Branches on the tree:
the Kauffman family influence in
the Bible Fellowship Church
by Jill Davidson
with research assistance by Andrew Geissinger
The Bible Fellowship Church began with a handful of people and grew as others joined them and as each one’s family grew. Some people in the denomination today take delight and perhaps pride in being able to say they descend from founding father, William Gehman, or from early preacher Jonas Musselman. This paper examines the Kauffman family, or Kauffman families, since there were two early families by that name that may or may not be connected.
As a disclaimer, it must be mentioned that genealogical research can take a lot of time and travel. Sometimes information is discovered in unexpected sources, just because the researcher is in the right place at the right time and prayed fervently before setting out to do research that day. The information presented here is not exhaustive but is adequate to show the presence and influence of the Kauffman families in the Bible Fellowship Church.
First, the family of Abraham Kauffman will be discussed. Abraham Kauffman was born in Pennsylvania on 16 January 1780, a mere three-and-a-half years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Abraham died on 17 April 1860 and has the distinction of being the first person to be buried in the cemetery of the Zionsville Bible Fellowship church. Abraham was married to Sarah Schantz, born 22 June 1791 in Pennsylvania. The widow Sarah Kauffman is listed on donor lists for the Zionsville church for several years, indicating her attendance and involvement with that congregation. Later she lived with her daughter Rebecca and her family, and moved with them to Hilltown Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she lived for many years, too far from the Zionsville church to be able to participate in worship there. Sarah died in Hilltown on 15 August 1881; she is buried next to her husband in the cemetery of the Zionsville church. Abraham and Sarah Kauffman had at least five children, including their son, Samuel, who died before they did. Sarah’s obituary states that she was survived by four daughters, but Rebecca is the only one for whom information was discovered.
Son Samuel Kauffman was born in 1808; he married Esther Musselman, the sister of David Musselman in whose home the first meeting of the Evangelical Mennonites was held. (Esther was also aunt to Anna, the wife of “Father” William Gehman.) Samuel died rather young, a month before his 48th birthday in 1856, and before a handful of people left the Upper Milford Mennonite church to form the Evangelical Mennonite Association.
Samuel is buried in the cemetery of the Upper Milford Mennonite church, the only Kauffman known to be buried there. His obituary reads, “On the 1st of February his remains were brought to rest with a numerous retinue. Brother Kaufman was an avid man in religion, loved to be present at the worship service and the prayer meetings; in his behavior he was loving, patient and meek, in short, he was a Christian. He served long years until his end as deacon of the Mennonite congregation in Upper Milford with dignity. He left behind a saddened widow, 7 … children, an aged father and mother, as well as also the congregation with which he was connected, which feels the loss deeply.”
Samuel and Esther had at least seven children: Sarah, Susanna, Elizabeth, Abraham, Samuel, Milton, and Mary Ann. Sarah Kauffman married Daniel Gehman, a farmer in Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, Pa. In 1870 and 1880, they were living in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, Pa., and still farming. In the 1880 federal census, they are listed just after Sarah’s aunt Rebecca. Samuel’s widow, Esther, is living with their daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Daniel Gehman. Since there were no Evangelical Mennonite congregations in Hilltown, it suggests they were not involved. In 1900 and 1910, they are listed in the census in Hatfield Boro, Montgomery County, Pa. By this time, Daniel has given up farming and is a day laborer.
Sarah and Daniel’s children include Ellena, Emma, Horace, Milton, and Sarah. Son Horace lived in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, Pa., but his name does not appear in the records of the Coopersburg church. Son Milton lived in Hatfield and sold life insurance which would rule out membership in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ for that time period. Emma’s and Sarah’s married names have not been discovered yet. Ellena married Josiah Rissmiller and had at least six children: Sallie, Jonas, William, Milton, Charles, and Eva who married Ralph Hixson and moved to Ohio. Ralph died young, leaving young children: Ruth, Ralph, and Dale. Dale married Mary Thomas and had a son John who is an active member of the Quakertown Bible Fellowship Church.
Samuel and Esther Kauffman second daughter, Susanna, married Moses Werner of Bushkill, Northampton County, Pa. They moved West to Michigan, then to Kansas where they raised a family.
Next in line of Samuel and Esther Kauffman’s children is Elizabeth, who married Franklin B. Trump, the son of Elias and Louisa Trump who are mentioned in the early records of the Zionsville church. Elizabeth and Frank Trump had five known children: Charles, Sallie, Annie, Titus, and Franklin. Sallie became a member of the Zionsville congregation but died two years later at the age of 16. She is not buried in the Zionsville cemetery, however, but is buried nearby at the Evangelical Association church now known as Salem United Methodist church. Annie Trump married John Miller, and they took in her widowed mother, Elizabeth, to live with them. Titus Trump, 21 when he died and likely single, is also buried in the cemetery of the Evangelical Association, as are his parents, Franklin and Elizabeth Trump. Other families from the early days of the Evangelical Mennonites are also buried at Salem, suggesting a split or rift of some sort.
