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Condensed History of the First German Baptist Church
of Newport, Kentucky

By Graden Walker, 1892

A portion of a map of Newport.
The arrow shows the German Baptist Church location.
From Atlas of Boone, Kenton and Campbell Co., KY, 1883
The building was on Mayo as the east/west street;
Monmouth Street is a block to the east.
For Larger Color Map

      In Autumn of 1855, Ninth Street Baptist Church of Cincinnati, Ohio, employed Rev. Philip W. Bickel as City Missionary among the Germans of that city. By 1856 he had gathered a small number of German Baptists.

      About this time Brother Holstman came from Germany and settled in Newport, Ky. At his request the gospel was preached in Newport by Rev. Bickel, during the week in private houses, on Sundays in the English Baptist Church.

      In the following winter the Lord gave an open door at Jamestown, where souls were converted in the meetings, led at first by Rev. Bickel, and afterwards by Brother Holstman.

[p. 17]
      In 1860 a German Baptist Sabbath School was organized in the Church of English speaking brethren.

      As the membership increased the need of an appropriate meeting-house was felt. With the combined efforts of the members at Cincinnati and Newport, a lot was purchased at the corner of Columbia and Jefferson street, Newport, Ky., and in 1860 a small meeting-house was erected thereon.

      In July 1863, the American Baptist Home Mission Society employed Rev. Ranz as Missionary among the Germans of Newport. In the course of time the membership having increased, the desire became aroused, to organize as a separate Church.

      In 1865 there was called a meeting of the members, in which it was resolved to organize as an independent Church, under the name of First German Baptist Church of Newport, Ky. A council for recognition was called, which convened in the German Baptist Church of Newport, Ky., on the 19th of April, 1865. It consisted of delegates from Newport, Covington, Jamestown and Cincinnati. Rev. H. Spillman ot Jamestown was elected Moderator and Rev. Jeman of Covington, Secretary. This council resolved, upon earnest deliberation, to organize them as an independent Church.

      In 1882, the little church seeming too small, and the German Methodists of Newport offering their Church for sale, it was purchased by the German Baptist Church, for the sum of $3,500, which was paid cash, and they began to occupy it October 8th, 1882, and have enjoyed the possession of it up to the present time.

      The First German Baptist Church was organized in 1865 and was connected with the Association the same year. The first delegates were brother Ranz and brother Holstman.

      List of Members at the time of organization: Mary E. Interstroth, Frank H. Holstmann, Kate Holstmann, Helen Holstmann, John F. Greife, Clara Greife, John F. Meyer, Mary E. Meyer, Charles H. Ranz, Mary Ranz, Fred. Ranz, Henry Meyer, Henry Pieper, A. M. Pieper, Charles Brinning, Charles Correll, S. Schermbeck, L. Greife, L. Ranz, S. Schermbeck, M. D., Kraemer, M. Kraemer, M. Grothe, H. Goekemann, L. Greife, M. Volk.

      The largest membership was from 1877 to 1880.

      The pastors who have served this Church are: Rev. Ranz, 1863 to 1866; Rev. Greife, 1867 to 1869; Rev. Roos, 1870 to 1871; Rev. Greife, 1871 to 1873; Rev. Zechser, 1873 to 1875; Rev. Gellert, 1876 to 1883; Rev. Wernick, 1885 to 1889; Rev. L. von Lanyi, 1890 to date.
          GRADEN WALKER.

[From Minutes of Campbell County (KY) Association, 1892, pp. 16-17.]


Committee on German Interests, 1876.
      The Committee to whom was referred the German Interest of Newport, submit the following: That but little has been done for this important Mission during the past year. The amount collected $48. Amount unpaid $28. This interest is now growing and appeals to the benevolence of our people. The church has secured as pantor Rev. H. Gellert, and under his labors has increased very encouragingly. It now numbers thirty-eight members with an average attendance of ninety in the Sabbath School. They have a very weak but sacrificing body of brethren, and desire all the help they can get. It is the only German Baptist Church in the midst of fifteen thousand Germans.

      We recommend to the churches to contribute to this important interest and that a collection be taken up now. We also recommend that a committee be appointed to look after the pecuniary interests of this church at once.

C. Murnan, Chairman

[Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1876, p. 8.]


     Committee on German Interests report having paid the German Church at Newport $81.50.

Chas. Murnan, Chairman

[Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1877, p. 11.]


For the year 1893 - The List of Churches: "German Church, John Schweickert" - messenger to the association [p. 4].

Committee on Request from Churches reported and adopted.

     Your Committee on Requests from Churches beg leave to make the following report. We find only one request for the Churches and that is from the German Church, Newport, to the amount of fifty dollars, which the Committee recommends to pay [p. 6].

Report of the Churches:
German Church, Newport - Decrease by Death and Removals. No Pastor. Still asking aid to maintain Pastor [p. 10].

[Campbell County Baptist Association Minutes, 1893.]


[These documents are from the Northern Kentucky Baptist Association office, Erlanger, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

Campbell County Baptist History
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