Pastor Beck was born 8 Dec 1712 in Durlach, Karlsruhe, Baden. Beck's father is Johann Christian Beck and his mother is Dorothea Ursula. His father was preceptor at the grammar school and cantor. A cantor is the choir leader. A preceptor is the the headmaster or principal of a school or a teacher.
During pfarrer Beck's tenure - Graben counted 78 households in 1742, Protestant, except for about 42 souls Roman Catholic. Number of school children: 80.
Pastor Beck married Margaretha Barbara Geibel 27 August 1743 . Her father's name is Gabriel Geibel . He is referred to as a "princely hunter" in Graben in his daughter's marriage record. Gabriel's father is Johan Beck and mother Clementia
"He (Pastor Beck) laid his foundations in Karlsruhe, where he also belonged to lectiones publicas until ad annum 1732, when he went to Hall in Saxony and on to Jena." (from deleted internet entry) He died 4 November 1769. See FH film 1189602. Pfarrer Beck died in Wolfenweiler, Bickensohl, Baden, Germany. Bickensohl is an hour and a half south of Graben.
"In Graben complaints are made that Kaspar Dieffenbacher is still in an old cellar of the burned down castle with one of his children, but that his wife and the other children are with his father-in-law. Even thought Dieffenbacher lived like a pagan, in that he had threatened his wife with murder, but the mayor with fire, so that no one dared to tell him anything anymore.
"The church in Graben was rebuilt in 1706 after it had been cremated by the French (1689); There are some gravestones in it in 1742, which were placed for the Evangelical Lutheran officers who died in the neighboring Philippsburg. There are three bells, one of 11 quintals, one of 5 quintals, and one of 80 pounds. In the middle are the names of the bailiff Kemling and the pastor Obermüller and other people. The smallest is only rung in times of war, when the others have fled."
"In Graben there were again differences between the mayor and pastor in 1743; The latter complains that the mayor, contrary to the princely ordinance, accepted a Catholic widow's wife into the community, that he had his son lead hay on a monthly day of penance and prayer, and that he read the community accounts on the Trinity Festival at the town hall, whereby Quarrel arose. Mayor Christoph Kemp, on the other hand, put the following on record: “On the last day of Easter, the pastor's brother, the chancellor, was with the pastor, as was a Catholic soldier from Philippsburg. Since everyone thinks that the pastor will hold the service in the afternoon, one has only the schoolmaster from the parsonage - his name is Konr. Gottl. Keplinger - and to everyone's astonishment to see going to church with heavily powdered hair, in which he then read a chapter in front of the altar, but in such a way that everyone could well notice how too much was awarded to him with wine. "The stag host Jakob Holtz in Graben has a wine buying process with the clerk, the pastor's brother."
In Graben there were again differences between the mayor and pastor in 1743; The latter complains that the mayor, contrary to the princely ordinance, accepted a Catholic widow's wife into the community, that he had his son lead hay on a monthly day of penance and prayer, and that he read the community accounts on the Trinity Festival at the town hall, whereby Quarrel arose. Mayor Christoph Kemp, on the other hand, put the following on record: “On the last day of Easter, the pastor's brother, the chancellor, was with the pastor, as was a Catholic soldier from Philippsburg. Since everyone thinks that the pastor will hold the service in the afternoon, one has only the schoolmaster from the parsonage - his name is Konr. Gottl. Keplinger - and to everyone's astonishment to see going to church with heavily powdered hair, in which he then read a chapter in front of the altar, but in such a way that everyone could well notice how too much was awarded to him with wine. "The stag host Jakob Holtz in Graben has a wine buying process with the clerk, the pastor's brother.
