Pastors of the Silver Run Parish

Rev. John George Bager

According to the records of the congregation the first named pastor was Rev. John George Bager. The name Bager in subsequent years was changed to Bauger.

Rev. Bager was born in Nilderlinweiler in Nassua-saarbaucken, Germany, March 19, 1725. Studied at Halle. He was ordained and installed at Simmern, December 1749; sailed from Helvastoburgs where he buried his son, Carl Theodore. In 1752 he came to America from Rotterdam on the ship Bawley and landed October 23 in Philadelphia.

At first he moved into Lebanon County, PA, but later to Conewago, where he entered office March 10, 1753, and remained without interruption until May 1, 1763. Shortly after he was stationed at Yortown. There he cherished an old love for his congregation in Conewago, where his farm was.

He became suspicious against the catechist continually growing, because of his non-ordiantion. pastor Bager, therefore, took those congregations into his charge as filials of Yorktown, until he finally moved with his family from Yorktown to his home, and from there served his Yorktown congregation as a filial and so there remained to the catechist several small congregations in the neighborhood, until gradually five forsaken congregations farther up toward the bordersof Pennsylvania, and in Maryland, asked for his services.

These congregations he had, for a time, already served from his residence. The said congregations, viz: a, Codorus; b, Pipe Creek (now St. Mary's Lutheran Church, Silver Run;) c, Thomas Creek; d, Sharpsburg, and e, Conecocheague, had therefore applied to the President by petitions signed by their names requesting that their preacher be received into the union.

For many years he visited the scattered Lutherans, as a traveling preacher, from Baltimore, where he also preached once every six weeks regularly for a number of years up to Grindstone Hill, Franklin County, PA.

He died June 9, 1791. His wife preceded him December 7, 1790. They rest side by side in the old Winebrenner Grave Yard, near Hanover PA.