Feketitsch in der Batschka
A multilingual community in Yugoslavia with a German minority

Germans of the Community Feketitsch | Village Photos | Families | Batschka | Sekitsch | Donauschwaben History

Villages Helping Hands


The Germans of the Community of Feketitsch
by Dr. Viktor Pratscher
Translated by Brad Schwebler
pages: 4-101 | 101-199 | 200-303  | Table of Contents

page 87–89 

The Administration of the Congregation; The Church Chancellery

(From the report on the occasion of the canonical visitation in 1874.)

   The organization of the congregation.  The chairman convened  the elders in the investigation hall.  The elders carried out the assembly's decisions, prepared for the assembly's present subjects, and settled within certain boundaries church matters with reservation of permission from themselves.

   The general meeting (assembly) convened at least twice a year.  The main topics of the general assembly the pastor announced from the pulpit on the previous Sunday.  In the general assembly the minutes of the elders' session were read aloud.  It decided the majority  of the votes.

   The moral condition of the community.  In the ranks of relevant, praiseworthy Evangelical communities they were concerned with the religious sense, church matters, and observances on Sundays and holidays and their glory must be particularly stressed: the unshakable firm affection for the old beliefs of their elders.

   The activity of the pastors.  Between the community and their pastor prevailed the greatest love and harmony.    He held his sermon one year over the old Evangelicals and another year over the (epistolischen Perikopen?) and the main contents were put on paper.  The pastor gave confirmation lessons for two hours daily during the Passiontide.  Confirmation was celebrated on "Green Thursday" and Holy Communion was received on "Char Friday".

   The Church Service and on Sundays and Festival Days

   The church service.  On Sundays and festival days people were called together about 9:30 A.M.  This summons ended with the pastor's entrance into the church.  After this 2 or 3 verses of festival hymns or praise hymns were sung.  After that the altar service followed with a short prayer from the Vienna liturgy, after which the gospels or the epistles were read aloud.  Now the main hymn was sung and after 3 or 4 verses the sermon began.  Immediately after the sermon a longer church prayer followed, then intercessions for the sick, announcements of decrees and engagements, the upcoming festival days, or the usual changes and things which the public church services are concerned about, or knowledge which is useful or necessary to the community, and after the Lord's Prayer and the giving of blessings the pastor left the pulpit.  As the last verse of the main hymn was sung as the closing hymn the congregation left the church.  Baptisms were done on Sundays after church service or weekdays at noon.  Wedding ceremonies took precedence according to the law.  At funerals children had to be with a parent (Parentation?) until confirmation age but adults were buried with a funeral oration in the church.

   A report written sixty years ago shows that during half a century little has changed in church customs.  During the Lord's Prayer the middle bell rang.  In more recent times this prayer has been accompanied by the organ.  The giving of blessings took place after the preceding prayer before the altar.  The closing hymn in most recent times has been sung standing.  The order of church service should be absolutely uniform in all the churches in the land so that embarrassing cases would be eliminated where the Evangelical person in the Evangelical church in a neighboring village would no longer be able to follow along.  In general the people of the church are not accustomed to changes in the old-fashioned customs.  As with all such changes placing old customs in an inferior light could effect the interest in a moral religious life much sooner than desired.  This old theme continued to exist. "All rights are rooted in the community and the community rules itself.  Nothing can happen against their will." (Seniorat's minutes, 1935, page 32.) 

The Church Chancellery

   At the old schools (from 1872-1910) the church chancellery was just built on, as today, only the entrance was directly on the street.  Today's chancellery has its entrance off the school corridor.  At first there is an anteroom with steps up to the floor, etc.  Then follows the chancellery with a window on the street.  The chancellery is is 3 meters wide by 5 meters long.  It is the workplace of the treasurer and the church elders.  Here the members' dues are accepted.

   In 1930 the dues were fixed at the following amount by the assembly: The assessor was paid 20 Dinar for the couple's fee, the small homeowner paid 30 Dinar, the farmer paid 40 Dinar.  The share of the costs after state tax amounted to 16%.  Altogether 40,000 Dinar should flow in.  In addition the pastor's fruit was paid by couples, house, field, and commercial trade.  All fees flowed in promptly and local community members in arrears were dwindling.  Others were with the outside owners.  In 1926 the fatal decision was made that for purely technical reasons the surcharges of the state tax should also be taken as a foundation.  With it a uniform key and a lower percentage could be reached which was slightly fairer, but half of the outside owners refused to pay.  For this reason the calculations for the years 1924-1928 had to be revised concerning the outside owners.  This great work was done by the treasurer Christian Gerber free of charge out of  pure passion and love of his community.  At the same time it is a beautiful example of what an average farmer is capable of achieving today.

