The Historical Society

of the Bible Fellowship Church

March, 2006

Spring is coming but has not quite made its appearance. I welcome March because it means that winter is on its way out. While I mind the heat of summer and deal much better with the cold, I love the spring and its mild temperatures and reappearing colors. You need one more installment of some historical reading to get you through March and then you can begin to enjoy the spring and be so busy you won’t have any time for this sort of reading.

This issue contains two sections. The first will be data on the early members of the Zionsville Church. I build on Dr. Harold Shelly’s paper about the first preachers and my comments about the preachers who were quick to join with us which was included in the last issue. The second will focus on preacher William Solomon Hottel who served with the Mennonite Brethren in Christ from 1900 to 1920 with broader remarks and information about the Hottel family.

Zionsville Families.

Because we are being introduced to the people who were our spiritual parents, my curiosity has led me to explore the earliest members of the Zionsville Church.

The Zionsville Church was born out of the prayer meeting controversy which would eventually lead to a division at the Zionsville Church. William Gehman and like-minded others were removed or removed themselves from the church which sprung up under the leadership of John Oberholtzer. The church in Upper Milford was then known as Number Two. When the split occurred, the crack appeared in Number Two with two groups laying claim to the building. When the congregation voted, 25 voted to stay and 24 voted to join Gehman’s side in the division. You can sense the heartache and turmoil that must have existed by seeing that one vote made the difference. The question is, who were the 24 who voted to join Gehman? The answer at this point is a big blank because I know of no list of those 24.

What I do have is membership lists for the Zionsville Church. The first is 1865. By that time, the 24 had become nearly 60. It is safe to assume that all or many of the original 24 were included in the 60. Many of the 60 were family members and neighbors. The families which we know were central are well represented: the Gehmans, the Musselmans and the Brunners. Many of them were farmers and laborers.

The data I collected came from several places. Primarily, I used census data from 1860 and 1880 because I had those available to me. I was able to add some information from genealogical files which I have. In some cases, names were common and I was not able to identify which was the person connected with the church. In some cases, there was no information whatsoever.

At the very least, I hope anyone having information about some of these families will step up and share and fill out the gaps in the information.

1865 Member names and ages (1860)

Family (1860) and ages



1860 Census Valuation - Real / Personal



John Backensto (54)

Theresa [wife] (50), Jonas (26), Joseph (24), Jacob (22), Lucinda (20), Elias (16), Emma (11), Alfred (7)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$16,450 / $7,500



Heinrich Bittenbender (18)

(1880) Mary [wife], Ambrose, Annie, Alice and John

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County





Mary Bleiler (23)

(1880) Frank [son], Lillie

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County

Keeping House




Joel S. (20) and Rebecca (18) Brunner

(1880) Charles, Harvey, Nora, Ida, Sarah

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Rebecca is daughter of David and Susanna Gehman

Joel and Rebecca were single in 1860 but married by 1865.

Jacob Butterweck (36)

Sarah [wife] (34), James (12), William (10), Mary Ann (8), Milton (3)

Longswamp Township, Berks County





Maria Diehl (17)


Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County



Living in household of Jacob Schantz in 1860

Uncertain of identity

David (58) and Susanna (57) Gehman

Rebecca (18)

Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County


$15,000 / $2,000



Heinrich (61) and Elizabeth (61) Gehman

Susanma (28), Elizabeth (26)

Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County


$8,000 / $4,000

2 daughters marry in congregation


Susanna Gehman (28)


Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County



Daughter of Heinrich


William (34) and Anna (31) Gehman

Amanda (10), Menno (7), Sarah Ann (5), Henry (2)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$1,800 / $1,200

Jacob Musselman was Anna’s father. They live in the same household.


Thomas (21) and Elizabeth (23) Geho


Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County





Anna Gottschalk (21)


Hereford Township, Berks County





Caroline Gottschalk






Uncertain of identity

Rebecca Heil (30)

Jonathan [husband] (30)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


/ $200


Rebecca’s maiden name may have been Kepler

Eusebius Hershey






See Dan Zielger’s book for more details

William Hixon






Uncertain of identity

Abraham (19) and Anna Eliza Kauffman


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County




Abraham and Anna were single in 1860 but married by 1865.

Milton Kauffman (14)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Brother of Abraham


Samuel Kauffman (17)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Living with William Gehman family

Perhaps brother of Abraham and Milton

Sarah Kauffman (60)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Living in home of Catharine, mother of Abraham, Milton, Susanna

? Perhaps sister of Catherine

Susanna Kauffman (26)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Sister of Abraham and Milton


Clementine Kepler (16)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County




Living in home of Peter March

Jacob D. (37) and Catherine (35) Landis

Levi (11), Elizabeth (10), Daughter ?(8), Susan (6), Catharine (2)

Hereford Township, Berks County


$4,000 / $800



Amanda Moyer






Uncertain of identity

Abraham (26) and Catharine (21) Musselman


Hereford Township, Berks County


/ $1,000

Abraham was son of David and Sarah


David (53) and Sarah (48) Musselman

John (21)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$6,000 / $400



Jacob Musselman (56)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Anna Gehman’s father, same residence


Jonas (20) and Lucy (18) Musselman


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


/ $900

Jonas was son of David and Sarah, living in household


Joseph L. (23) and Elizabeth (26) Romig





Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Gehman, living with them in 1860.