While nothing more is known of Elizabeth and Franklin’s youngest son, Franklin, their first child, Charles, has a story different from that of his siblings. Charles Trump married Mary Ann Schiffert, the daughter of William Schiffert and Sarah A. Kemmerer who were loyal members and generous donors to the Zionsville congregation. Charles and Mary Ann Trump are buried in the cemetery in Zionsville, near Mary Ann’s parents, the Schifferts. Charles and Mary Ann Trump had two known children: Edna and Harvey. No further information was discovered on Harvey, but Edna was married twice, first to George Frank and then to William Wild. Edna had two children by her first husband, George Frank: Clara and Walter.
Clara Frank married James Cressman and they were active, longtime members of the Bethlehem church. James also served as a layman on the Board of Directors of the Bible Fellowship Church for many years, handling the details of the pastors’ health insurance. The Cressmans had three daughters: Renee, Dianne, and Lenore. Renee Cressman married James Bigley. The Bigleys were long-term missionaries in Kenya, East Africa, where Renee served as a nurse and Jim first worked with Boys’ Brigade. Later, both taught in a secondary school for a time, and both were also involved for a while in church planting. Dianne Cressman married Keith Lindly and Lenore Cressman married Rusty Sherrick; all three Cressman girls were involved in serving the Lord in the places where the Lord put them.
Walter Frank married Ethel Wieand, the daughter of Paul Wieand and Esther Baer, and the niece of BFC pastor, Paul Baer. Walter had served as a pastor in the Bible Fellowship for several years when he was challenged by a Youth for Christ speaker to consider service as a missionary in Europe. Subsequently, the Franks served the Lord in Germany under Greater Europe Mission, and in 1960, Walter was asked to be the general director; he served in that capacity for 20 years, retiring in 1980. For reasons of health, the Franks moved to California where they live today.
The Franks have five children and twelve grandchildren; all are doing well and serving the Lord in some capacity. Douglas Frank married Marge Titus; they have one daughter, Sarah, married to Ryan Adams. David Frank and his wife Debbie, the daughter of missionaries to South America, have ministered in Spain under Greater Europe Mission for more than 30 years. They have three children: Jeremy and his wife Sylvia have a baby and are raising support to serve in Spain in conjunction with his parents’ ministery; Tafie, who is married to Christian Webb; and Tami, who is single.
Dale Frank and his wife Debbie have four children: Nate at 6’8” has distinguished himself in basketball at Wheaton College; Kara is married to Pedro Arruza; Krista is married to Ryan McCallister; and Emily is married to Scott Fedyski. Donald Frank and his wife wife Nancy have two sons: Ryan, whose wife is Kim; and Kyle who is married to Laura.
The Franks only daughter, Dawn, and her husband Tony Webster are involved with International Justice Mission in Arlington, Va., an organization dedicated to freeing enslaved people around the world. The Websters have two children, Lindsey and Jeff.
The fourth known child of Samuel and Esther Kauffman was preacher Abraham Kauffman, who married Annie Eliza Weikel; they lived on land next to the Zionsville church. Every year at conference, the preachers were asked who was willing to travel, and Abraham was always on that list. Even though he lived so close to the Zionsville church, he was often assigned to pastor churches that were a distance away. These included: Upper Milford (Zionsville), Fleetwood, Salem Church, Hosensack, Lancaster County, Coopersburg, Berger Church, Saucon Valley, Ruch’s, Springtown, Quakertown, Hatfield, Skippack, East Hereford, Terre Hill, and Remps.
In addition to preaching, Abraham Kauffman served the denomination in various other capacities: as secretary of conference; as conference chairman; as president of the missionary society (equivalent to the church extension department today);as a member of the committee to examine revival songs for a book that was to be published; as a member of the committee to supervise the tabernacle; and as a participant in opening and closing conference sessions with singing and prayer.
Preacher Abraham took seriously the Scriptures concerning the care of widows and orphans. In the 1870 federal census we find that he has his widowed grandmother, Sarah Kauffman, living with his family. In the same house we find his newly married sister, Mary (Ann), and her husband, Joel Sterner, a laborer on Abraham’s farm. In the next dwelling is his widowed mother, Esther Kauffman, close by for her protection. (Esther later lived with her daughter, Sarah, wife of Daniel Gehman.)