   The workspace for the pastors was in the chancellery.  Here the archives for the community were stored.  In 1934 a set of archives was furnished in the space on the left side next to the church entrance.  The first church seal was purchased in 1860 and cost 8 Florints.  In 1875 a second church stamp was purchased with a symbol and the inscription: Sigill. Eccl. A.C. Feketehegy 1860.  Since 1934 all of the churches in all of the communities in the land have a uniform seal.  The bears the inscription around the cross which reads: "German Evangelical Christian State Church in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.  Congregation of Feketic."

   The following men held the honored posts of church elders, treasurers, and inspectors, as far as has been noted: (until the 1880's the names of jurors and judges were also noted.)


Friedrich Kränzler. . 1827

Adolf Howe . . . . . .1831

Friedrich Epler. . . . 1835

Peter Bolinger. . . . 1835

Philipp Laux. . . . . .1838

Georg Kieß. . . . . . 1841

Johann Gebel. . .. .1847

Karl Diel. . . . . .  . .1852

Johann Freund. . . .1857

Philipp Schorr. . . . .1861

Friedrich Schmidt. . 1862

Jakob Häußer. . . . .1865

Paul Stroh. . . . . . . 1866

Friedrich Ruppe. . . 1869

Ludwig Webel. . . .  1870

Martin Pratscher. . . 1871

Jakob Schwindt.  . . 1873

Friedrich Hoffmann.1875

Reinhardt Stengel. . 1877

Johann Ruppe. . . . .1878

Michael Kinkel. . . . 1881

Heinrich Reitenbach. 1882

Michael Kinkel. . . . 1881

Leonhardt Roth. . . .1885

Georg Baschawerk. 1887

Peter Burger. . . . . . 1888

Johann Spengler. . . 1892

Adam Leibersperger. 1894

Kern Karl Sr. . . . . .1896 

Philipp Freitag. . . . .1899

Daniel Schnauthiel. .1901

Michael Scheer. . . .1903

Georg Ziegler. . . . . 1904

Karl Seibert. . . . . . 1907

Josef Stroh. . . . . . .1910

Johann Dietrich. . . .1911

Jakob Scheer. . . . . 1913

Philipp Morell. . . . . 1917

Christian Müller. . . .1923

Johann Müller. . . . . 1929

Johann Ortag. . . . . .1935


Philipp Huth . . . . 1827

Adolf Howe . . . . .1834

Christian Dðrr. . .  1835

Bernhardt Müller. . 1838

Matthias Bolinger.  1841

Georg Ludmann Jr  1844

Bernhardt Müller . .1852

Jakob Müller. . . . .1857

Johann Freund. . . 1860

Adam Müller. . . .  1862

Philipp Häußer. . . 1863

Karl Trumpf. . . . . 1865

Georg Ziegler. . . . 1866

Carl Spengler. . . . .1868

Conrad Gutwein. . .1870

David Rettenbach. .1871

Philipp Scheer. . . . 1872

David Kilz. . . . . . . 1873

Nikolaus Weber. . . 1874

Georg Bittlingmayer. 1875

Kern. . . . . 1876

Heinrich Klos. . . . .1877

Peter Gutwein. . . . 1878

Nikolaus Karger. . 1881

Georg Loser. . . . . 1883

akob Morell. . . . .1884

Ludwig Webel.. 1886                      

Johann Dietrich. . . 1887

Jakob Dietrich. . . .1887

Georg Karbiener. .1888

Philipp Häußer. . . 1891

Johann Burger. . . .1892

Johann Müller. . . .1894

Andr. Bittlingmayer. 1896

Karl Häußer. . . . .1898

Peter Burger. . . . .1899

Peter Gutwein. . . .1903

Nikolaus Karger. .1903

Peter Burger. . . . .1904

Anton Scheer. . . .1907

Heinrich Klos. . . .1910

Heinrich Karger
Adam Ludmann
Nikolaus Dietrich
Jakob Schwindt 1920
Adam Gutwein 1923
Georg Bittlingmayer 1923
Johann Ludmann 1926
Christian Gerber 1929
Joh. Schwebler H. 1935


Jakob Schwebler . . 1832

Christian Spengler .1836

Philipp Huth. . . . . .1839

Matthias Bolinger . 1843

Georg Ludmann Jr. 1844

Johann Ludmann. . 1845

Georg Huth. . . . . . 1846

Matthias Bolinger. .1847

Bernhardt Müller. . 1848

Michael Trumpf. . . 1849

David Morell. . . . . 1851

Peter Trumpf. . . . . 1854

Johann Will. . . . . . .1857

Martin Pratscher. . .1858

Karl Spengler. . . . .1859

Karl Trumpf. . . . . .1863

Stefan Gerber. . . . .1865

Johann Ludmann. . .1867

Nikolaus Weber. . . 1874


Christian Gerber. . .1868

Andr. Bittlingmayer.

