The Life of George F. Spieker

Distinguished Lutheran Minister was Borne to His Last Resting Place With Loving Care

Rev. George F. Spieker, D.D.,LL. D., after spending 68 years in this world, most of them in the service of the Lord and for the betterment of his fellow men, was called to his last resting place on Sunday night at 11:30 o’clock at the home of his son-in-law, Rev. Grover Reese, at Chestnut Hill.
Dr. Spieker is known best in this section as pastor of Trinity Lutheran church, and during his stay here of seven years he organized Trinity church and became a close friend and pastor of everyone. The death of this important man in the Lutheran church is deeply felt in mor than one way . He will be missed in the seminary where he was a father to the students. His presence and experience as an educator will be felt among the trustees of Muhlenberg College. In fact the whole Lutheran church has lost one of its pioneer and earnest workers.

Rev. Spieker had been in failing health the past two years, but was able to attend to his duties. For 12-weeks he had been in bad condition, but only since last Friday he was confined to his bed. His health gave way at the close of the Seminary term in spring and he did not fully recover from the strain. However after spending six weeks at the ocean, he was again able to walk about. His illness was a combination of discases, including oedema of the lungs.

Sketch of Dr. Spieker

Dr. Spieker was born in Elk Ridge Landing, Howard county, Maryland, November 17,1844, the son of Herman H. and Margaret E. Spieker. He was educated in the Baltimore public schools and graduated from Baltimore City College with Honors. He entered the Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in the fall of 1863. When in 1864 Rev. Dr. C. F. Schaeffer was called to the newly established Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Mr Spieker filled the professorship in the Pennsylvania College for two years, the first year by appointment of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania and the second by the board of directors of the College. He then entered the Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1867, and was ordained shortly there graduation. Immediately after his ordination he became pastor of the Lutheran church at Kutztown and served also as professor of the German language and literature in the Keystone State Normal School. This latter position he held for one year and then resigned to devote his entire time to the pastorate.
Dr. Spieker became a gospel friend of everyone in a short time and built the present Trinity church. He was a congenial and pleasant man and loved Kutztown. He would relate incidents about Kutztown during his last years and his memory was very keen concerning his days here. He could trace back the histories of many people in Kutztown. He married and confirmed many of the middle-aged people now living in Kutztown. The Dr. always spoke of Kutztown as his home. In 1869 he married Hannah Hoch, of Maxatawny.

After spending seven prosperous years in Kutztown, he was called in 1883, to Allentown to be the guiding father of St. Michael’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the largest German-English congregation in that City. He gained wide recognition as a pastor and minister in Allentown. During his pastorate in Allentown he introduced Hebrew into the curriculum at Muhlenberg College. He served faithfully in Allentown until 1897, when he was elected professor of church history in the Mt. Airy Theological Seminary. He held this position until the time of his death.
Dr. Spieker held several positions of honor in the ministerium and colleges. He was president of the board at Muhlenberg and until his death a member of the board and chairman of the committee of degrees. He was also examineeer of doctrinal theology of t he Ministerium of Pennsylvania. In 1887 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Roanoke College, Salem, Va.

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