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Christ Lutheran Church - Germantown (Viewmonte), New York

ORIGINS: Palatines were people in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Rhine Valley was a natural corridor for movement of troops during wartime. From the 30 Year War to the War of Spanish Succession, as each army marched through they spread ruin and destruction. Gradually Palatines started sailing down the Rhine to Holland, where they got passage to England on returning troop ships. Coming to America with the Palatines who settled Germantown in 1710 were two clergy - Lutheran pastor Joshua Kocherthal and John Frederick Haeger, an Anglican minister representing the Society for Preservation of the Faith. When Haeger arrived in New York, he found Lutherans there ministering to the Lutheran Palatines, reducing his hopes of converting them. Kocherthal settled in West Camp and Haeger in East Camp (present day Germantown). Upon Kocherthal's death in 1719, Justus Falkner, the first Lutheran ordained in America, became the circuit riding preacher for Germantown and other area Lutheran churches. Another well known Lutheran pastor who served was John Christopher Hartwick. Upon Hartwick's death, his estate left money for the establishment of Hartwick Seminary (College). Those fearless Palatines carrying the burning candle of faith brought a Lutheran presence here, which has survived for over 290 years.

PRESENT BUILDING: In 1812 the church building at Sharp's Landing was in disrepair and was torn down. Since most of the congregation lived in the southern part of the area, the church location was moved to Viewmont. By long standing agreement the church stands within the township but the town line separates it from the cemetery. By the 1860's this second building was not adequate and the present building was erected across the road in 1868.

THE PEOPLE HERE TODAY: There are members who can trace their ancestry back to the Palatines, members who moved here from the New York Metropolitan and other areas, lifelong members and newer members. In the year 2000 by covenant agreement, our congregation joined with St John's, Manorton and St John's, Ancram to form the Southern Columbia County Lutheran Parish.



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