Karl Trumpf. . . . . .1870

Nikolaus Weber. . .1871

Georg Karbiener. . 1874

Jakob Morell. . . . .1875


Karl Trumpf. . . . . .1870

In the later years the above Judges and Jurors are not recorded in the church book, or only very occasionally.  It was desirable that these records be included again so that these men would be represented also in the interests of the congregation.


August Pulsky. . . . . 1890

Dr. Ludwig Kern. . .1901

Dr. Johann Scherer. 1903

Josef Stroh. . . . . . . 1911

Jakob Morell. . . . . .1917

Peter Burger. . . . . . 1923

Peter Gutwein. . . . . 1929


The History of the Evangelical Seniorates

   The ancestor settlers of each community everywhere endeavored to receive a pastor.  The first pastors were: in Sekitsch from 1787-1813: Johann Gottlieb Weinrich from Silesia, Germany in N. Vrbas from 1786-1808: Johann Georg Mayer from Swabia, Germany in Torscha from 1785-1790: Samuel Spannagel from Upper Hungary (today's Czechoslovakia) in Crvenka from 1784-1785: Jos. Hajnoczi (S. Getsch) from Upper Hungary (today's Czech.) in Kisker from 1788-1809: Josef Hojnoczi from Upper Hungary (today's Czechoslovakia) in Buljkes from 1787-1790: Matthias Hlivai from Upper Hungary (today's Czechoslovakia) in Jarek from 1788-1796: Johann Gelt from Comitat Arad. 

   Only the settlements of Sekitsch and Novi Vrbas were lucky to have clergymen who were of their own blood and came from Germany.  These places of origin were also entered into the minutes, which unfortunately was not the case with the others.

   The administration of the congregation provided the pastor with the help of one appointed church elder and two church advisors.

   After the death of Emperor Josef the 2nd his brother Leopold the 2nd followed him to the throne.  During the rule of the new rulers, the 26th law from 1790-1791 was produced which laid down the rights of the Evangelical church.  This law allowed the freedom of religious practice and gave the church the right to autonomous self-administration.  The synod took place for the purpose of producing the church law.

   In this sense the Hungarian Evangelical Synod could take place in Pest in 1791.  According to the decisions which this synod brought about the village community administered the pastors with the elders  Over the communities stood the Seniorat with the senior assembly, which the clergy and the secular belonged to in the same strong number.  Over the executives stood the district and the district assembly.  This district was united through the general assembly.

   Up to the time of the first synod the Evangelical congregation belonged to the Pester Seniorat.  The administration realized the difficulty of such an expanded Seniorats that they decided to establish an independent Batsch-Syrmier Seniorates to which everyone in the region, German and Slovakian Evangelical congregations, would be linked.

   In 1808 there were 7734 German Evangelical souls in the Seniorat.

   In 1846 there were 23840 German Evangelical souls in the Seniorat with 10 parent communities and 3 branch communities (Feketitsch among them), with 13 schools (one with Feketitsch), at which 20 teachers worked.  The number of students was 3979.  A teacher averaged 200 students.

   The newly established Batsch-Syrmier Seniorat belonged with 6 other Seniorates to the mountain district, at which point stood the bishop.  The new Seniorat extended over a very wide area.  The organization moved forward slowly so that until 1898 Presbyterians were everywhere.  For the first time the community got to know and at the same time became accustomed to their duties and rights.  The Seniorates assembly always took place in another community and the hospitable community received 25 Florints from the Seniorates treasurer.  However the German and Slovakian communities were never really in harmony.  Because of the sensitivity of the linguistic area, mistrust concerning the relative use of the contribution intensified the disagreement, especially since 1848.  When the region of Vojvodina became an autonomous district in 1859 with its own bishop, there came the split.  The Slovakians established their own Seniorat.  Finally they came to a reconciliation.

   They took turns.  One time a German  was assigned, another time a Slovakian was assigned as Consenior.  For the Germans there was a German school deacon.  For the Slovakians there was a Slovakian school deacon.

   In 1891 quite a few changes were needed in the church constitution.  So the church inspector would for example have the same rights as the preceding member, in the Seniorat assembly the secular predominated.

   In 1900 they separated themselves from the (Sremer?) community and established their own Seniorat.

