The Life of John J. Cressman

The funeral of J. J. Cressman, the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church , which took place Saturday afternoon, was one of the largest that has taken place here for some time. The deceased minister was beloved by everyone - not only by members id his own congregation, but also those of other denominations, who knew him for what he was, a kindly christian man, always ready to help when help was needed.
The services at the pastors home were of the most simple character, consisting of prayer by the Rev. George Scheirer and a few words of comfort to the bereaved family by the Rev. M. J. Bieber, both of whom are sons of the congregation which the deceased has served for 37 years. The choir of the church, under the direction of prof. J. C. D. Koch, sang "Rock of Age."
Following the brief home services the cortege proceeded to the church, where the main services were held. The sacred edifice was crowded to the doors.

Proceeded by a delegation of some 20 or more clergymen, the funeral party entered the church, the corpse resting in front of the alter during the service. The interior and doorway of the church were draped with Crepe, as also was the chair on the rostrum which was used by the deceased minister. The church services were in charge of Revs. Bieber and Scheirer, assisted by Rev. E. H. Leinbach, reformed pastor, and Rev. D. P. Longsdorf, pastor of Grace United Evangelical Church . The Rev. Mr. Scheirer opened with a prayer and was followed by Rev. Mr. Leinbach, who delivered an appropriate address in German. The choir then sang the hymn "When I can Read My Title Clear," after which Rev. D. P. Longsdorf offered prayer.

The sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Bieber, who selected as his text the 26th verse of the fifth chapter of Job. "Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age." He paid a glowing tribute to the deceased, whom he said he loved more than anyone next to his parents, who had long since past to their eternal home. Preceding his sermon, Rev. Bieber recounted many incidents in the life of the departed pastor at the time of his coming to this place and during the early years of his ministry here. "The Nunc Dimittis," feeling rendered by the choir, closed the services, after which the congregation filed slowly past the remains to take the last look at their beloved pastor. The services at the grave were brief, consisting of the commitment by Rev. Mr. Bieber. The choir sang "Nearer, My God, to Thee." Interment was made in a stone vault on the family lot in Hope Cemetery.

Deceased, who was dressed in his ministerial robes, reposed in a black cloth-covered casket with antique bar handles, the lid bearing a plate engraved with name and age of deceased. The remains were covered with a handsome elderdown blanket, the gift of Dr. and Mrs. U. S. G. Bieber and family. The 12 members of the church council acted as pall bearers. They are: Dr. H. W. Saul, Samuel M. Smith, Edwin Kutz, George Schuler, Milton Wessner, Clinton Angstadt, Joel Trexler, Jeremiah Bennicoff, Charles Herbein, Harry Miller, William Wessner, and James Herman. The floral tributes were a large wreath of roses and magnolia leaves from the family; spray of carnations, catechetical class; wreath of carnations and galax leaves, members of the congregation; "Gates Ajar," church council; spray of carnations, the Sunday school, wreath of palms, Board of Trade; pillow, Mrs. Maria S. Rentchler; spray of carnations, carries and clerks of the Greenville, Mercer County post office. Deceased age was 72 years 11 months and 25 days. During his 37 years of ministry in Kutztown Rev. Cressman had officiated 844 funerals, 348 marriages, and 1531 baptisms. He had confirmed 693 members into the church, five of whom are now engaged in the ministry.

Among the visiting clergyman who attended the obsequies were: Rev. Dr. Brownmiller and Rev. I. W. Eary, Reading; Rev. F. K. Bernd, Rev. Dr. C. C. Boyer, Rev. George S. Kressly, Rev. George B. Smith, Rev. E. H. Leinbach, Rev. D. P. Longsdorf, Rev. R. B. Lynch, Rev. Dr. W. W. Deatrich, Kutztown; Rev. M. J. Bieber, Toronto, Can.; Rev. George Scheirer, Millersville; Rev. A. M. Weber, Boyertown; Rev. George Scheirer, Millersville; Rev. A. M. Weber, Boyertown; Rev. C. E. Kistler, Reading; Rev. J. O. Henry, Rev. William H. Kline. Topton; Rev. Wm. F. Bond, Shamrock; Rev. H. J. Deisher, Jonestown; Rev. Mr. Long and Rev. J. H. Miller, Harrisburg; Rev. J. H. Raker, Rev. C. K. Fegley and Rev. J. H. Ritter, Allentown.
Undertaker J. H. Stump, of Kutztown, had charge of the arrangements.

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