Tradition tells us that St. John(Barners)
Church & School were built on land
owned and donated by Adam Barner,
hence the name, "Barners Church".
Called Dupes Church at one time, the
building is dated from 1786 with the
congregation organized even earlier.
However, its earliest minister was
named Rev. George Geistweit,
1794-1804. Rev. Isaac Gerhart,
1815-1819 is credited with the
organization of the church. The
present building, built in 1872 was
financed by Mennonite, Lutheran, and
Reformed people of the community for
a sum of $3500 and was dedicated a
year later on January 22, 1873 by
Charles F. Hoffmeyer and Rev. W.
Deitrich of Newport, PA. Rev.
Hoffmeyer was its first pastor in 1870.
Prior to 1872 worship services were
held in a school house that stood
where the Adam Barner Memorial now
stands at the edge of Barner's
Cemetary. In 1898, the church was
painted, tin roof installed and the
church was rededicated. In July of
1900, an organ was purchased for $75.
In April 24, 1927, when the
congregation, formerly associated with
the Reformed Church, joined with the
Lutheran Synod in that district and
became St.John's Evangelical Lutheran
Congregation of Barner's Mennonite,
Lutheran and Reformed Church. Rev.
G.D. Strail pastored the congregation
of about 125 people. Up to this point,
there were no regular services held
until it became Lutheran in 1927, as
pastors frequently had as many as six
churches in a large area to attend. In
the evolution of this small congregation
organized over 200 years ago, Barner's
Church has progressed from a small
country meeting house to Reformed
Congregation, to Lutheran and now
part of the National Evangelical
Lutheran Church of America. Its small
congregation has stood the test of time,
a fact the organizers of some 200 years
ago would be proud of.
1951 was the first boil, done as a
fundraiser for the church to buy the
old one-room schoolhouse that was
adjacent to the church. The first boil
was done in September, but it was
discovered that not many apples
were ready to harvest in September
and apples were hard to get. In all
future years the boil was moved to
the second Saturday in October when
apple are at their best. The first year
there were 3 kettles boiled and 50
people were served the traditional
Dutch dinner of Bott-Boi(pot pie) with
all the trimmings.
In 1953, 5 kettles were boiled also
outside the kitchen area, but in 1954
when 10 kettles were boiled, it was
done down in the grove area.
Throug the years, the number of
kettles that were boiled grew to 32
with 16 boiled on each of the first two
Saturdays in October. We now boil
only 20-24 kettles, because of the
many other organizations making
At first cider was made in Meiserville.
It used to be hauled in barrels on
farm wagons. We now get our apples
from local orchards.
Pot-pie used to be rolled by the
women in the early years, then the
men rolled in later years. Today,
home-style pot pie is used.
Since 1963, the Apple Butter Boil has
been used for charitable purposes.
In 1999, we got a room-size tent for
the craft table so we didn't have to
worry about where to move it if it
We had entertainment for a number
of years, but stopped when we found
the people seemed more interested
in watching the apple butter boiling
and taking advantage of the food
stands and dinners.
Between 1952 to the present a great
deal of thought and time has been
devoted to the existence of the Apple
Butter Boil. Its estimated that it takes
about 200 people to make this a
People from many different states
have come to our Apple Butter Boil
and we truly appreciate everyone of
The Boil has given Barner's Church
members a unique opportunity to
experience God's love and his
generosity by working with our friends
and neighbors toward a common goal.
St. John (Barners) Lutheran Church
APPLE BUTTER 2009
APPLE BUTTER BOIL
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS
HORSE AND CARRIAGE RIDES!
THEY CAME IN LARGE NUMBERS
AND FROM MANY STATES.
THE GROVE LUNCH
STAND WAS A FAVORITE.
DRINKS AND TAKE OUT MEALS
PREPARING FOR THE BIG DAY!
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