Ross Township
Jefferson County, Ohio

Bethel Evangelic Lutheran Church
Also known as the German Lutheran Church/Cemetery

“ A Genealogic History of Balthaser Culp and His Descendants,” by Wm. T.S. Culp (Taken from the book written by chapter member, Harold C. Hunter)
Balthaser (Baltzer Culp) Kolb

This is an appraisal and appreciative history of our Patriot and Pioneer, Baltzer Culp, who as a settler accomplished much to Jefferson County, Ohio, such success as defies imagination and probabilities… A soldier in the American Revolution, a Patriot in the cause of Freedom, one whose strength, courage and vision rendered constructive and bounteous services to the new land, into which he had so early immigrated. Living a most exemplary life to an advanced age, giving to the new world more than it returned to him, leaving it enriched and ennobled, a priceless heritage to the multitude of his descendants, to his posterity… He was an adventurer… helped to lay the foundation for a prosperous State, Ohio. In recognition of his services as a Soldier, Patriot, and Pioneer, we offer tribute to this brave, tireless adventurer.

Balthaser Kolb Anglicized to Baltzer Culp


The descendants of Our Pioneer, Baltzer Culp, have universally been men and women of strong religious convictions and faith. Of his four sons, only one allied himself with the Lutheran Church. This was Adam, grandfather of the author of the genealogy and history of Baltzer Culp and his posterity. This son Adam was actually more than an ardent and devout member of the Lutheran Church, he was chiefly and actively a promoter of the creed of the Lutheran, a conscientious advocate.
When he married, he bought a farm near Tunnel Mill on Yellow Creek, and upon this farm organized and built Bethel Lutheran Church, (now known as the Holt Church Cemetery, located in Ross Twp). This church was organized in 1826 and the following is a list of the pastors and dates they served:
• The first pastor was Rev. James Manning who served them for sixteen years. Adam Culp was secretary of the session from the organization of the society until his death.
• Rev. Amos Bartholamew, whose tenure as pastor of this Lutheran Church lasted until 1848. He adopted a constitution for the society and Adam Culp recorded it in the minute book.
• Rev. D. Sparks became pastor in 1848. He remained for one year.
• Rev. D.D. Sparks was the sixth pastor beginning in October 1, 1850.
• Rev D.D. Sparks was reelected on Jan 1, 1853 and remained until October 1, 1859.
• Rev James Manning was recalled and he served until 1864.
• Rev Jacob Singer became pastor Jun 1, 1864 and was pastor when Adam Culp died. He preached the funeral sermon and wrote the obituary for Adam Culp.
• Rev Singer remained pastor until 1867
• Rev J.K. Melhorne was the pastor for fourteen years until 1881.
• Rev A.H. Kinar
In 1842 the membership was recorded as follows:

Elizabeth Culp
George Culp
David Wiles
Samuel Friend
Nancy J. Culp
Mary Wiles
David Friend
William Culp
Daniel Wiles
James Mitchell
Anna Culp
Salone Wiles
Abigail Maple
Margaret Culp
William Wiles
Sarah Maple
John H Culp
Rebecca Wiles
Aaron Maple
Daniel Easterday
Susanna Wiles
Jane Friend
David Notestine
Catherine Friend
John Russell
Rachel Friend
Anna Russell
John Friend
Sara N. Millhorne

In 1842 church minutes recorded: Adam Culp as Elder and Recorder, David Notestine as Elder, John Wiles as Deacon and Daniel Easterday.

To compare church minute records to notes from Dr. Robert Schilling’s book titled, “Historical Notes of Knox Township” pg. 59 he notes the following pastors: “The pastors of the church were Rev. James Manning 1826, Benjamin Pope 1839, Amos Bartholamew 1843, David Sparks 1848, George Baughman 1849, D.D. Sweeney 1850, D. Sparks 1853, James Manning 1859, Jacob Singer 1864 and A.H. Kinnard 1878.”

In 1873 a new Lutheran Church building was erected on the Adam Culp homestead, near Tunnel Mill and it was dedicated on Aug, 17, 1873 by the Rev. W.A. Passavant, of Pittsburgh, PA., and J. Kohler, assisted by Rev. D. D. Sparks, the Pastor. This was the second church building erected by this society on this same location. The membership decreased since the erection of the first church, which was of brick. The oldest members having died and others moving away, thus reducing the number of communicants by more than half. The membership at the time of the dedication of this second church:

John Wiles
Elizabeth Swickard
John C. Smith
George Maple
Anna Swickard
Elizabeth Culp
W.B. Mapl
Jane Mapl
Margaret Smith
Anna Culp
John N. Culp - Deacon
David Swickard
Catherine Maple
Reuben Albaugh
Adam Miles Culp
Matilda Maple
Margaret Culp
McGrew . Smith
David Friend
Mary Culp McIntosh
Eliza Ann Friend
Rebecca Albaugh
Anna Culp

Bethel Lutheran Church (now known as the Holt Church Cemetery) continued to function until but three members were left who were: Robert McIntosh, Mary Ann Culp McIntosh, and John M. Culp. In 1928 the building was taken down and moved to Wellsville, Ohio and there rebuilt as a Mission Church. The Lutheran churches in various localities and states carry the names of the descendants of Baltzer Culp, while the ministry of the Presbyterian and the Methodist Episcopal Church has received many of them.