They were married in October, 1860, by William Gehman.

Mary Schelly






Uncertain of identity - Two Mary Schellys appear, one related to Levi Schelly.

Catherine Anna Schoenly (22)

 Charles [husband]

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Catherine was the daughter of David Susanna Gehman


Joseph and ??? Schultz






Uncertain of identity

Anna Seibert (10)


Low Hill Township, Lehigh County




A guess - daughter of Solomon and Maria

Catharine Schoeffer (23)


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



Living in household of David and Sarah Musselman


Joseph Stauffer (54)

Susanna [wife] (55), Josiah (30), Zeriah (24), Abraham (21), Henry (13)

Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County


$1,800 / $500



Josiah M. Stauffer (30)


Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County



Son of Joseph


Manassas M. Stauffer (28)

Sarah Anna [wife] (31), Elizabeth (4), Elmira (2), John (1)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$400 / $200

? Son of Joseph


Elias (33) and Louisa (31) Trump

Franklin (13), Catharine (10)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$6,000 / $1,293


Elias went by the name Eli in census records

Franklin Trump (13)





Son of Elias


Christiana Wieand (49)






Uncertain identity - different woman than Christina

Christina Wieand (50)






Uncertain identity - 1880 census identifies her as the mother of Lewis Wieand

Joseph (43) and Elizabeth (44) Wieand

Sarah (20), Mary (13)

Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County


$5,500 / $450



Mary (13) Wieand


Upper Milford Township, Lehigh County



? Daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth


Levi Young (18)






See Levi’s diary for more information

Eliza ?????






Uncertain of identity



William Solomon Hottel was a gifted preacher and teacher. After serving in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, he left for a ministry in independent Baptist churches. He produced several books on theology and Bible study which can even today be located in used book stores and websites. He served in our church for just under 20 years and then left to take up other ministries. Were his abilities larger than our small denomination? Did his preaching and writing skills open an audience that called him beyond us?

The Hottel family is another of the families who are part of the story of the Bible Fellowship Church. Families played a large part in forming the lattice that made up our church in its early days. The Gehman, Musselman and Brunner families had many of their members among the members of our first churches. Their legacy continues today. Still other families were added to the larger family. The Kauffmans of Zionsville and the Moyers of Harleysville have physical DNA in the spiritual DNA which continues to shape our church. The same might be said of the Hottel family.

The Hottel family arrived in America approximately 1730. The first to come was Johann (Hodel) Hottel. He had four children by his first wife who died in Germany before he emigrated to America. He remarried in the new world. His second wife, Margaret, gave birth to another son whom they named Johann. They had come to Bucks County. One account suggests that they came to the Oley Valley but lost their farm to a repossession. The elder Johann set out with his family to pursue opportunities on the frontier in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The younger Johann remained in Bucks County.

This younger Johann married Maria Magdelena Musselman in 1748. Maria was the daughter of Jacob and Anna (Landis) Musselman and great aunt of Anna Musselman who married William Gehman. Johann and Maria gave birth to Michael and Samuel Hottel. Michael married Maria Hiestand in March, 1775. To Michael and Maria came a child they named Abraham, born in 1790. Abraham married Susanna Young and in turn gave birth to Solomon Young in 1821 and Abraham, Jr., in 1823.

The Hottel family which came to be part of the Bible Fellowship Church were the descendants of this Solomon Young Hottel. Solomon is buried in the cemetery at Coopersburg and was apparently part of that church and its ministry.

Solomon was born on August 28, 1821 and died November 27, 1893 at 73 years. In his earlier days, he lived in Springfield, Bucks County, and listed his occupation as that of carpenter. Later, he lived in Upper Saucon Township, Lehigh County, and identified himself as a farmer. The Gospel Banner recorded his obituary in the issue dated December 19, 1893:


Hottel – On the 27th of Nov. 1893, near Coopersburg Pa., Bro. Solomon Hottel of Cancer from which he suffered four years. He bore his severe suffering in great patience, and rejoiced in the midst of his suffering unto the end. His age was 72 years, 2 months and 23 days. He was buried in the Coopersburg Cemetery in the presence of a large concourse of friends. Funeral Services were conducted by Eld. J. E. Fidler at the house and Eld. W. Gehman at the church.

Solomon married Ann Fry in December, 1847 at the Tohickon Reformed Church in Bedminster Township, Bucks County. They gave birth to at least two children, Susanna in 1849 and Henry on August 1, 1852. Anna died at some point in the next few years because on December 26, 1859, Solomon married Mary Ann Musselman, a woman 21 years younger than he who linked him to the Musselman / Gehman clan. Mary Ann, cousin to Anna (Musselman) Gehman was also the great grand niece of Maria Magdelena Musselman who married the first Johann Hottel.

