MG 521 - Winebrenner Collection

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Scope and Content

The collection contains family correspondence and a biographical sketch of Elder John Winebrenner. The six family letters were written from 1845 to 1849 and include letters from Rev. Winebrenner to his daughters, Ellen and Mary, and letters from daughter Ellen to her father and mother.


John Winebrenner was born in March, 1797 in Frederick County, Maryland. He received his education in a country school; then he was sent to a more advanced educational institution in Frederick and afterwards attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He studied theology for three years in Philadelphia under instructions of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Helfenstein. He accepted a call in 1819 to take charge of four churches in the Harrisburg area: the German Reformed Church, Shoops's and Wenrick's in Dauphin County and Salem's in Cumberland County. He ministered there from 1820 to 1823, when the congregations became dissatisfied with his religious views. He separated from them and established a new denomination called the Church of God, known in early years as Winebrennarians. He was the author of a number of religious books and editor of the "Gospel Publisher" later known as the "Church Advocate." He died at Harrisburg on September 12, 1860 at the age of sixty-three years.

Date(s): 1845-1880

Extent: 2 folders, 7 enclosures