In in Graben 1748 the answer to the question whether another village belongs to it is given :
[ 188 ] “A quarter of an hour from here is a place called Neudorff, which 200 years ago, according to the local warehouse register, was all parish here; but after the gracious government left the country, the bishop of Speyer built a chapel there and assigned the community to the consecrated priest in Wiesental. " Source: Local historical information from the area around Karlsruhe from the first half of the 18th century
Francs Christoph Henrich Beck - Timeline
1. Born in Durlach, Baden 8 Dec 1712 to Johann Christian Beck/Dorothea Ursula
2. Belonged to lectiones publicas in Karlsruhe until ad annum 1732
3. Graben Pfarrer from 21 Dec 1736-1757
4 Marriage to Margaretha Barbara Geibel, 27 August 1743
5. Margaretha Magdalena Beck born 31 May1744, in Graben, marriage to Georg Michael Meÿer?, died 24 April 1790 Beerdigungsbuch
6. Johann Georg Beck born 15 Aug 1754 in Graben
7. Johann Georg Beck death 21 July 1761, age 6, in Wolfenweiler
8. Pfarrer in Mengen, Bickensohl, Baden at least 1761 until death
9. Died in Wolfenweiler, Bickensohl, Baden, 4 Nov 1769
Documents related to Francs Christoph Henrich Beck:
This one is a bit difficult to read, but with your help....
here is the transcription:
am 8 Franz Christoph Heinrich
Herr? Joh. Christian Beck, Cantor & _ Gymnas. C--?
Frau Dorothea Ursula
Herr Joh. Heinrich __pfer?, Buchhalter
Herr Franz Küfer, Goldarbeiter, sambt
Ehefrau Maria Salome,
Herr Georg? Christoph Elffi?, Perüquemacher
and the translation:
on the 8th [Dec 1712] Franz Christoph Heinrich
[father] Mr Joh[ann] Christian Beck, cantor and grammar school ___?
[mother] Frau Dorothea Ursula
Mr Joh[ann] Heinrich __pfer?, accountant
Mr Franz Küfer, gold worker (gold smith?) with wife Maria Salome,
Mr Georg? Christoph Elffi, wigmaker
|Pastor Beck's first entry 14 Sept 1736, note lines under entries film 004137289 page 373|
here is the transcription:
1743 d: 27. August wurde Joh. Franz Christoph Heinr. Beck allhiesiger Pfr und Seelsorger der mir ordentl. anvertrauten Gemeinde Graben, von seiner Hochwürden S. _?, Hfrr KirchenRath u. Special? Bür_? nach gehaltener Canzel Rede copuliert mit Jungfer Margaretha Barbara, Hfrr Gabriel Geibels, allhiesig hochfürstl. Jägers ehel: erzeugten ledigen Jfr Tochter
and the translation:
27 August 1743 were married by His Reverence "Hfrr Kirchenrath" and Special? Bürg_? after delivered pulpit sermon, Johann Franz Christoph Heinrich Beck, local Pastor and spiritual caregiver of the parish Graben entrusted to me, with maiden Margaretha Barbara, legitimately conceived single Miss daughter of the local princely hunter "Hfrr" Gabriel Geibel.
My comments: I would just like to add that I found the name of the clergyman who married Pastor Beck and his wife Margaretha Geibel: it is Philipp Jakob Bürcklin (1692-1760)
Thode says Gymnasium means classical secondary school (for preparation for univerisity grades 5-13.
Both Kirchenräte Jakob Bürcklin and Pastor Beck lived in Durlach. They were 20 years apart in age.
Philipp Jakob Bürcklin
Theologian, church councilor, pastor, superintendent
Born: June 28, 1692, Strasbourg
Philipp had a daughter: Katharina Magdalena BÜRCKLIN
Ulrich Neitzel: Here again, we have the word before Kirchenrath (and before the bride's father's name) which looks like "Hfrr". It seems not to be "Herr" but it is obviously some sort of diginifying title, maybe an abbreviation like "Jfr" for "Jungfrau" = Miss. I can't fully decipher the words after Kirchenrath, possibly a name? Maybe another community member can help.
Kent Gardiner's reaction to this document:
Here we go again. Someone "higher up in the clergy is presiding at the wedding, probably because pastor Beck is making an important decision. The clergy support eachother. It is good to know the family name of the bride is Geibel and not Geibelin. If Geogen is correct it is a fairly rare name and about 188 people in the Baden-Württemberg area have that name. Amazing!!!! Now we have Margaretha Barbara's father's name and profession and where the family lives!
|Margaretha Magdalena Beck born 31 May1744 film xv page 457|
1744 31 Maji wurde mir Fr: Chr: Hein: Beck pro temp. allhiesigem Pfrr ex mea uxore Margar: Barbara, morgens nach 8 Uhr ein Töchterl: zur Welt gebohren, so den dritten Tag darauf von seiner __ Ehrwürden H: Pfrr Rollern zu Spöck __ getauft u: Margar: Magdal. genanndt worden. Gevattern sind S.T. H: Kirchenrath u. Special Bürcklin, und ___ Margar: Magdal: v. Löwencranzin, verwittibte Hauptmännin, hfrr Verwalther? Speck von Cruh?, und Friedr: Wilhelm Raichers allhiesiger Baader cum uxore.