In the 1880 federal census we find that Abraham and Annie Kauffman have opened their heart and home to two fatherless boys. Preacher Joseph L. Romig and his wife Elizabeth (nee Gehman) died young, leaving two preschool boys. The Kauffmans took in H. (Henry) Horace Romig while neighbor and Upper Milford deacon Levi N. Shelly took in his brother, Oscar. The other fatherless boy in the Kauffmans’ home was Abraham’s nephew, James Sterner, son of his widowed younger sister, Mary (Ann).
Abraham and Annie Kauffman had three children of their own: Charles L., Annie, and Henry. Henry moved first to Illinois, then later to Jefferson, Marion County, Texas; he never married. Annie married Abraham Wismer of the Graterford church. No doubt they met while her father served as pastor in the beginning of that church, then called “Skippack.” Annie and Abraham Wismer had six children: Christian, Ezra, Charles, Miriam, Anna, and Mary Emma. The Wismer family was instrumental in the early growth and development of the Graterford congregation where this writer is an active member.
Christian Wismer married Edna Mae Bennett. No further information was discovered on his descendants. His brother Ezra and his wife Ruth eventually settled in Springfield, Delaware County, Pa. They had two sons: Herbert and Richard. Charles, the third son of Abraham and Annie Wismer, married H. Viola Bergstresser, daughter of preacher Robert Bergstresser and his wife, Sarah, on Christmas day of 1912; her father performed the ceremony. Bergstresser was pastor of the Graterford-Harleysville circuit from 1908-1911, which explains how Charles and Viola met. They made their home in the Graterford area.
Annie and Abraham Wismer’s first daughter, Miriam, married Edgar Mann. They went to the Bethlehem church as did Anna who married William Matz. Nothing else was discovered about Mary Emma Wismer. The Wismers took in Annie’s elderly parents, Abraham and Annie Kauffman, in their last years. Annie Kauffman continued to live with the Wismers in her widowhood.
Before continuing the story of Abraham and Annie Kauffman’s family, there is a story to be told about the land on which sits the Zionsville Bible Fellowship Church. On 14 February 1863, Abraham Kauffman of Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County, Yeoman and Anna Eliza his wife conveyed to David Musselman, Henry Gehman, and Joseph Stauffer, trustees of the Evangelic Menonite Congregation of Upper Milford Township a parcel of land containing 120 perches in consideration of $75. This land was sold “…to the only use and purpose of a place of public worship burying ground and for other purposes pertaining to the said Evangelic Menonite Congregation.” The land was part of a much larger parcel that Abraham had gotten from his father, Samuel, which he farmed. Apparently, this would include the land on which the Zionsville church stands, having been built in 1859.
In March of 1874, a petition was made “…from the Mennonite Congregation for to by (sic) a tract of land from Abraham Kauffman for the sum of one hundred dollars.” The land was purchased in April of that year.
Back to the story of the children of Abraham and Annie Kauffman: their first child, Charles L. Kauffman was the most prolific of the family. He was born in January of 1861, a few months before the start of the American Civil War. In 1883, he married Ellen Schoenly, a first cousin to C. H. Brunner. There were 14 known children born to Charles and Ellen. In addition to helping the church with his participation in Sunday school conventions, Charles did his part to fill several pews!
Annie Pearl Kauffman, the first born of the family, married Cornelius Fosbenner, becoming his second wife. By 1910, Annie had three children but only two were living. She had a son, Durel, about whom nothing else was discovered. Her son Harry was married to Clara Anna Deiley in 1933 in Coopersburg by W. W. Kistler, minister of the Gospel but not minister in the MBC. Here the trail is lost for the Fosbenners. Charles and Ellen Kauffman’s second daughter, Minnie May, was a school teacher but not for long. She died in 1903 at the age of 17, unmarried.
The third child in the family was Horace Abraham Kauffman. Horace was a Gospel Herald. He married Esther Gehret, the daughter of preacher A. B. Gehret and sister to preacher T. D. Gehret. Horace served as pastor of Shamokin for two years, then was assigned to the Royersford-Spring City circuit. He was there for just one year when he died in October of 1918 of the Spanish flu that took so many lives at the end of WWI. He left a baby son, Horace, and a daughter, Ellen, born several months after he died. Horace’s widow, Esther, later married a second time to preacher N. H. Wolf who became the father who raised the Kauffman children. Preacher Wolf wanted the children to keep the Kauffman name to honor their late father.
Horace Kauffman, son of the preacher, married Aletha “Dolly” Wise. They made their home in Lancaster and were charter members of the BFC congregation there. Besides his vital involvement in the Lancaster church, Horace humbly served the conference for many years as treasurer. He did whatever he could to serve the Lord, even up to the time of his death in early 2009.
Horace and Dolly Kauffman had three children: Barry, Terry, and Kendra. Barry married Dianne Bickle from the Sunbury church, the ceremony being performed by Preacher N. H. Wolf, Barry’s “grandfather.” Barry and Dianne founded the Awana program at the Lancaster church in 1982 and continue to run it. Over the years they have been involved in music, Bible teaching, and other ministries there.
