An American Family History

Dunkel's Kirche

Lutheran Church
  New Jerusalem Reformed Church, Virginville, Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania  

John Jacob Brandstetter was born in 1748 and was baptised at Dunkels.

Matthius Brandstetter was born on March 9, 1745/46. He was christened at Dunkel's Church.

Berks County, Pennsylvania was formed on March 11, 1752 from parts of Chester County, Lancaster County, and Philadelphia County. Northwestern parts of the county became Northumberland County in 1772 and Schuylkill County in 1811.

In 1744 Conrad Koch gave the German Reformed congregation in Greenwich Township two acres to build a church. It was known as"Dunkel's Kirche."

In 1790 the congregation decided to build a new church. In 1824 the church was renovated under the supervision of George Dietrich and John Lenhart. The renewed church was consecrated on October 6, 1824 by the Rev. Benjamin Herman, Lutheran, and the Rev. Augustus Herman, Reformed and given the name "New Jerusalem Church" (Dunkel's Kirche). The timber for the church was brought by sled from Williamsport, Pennsylvania. during the winter, by the Merkels, Dunkels, Dietrichs, and Leibys. In 1859 the congregation decided to build a new church of brick. The corner-stone was laid on June 12, 1859. They were assisted in building the church by Henry Fisher who lived west of Dunkel's Church.

Lutherans are Protestants who follow Martin Luther's religious teachings, especially the doctrine of justification by faith alone.


Greenwich Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania was first settled in 1749. It is north of the current town of Reading.