On 31 May 1744 in the morning at 8 o'clock a little daughter was born to me, Franz Christian Heinrich Beck, currently pastor here, from my wife Margaretha Barbara; so three days later baptized by His __ Venerable Pastor Roller from Spöck and named Margaretha Magdalena.
Note: The first name of her father is Franz (sometimes Frantz), but not Francs.
Ulrich: In this case Roller is a family name, obviously a colleague of Pastor Beck from the neighbouring Spöck. The name is not too common, but mainly concentrated in the Southwest of Germany, see https://nvk.genealogy.net/map/1890:roller (I prefer this tool because it shows the distribution at the end of the 19th century, before the big migrations set in).
Ulrich Neitzel: You ask about my motivation for doing this work. Well, Iike it and I have the time. As a retired scientist I still like researching, learning and solving puzzles. Genealogy combines all of it and I can help other people - what do I want more?
|Beck 1749 sponsor film 102078348 page 382|
On the 11th of December 1749, a little son of Christoph Zimmermann, citizen and farmer, from his wife Margaretha Magdalena, née Roeschin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Jo[hann] Philipp.
Baptismal sponsors were myself F. Chr. H. Beck, pastor of this place, with my wife Margaretha Barbara, and Christoph "Blejer" [Bleier] citizen and miller, with his wife.
Left margin: died 11 March 1839.
|Beck son 20 Sep 1750 film 102078348 page 382|
d. 20 7ber 1750 wurde mir F.C.H. Beck allhiesigem Pfarrer ex mea uxore Margaretha Barbara in der Sonntag=Nacht zwischen 11 und 12 Uhr Domin: XVII p. Trinit. ein Söhnlein zur Welt gebohren, darauf folgenden Donnerstag von S.T. H. Pfr, Eisenlohr zu Spoeck allhi in der Kirche Mittags um 12 Uhr getauft, und Christoph Heinrich genannt. Compatres S.T. Hfrr G__ Verwalter? in Carlsruhe Specht. S.T. Hfrr Stoll Verweser Wenckeback. Hfrr S.T. Secretarius Wadel cum uxore. Hfrr August Koerber hfürstl. Jäger in Friedrichsthal nata _ ___?. Hfrr Jacob Ludw. Ha__ Hirschwirth? u. Rathsverwandter, und F. W. Raicher Baader u. p.T. Bürgermeister.
On 20 September 1750, sunday night (17th sunday after trinity sunday) between 11 and 12 p.m. a little son was born to me the local pastor F.C.H. Beck by my wife Margaretha Barbara, and was baptized the following Thursday at 12 noon here in the church by pastor Eisenlohr from Spoeck and called Christoph Heinrich. Baptismal sponsors were Mr. Specht, __administrator? in Karlsruhe. Mr. Wenckeback,__administrator?. Mr. Wadel, secretary, with wife. Mr. August Koerber, lordly hunter in Friedrichsthal __ __?. Mr. Jacob Ludwig Ha__, innkeeper at the sign of the stag and council member. and F. W. Raicher, barber and currently mayor.
Comment: S.T. = sine titulo (without title) is in fact a title for people who are so venerable that it is impossible to list all the titles...
|Beck, Pastor 1751 film 102078348 page 386|
On the 1st of December 1751, a little daughter of Christoph Zimmermann, citizen and farmer, from Margretha Magdalena, née Roeschin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Maria Elisabetha.
Baptismal sponsors are myself F. Chr. H. Beck, for the time being pastor at this place, with my wife. Christoph "Blejer" [Bleier], citizen and miller, with his wife Maria Elisab[etha].
|Beck Pastor 2nd entry 1754 fim 102078348 page 393|
[On the] 8th of August 1754, a little son of Mr.? Friedr[ich] Wilhelm Raicher, juryman and "Baader", from his wife Margretha Barbara, née Waidmännin, was born to the world, so thereafter was baptized and was named Johann Christoph.