   After the overthrow it included itself together with the Slovakians in its own Seniorat.  The Neu Vrbas Synod endured from 1926 to 1930 in 4 periods and inherited the new church constitution for the German Evangelical Christian church of the Augsburg denomination in the kingdom of Yugoslavia."

   King Alexander I sanctioned under number 39340 on the 16th of April, 1930 the "law over the Evangelical Christian Church and over the Reformed Christian Church in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. - The synod law was sanctioned on the 19th of November 1930; exactly on the same day as the parliament of Augsburg ended 400 years ago.

Dignitaries of the Regional German Evangelical Church A.B.

Bishop is: Dr. Philipp Popp, pastor in Zagreb (Agram).

President of the regional church is: Dr. Wilhelm Roth, lawyer in Bel. Kikinda.

Officials of our Batschka Seniorates

Senior: Peter Scherer, pastor in Feketitsch.

Inspector: Dr. Andreas Zimmermann, doctor in Neu Schowe.

Consenior: Franz Klein, pastor in Kac.

2nd Inspector: Daniel Kuhn, farmer in Kucura.

1st Seniorat notary: Fritz Konrath, pastor in Neu Schowe.

2nd Seniorat notary: Heinrich Lebherz, pastor in Sombor.

1st Seniorat notary: Johann Brust, community notary a.D., economist in St. Vrbas.

2nd Seniorat notary, Jakob Dietrich, teacher in Novisad.

Treasurer: Adalbert Achatz, pastor in Budusava.

Account reporter: Daniel Hübchen, pastor in Zabalj.

The Evangelical Christian Church in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Evangelical Congregation A.B. in Feketitsch

The 7 Seniorates of the German Evangelical Church

1. Batschka: Senior at the time: Peter Scherer, pastor of Feketitsch
2. Banat:  Senior at the time: Wilhelm Kund, pastor of Pantschevo
3. Sremer (Syrmia): Senior at the time: Ludwig Binder, pastor of N. Pazova
4. Croatia- Slovenia: Senior at the time: Anton Walter, pastor of Osijek
5. Belgrade: Senior at the time: Theophil Turek, pastor of Belgrade
6. Bosnia: at the time: Karl Hamm, pastor of Sarajevo
7. Slovenia: Senior at the time     ; Johann Baron, pastor of Maribor

these were connected to the changing Seniorates.

The Batschka Seniorat has 23 Parent Communities

 1. Batschki Jarak . . 2191+20
 2. Budisava . . . . .
 3. Buljkes . . . . . .
. 2654+326
 4. Crvenka . . . . .
. 6444+202
 5. Feketitsch . . . . 1390+186
 6. Jagodnjak . . . . .489+239
 7. Kac . . . . . . . . .1000+100
 8. Kucura . . . . . . .780+30
 9.  Nove Sove 
. . . .1380
10. Novi Sad . .
. . . 1000
11. Novi Vrbas .
. . . 4257+500
12. Pasicevo
. . . . . 2800
13. Pivnica. . .
. . . . 300+121
14. Dobropolje
. . . . 3521+36
15. S. Sv. Ivan
 . . . 1200+42
16. Sekic. . . .
. . . . 5020+1000
17. Somor . .
. . . . . 165+130
18. St. Becej . .
. . . 92+185
19. St. Vrbas .
. . . . 1538+115
20. Subotica . .
. . .  570+100
21. Titel . . . . . .
. . .700+60
22. Torza . . . .
. . . . 1790+120
23. Zabalj . . . .
. . . . 365+428

From the Archives of the Congregation

1. Ledger from 1827 to 1874.
2. Invoice record of the Evangelical community's August Conference in Feketehegy from
   1875 to 1897.
3. Minutes of the Senioral General Assembly from 1859 to 1909.
4. a) Church minutes from 1860 to 1911. b) from 1911 to today.
5. Birth, marriage, and death register of the Evangelical community is inserted - as is the
   first baptism:

No: Born Baptized/Name Child Parents house# / Witness
1 4 Jan 1860 12 Jan 1860 Susanna Peter Trumpf 49 Carl Trumpf
        Müller A.C.   Catherina
        Margareta Gutwein 49 Gutwein

The first marriage: married by Ferdinand Hamel

No: Date Name   Parents / Relationship Born     age  Witness
1 2 Feb 1860 Jakob Freund   son of John. Fruend & Cath. Exle of Feketic Sekic   A.C. 22 Karl Burg
    Cath. Schock   daughter of Peter Schock & Cath. Gruber of Seketisch Sekic   A.C. 22  

The first burial:

No: Date   Parents / Relationship house   age cause of death

 Directed by

31 Dec 1859

1 Jan 1860
  Jakob, son of Gottfried Gutwein & Eliz. Taüwel 140   2 years, 5 months, 7 days serious tooth problem


Carl Burg

   From old-fashioned beliefs the cause of death given was "difficult teeth" which hints that this first diagnosis was unfortunately a mistake because there is one such illness which could lead to death which was not given.