Little details are available about the life of Solomon Hottel. Levi Jung records in his diary that he was privileged to enjoy the hospitality of Solomon on at least two occasions in 1863. Solomon’s name is listed among those who filed for conscientious objection during the Civil War.

Solomon and Mary Ann were blessed with 4 children. The first, Catharine, died just prior to her second birthday in 1862. The second, Charles, died as a young man aged 19 in January, 1888. The third, Franklin Musselman Hottel (1882 - 1960), became a preacher in the Mennonite Brethren in Christ. F.M., as he was best known, married Ida Moyer and gave birth to children, some of whom are still living and members of this society. Their children were Verletta, Harvey, Clarence, Ruth, Winfred and Grace. The fourth, Harvey Musselman Hottel , became a lay leader in the same church and served as delegate to the Annual Conference. In our November, 2005, issue, Ruth Seifert reflected on how Harvey and his wife, Lizzie, adopted the Gehret children after the death of their father.

The son of Solomon’s first marriage to Ann Fry, Henry, married Mary Jane Weiss on November 2, 1875. They were blessed with eight children. The first, Amelia Catherine, died at age 9. The second child was William Solomon Hottel, born in 1878. The third child, another son, was Titus Hottel. Lenora, Charles, Katie, Alton, and Ida followed these older siblings.

Titus married a woman named Katie and for a time served as the farmer / manager of the farm in Center Valley maintained by the MBC and intended as a haven for widows and orphans. He left this work and became a Baptist preacher at the 12th Street Baptist Church in Allentown.

William appears first in the Annual Conference Records in 1900. The census data shows that on June 1,1900, William was living with his parents and gave his occupation as that of minister. In 1901, he was married to Mary A. High who was from Reading though not from an MBC church. He was ordained in 1903. His ministry began in 1901 with his assignment to the Nazareth / Plainfield circuit. About 1905, they adopted Mabel Yeager who grew up under their care.

W. S., as William became known, served the following churches: Plainfield / Nazareth (1901-1902), Quakertown Circuit (1903- 1904), Springtown Circuit (1905-6), Spring City / Royersford (1907-1909), Allentown (1910-1913), Bethlehem (1914-1919). His length of service at a church increased with each assignment. His ministry at Bethlehem was very successful and led to the building of a new building to accommodate those who came to sit under his preaching. His teaching and preaching were well received and were known to build the churches he served.

He began writing Sunday School lessons during his ministry in Allentown. He later wrote for the Union Gospel Press. His obituary indicates that he wrote lessons until 1959.

W. S. would serve as the general director of the American- European Fellowship and as executive secretary and home director for the Russian Missionary Society. He received a doctor of divinity degree from Bob Jones University. He was a charter member of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (IFCA). He was the author of a number of books. Amazon, the online bookstore, lists the following books by him : Apostolic Signs: Speaking with Tongues, Physical Healings, And Other Miracles (Harpers Annotated Bible Series); The Dispensations of the Ages (Ozark Sunlight Series); The Names of God in the Old Testament; and Through the Bible Book by Book (Truett Memorial Series).

The late Mildred Gehman Henry recorded her impressions of W. S. Hottel. She wrote:


W. S. Hottel was without doubt one of our forceful speakers and demanded attention without any demanding-- he was so full of the Word of the Lord and such an impassioned man of God, that he many times was the 2d speaker in the evening and then to follow with the altar call. He was a very dramatic man not in an ungodly sense, he had the capacity to present the Scripture in a manner that could not help but grip their hearts and souls, and what impassioned altar calls he gave to come to the loving arms of the Saviour and flee from the wrath to come-- it was presented so vividly that it compares in my mind to the invitations of Geo. Whitfield or Jonathan Edwards, folk were so under conviction they held onto the chairs for fear of falling into hell... The folk rusht down the [a]isles in Mizpah Grove to the altar, the while Mr. Hottel singing -- "My Lord, what a morning! when the stars begin to fall-- you'll cry for the rocks and the mountains-- Rocks and mountains will not hide you when the stars begin to fall" -- so many are in heaven thru his faithful ministry.

Hottel’s teaching and approach to the Scriptures were characteristic of Dispensationalism which was becoming popular in fundamental circles. During his period of ministry, the Scofield Reference Bible with its dispensational notes appeared and became the Bible of choice for many in the MBC.

W. S. Hottel died on May 15, 1965, in Pinckney, Michigan where he was living with his daughter Mabel.

The following article was written by W. S. Hottel for the Bethlehem Globe in 1915 during his ministry there. His insight and understanding shows throughout. The article shows that his thinking continues to describe the Bible Fellowship Church today.

What the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Stands For

[Written exclusively for the Times [Bethlehem Globe Times, 1915

by Pastor W. S. Hottel, of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church, Bethlehem, Pa.]

