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Board members named at Old Immanuel service

By Staff | Jun 20, 2014

The Church board at Old Immanuel stand behind a headstone Marilee Sholtis recently placed honoring her ancestor George Gordner, a patriot murdered during the 'big runaway.' Members include (left to right): Jeff Harvey, Ann Hess, Marilee Sholtis, Cheryl Frantz, (rear): Carl Wentzler, JR Heddings, Herbert Hoover and Raymond Hoover. Absent from photo were Marshal Frye and William Corson.

MUNCY – A large crowd attended the June 8 service at Old Immanuel Lutheran Church along Lime Bluff Road. Established in 1791, the current building celebrates its 145th year.

In word and deed, respects were paid to past board member and treasurer, the late John Bruch (1923-2013). The church bell tolled prior to the Rev. Cinda Brucker saying, “Now he’s with those baptized brothers and sisters from all time.”

Family members in attendance included wife Sallie Bruch of Muncy, John Bruch and John Bruch III, both of Baltimore, Maryland.

In recent events, Ann Hess and Marilee Sholtis were added to the church board. Both have immersed themselves in history and claim ancestors interred in the Old Immanuel Cemetery.

Hess said, “I am humbled and honored to claim Godfrey Fiester as my Revolutionary War soldier and patriot. Fiester enlisted April 20, 1776 and served in the Pennsylvania Rifle Regiment, Second Battalion. Fiester was a driving force in organizing the church. His plantation was located nearby in the area behind the present day Medowbrook Trailer Park.

CAROL SHETLER/The Luminary A tribute to the late John L. Bruch Jr. was part of the service at Old Immanuel. Family attending and pictured with the Rev. Cinda Brucher include Sallie Bruch of Muncy and (left) John Bruch III and John Bruch, both of Baltimore, Maryland.

Hess is a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Hughesville, where she serves on council and various committees. She is a member of the Lycoming Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Daughters of American Colonists (DAC); and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She is also a member of the board at the East Lycoming Historical Society, and recently became a board member of the Willamsport Community Concert Association.

Sholtis is Regent of the Lycoming Chapter DAR, a member of the Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and American Mensa, Ltd. She is also a member of the East Lycoming and Muncy Historical Societies.

Sholtis was able to see a dream become a reality. “For years I’ve dreamed of having a stone for George Gordner, my grandfather back six generations. He was a pioneer and a patriot who came here in 1773, purchased more than 300 acres of land, began farming and was raising a family. During the time of the ‘big runaway,’ he was shot, killed and mutilated so badly by Indians, it was thought best to bury him immediately and not let his family see him.”

Sholtis added that, “It took a long time to get my research accepted by DAR and then more to get the church board to allow a marker placed in the cemetery were it can be seen anytime.” Her ancestry line continued through Daniel Gordner and daughter Catherine Gordner Hartman, both buried at Gordner’s Cemetery near Unityville.

The next service at the church will be the annual Hymn Sing to be held Sunday afternoon September 14, 2014.