   According to the first register from 1860 to 1877 there were in the first five years: 

In the Year Baptized (Illegitimate) Marriages Deaths (Adults)  (Among Them)
1860 40 (3) 3 25 (3)  
1861 63 (4) 15 24 (2)  
1862 57 (2) 6 39 (13)  
1863 52 (1) 11 45 (13)  
1864 48 (3) 6 33 (6)  

    1865 had the most births with 65, the same year had the most marriages with 16, the most deaths occurred in 1873 with 61, of which only 7 were adults.  The oldest to get married was 63 years old, the youngest was 16 years old.  

1926             14               21         22         1446     

1927             22               11         22         1414     

1927             22               11         22         1414     

1928             20                8          23         1390    

1929             26               14         17         1385   

1930             19                4          17         1269   

1931             18                7          18         1269   

1932             20               13         20         1269?   

1933             24               11         15         1269?   

1934             25                6          19         1269?

   The illegitimate children and the small number of marriages can be explained by the numerous common law marriages.  Regarding this matter the canonical visitation in 1874 laid down the following protocol: "With great regret this knowledge was received that there are so many common law marriages in this congregation and this is a truly paternal, serious admonition to bring about an end to this through legal marriages."  As a cause it was accepted that several of the common law marriages had couples living with each other in such a relationship in which an approval from the authorities had been necessary.  However at most they would be freed from the burden of the church tax.

   On the 1st of October 1895 the following remark was made in the register: "Since the reformation the person overseeing the register was the pastor.  According to law this office has now been placed in the hands of a civilian register.  After the 1st of October 1895 the church register was also overseen, as before, only by the clergy."

   The last burial which Rev. Ferd. Hamel oversaw was on the 22nd of November 1910.  It was Philipp Bayer, 4 years old.

   The first funeral by Rev. Peter Scherer was on the 4th of March, 1910 for Johann Gebel, 67 years old.

Dates of the Register from 1925 to 1934

Year Baptisms Marriages Burials Census
1925 31 8 13 1442
1926 20 14 21 1446
1927 22 11 22 1414
1928 20 8 23 1390
1929 26 14 17 1385
1930 19 3 17 1269
1931 18 7 18 1269
1932 20 13 20 1269?
1933 24 11 15 1269?
1934 25 6 19 1269?

     Perhaps the death rate of 82 burials in 1891 is through the favorable healthy relationship of the population and the tremendous progress of the local science but the birthrate is bleak since it decreased quite a bit from 60 to 20.  To assure the continued existence and healthy development of a community, it is necessary for 30 births a year for a population of 1000.  Where before women were afraid to bear a child, no development was to be expected.  It is in this area that a change for the better came through desirable sex education which was neglected till now.  The particulars of the census are unfortunately rather unreliable as these clearly resulted from the above statistics.  Very similar behavior existed in all communities of the seniorates since the communities have to hand in the censuses.  For example, in Crvenka the census was suddenly around 827, and in Sekitsch it decreased to almost 700.

   Canonical visitations included a visit from Dr. Johann Seberenyi, superintendent of the community, in 1835.  The visit is noted in the ledger.  In 1874 Gustav Seberenyi, superintendent of our community, also visited.

   The Episcopal administrator, Dr. Philipp Popp, visited the community in 1927.  The competent executives were often in the community.  The last Episcopal visitation was made by executive Jakob Jahn, pastor of Pribicevicevo (Kisker).

   from 1874 to 1903, in exactly 30 years the census of the community has continued to grow to number 1900 people today.  About how much were individuals burdens decreased?  About how much was the pastor's salary increased?


From the Archives of the Congregation:
The Midwives of the Congregation

   In the first decade the congregation had concerns about the rounds and weekly runs of experienced midwives they had at their disposal.  When the Hungarian Reformed congregation separated themselves from the political community in 1820 it certainly meant that either the midwives belonged to the Reformed congregation or they had none at all.  This problem was remedied by the Evangelical community when a woman was sent to Kula for an examination on the 22nd of November 1828 and paid 5 Florints for it.  In connection with this the community considered it advisable to send a present with it worth 6 Florints, 46 Kronen to Kula.  After a few years (1835) the congregation collected 35 Florints to pay the tuition for a new midwife.  The miracle doctor Karl Weber in Sekitsch received 3 Florints for the instruction of the midwife.  The Comitat's doctor was paid 10 Florints by the congregation for the examination, etc.  In 1834 the community purchased the midwife Klistier and accessories for about 3 Florints, 45 Kronen.  These were the first such instruments in Feketitsch.  In 1853 the community was again compelled to pay for a midwife for 48 Florints, 11 Kronen.