Baptismal sponsors are myself Franz Chr. Heinr[ich] Beck, pastor of this place, with my wife Margretha Barbara, and Jaccob [sic] Friedr[ich] Negelin, citizen, innkeeper of the Crown Tavern, and butcher, with his wife Maria Jacobina.
Right margin: + [died].
Ulrich Neitzel:A very interesting record!
den 15. August 1754 wurde mir Franz Christ: Heinr: Beck heic loci pastori, ex uxore Margaretha Barb: nata Geiblin ein Söhnl: Abends hora 8 Uhr zur Welt gebohren, so den darauf folgenden Montag von Er Hochw: Hfrr Doct: und KirchenRath Joh: Friedr Steinen getauft und Johann Georg genannt worden. Compatres Hfrr D. KirchenRath Stein cum uxore Frau Susanna Maria Elis: Hfrr M: Johann Georg Julius Noerdlinger Würtembergischer Pfarrer in Kufsheim, cum uxore Frau Regina Barbara. Hfrr Johan Nicolaus Specht hochfürstl. Geistlicher Verwalter in Carlsruhe cum uxore Frau Eva Rosina. A: Hfrrn Jo. Samuel Lauers Fr?Kaufmann in Carlsruhe. Frau ____ Rosina Margaretha. G: Jo: Heinrich Elias Heinemann ___ Apotheker in Philippsburg. Friedr: Wilhelm Raicher Gerichtsverwandter u. Baader allhier; und Cathar: Holtzin weyl. Jac: Ludw: Holtzen gewesenen Rathsverwandten? u. __wirths vidua.
in the margin : Beck + Sohn des Pfarrers Beck
On 15 August 1754 in the evening at 8 o'clock a little son was born to me Franz Christoph Heinrich Beck, pastor at this place, from my wife Margaretha Barbara nèe Geibel. So the following Monday thereafter was baptized by His Reverend Herr Doct[or] and church councilor Johann Friedrich Stein and was named Johann Georg. Baptismal sponsors: Herr D[octor] church councilor Stein with wife Mrs. Susanna Maria Elisabeth. Herr M[agister] Johann Georg Julius Noerdlinger, Württembergian pastor in Kufsheim with wife Mrs. Regina Barbara. Herr Johan Nicolaus Specht, princely spiritual administrator in Carlsruhe with wife Eva Rosina. The wife of the merchant Herr Jo[han] Samuel Lauer in Carlsruhe, Mrs. Rosina Margaretha. A: Herr Jo[hann] Heinrich Elias Heinemann, ___ pharmacist in Philippsburg. Friedr[ich] Wilhelm Raicher, juryman and barber here; and Cathar[ina] Holtz, widow of the late Jac[ob] Ludw[ig] Holtz, councilman and innkeeper.
in the margin: Beck [and from a later hand:] + (died) son of the Pastor Beck
Remarks: This is quite a collection of dignitaries! I "translated" Hfrr as Herr; and KichenRath as church councilor. Note that also their wifes have the title Frau = Mrs., in contrast to 'normal' entries where only their name is given. Note also that in this entry the baptismal sponsors are called in Latin Compatres instead of the usual Gevattern.
Charlotte Noelle Champenois' Additions:
Just a couple of additions to Ulrich's wonderful translation:
1. I believe it says Johann Georg Julius Noerdlinger is a Württembergian pastor in Lussheim [likely meaning Lausheim]--compare with Lauers further down in the entry.
2. One of the godparents is listed as "Frau Ehelibstin Rosina Margaretha"--"eheli[e]bst[e]" means "beloved."
3. And Catharina Holtz is the widow of the late Jacob Ludwig Holtz, who was a councilman and Hirschwirth (innkeeper/proprietor of the Stag Inn).
Johann Friedrich Stein (1705-1770) was a prominent theologian in Baden. In the internet I found a reference to a book in German (Geschichte der Evangelischen Kirche in Baden Bd. 2 = History of the evangelican church in Baden vol. 2 ) which details some of his accomplishments.Kent from flickr.com:
Johann Friedrich Stein, (*17 June 1705 in Tegernau/Baden, + 22 September 1770 in Karlsruhe) was a Lutheran pastor, church councilor, high court preacher and church song poet.
