Back Up Next

WINEBRENNER, Rev. John, was born in Frederick county, Md., March 24, 1797. He was partly educated at the Glades school in Frederick, and partly at Dickinson College, Carlisle. He studied for the ministry under the Rev. Mr. Helfenstein, in Philadelphia, and was ordained by the Potomac Synod of the Reformed Church in September, 1820, at Hagerstown. That year he was called to the Salem church at Harrisburg, at the same time ministering to Shoop’s, Wenrick’s and the Frieden’s churches in the neighborhood. It was during his pastorate that the present church edifice, Third and Chestnut streets, was erected. Mr. Winebrenner ministered here from October 22, 1820,to March 23, 1823, when, owing to his religious views on revivals, Sunday-schools, anti-slavery and the temperance movement, with the allowing of non-ordained persons to preach in his pulpit, becoming obnoxious to his congregation, a separation took place. In a number of pamphlets he issued Mr. Winebrenner vigorously defended his principles from the attacks made right and left by his opponents; and he did not cease therefore "to preach the word." Subsequently his energies were devoted to the establishment of a new denomination, called by him the Church of God, but known in early years as Winebrennarians. He met with remarkable success, and although but fifty years have passed since the Rev. John Winebrenner promulgated the doctrines of baptism by immersion and the washing of feet, the ministers of that church number probably five hundred, and the membership well on to sixty thousand. Mr. Winebrenner was the author of a number of religious and controversial works, those on "Regeneration," "Brief Views of the Church of God," and a volume of "Practical and Doctrinal Sermons" being the more important. He edited for several years the Gospel Publisher, now the Church Advocate. In the early years of his ministry he was an uncompromising opponent of human slavery. The Rev. Mr. Winebrenner died at Harrisburg, on the 12th of September, 1860, at the age of sixty-three. Over his remains, in the Harrisburg cemetery, the denomination have erected a handsome monument.



Historical Review of Dauphin County

Transcribed by Becky Tuszynski for The Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Genealogy Transcription Project -

Date of Transcription: 24 February 2001

Copyright (c) 2001 - All Rights Reserved: Use, duplication or reproduction for profit or presentation by any person or organization is strictly prohibited.