   When the community went to the parent community for its first local assembly on the 4th of February 1860 the following was discussed: "The well respected pastor shared the request with the midwife Catharina Antoni to apply for a bonus because on the one hand our community had a small census but on the other hand several of the community members used a second midwife, so it could not last. - At the conclusion of the assembly the aforementioned midwives did not call upon those of our community at a birth to receive two Guilders in Viennese currency. - When the above mentioned midwife moved to Vrbas in 1861, she had to pay back the tuition to the community.

   Afterward there were already midwives who paid for their own education and set up private practice if they were not employed by the state.

   Such midwives included: Margaretha Exle, 1863; Susanna Schorr, 1862-1922; Elisabetha Staub, 1871; Katharina Kinkel born Welker; Christina Bender born Bellmann; Katharina Morell born Hauser and certified in 1896 in Segedin, stayed in the occupation for 40 years and has been the community midwife since 1922.

   It was desirable if the German women of our community want to continue to dedicate themselves to this important and beautiful profession.  The importance placed on it today requires as much as possible the prerequisites of 4 years of middle school and 1 year of specialist subjects.



Cemeteries; Pastor and Choirmaster Field


   In the first years our Evangelical community had no cemetery of our own.  Certainly there were a few cemeteries in the not so distant Sekitsch where one could be buried at the site of today's Sekitsch pharmacy.  But others went to the first Feketitsch cemetery where before the Slovakian Evangelical community may have been buried.  It is this first of all great cemeteries in Feketitsch which today is slowly being used as farmland and lies in the village opposite the Gutwein-Szilagyi's blacksmiths/forge.

   In 1827 the Evangelical community purchased two funeral biers for 8 Florints.  In 1862 Jakob Häuser again finished making a large bier and a small bier.

   From the first Evangelical cemetery the following record exists: for surveying the cemetery Mr. Gespann (Ispan) received 2 Florints, 30 Kronen.  The cemetery's graves were fenced in.  It is 115 fathoms long and 37 fathoms wide.  It has been in use since 1831 and is exclusively the property of the Evangelical congregation .  In the '70's it was full and its use declined in the 80's.  However it was still occasionally used many years later.

   Today only the following inscriptions are still legible on the gravestones in this cemetery left open from long ago:

Friedrich Dietrich †1885

Elizabetha Bender  †1896

Georg Seibert †1880

Theresia Freund †1875

Heinrich Stengel †1875

M. Elisabetha Weber b. Gebel †1887

Karl Gutwein †1875                     

Wilhelm Hðgel †1905

Katharina Bittlingmayer †1890

Christina Gerber †1934

Jakob and Elisabetha Dietrich †1890

   These last two burials were carried out after a year had past since the spades of the gravediggers last touched the ground.  In this quiet God's acre triumphed the luxuriant flora of nature and the birds sing of the reunion in the eternal homeland - so beautiful. 

   Since the year 1862 the community was concerned with thoughts of purchasing a cemetery.  In 1875 the cemetery still in use today was purchased from Peter Kellermann for about 175 Guilders.  It was this land which was 5/4 of a (Hutweide) meadow to a small homeowner's house.  The cemetery is 125 fathoms long, the width is from over 38 fathoms to under 14 fathoms, 2 shoes.

   For a long time nobody was buried here.  Finally it had to be done.  On the 1st of December 1883, Ludwig Bender, 73 years old, small homeowner and husband of Elisabetha Zðllner, was the first to be buried in this cemetery.  Soon others were interred in the first row, one after the other: Ludwig Bender, M. Kinkel, Friedrich Dietrich, and the aged couple Martin Pratscher and his wife Mar. Elisabetha Spengler.

   Since the '90's the community is in almost constant conflict with the Hungarian Reformed community whose cemetery lies between the two Evangelical cemeteries.  The Evangelical community should have been ceded the right to this property which led the way to the old cemetery.

Earlier this way led through the (Hutweide) meadow and it was used instead because the actual way was too steep and could not be used and for this reason the political community has repossessed it.  Then both communities have received a greater part of the (Hutweide) meadow for use as a cemetery, since the political community would not take sides to assure a way for common use.  The border between the cemeteries was also disputed.  In 1915 they finally put in place 3 border stones and at a depth of one meter under them a pierced brick was laid and because of it some of the Evangelical graves fell on Hungarian ground.