Barry and Dianne have three sons who are also members of the Lancaster BFC. Craig is married to Kisha Barnett, granddaughter of veteran missionary Marcella Rampy. Craig and Kisha serve in the church in various ways: elder, teacher, Awana, and women’s ministries, to name a few. They have a son, Zachary, and a daughter, Taylor.
Barry and Dianne Kauffman’s second son, Ken, is married to Sandra Kime. Ken has been a deacon and did all the mechanical and heating engineering for the new church in Lancaster, and for their new youth “Stables” building. Ken and Sandra have been active in Awana and in teaching children. Their sons, Joshua and Noah, also attend. Their youngest son, Tim, is married to Wendy Ness, who also grew up in the Lancaster church. They are also involved in Awana and in children’s ministries. Their daughters, Chloe and Lexie, and their son, Brodie, also attend.
The second son of Horace and Dolly Kauffman, Terry, married Jeanne Campbell. When they attended the Lancaster church, they were involved in Awana and in teaching and Jeanne was a musician in the church. They have two sons, Michael and Marc. Terry and Jeanne now attend another church.
Horace and Dolly Kauffman’s daughter, Kendra, married Rick Grimm. They are very active in the Lancaster church, serving in Awana, in the nursery, and in maintenance ministries. Their daughter, Melissa, and her husband, Rob Wilkerson, also attend the Lancaster church, being active in Awana. Melissa and Rob’s sons, Corey and Connor Wilkerson, also attend the Lancaster church. Kendra and Rick’s son Matt and his wife Allison are active in the softball and young adult ministries. They have also been involved in Awana.
Ellen Kauffman (the daughter born to Horace and Esther after her father’s death) married John Derck whom she met at the Sunbury church when her then father, N. H. Wolf, was pastor there. Ellen and John lived in Douglassville, Pa., for a while and were very active in the Spring City church during that time. However, John’s job required some moves out of the area, away from the BFC, but wherever they lived, they continued their service to the Lord in their local church.
The fourth child of the prolific Charles and Ellen Kauffman, Emma, married Herbert Turner; nothing further has been discovered about them. The next child in the family, Kate, married Titus Hottel, son of Henry and Mary Hottel. For several years, Titus was the farmer at the home for widows and orphans, located in Center Valley. They had at least three children: Timothy, Arthur, and Clarence. Clarence died in 1918 at the age of 18 months and is buried in the cemetery of the Coopersburg church. Timothy married Grace Held, and Arthur married Ruth Markle. Both weddings were performed by their father, Titus, in Allentown. They were connected with the Twelfth Street Baptist church in Allentown, Pa.
The sixth child of Charles and Ellen Kauffman was Herbert who married “the girl next door,” Elizabeth Mann. Next came daughter Lizzie Berdella; she married Myron Gehret, the son of preacher A. B. Gehret and the brother of Preacher T. D. Gehret and Esther, the widow of Lizzie’s brother Horace. Lizzie and Myron had three daughters: Ruth married Arlington L. Seifert, a longtime pastor in the Bible Fellowship Church who also served as director of Pine Brook Bible Conference; Eleanor, married to Arden Gockenbach, served as organist at the Bethlehem church for many years; and Joyce, who had married Donald Deppe, now makes her home in Maryland.
Charles and Ellen Kauffman’s remaining children were William Norman who married Tillie Gross; Lillie Edna who married the Reverend Charles Lukesh (they were missionaries in Czechoslovakia for a number of years); Florence Ellen who married a man by the name of Weiss; Charles Arthur who lived only two weeks; Warren Ernest who married Marie Cressman and who died in 1940 at age 39 and is buried in the cemetery of the Coopersburg church next to his brother Horace and his sister Minnie; Paul Raymond, who lived only nineteen days; and lastly, a child who was stillborn. Obviously, the Kauffmans knew the sorrows as well as the blessings of family life.
Returning to the children of Samuel and Esther Kauffman: after preacher Abraham there was born a son, Samuel. Samuel married Caroline Godshalk who died young, without children. By this time, Samuel was already in the Midwest, settling in Rice County, Kansas, where he was a farmer. He married a second time to Savilla Kline whose parents were from Pennsylvania. They had three children: Eva Grace, married to Thomas Leming, LeRoy, and Floyd. Samuel and Savilla were members of the Evangelical Church in Kansas.
