Letter from Jacob Senderling to Peter Witteker, September 18, 1826
Senderling, Jacob, Author
Witteker, Peter
, Recipient
Media Type
Item Type
Handwritten letter from Jacob Senderling to Peter Witteker on September 18, 1826. Senderling informs Witteker that he will serve their pastor.
Tear on the first page from the wax seal. Remnants of the red wax seal remain on the page.

St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riverside Heights, Ontario is a member of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It began in the late 1700s as a congregation of settlers in Williamsburg Township, Upper Canada. In 1789 a church building was erected on the Center Commons Lot in the first Concession of Williamsburg Township. The church was originally named Zion Lutheran Church, but the name was quickly changed to St. George’s Church. The first pastor was Reverend Samuel Schwerdtfeger.

In 1814, St. George’s Church was taken over by the Church of England under the direction of Rev. John Gunther Weagant, a previous pastor of the Lutheran Church. The Lutherans were barred from St. George’s Church and were forced to hold services in the homes of congregation members. In 1826, Rev. Herman Hayunga accepted the call as pastor to the Lutherans in Williamsburg Township. He quickly formed two congregations in the area – St. John’s Church in Riverside, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg.

For several years Hayunga petitioned the government to deed St. George’s Church to the Lutheran congregation. When the government denied his request Hayunga demanded that the congregation receive financial compensation for the loss of property. In 1846 the government granted the Lutheran church the sum of 500 Canadian pounds.

In 1833 the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John was consecrated by Rev. Hayunga. The new wooden frame building stood on a lot donated by church member Conrad Frymire. In 1863 a larger, brick church was built on the same lot. In 1956 the St. Lawrence Seaway Project forced the relocation of the Church. On December 7, 1958, the new St. John’s Lutheran Church was completed at Riverside Heights.

Transcribed by Shelby Campbell in 2015.
Date of Original
Sept. 18, 1826
Width: 39 cm
Height: 26.2 cm
Local identifier
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Riverside Heights ON fonds
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • New York, United States
    Latitude: 43.17562 Longitude: -76.11937
Copyright Statement
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to Canadian law. No restrictions on use.
Recommended Citation
Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections
Reproduction Notes
Text S100 Disc2
Wilfrid Laurier University Library
Agency street/mail address:

75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3C5

Full Text

[page 1]

Mr Peter Witteker


St. Lawrence Co. -

[page 2]

Cicero Sept. 18th 1826

My Dear Friend,

You have been, I have no doubt, somewhat surprised at my not coming to Canada according as I had proposed. It had ever been my firm determination to visit you, & I considered sickness and death as the only hindrances: further I had most sacredly pledged myself, conditionally however to become your minister for at least one year. But when I received your last letter, and read its contents I came to a passage in the close of it that staggered me completely - it was this - if this will do, well; if not, we cannot much better.' - this immediately told me, that I might do as I had? a mind to do about it, I might come, or stay - I knew that you were destitute of, and very needy for a clergyman but when you showed such indifference to my coming or staying, giving me as I would, to be free or not from my obligation, I preferred to be free and to stay - my people here and at Liverpool a village a few miles distant have subscribed for me to the amount of about $400. - I held myself perfectly bound until your letter arrived, and had made some preparations, to go - and again, your sending me a part of my salary inti-

[page 3]

materd that the people loved their money more than preaching, otherwise they would have sent me more than that sum [^gratis or free^] in order to have me among them, if so be they were any way eager to have me as their pastor. These circumstances, my dear friend, were the chief & sole causes why I have staid - you will therefore acquit me of all blame - and tho sending of the same money you sent will show that I was actuated not by selfish considerations in not sending the money - Mr Hayjunga would have brought it you and I had agreed to send it by him, but not having an opportunity to see him after our synod had dismissed, I was prevented thereby - I now enclose it - the sum eleven Dollars the whole received - The reason why I did not send it sooner was this I considered that if you could not obtain another minister I would try to come myself. But you will have a learned, smart & active and [illegible] a very excellent young man and minister in the person of Mr Hayjunga. he is worthy of your respect & esteem and your greatest attachment & love & may God bless his labours, bless you bless all your brethren [illegible] the prayer of your

Dear brother in Christ

Jacob Senderling

Mr. Peter Witteker -

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Letter from Jacob Senderling to Peter Witteker, September 18, 1826

Handwritten letter from Jacob Senderling to Peter Witteker on September 18, 1826. Senderling informs Witteker that he will serve their pastor.