   On the border there were trees which were to be distributed after the money flowed in from the census.

   In the last decade the cemetery was always full.  Since 1920, with the street lying adjacent to a row of burial vaults there is little room to go around.  Yet they had to think about buying a new cemetery since they would not go back to the old cemetery out of reverence although half of it had been cultivated farmland since 1919.  The plan was that the cemetery should be purchased on the side of the "Banat Vineyard" was dropped and so in 1929 a piece of land in the neighborhood of the old cemetery was purchased again for the purpose of a new cemetery.  The ground was a vineyard which belonged to Jakob Schmidt.  It is 1475 square fathoms large and cost 47,000 Dinar.  It still would not generally be used as a cemetery for a few years and it should be an exemplary classified and ordered cemetery through the systematic placement of the burials.

   In 1931 the community purchased another 734 square fathoms of land for about 10,000 Dinar from Johann Gðttel for the purpose of a cemetery.  With this piece of land the site of the future cemetery is 2209 square fathoms large and can now be found in use in one piece.  In 1934 the congregation erected a burial vault for the pastor's family in the middle of this cemetery.  On the occasion of Christian Morrell's burial, the second to be buried in this cemetery, on the 4th of April, 1936, it was quietly consecrated.  Burial vaults were unknown in the early days.  They were first made in the '40's.  Today there are many graves with marble or granite gravestones.  On Easter and Kirchweihe each family arranged the last resting place of their dead with special care.

   The inscriptions on so many of the gravestones are left wanting of their German spellings.  A way should be found to stop this erosion.

   The great mortality recorded in 1891, killed 41 children from diphtheria alone.  All tolled there were 82 burials in this year.

Pastor and Choirmaster Field

   The Evangelical congregation already had the cherished hope in 1830 to receive a field from the rulers for which they had waited all too long to be fulfilled.

   In the (Vocator?) of the Rev. Josef Skultethy it says: "Should the community receive one half or a whole Session of field, the pastor will receive half of it, and the teacher will receive the other half. - Also the Vocator of the Rev. Ferd. Hamel considered the possibility that the community's pastor's field be shared.

   Yet in 1873 Wilhelm Pratscher, a teacher from Vrbas, was given the benefit of 10 yokes of field.  The negotiations were done and in 1875 even the stakes were placed in the pastor and choirmaster's fields in the neighborhood of today's orchards.

   The pastor should receive 20 yokes of field and the choirmaster should receive 10 yokes of field.  However the political community went with the ruler in the process for the sake of the division of the Hutweide (meadow) and drew on the shortness of it.  As a result of the delay in the process, the congregation only received half of the intended grounds.  The pastor's field was to be one session of agricultural field and 6 chains of Hutweide (pasture) and the choirmaster's field was to be a half session agricultural land and 3 chains of Hutweide (pasture).

   In the books of the congregation we find in 1877 the recording of the occasion of the measurement of the Hutweide (pasture) that the engineer had measured out the pastor's field and the choirmaster's field.  The yoke was calculated to be 1200  square fathoms.  The pastor received 10 yokes, equal to 12,000 square fathoms, that was 6 chains, of which the choirmaster received half.  It was extremely important also in 1914 that the congregation have this field honestly in their name since there were funds allocated for it.  The field lies on Novi Vrbas Road, very near to the community and in the last few years it has yielded 12 to 20 squares of wheat per chain.

   Besides that the congregation also has a potato land (Grundbiernstück) (300 square fathoms) which it purchased in 1842 for 16 Florints from Philipp Huth.  These were leased yearly and in 1929 the bell ringer Georg Roß sold them for about 5000 Dinars.

   Testimony to the legacy of the favors done by the church was to have helped several in the community to be prosperous.  During the first hundred years it has not thought to decline anyone real estate whereby the wealth of land in the community could be increased.    


The Consequences of World War 1914-1918

   The congregation eased the losses affected by their material position.  At first 2% of the income was submitted, then four Kronen per Dinar was expected.  Finally the Dinar lost 9/10 of its worth in gold.  The war loans of the Hungarian monarchy are worth nothing.

   On the occasion of the 400 year return of the Reformation celebration on the 31st of October 1917 the pastor of the community was given the suggestion of a fund with the interesting purpose of the Evangelical community having a carefree existence after 100 years.  The donated sum together with the interest should not be touched.