The next child of Samuel and Esther Kauffman was Milton who married Fannie Lewis. Milton served the Lord humbly in several ways. The first camp meeting was held on his Chestnut Grove land in 1881; he was conference treasurer for a number of years; a delegate for many years, and he also served on several committees. Milton and Fannie had four children, but by 1900 only two were living: Artilla and Alice. Artilla married John Harvey Baus who was a brother to Annie, wife of H. B. Musselman, longtime presiding elder of the conference. Artilla, or “Tillie,” as she was called, and her husband were active and supporting members of the Coopersburg church.
There are eight known children of J. Harvey and Tillie Baus: Milton, Ralph, Dorothea, Perma, Gladys, Olivia, Addie, and Cora. Sadly, Milton, Olivia, and Cora died very young. Ralph Baus married Esther Frey who died young. Ralph married a second time, to Lilian. He had no children.
Dorothea married Russell Mann and had nine children: Ray, Ralph, Beatrice, Joyce, Arlene, Rollin, Grace, Fern, and Bernice. Ray married Betty Bach. They moved a lot, making it difficult to be established in any one church, though they attended the Ephrata Bible Fellowship Church at the end of their lives. Ralph Mann married Josephine Gruver and one child, Kathleen. Beatrice Mann married the Reverend Marshall J. Riu, Jr. and had three children: Stephen, James, and Rebecca. Marshall is a pastor in the United Church of Christ, now retired. Beatrice attends the Ebenezer Bible Fellowship Church as she is able.
Joyce Mann remained single. She served as secretary to Bible Fellowship Church pastor Jansen Hartman during the time he taught at Berean Bible School. She later worked in the office of the BFC home for the elderly in Nazareth, Pa. Arlene Mann started the special education program in the Lehigh Valley School district. At the Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Church she was active as a Sunday school teacher. Rollin Mann married Marian Miller, daughter of Bible Fellowship Church pastor, C. Leslie Miller. They have two children: David and Cynthia. They live in California where they are active members of a local church. Grace Mann married the Reverend Robert Roberts who was a Presbyterian minister for 37 years. They have one child, Andrew, who lives in Australia with his family. Grace now attends the Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Church. Fern Mann did not marry. She has been an active member of the Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Church for many years. Bernice Mann married Joseph Farris. They are also active members of the Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Church.
Returning to the children of J. Harvey and Tillie Kauffman Baus, their daughter Perma married Harvey Musselman. They had two sons, LeRoy and Harvey, Jr. A daughter, nicknamed Dolly, died young. The Musselmans were active in the Bethlehem Bible Fellowship Church. The Baus’s third daughter, Gladys, married Paul Kropp. They had five children: Milton, Vivian, Lorraine, Theodore, and Karen, also known as “Cookie.” Sadly, Gladys was divorced from her husband. Gladys attended the Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Church. One of her descendants attends the Whitehall Bible Fellowship Church.
Addie Baus remained single. She was involved in the Coopersburg church in many ways. She taught Sunday school, played the piano and worked with Vacation Bible School. She was beloved by the many children she taught through the years. Addie was the first secretary of the Borough of Coopersburg, setting up all the office systems that would ensure the smooth functioning of local government.
Milton and Fannie Kauffman’s younger daughter, Alice, married William J. King, son of Tilghman King. By 1910 they were living in Allentown. They had at least six children: Eunice, Tilghman, Alice, William, John, who died as a baby, and Arleen. Alice died in 1913, leaving a houseful of children. No other information was discovered about this family.
The youngest child of Samuel and Esther Kauffman was Mary Ann, whose history has already been partially told. She married Joel Sterner who died at age 29 leaving at least one child, James. James lived for a time with his uncle, the preacher Abraham Kauffman. (Such an arrangement for a fatherless child was typical in that day.) When his mother later married Joseph K. Moore, he lived with her and his stepfather.
James Sterner eventually married Elizabeth and they had at least four children: Dorothy, Alton, Elizabeth, and J. Norman. In the 1910 and 1920 census, they are listed as living in Philadelphia. Their church involvement is undiscovered.
Mary Ann Kauffman and her second husband Joseph K. Moore had at least three children: Cora, Hattie Mary, and Alice. Cora married John Garfield Freed. Hattie married Louis J. C. Brusch. The ministers who united them in marriage were in Norristown and were not MBC pastors, suggesting they were not involved in the conference.
Returning to Abraham and Sarah Kauffman, their daughter Rebecca married William Mohr, a preacher in the German Baptist church in Vera Cruz, Lehigh County. They had at least five children: Henry, Emma, Sarah, Samuel, and Amanda. The Mohrs moved to Hilltown Township, Buck County, Pennsylvania for a number of years and later moved to Allentown where William was a pastor in the Twelfth Street Baptist Church.