             The former pastor of the Bethlehem Church, the Rev. C. H. Brunner, has furnished the writer with the following extracts of history. The Mennonite Churches, originated with Menno Simon, who was born in Friesland in 1492, the year of the discovery of America, and died in 1559. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in 1515. When Sicke Freerkes was burned at the stake in 1531 for advocating adult baptism, he compared the writings of the Church Fathers with the Scriptures, and resigned his office as Priest in 1536 and became the head of a Church which soon spread far and wide. At present congregations of Mennonites are found in Germany, France, Switzerland and North America.

             During their terrible persecutions from 1635 to 1710 many thousands left Europe and, a William Penn offered them perfect religious liberty, many immigrated to America, founding their first settlement at Germantown, near Philadelphia in 1683.

             Upon the invitation of Catharine II, many German Mennonites emigrated to Russia, until in 1871 they numbered about 20,000, settled in very prosperous agricultural colonies. That year, June 4, Russia issued an edict bereaving them of exemption from military service, giving them ten years to arrange their affairs. Then many of them came to America and settled in Kansas and other Western States. There are now about 200,000 Mennonites in the United States and Canada, comprising about thirteen bodies.

             In 1856 Rev. William Gehman, who is still preaching and a number of others were ex-communicated from one of the older branches for holding public prayer meetings. They organized themselves into a congregation, calling themselves the Evangelical Mennonite and two year later built their first church near Zionsville, Pa. From here others church soon sprang up through eastern Pennsylvania, until in 1879 they united with the United Mennonites of the Western States and Canada, and changed the name to Evangelical United Mennonites. In 1883, this body united with the Brethren in Christ and adopted the present name.

             So then, it is at once discernible that the name “Mennonite” has been adopted and is held to merely for the sake of distinction and historical continuance. With the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, it is no barrier to prevent the incoming of new light from God, by way of advance knowledge, because of a deeper and clearer insight in to Divine revelation. The Mennonite Brethren are not a church bound down to the traditions handed down from their forefathers, others than those which are in full and strict accordance with the Scriptures. They always welcome new light from God, upon his word, gladly following and obeying it. Their apparent narrowness is not Godward but manward; they holding with a firm and tenacious grip of faith to the divine Authorship and Authenticity of the Scriptures. To them the Scriptures are the ground of faith, their creed, and also the rule of life. Whatever in word, principle and spirit the Scriptures enjoin, they hold it to be carried out and obeyed in every day life and practice. In short, they stand for the spiritual illumination of the mind, its transformation by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the truth, so that the principles of God’s word are inwrought into the mind, will and character of man, so that those who really and heartily accept the divine “form of doctrine” became living epistles “known and read of all men.”

             From this very fact the Mennonite Brethren in Christ stand for a complete separation from the world, its ways, habits, maxims, principles and customs. Whatever does not agree and harmonize with the principle of the doctrine of Christ and His apostles, is to be shunned, to be turned away from as being at once Christ dishonoring and harmful. “THE CHURCH” they maintain is not an organization but a living organism, formed by the Holy Spirit, and is as its original Greek name implies, ecclesia (ek - “out of,” kaleo- “to call”), an assembly of called out ones. Its present character is best described by a pilgrim life, its present sphere is heavenly, being not of this world (kosmos, order and arrangement), but being heavenly in birth, citizenship, calling and nature.

             The preaching of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ pre-eminently and absolutely centers in Christ. Christianity, they hold, is no religion, no creed and no certain dogma of belief, but a life, the life of Chris, received by receiving Christ. As a consequence of this, they maintain that all mere outward reformation, culture, religiousness and human goodness will utterly fail in bringing salvation. God’s supreme and only test for mankind during this age is their acceptance or rejection of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. The only principle upon which God does anything for man, during this entire period of time, is the principle of grace. This, because under every preceding test, in each preceding period of time and dispensation, man proved to be an utter and absolute failure in himself. So the, what God does for man, must be on the principle of unmerited favor. Salvation then, is all of grace, while future rewards are determined by present service and the believer position in the coming kingdom is determined by his faithfulness here.

             Again, the Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church stands for the super-natural in salvation. They maintain that the work of the Holy Spirit is to make experimentally real in the heart and life of the one who really accepts Christ, all that God in Christ has provided for man. The Spirit Himself indwelling the believer, brings the “earnest” and “first-fruits” of his future inheritance and possession. They therefore hold that salvation is not a mere matter of acold intellectual belief, a mere matter of hope so, but a blessed, present, conscious possession. The Holy Spirit they hold calls, qualifies and sends into the ministry of the Gospel, those whom the ascended Lord chooses as such. The ascended Christ bestows Spirit-gifted men, as a gift upon His body, the Church of Christ. There the Holy Spirit qualifies, uses and directs.