   The people were taxed to provide for the needy and the poor.  In 1919 an offertory box was installed and before Christmas the incoming sum was collected and shared with members of the community in need.  Besides that the elders collected for the poor each winter.  It was decided at the community assembly in 1936 to raise the national tax 1% to support our poor.  In 1922 the people of America collected 232 dollars which equals 66.2 Kronen.  The poor received 34.3 of it, the parsonage 12.4, for the bells 10.5, and for the organ 9.0 Kronen.  Among the poor 14.0 Kronen was distributed.  From the remaining portion a fund was established for the poor.  Also the same year an association of "Austrian men" from America donated 38.15 Kronen.  The total was divided up between the poor of the Evangelical congregation and the poor of the German Reformed congregation.  Among the contributors the ones who donated the most were: Heinrich Müller, Heinrich Brückner, Adam Ruppe, Peter Hellermann and others.

   In the framework of the new national borders it was soon necessary that the Evangelical church of the country had to adapt to the altered relationship of their constitution.  For this purpose the Werbaßer Synod was called together in 1925 which met for four days.  After that on the 16th of April 1930 the "Law over the the Evangelical Christian Churches and over the Reformed Christian Church of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia" was published and the synod law could be presented for sanctioning. - Our congregation provided the proposal to the synod of a central treasury but they had no success.  The members of the synod were elected by the communities.  Outgoing members must be replaced.  There were frequent elections and runoffs at which the community often only knew one candidate.  Our Evangelical congregation made an application to the Seniorate that they would like to introduce a way of organizing guest preachers which could contribute to the promotion of church life as a way to control these problems.  In this respect our community's application was a success.  Senior Jakob Jahn was greatly in favor of this request.  Nevertheless no such organization for the guest preachers could be brought about which they would like to secure for the duration, although this was possible and necessary.  The eternal material question and the unfounded fear of one unfavorable retroactive force of the local pastor.  An outgoing attempt was made to overcome the lack of enthusiasm in the matter.  Apart from this, this point failed.  So far our community in the situation of guest sermons was to hear from the following pulpit speakers: Dr. Philipp Popp, bishop's administrator and the pastor of Zagreb; Senior Jakob Jahn, pastor of Dobropolje (Kisker); Jakob Kettenbach, senior of Srem (Syrmia) and pastor of Zemun; Senior a.D. Samuel Schumacher, our German member of parliament and pastor of Petrovopolje; Wilhelm Klaar, pastor of Titel; Heinrich Lebherz, pastor of Sombor; Consenior Franz Morganthaler from Jarek; Jakob Mensch, pastor of Pasicevo; Heinrich Meder, pastor of Novi Vrbas.  Besides that the other pastors and vicars served at church services.  Lectures held: Schooldirector Gettwert, professor in Graz, and Professor Seizinger from Tübingen.  At these very special experiences the guest sermons informed of the colored missionary: Sadhu John Nelson Christananda from the Indian subcontinent in Asia.  He was here in 1926 and 1930.  Also the bishop's administrator, Dr. Philipp Popp, stepped up to the pulpit for the second time as he went on a publicity trip for the Gustav-Adolf Association with which our national churches at

The colored guest preacher and missionary: Sadhu John Nelson Christananda.  He was 36 years old, Evangelical, and he came from the Indian subcontinent in Asia where he spread the Evangelical religion among his colored comrades.  They needed 60 Evangelical schools, which would cost 3000 Dinars, and from their design only simple straw covered huts were built.  He    immortalized his handwriting in the minutes with the motto:

         "Holy, holy, holy is Mr. Zebaoth."

once a show of thanks to the association testified just how energized our poor community was under the grip of the poor.  Gustav Adolf lives!  He has sacrificed his life to help the insistent Evangelicals from a higher need and through him this association still helps Evangelicals in need today.  Our community contributed a gift of love of 2022 Dinars.

- It was very interesting to see what dangers such guest preachers concerned the adult community and what use from it is presented for church life, which in the previous decade in most communities the Senior failed to ever hear the guest preachers and left the guest preachers alone.  Bishop Dr. Philipp Popp has so far visited our community three or four times.

   The guest preachers required more work since just as today everyone would expect a great performance just as 10, 20, 30 years ago.  But more work still did not diminish anyone's authority.

   It is therefore regrettable that if the communities present a guest preacher, they do not reflect on their sermons and it is this lack of interest and local spirit less than flattering.

   The Feketitsch community was lucky to have Seniorats who hear most of the guest preachers relevant to the general church attendees so that our community was in first place in the Seniorat.

 Pages 4-101 | 101-199 | 200-303


Feketisch Village Coordinator: Brad Schwebler

© 2003 Brad Schwebler, unless otherwise noted. - Report broken links

Remembering Our Donauschwaben Ancestors