The second Kauffman family under consideration is the Nathan Kauffman family. It is not yet known if there is a close kinship between this family and that of Abraham Kauffman. Nathan Kauffman was born 12 December 1819 and died 28 January 1892. He married Rebecca Schubert, born 2 March 1818 and died 1 March 1885. They are both buried in the Moravian Cemetery in Emmaus, Pa. We find four children in their household: Mary, who married David Esterly; Susanna, who married Edwin Wieand; Emma; and Franklin B. Kauffman. It is through Franklin that is found a connection with the Bible Fellowship Church.
Franklin married Emma A. Smith from Longswamp Township, Berks County, Pa. Franklin and Emma had at least nine children: Edgar, the only one with Bible Fellowship connections; Harry, who married Amelia Dreas; Morris; Byron, who married Edna Merkel; Charles, who died as an infant; Cora, who married a man with the surname Hilbert; Florence, who died very young; and Mabel, who married a man by the name of Webb.
Edgar Kauffman married Lucy B. Moyer, the daughter of MBC evangelist “Rose Jelly” Jakey Moyer. Theirs was a sort of arranged marriage. Edgar was a new believer, having trusted the Lord in the Zionsville church; he was introduced to Lucy, a believer since childhood and well-trained in the things of the Lord by godly parents. They had seven children: Charles, Clifford, Alton (who died young with no children), Lilian, Warren, Robert, and Florence, also known as “Dolly.”
Charles Kauffman married Carrie Mann, daughter of Wilson Mann and Mary Longsdorf. They attended the Emmaus BFC church for a while then went to the Church of the Nazarene. They had two children: Pearl who married Franklin Meck, and Ralph who married Sharon Neuheimer. Ralph and Sharon’s daughter Cherie married David Shelly, son of Austin Shelly.
Clifford Kauffman married Ethel Mann, the daughter of Wilson Mann and Mary Longsdorf. They had three children: Timothy, who married Wanda; Vivian who first married a Mr. Koons (one of the Koons boys married Annette Hoyle), then was married a second time to the Rev. C. Biddle Foster; and Mary Jane, who married David Cole from the Staten Island Bible Fellowship Church. Timothy and Wanda Kauffman were missionaries in Kenya, Africa, for a number of years. They taught in a secondary school and did some evangelism and church planting.
Lilian Kauffman married Edward Stortz who was also a member of the Bethel Bible Fellowship church in Emmaus. Edward’s job took them to the Collegeville area in Montgomery County, Pa., and for a number of years they were influential members of the Graterford Bible Fellowship church. The Stortz’s had three children: Janice, Dean, and Rodney. Dean, who married Donna Lee Bailey of Reading, is a pastor in the Bible Fellowship Church, currently ministering in Tom’s River, New Jersey. Rodney married Elizabeth Buswell, daughter of a Presbyterian preacher; he too was a preacher in the Presbyterian church up to the time of his death.
Warren Kauffman married Dorothy Kline. They were active members in the Emmaus church. They had five children: Sally Ann, Jack, Barbara, Thomas, and Stephen. Stephen, an active member at the Harleysville Church, is on the executive board of the Bible Fellowship Church. He is married to Elizabeth Treible and they have two children. Their daughter, Abby, was recently married to Nathan Orloski of the Harleysville Bible Fellowship Church.
Edgar and Lucy’s son Robert was twelve years old when he made a profession of faith. He has been a member of the Emmaus church ever since, involved with teaching Sunday school, Christian Service Brigade, and Yoke Fellows prison ministry. He met Gertrude Eroh at the Zionsville church. She was from the Lehighton church where they married. Gertrude was an active member at the Emmaus church up to the time of her death last year. They had three children: Richard, Marjory, and Allen. Richard married Becky Fritz, daughter of BFC pastor Harvey Fritz. Richard and Becky with their four children attend the Faith Evangelical Free church in Trexlertown. Marjory and her husband, Richard Mengel, and their two children are active members of the Emmaus church. Allen married Connie Reith; with their two children, they are active members of the Emmaus church also.
The youngest child of Edgar and Lucy Kauffman is Florence, a.k.a. “Dolly.” Dolly married Gerald Schlonecker of the Emmaus church where they have been active members for many years. They have five children: David, Kay, William, Karen, and Kathy.
David Schlonecker is married to Roxie. They served as missionaries in Venezuela for many years, teaching in Christianson Academy. David is now on staff at Bethel Bible Fellowship Church in Emmaus. They have three children: David “Chico,” Kelly, and Kimberly. David and Kimberly work with Push the Rock ministry. Kelly is a teacher in New Zealand. Kay Schlonecker married Allen Fleming. They have three children: Kristy, married to Tim McClosky; Eric, and Lindsey.