             In conclusion, the Mennonite Brethren in Christ hold to the Personal, Literal, Imminent, and Pre-Millennial second Coming of Christ. This hope is the vital energy to separation from the world, and , to personal purification and a holy and godly life. This hope gives impetus and zeal to missionary enterprise and evangelization. The Mennonite Brethren in Christ, like the primitive Church, are Pre-millennial in doctrine and evangelistic in practice. The early church was a witnessing church, an evangelistic church, and were also constantly looking for the return of the Lord. None of the early disciples and apostle believed in the conversion of the world during this period of time but held that the purposes of God in this period of time were selective and elective. Their efforts were Christ governed and directed, being to reach the uttermost parts of the earth witnessing for Christ, to the gathering out of a people for His name, from among all nations of the earth. This also is the underlying principle of the missionary enterprises of the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, which comprise a strong “Home” and “Foreign” missionary agency. Since the year 1891, when the Church first awoke to her responsibilities in the direction, the strides made in the forward direction are rapid and astonishing. From that date until the annual Conference, held in October 1914, the offerings of the Pennsylvania Conference alone, for the Foreign mission cause, amounted to $80,159.37. The Conference supports one missionary abroad to every one hundred members at home. The average contributions for Foreign Missions per member for 1914 was $4.08.

             The offerings for the Missionary cause of the Bethlehem congregation, during the year 1914, as reported at the last Annual Conference in October, amounted to $2348.29; including “Home” and “Foreign” missionary offerings. The inspiration and impetus to such noble self-sacrifice and aggressive missionary effort, can only be Divine, and speak of a real vital, living and practical Christianity. This inspiration and impetus are the hope of the second coming of Christ, with all its associated blessing and accompanying glories.

The following tract prepared by W. S. Hottel contains the teachings that were focused on eschatology (doctrine of last things) and were characteristic of his concerns.

The Kingdom of Heaven,

The Kingdom of God

and The Church

Pastor W. S. Hottel

             It is not an uncommon thing to hear men speak of the "Kingdom of Heaven," the "Kingdom of God" and the "Church" as though they were one and the same thing. Indeed, this is almost constantly affirmed in certain religious circles. And the moment anyone dares to suggest that such is not the case, instantly there is raised a note of exceeding surprise if not of absolute protest. In very many instances, if the matter is insisted upon, sneers and scoff's are the result. He will be told he evidently is one of those foolish dispensationalists, and will be scolded as being unsettled and visionary, and laughed at as being one of those dogmatic literalists. But never mind what particular attitude certain religious leaders may hold, we should earnestly seek to know what the Scriptures really teach upon any question, because what the Scriptures teach is the truth about any theme upon which they speak.

             Is there any difference between the "Kingdom of Heaven," the "Kingdom of God" and the "Church?" Yes, there certainly is. God means exactly what He says, and says exactly what He means. When He speaks about one thing, He does not mean another. These different terms are never used in Scripture in a purposeless manner, neither are they ever used interchangeably. Each one of these terms has its own peculiar meaning and gives expression to its own particular teaching. This fact will be disclosed by the careful examination of each one of these terms.

             The Greek word translated "Kingdom" is "basileia," pronounced "basilia." It occurs in the New Testament about 162 times. It always denotes sovereignty. The discerning student will discover that the New Testament speaks of various kingdoms. It speaks of "the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt. 3:2); "the Kingdom of God" (Mark 1:15); "the Kingdom of the Father" (Matt. 13:43); "the Kingdom of the Son of Man" (Matt. 16:28); "the Kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 1:13); "the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (II Peter 1:11); and "the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ" (Rev. 11:15). In each there is reference to a sovereignty, the only difference being in the CHARACTER and the LOCATION.

             The word translated "Church" in the New Testament is the Greek word "ekkleesia," pronounced "ecclesia." It is a compound word made up of "ek" out of; and "kaleo," to call. It means called out ones. The Church then, according to the meaning of that term is constituted an assembly of called out ones. Holding in mind the meaning of the terms "Kingdom" and "Church" we shall be able to distinguish between the "Kingdom of Heaven," the "Kingdom of God" and the "Church."

I. The Kingdom of Heaven

             The phrase "the Kingdom of Heaven" should read "the Kingdom of the Heavens." This is the literal rendering from the Greek. It is a Kingdom of or from the Heavens.

             The expression "the Kingdom of the Heavens" occurs only in Matthew, where it is found at least thirty-two times. It is characteristic of Matthew's Gospel, as being especially in harmony with the purpose of that Gospel.

             The special purpose of Matthew under God is to write about The King and the Kingdom foretold by the Old Testament Prophets whose prophecies about The King and the Kingdom were but an expansion of the covenant God had made with King David. In Matthew Christ is pictured as the Righteous King. We find this fact disclosed in the opening verse of this Gospel, which reads: "The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matt. 1:1).

             According to this passage, Matthew writes about Jesus Christ as the One connected with the Davidic Covenant of Kingship, and the Abrahamic Covenant of promise (II Sam. 7: 8-16; Gen. 15:18). And he follows the order indicated in this first verse of his Gospel, writing first about the King, the Seed of David; and after that the Son of Abraham, obedient unto death, after the type of Isaac the Son of promise (Gen. 22:1-18). This accounts for the fact that the phrase "the Kingdom of the Heavens" is found in the first part of Matthew's Gospel. When the rejection of Christ as King is clearly in evidence, the Cross begins to loom and the Kingdom is more or less in the background, so that this phrase is found only a very few times in the latter part of this Gospel.