He was the son of the pastor Johann Friedrich Stein (1680-1717), attended the Gymnasium in Karlsruhe, studied theology in Jena from 1724, and in 1728 was an informant in the house of the pastor Burkhard Jokob Deimling in Köndringen. From 1730 he was a house teacher in Mühlburg, then city vicar in Karlsruhe, from 1731 court and city deacon, 1734 pastor in Eichstetten and was appointed court preacher and church councilor in 1738. He earned the title of doctor of theology in 1744 and - by then a pastor at court - was appointed princely confessor, in 1760 professor of theology and superintendent of the Protestant church for Karlsruhe and Durlach. He had two daughters and three sons, two of whom died young. Two of his hymns are included in the Baden-Durlach Hymnal of 1772. See: Wake Up Dismal Soul by Johann Friedrich Stein
I found one of Johann Friedrich Stein's hymns here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/51243943@N00/14025726476
|Pastor Beck's last entries in Graben 004137289 poage 609 2|
Names: Johann Georg; I am the parent, Franz Christoph Heinrich Beck, pastor h[eic] l[oci] [in this place]; mother: Margareth Barbare née Geibel. [He] died quietly [morbus die Ruhe; "morbus" is Latin and "die Ruhe" is German] at age 6 years, 11 months, and 8 days [i.e., born 13 August 1754]. S. Tit[uli?] [not sure what that is an abbreviation of] The venerable [hochEhrw:] Mr. pastor of Mengen conducted a respectable/personable funeral [service]. The sermon ? [looks like "Ver Sem alter gehalten (held)"]; the text was Isaiah XL : 6, 7, 8.
From Ulrich Neitzel: Just to add on @Charlotte Noelle Champenois 's excellent translation: the last sentence is : ... hat bei einem ansehnlichen Leichen Conduct die Sermon vor dem Altar gehalten.
translation: ... gave the sermon in front of the altar at a respectable funeral procession. I think also that the deadly sickness (morbus) was : Die Ruhr = Shigellosis, a bacterial infection. Note that all deceased on this page have that same remark.
I always prefer to start with a transcription:
1769 d. 4 Nov nachts geg 12 Uhr mortuus et Sepultus 7 N.
Herr Franz Christoph Heinerich Beck, Pfarrer u. Seelsorger der hiesigen Gemeinde, ist in seinem Erlöser sanft u. seelig entschlafen. Seine Hochwürden Herr Kirchenrath Mater hielte die Leichen Predigt über die Worte, welche zu lesen sind Ebr. Cap. XIII, v. 7 beÿ einem ansehnl. leichen Conduct.
Morbus. Brust Krankheit
aetas 56. Jahr
Medicus, Rotdecker Freyburg
and now to the translation:
1769. Died on the 4th of November at night going on 12:00 midnight and buried on the 7th of November:
Mr. Franz Christoph Heinerich Beck, pastor and spiritual care giver of the local parish, fell asleep gently and peacefully in his Redeemer. His Reverend/Reverence Mr. "Kirchenrath" Mater held the funeral sermon over the words which can be read in Hebrews chapter 13, verse 7, with an respectable funeral procession.
Cause of death: pneumonia (or other pulmonary disease).
Age: 56 years.
Doctor: Rothdecker, Freÿburg [= Freiburg].Comments from Ulrich:
I agree with Robert that the word Herr before Kirchenrath is not written clearly (the "e" does not look like an "e") but I can't find any other word fitting in this context. I feel unable to translate the full title appropriately into English, but I think we have the same understanding now.
Robert Seal comments: Kirchenrath is translated to mean church council or title that is conferred to a pastor on a higher hierarchy level.This would be an appropriate verse to be read at the funeral of a Christian pastor.
Here is the link for "Wolfenweiler" from Meyers Gazetteer: https://www.meyersgaz.org/place/21182017
Wolfenweiler is approximately 10 miles southeast of Bickensohl where this death/burial record comes from.
This is indeed a different death record - you can see that the pastor was a person of respect.
I am just wondering why the translation mentions an "assistent preacher" or "assistent church councilor". The original words are Seine Hochwürden Herr Kirchenrath Mater which indicates a higher clergyman, possibly the superior of the deceased Pastor Beck. Note that Kirchenrath here is a title that is conferred to a pastor on a higher hierarchy level, and also Seine Hochwürden and Herr indicate his prominent position.