William Schlonecker is married to Patrice Wentz, daughter of Paul Wentz, Jr. and Orpha Stortz. Bill testifies: “I came to know Christ under the ministry of Pastor Harvey Fritz, Jr. as a young boy when the Holy Spirit brought to fruition the seeds that had been planted in my early years, and I embraced Jesus Christ as my personal Savior… It was after about one year of marriage that I began to give serious and prayerful consideration to a “call” on my life that I had ignored since I was about ten years old. I truly sensed a “call” to pastoral ministry as a young boy, largely from a supportive congregation and family who recognized and encouraged gifts in me…. Having grown up in the Bible Fellowship Church, I was hopeful to return to minister in this denomination that invested so much into my life. The Lord opened that door through an opportunity to serve in the newly planted Bible Fellowship Church in Newark, Delaware. We began our ministry there on July 1, 1984 and I continue to serve as Senior Pastor over this vibrant congregation.
Bill and Pat Schlonecker have four daughters: Amy, married to BFC church planter in Adams County, Pa., Aaron Susek, the son of Jake Susek, pastor of the Royersford BFC; Andrea, married to Jason Rohrer; Amber, newly married to Chase Ross; and Ann, a student at Philadelphia Biblical University. Karen Schlonecker married Jeremy DeLong. They have one child, Jonah, and are active members of the Emmaus church. Kathy Schlonecker married Steve Cassel, son of BFC pastor, Carl Cassel. Kathy and Steve have three children and are active members of the Coopersburg church.
A study of the descendants of Abraham Kauffman shows that many have been - and are today - active members of the Bible Fellowship Church. Parents who have a personal faith in Jesus Christ and demonstrate a godly life, a loving life, often see the same faith developed in their children.
There is no evidence that Nathan Kauffman was ever connected with the Evangelical Mennonites or the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, early names for what is now the Bible Fellowship Church. His son, Franklin, also was not connected with the Bible Fellowship Church. However, some of Franklin’s children had a brief acquaintance with the Emmaus church; son Edgar is the only one with whom “it took.” Edgar was a young man when he trusted in Christ as Saviour. He did not grow up in a loving home. According to Edgar’s son, Robert, Edgar and his father, Franklin, were tyrants in the home, lacking affection for their wife and children. Franklin’s other sons were the same way. That was all they knew.
Soon after Edgar joined the church he was introduced to Lucy Moyer. She was the daughter of evangelist Jacob Moyer and his wife, Jane Blackburn. Lucy was raised by godly, loving parents. The Moyer home was a home of prayer. Nothing was done without praying about it first. That is how Lucy raised her children. She was on her knees daily, praying with each one before sending them off to school. “Sweet Hour of Prayer” could have been their family anthem. There was love, joy, and peace in the home, until their father came home. He was stern with the family; that is all he knew how to be for that was how he was raised. He did not show kindness to his wife as he should have.
Edgar mellowed through the years. After his wife Lucy died, Edgar would spend more time in the homes of his children, going there for meals. By the end of his life there was genuine affection between him and his children. Lucy’s example of praying for her children is a challenge for us all to pray for our children, grandchildren, other family members, and our neighbors, that they would all trust in Christ as savior and know what it is to really know the Lord.
Amy Schlonecker Susek shares: “Two things stand out in my mind when I consider the Kauffman family, at least as I know it through the Schlonecker connection: the faithfulness of God and the importance of prayer. As other Schlonecker-Kauffman descendants would confirm, we as a family have experienced the faithfulness of God which has come through our fathers and mothers, grandpas and grandmas, great-grandparents and beyond who belong to Him and who have prayed for us.”
From Bill Schlonecker’s testimony
The Kauffman family heritage has been
a huge influence in my life. I never met
my maternal grandmother, Lucy Moyer Kauffman, but her life of prayer became
nearly legendary in her family. One
illustration of this became well known in our family. Lucy would pray with each of her children as
they left for school. She would not miss
a beat when the bread man or the milk man would come in because she was talking
to the King of kings, and nothing would interrupt her. I am convinced that God honored her prayers
offered many years before her grandchildren and great grandchildren were ever
born. My mother, Florence Kauffman, took
up her mother’s mantle and became a woman of prayer as well. The image of my mother at the breakfast table
with her Bible and devotional book was a consistent reminder of her devotion to
Christ. Her consistent prayers were
influential in drawing me back to the Lord and following God’s call upon my
life into pastoral ministry. I knew my
paternal grandfather, Edgar Kauffman, very well and while he was a man
“hardened” by his times, I remember him as a man who loved the local church and
was committed to every service. Even in
his late 70s, he would often walk the several miles to the church on Elm Street. He loved his grandchildren and took great joy
in following their pursuits with the Lord.
This grandson learned early on to “project” loudly in large part because
if I did not, “Pappy” would let me know about it. I have never been accused of speaking softly
ever since. My generation of cousins
grew up with the full knowledge of this spiritual legacy which we were
privileged to embrace. We heard it from
our parents, aunts and uncles, and older cousins. But more than that, we saw it lived out in
their lives, these who had taken the torch from their parents, and were now
passing it on to another generation.