             We observe that the term "Kingdom" is not used in Scripture without denoting its actuality only by virtue of the presence of a king. That is to say, there cannot be a kingdom without a king. A king is a necessity to a kingdom. There is, therefore, in Scripture no recognition of an actual kingdom without the presence of an actual king. If there is no king a country is not a kingdom. Wherever the "public" is sovereign, that country is a "republic." The fact that Christ is spoken of in Scripture and recognized as the King, manifestly presupposes that He must have a Kingdom, a place and sphere of rule. Matthew, therefore, in writing about Christ as the King introduces also "the Kingdom of the Heavens."

             It is called "the Kingdom of the Heavens" because it is to be set up by "the God of the heavens", as we learn from Daniel 2:44, where we read: "In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." In these words we find disclosed the origin of this Kingdom, the time when it shall be set up, the particular manner of its setting up, and its abiding continuity. Christ's sovereignty is not out of the present world-system, a development and transformation of it, but it comes from Heaven, because He came from thence. We have His own word for this, when He says, "My Kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36). The phrase "the Kingdom of the Heavens" means Messiah's Kingdom on earth, during which time there will be Heavenly sovereignty over the earth.

             This expression is found the first time in Matthew's Gospel, in chapter 3, verses 1 and 2. Here "the Kingdom of the Heavens" is announced as being "at hand," or more literally, "hath drawn nigh." This language was perfectly in order because He, the King, had come and was soon to present Himself to the nation of Israel. Because the nation rejected and crucified Christ the King, the manifestation of the earthly Kingdom is postponed, and is now in abeyance until the King shall be sent back from Heaven (Acts 3:20). In the meanwhile "the Kingdom of the Heavens" is in mystery form (Matt. 13).

II. The Kingdom of God.

             As we have previously inferred, Matthew alone uses the phrase "the Kingdom of the Heavens," because it is in harmony with the purpose of his Gospel. But he also uses the term "the Kingdom of God," however, only five times (Matt. 6:33; 12:28; 19:24; 21:31, 43).

             Mark, Luke and John do not use the phrase "the Kingdom of the Heavens" at all. They use only the term "the Kingdom of God." This is a rather interesting fact. And it is very significant as well.

             We need to remember that the four Gospel records each present a different picture of our Lord Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry. They all write of the same Person, but each presents a distinctive view and sets forth a special phase of His ministry. There is a harmony of the Gospels, and yet a diversity. If God had intended that there be but one Gospel record He would have given us but one. Instead He has given us FOUR distinct presentations of Christ.

             Each one of the Gospel writers was led of the Holy Spirit to write what was in line with the purpose of his record, and to omit what was out of harmony with the purpose of his record. So, likewise, each Gospel writer was led of the Holy Spirit to use certain terms and phrases that were in harmony with the particular presentation he was writing, and to omit the terms and phrases out of harmony with that presentation. It is very important that this fact be carefully observed and constantly remembered, because the enemies of the Bible constantly refer to these omissions and differences as being discrepancies and errors. They use them as arguments against the teaching of the Divine inspiration of the Scriptures, while, however, they are the rather a strong argument in its favor.

             While Matthew presents Jesus Christ as the Righteous King, Mark presents Him as the Servant-Son, the Faithful Servant of Jehovah. As Servant He is presented in His humble relationship and responsibility unto God. Cf. Philippians 2:6-8. Mark's presentation of Christ is that of the Servant of God. He, therefore, uses the phrase, "the Kingdom of God." The scope of it is larger. Luke presents Christ as the Son of Man and so as the Ideal Man. John presents Him as very God. In Luke and John the scope is the same as in Mark. Hence when they refer to the Kingdom at all, it is in the term "the Kingdom of God."

             The phrase, "the Kingdom of the Heavens," used by Matthew, is used in a special, limited, and exclusive and national sense; while the phrase, "the Kingdom of God," used by the other Gospel writers is an expression used in a more general, unlimited, inclusive and universal sense. The Kingdom of God is universal, including all moral intelligences willingly subject to the will of God, whether angels, the saints in the past ages, the Church of the present age, or the saints of future ages. It is spiritual and inorganic, and is entered by the new birth. The Kingdom of the Heavens is the earthly sphere of the Kingdom of God, and it is a literal and an organic Kingdom. The Kingdom of the Heavens will finally merge into the Kingdom of God (I Cor. 15:24-28). It is therefore also included in the Kingdom of God.

III. The Church.

             The Church is a called out assembly of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and is united with the crucified, risen, ascended and enthroned Christ in the Glory. She is therefore a Heavenly company of people, possessing Heavenly relationships. Heavenly blessings, Heavenly hopes and prospects, and looking forward to a Heavenly glory.

