A new name appears on the missionary calendar in 1822 and from that year some of the strongest Lutheran churches of western Pennsylvania date the beginning of their prosperity.

It is the name Gabriel Adam Reichert.

He was a thorough German, devoted to the highest interest of his people, and a tireless worker, whose field of labor at times rivaled that of Bishop Steck.

In his missionary zeal he sought out the scattered Germans in their homes, and organized them into congregations, which he aimed to supply with regular means of grace as often as possible.

His methods of work were those of skilled catechist, who frequently organized congregations out of his first catechetical class, and continuted to build them up in their spiritual life by the soundest of doctrinal sermons.

Five of his private diaries, preserved in the library of Historical Society in the Gettysburg Seminary, show that he spent a large part of his time in the saddle, traveling from settlement to settlement in the hope of winning hearts of the people for Christ and Church.

He labored for three months as a traveling missionary of the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, and then became a regular pastor of Indiana Parish.

One of the largest catechetical classes was gathered in Brush Valley Church 1822.

It must have been a happy day for the young missionary when this class of fourty-four members were confirmed, January 11, 1823, and made the nucleus of a strong pioneer church.

One of the members of this class, Miss Lydia Tyson, became his bride on the 16th day of September, 1823, and their wedding trip was a horseback ride of fourty-one miles though the woods to Rimersburgh, where they were married by Pastor Henry Koch of the Reformed Church.

In 1827 he removed to Kittanning, and made his new home the center of an even larger field of operations.

His best work was done in Indiana, Clarion, and Armstrong Counties, where his name is precious.

Although Pastor Reichert completed a second pastorate in Kittanning, 1855-1877, he never united with the Pittsburgh Synod.

Transcribed by:

Patricia Doverspike Lamb

April 21 2002

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