Thus, by God’s grace, “one generation will commend Your works to
another.” (Psalm 145:4).
Brewer, Mary Marshall. Abstracts of Administrations of Montgomery County Pennsylvania 1822-1850. Lewes, DE: Colonial Roots, 2005.
Brewer, Mary Marshall. Abstracts of the Wills of Montgomery County Pennsylvania 1824-1850. Lewes, DE: Colonial Roots, 2005.
Heist, Mr. and Mrs. Bright N. Centennial Anniversary 1859-1959 Bible Fellowship Church, Zionsville, Pa.
Lewis, Mildred L. A Walk Through Historic Hilltown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with Edward Matthews. Hatfield, PA: Mildred L. Lewis, 1994.
Loux, Edna M. Lewis. A Walk Down Memory Lane: 1737-1982 a History of Hilltown Baptist Church Hilltown Township Buck County, Pennsylvania. Souderton, PA: Indian Valley Printing Ltd., 1982.
Meldrum, Charlotte. Marriages and Deaths of Montgomery County Pennsylvania 1685-1800. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, Inc., 2007.
Myers, Thomas G. Bucks County, Pennsylvania Miscellaneous Deed Dockets 1785-1857. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2007
Myers, Thomas G. Bucks County, Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court Records 1685-1852. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2000.
Myers, Thomas G. Bucks County, Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court Records 1852-1900. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2006
Myers, Thomas G. Bucks County Pennsylvania Will Abstracts 1825-1870. Westminster, MD: Heritage Books, 2007.
Myers, Thomas G. Bucks County Pennsylvania Will Abstracts 1870-1900. Westminster, MD: Willow Bend Books, 2002.
Prontnicki, Louis. Tracing the Hand of God: One Hundred Years of the Lord’s Work in the Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church, 1903-2003. Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing, 2005.
Taylor, Richard E. ed. Verhandlungen (1859-1895): Proceedings of the Evangelical Mennonite Society also Known as the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Now Known as the Bible Fellowship Church. Trans. Frank Litty. Coopersburg, PA: The Historical Committee, 1989.
Wehr, Myron P. The Herman Mohr Family. Allentown, Pa. Revised edition, April 1997.
Wenger, John C. History of the Mennonites of the Franconia Conference. Telford, PA: Franconia Mennonite Historical Society, 1937.
Wire, Doris Deppe. Bethany Bible Fellowship Church 1892 to 1993. November 1993.
yearbooks of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, Bible Fellowship Church.
Federal census records, 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920
Lehigh County marriage records
Montgomery County marriage records
Lehigh County wills
Northampton County marriage records
Zionsville BFC records
Coopersburg BFC records
Emmaus BFC records
Lehigh County marriage and death card catalog (abstracts from newspapers)
Florence “Dolly” Schlonecker
Bernice Mann Farris
Arlington L. Seifert
Church and Cemetery records:
(All of these are found in the Lehigh County Historical Society library)
Chestnut Hill Church (Lower Milford Twp) 1773-1787
Chestnut Hill Church Cemetery (Lower Milford Twp), before 1900
Chestnut Hill United Church of Christ (Lower Milford Twp), 1894-1990
Church of the Good Shepherd (Alburtis), 1905-1987
Emmanuel Church of the United Brethren
Fairview Cemetery (Macungie)
Faith United Church of Christ (Center Valley), 1967-1990
Friedens Union Church (Washington Twp), 1847-1959
Friedens Union Church Cemetery (Washington Twp)
Moravian Church Cemetery (Emmaus)
Northwood Cemetery (Emmaus)
Old Zionsville United Church of Christ Cemetery (Upper Milford Twp)
Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery (Zionsville)
Solomon’s United Church of Christ (Macungie), 1843-1991
Solomon’s United Church of Christ Cemetery (Macungie)
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church (Emmaus), 1882-1932
St. John’s Lutheran and Reformed Church Cemetery (Emmaus)
St. Peter’s Union Church (Upper Milford Twp), 1844-1857
Trexler Private Burial Ground (Upper Macungie Twp)
Upper Milford Mennonite Church Cemetery (Upper Milford Twp)
Vera Cruz E. C. Church Cemetery (Upper Milford Twp)
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Congregation Cemetery (Old Zionzville)
Zion Evangelical United Brethren Church (Emmaus), 1936-1970
Zion Lehigh Church Cemetery (Lower Macungie Twp)
Zion Lutheran Congregation (Old Zionsville), 1757-1903
Zion Reformed Church (Old Zionsville), 1756-1881
Zion Reformed Church Cemetery (Old Zionsville)