             The Church is composed of the whole number of regenerated persons from Pentecost to the first resurrection, united together and to Christ by the baptism in the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:12,13). She is the spiritual and mystical Body of Christ of which He is the Head (Eph. 1:22, 23). She is not an institution neither an organization, but a spiritual and a living organism.

As such, the Church is "one flesh" with Christ (Eph. 5:30,31), and espoused to Him as a chaste virgin to one husband (II Cor. 11:2-4).

             The Church is also an holy temple for an habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph. 2:21,22).

             We observe that the Church is never in Scripture spoken of as a Kingdom, neither is Christ ever recognized as the King of the Church. To speak of the Church as a Kingdom and of Christ as the King of the Church is unscriptural, because the Scriptures do not teach it. All such teaching has its foundation and source in the spiritualizing of the Scriptures.

             The Church has no relation with the Kingdom of the Heavens, save that, when the Kingdom will be manifest and set up in the earth, at the Return of Christ back to the earth, the Church will be with Him and will share His earthly reign and glory (Rev. 19:11; 20:5; II Tim. 2:11,12; Rev. 3:21; 5:9,10; 20: 4-6).

             The Church is related with the Kingdom of God in the sense that she is in it, but she is not the Kingdom of God. The names and appellatives of "the Church" are never used of the Kingdom (Eph. 1:23; 2:21; 4:4,16; 5:30; Col. 1:24; I Tim. 3:15). The word "basileia" "(basilia)" translated "kingdom," occurs many times over in the New Testament, but it never refers to the Church. The Kingdom denotes a sovereignty, a rule, while the Church is the Body of Christ, a living organism. The Church and the Kingdom have no relation whatsoever, the one with the other.

             It is therefore a great error to use the word CHURCH synonymously with the word KINGDOM. The meaning of these terms is as wide apart as the poles. The KINGDOM is not the CHURCH, and the CHURCH is not the KINGDOM.

             It is also erroneous to speak of "The advancement of the Kingdom," "The spread of the Kingdom," "The promulgation of the Kingdom," and "The extension of the Kingdom." A little sober reflection will reveal the unscripturalness of all such talk. As we have seen, the Kingdom of God, which is the Kingdom over all is in existence throughout all time, but it is spiritual and inorganic. It cannot possibly be advanced, spread, promulgated nor extended. The Kingdom of the Heavens, the earthly Kingdom of the Messiah, is not yet SET UP, but it is in mystery form since Christ the King was rejected and crucified and during the time of the outgathering of the Church. It will be SET UP at the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ back to this earth (Acts 3:20; 15:14-17). It not being SET UP as yet, cannot possibly be advanced, spread, promulgated nor extended. All such expressions are therefore unscriptural.

             In conclusion let me say that when God's people learn to give heed to Paul's admonition to Timothy in the words, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth" (II Tim. 2:15), the Bible becomes a new Book to them and their service for the Lord takes on a new beauty and brings an added joy.

Addendum - Descendants of Solomon Y. Hottel

Descendants of Solomon Young HOTTEL


First Generation

1. Solomon Young HOTTEL1 was born on 28 Aug 1821. He died on 27 Nov 1893.

Solomon Young HOTTEL and Anna FRY were married on 2 Dec 1847. Anna FRY was born in 1826. Solomon Young HOTTEL and Anna FRY had the following children:

              2            I.            Susana HOTTEL was born in 1849.

              +3          ii.           Henry F. HOTTEL, born on 1 Aug 1852; married Mary Ann S. WEISS, on 20 Nov 1875; died on 1 Nov 1938.

Solomon Young HOTTEL and Mary Ann MUSSELMAN were married on 26 Dec 1859. Mary Ann MUSSELMAN1 was born on 6 Jan 1842. She died on 12 May 1929. Solomon Young HOTTEL and Mary Ann MUSSELMAN had the following children:

              4            I.            Catharine HOTTEL1 was born on 28 Feb 1860. She died on 23 Feb 1862.

              5            ii.           Charles M HOTTEL1 was born on 16 Sep 1868. He died on 11 Jan 1888.

              +6          iii.           Franklin Musselman HOTTEL, born on 20 Aug 1882; married Ida Gertrude MOYER, on 2 Mar 1906; died on 23 Oct 1960.

              +7          iv.          Harvey M. HOTTEL, born in 1865; married Lizzie KREIDER, on 24 Dec 1887.

Second Generation

3. Henry F. HOTTEL (Solomon Young-1) was born on 1 Aug 1852. He died on 1 Nov 1938.

Henry F. HOTTEL and Mary Ann S. WEISS were married on 20 Nov 1875. Mary Ann S. WEISS was born in Apr 1858. Henry F. HOTTEL and Mary Ann S. WEISS had the following children:


              8            I.            Amelia Catherine HOTTEL was born on 18 Oct 1876. She died on 19 Oct 1885. She was buried in Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Cemetery.

              +9          ii.           William Solomon HOTTEL, born in Jan 1878; married Mary A. HIGH, in 1902; died on 15 May 1965, Pinckney, MI.

