John George Schumm, and his five children, were not only the founders of a settlement, but also of a Lutheran congregation. Here in their rude cabins, without altar or pulpit, without an organ, they sang the old Lutheran hymns and heard the old Lutheran doctrine that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, crucified for us, is the forgiveness of sins and the way to Life. And they worshipped with more joy, with more atten­tion, with more understanding and thankfulness, perhaps, that we would find today in the midst of the appurtenances of a modern church building.

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Old church and cemetery at Schumm about 1915