History of Lutheran Church, Orleans Four Corners, NY (1840-1950)

Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School List 1885 - 1896

Evangelical Lutheran Sunday School List 1885 - 1896

The Orleans Evangelical Lutheran church has an interesting history. It was organized May 15, 1840 with 33 members.  At that time the community was known as Shantyville.  The missionary who organized the congregation was the Rev. Henry L. Dox, sent into the pioneer lands of the North by the Frankean Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  Rev. Henry held services in the Orleans four Corners school house which, older people say, stood across the street from the place where the church stands today. Rev Henry served congregations in Stone Mills and Perch river.

The present Church was built in 1851 on land donated by George Timmerman, and there has been a Timmerman on the Board ever Since.  The contract is dated January 27, 1851.  Terms of the contract state “The Church was to be built like the Baptist Church at French Creek.  There were to be window blinds for all windows. It was to be painted white with green blinds.  In the front of the pulpit was to be a railing.  Two box stoves were to be used to heat the building.  The wall under the church was to be of stone, 18 inches high and 21 inches think, held together with mortar.”  The cost of the building was $1240 and seated 150 people.  It was dedicated in the fall of 1851.

Between the years of 1878 and 1882 the seating arrangement was changed and the Church was completely redecorated.  In 1896 more improvements were made.  The present seating arrangement was made, a center door was cut in the vestibule, and the two side doors were closed.  A steel ceiling was put in and an alcove built for chancel.  The church was rededicated on August 16, 1896.  The parsonage which had been acquired in 1873 burned in 1898 and all the church records were lost in the fire.

Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation 1895 -1898

Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation 1895 -1898

More changes were made in the Church property:  the lawn was graded, sidewalks and a retaining wall built, the interior was redecorated, electric lights installed and a new carpet laid.  A brass choir rail was installed in 1926 when the 75th anniversary of the Church was celebrated.  The memorial fund raised at the anniversary was used to purchase and altar.  On August 23, 1929, the church steeple was struck by lightning and ruined.

In 1940 more improvements were made: a crown, the gift of Joseph Bacon was erected on the tower, cushions were re-upholstered and repairs were made on the vestibule.  A three day celebration was held in 1940 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the congregation.  In 1951 the sills and wall of the Church were repaired.

Remarkable is the fact that this little Church at Orleans Four Corners gave four men for the Ministry of the Lutheran Church.  They were:  Rev. F.W.L. Getman, Rev. A.S. Timmerman, Reb. Joseph Strough and Rev. Joseph Strough and Rev. Joseph Rasbach.

Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation 1951

Evangelical Lutheran Church Congregation 1951

Since 1914 Orleans Evangelical Lutheran Church has been served by the Pastors of St. Paul’s Lutheran church at Redwood.  From that time services were held every other Sunday. Since 1951 services are held each Sunday.