Kent to Ulrich Neitzel: Very interesting. Based on what you are saying, perhaps pastor Beck was so well thought of that one of the leaders of the church decided to preside at pastor Beck's funeral.
Kent Gardiner:The Hebrews verse fits Pfarrer Beck perfectly. He is saying, "Remember me for the good I have tried to do by bringing you the word of God." According to Meyers the Protestant church closest to where Francs Beck died is Mengen, two miles away.I looked at the handwriting of pastor Beck's death entry and those before and after. There are three different styles of writing. It may be that the church official that presided at his funeral also entered his death entry. Thereafter he turned the job over to another priest. Unfortunately I don't have a list of priests in this area like I have in Graben.
Pastor Beck's wife's name is found in Salome Raicher's birth record:1748. On the 26th of February a little daughter of Friedr. Wilhelm Raicher, local citizen, juryman, and bathhouse operator/barber, from his wife Margretha, was born into the world, so thereafter was baptized and named Maria Salome, Baptismal sponsors are myself F. Ch. H. Beck with my wife Margretha Barbara; and Jo. Friedr. Negelein, local innkeeper at the sign of the crown, with wife; and Jo. Simon Cammerer with wife (Robert Seal translation)
Your hypothesis makes sense. It's possible that Pastor Beck was serving as the pastor in Mengen/Wolfenweiler or perhaps a member of the local church council there.
The church was built from the year 1343 on the site of a destroyed chapel. From 1450 it became the parish church of Mengen, before that the people of Mengen had belonged to the parish in Ennetach. In 1479, the Mengen citizen Konrat Bek donated the so-called Mount of Olives Chapel in the southeast corner of the Church of Our Lady, which is still a place of pilgrimage today.
In 1625, the original church tower, which was probably Gothic, collapsed and smashed the choir loft. However, within three years the choir and tower were rebuilt in their present form.
The central and side aisles are separated by high, pointed-arched arcades supported by six pairs of strong pillars of octagonal base. Probably since a fire around 1604, but perhaps only since the reconstruction after the collapse of the tower, the roof of the church is so low that the high nave disappears in the roof. The three-nave structure is no longer recognizable from the outside. (Wikipedia)
Mount of Olives Chapel: The Olivet Chapel is located in the southeast corner of the church as the front end of the south nave. The chapel features life-size clay figures depicting the Passion of Christ on the Mount of Olives. It has been a place of pilgrimage since May 18, 1632. At that time, during the Thirty Years' War, the Swedish army was at the gates of Mengen, after the Mengen town guard had shot several Swedish soldiers from their horses the day before. The people of Mengen did not know how to help themselves, so about 300 clergymen, old people and women began to pray at the Chapel of the Mount of Olives. According to tradition, the figure of Mary in the chapel changed its face color. Almost at the same time, the Swedes left because the Austrian army was approaching from Überlingen. Thus the town was saved and the parish still celebrates the Mengen May Festival on the first Sunday after May 18 in memory of this episode. (Wikipedia)
First Translation by suebabcock1894
Here is my translation, if there are any corrections, anybody is welcome to chime in:1769, died 4 November at night at 12:00 and buried 7 November. Mr. Franz Christoph Heinerich, pastor and minister of the local parish has fallen deeply asleep. The church administrator had a assistant preacher do the death reading which was (from the book number 8, v. 7). The deceased died of pneumonia and was 56 years old. The doctor was ? Freyburg.
Just to complete the translation:
[page heading] In the year 1790 died in the local residence town Carlsruhe
24 April  at night between 10 and 11 o*clock, was buried on 26th
Father: the late Mr. Franz Christoph Heinrich Beck, former pastor in Wolfenweiler in the Oberland
Mother: Mrs. Margaretha Barbara, née Gaibel
age: 46 years
[signed] T.H. Walz, in the name of my father the senior court preacher
Ulrich: I am curious about the phrase "T.H. Walz, in the name of my father the senior court preacher" The person two above has the same phrase but two other people on this page have the signature of a different Pastor who appears to be on a lower level. Having been to Carlsruhe I know it is a large city and probably was in 1790. So it appears there is a heirarchy of Pastors. in Carlsruhe. Does T.H. Walz have a father who is a "senior court preacher? Is T.H Walz acting in his father's behalf? Very curious indeed!
If the pastor is the name at the bottom my guess is T. H. Walz. I have ancestors near here and some are Walz