              +10        iii.           Titus W. HOTTEL, born in Jan 1881; married Katie.

              11          iv.          Lenora HOTTEL was born in Mar 1887.

              12          v.           Charles H. HOTTEL was born in Mar 1888.

              13          vi.          Katie HOTTEL was born in Jan 1892. She died in 1965.

              14          vii.         Alton H. HOTTEL was born in Jan 1894.

              15          viii.         Ida S. HOTTEL was born in Feb 1897.

6. Franklin Musselman HOTTEL1 (Solomon Young-1) was born on 20 Aug 1882. He died on 23 Oct 1960. He was buried in Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Cemetery.

Franklin Musselman HOTTEL and Ida Gertrude MOYER were married on 2 Mar 1906. Ida Gertrude MOYER1 was born on 3 Aug 1888. She died on 26 Aug 1981. She was buried in Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Cemetery. Franklin Musselman HOTTEL and Ida Gertrude MOYER had the following children:

              +16        I.            Verletta M HOTTEL, born on 19 Jan 1907; married Byron C. CASSEL, on 28 Nov 1929.

              +17        ii.           Harvey W HOTTEL, born on 6 Aug 1908; married Ethel M. GEHMAN, on 25 Dec 1930; died on 2 Sep 1999.

              +18        iii.           Clarence W HOTTEL, born on 6 Aug 1908; married Dorothy GILLESPIE, on 11 Nov 1938.

              +19        iv.          Ruth H HOTTEL, born on 19 Aug 1915; married Herbert P. CASSEL, on 24 Nov 1938.

              +20        v.           Winfred B HOTTEL, born on 8 Mar 1920; married Edna LEE, on 2 Sep 1946; died on 8 May 1972.

              +21        vi.          Grayce P HOTTEL, born on 8 Mar 1920; married Ralph W. REED.

7. Harvey M. HOTTEL1 (Solomon Young-1) was born in 1865.

Harvey M. HOTTEL and Lizzie KREIDER were married on 24 Dec 1887. Lizzie KREIDER1 was born in 1870.

Third Generation

9. William Solomon HOTTEL (Henry F.-2, Solomon Young-1) was born in Jan 1878. He died on 15 May 1965 in Pinckney, MI.

William Solomon HOTTEL and Mary A. HIGH were married in 1902. Mary A. HIGH was born. William Solomon HOTTEL and Mary A. HIGH had the following children:

              +22        I.            Mabel HOTTEL, married Samuel DELAPP.

10. Titus W. HOTTEL (Henry F.-2, Solomon Young-1) was born in Jan 1881.

Titus W. HOTTEL and Katie were married. Katie was born in 1890. Titus W. HOTTEL and Katie had the following children:

              +23        I.            Timothy L. HOTTEL, born in 1911; married Grace HELD, on 1 Jan 1932; died on 19 Oct 1999.

              24          ii.           Arthur HOTTEL was born in 1913.

16. Verletta M HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 19 Jan 1907.

Verletta M HOTTEL and Byron C. CASSEL were married on 28 Nov 1929. Byron C. CASSEL1 died on 4 Jan 1998.

17. Harvey W HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 6 Aug 1908. He died on 2 Sep 1999. He was buried in Coopersburg Bible Fellowship Cemetery.

Harvey W HOTTEL and Ethel M. GEHMAN were married on 25 Dec 1930. Ethel M. GEHMAN1 was born.

18. Clarence W HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 6 Aug 1908.

Clarence W HOTTEL and Dorothy GILLESPIE were married on 11 Nov 1938. Dorothy GILLESPIE1 died on 2 Feb 1982.

19. Ruth H HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 19 Aug 1915.

Ruth H HOTTEL and Herbert P. CASSEL were married on 24 Nov 1938. Herbert P. CASSEL1 died on 2 Oct 1988.

20. Winfred B HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 8 Mar 1920. He died on 8 May 1972. He was buried in Laureldale Cemetery, Reading, Pennsylvania.

Winfred B HOTTEL and Edna LEE were married on 2 Sep 1946. Edna LEE1 was born.

21. Grayce P HOTTEL1 (Franklin Musselman-2, Solomon Young-1) was born on 8 Mar 1920.

Grayce P HOTTEL and Ralph W. REED were married. Ralph W. REED1 was born.

Fourth Generation

22. Mabel HOTTEL (William Solomon-3, Henry F.-2, Solomon Young-1) was adopted in 1905.

Mabel HOTTEL and Samuel DELAPP were married. Samuel DELAPP was born.

23. Timothy L. HOTTEL (Titus W.-3, Henry F.-2, Solomon Young-1) was born in 1911. He died on 19 Oct 1999.

Timothy L. HOTTEL and Grace HELD were married on 1 Jan 1932. Grace HELD was born. Timothy L. HOTTEL and Grace HELD had the following children:

              25          I.            David T. HOTTEL was born.

I hope that will hold you until the spring. I welcome any stories or questions regarding any of the people in this issue.

Dick Taylor

723 South Providence Road

Wallingford PA 19086