In 1743 Rev. Bartholomew Zauberbühler, a Swiss minister of the gospel, attempted to displace the Rev. John Giessendanner (1721-1761) from his charge in Orangeburgh and make himself the pastor of these churches. In the counter-petition we find the reason for a sudden use of the English language in the year 1741. In this year Rev. John Giessendanner has been asked to preach once every fortnight in English, "which he hath since performed"(see red text)

The following counter-petition against Mr. Zauberbühler from the Orangeburg settlers is found in vol. xi of Journals of Council, pp. 139-143, and dated March 6th 1743:

"Read the humble petition of the German and English inhabitants of Orangeburg and the adjoining plantations, showing to his Excellency, to whom it is directed, that the petitioners heartily congratulate his Excellency on his auspicious ascension to the government of this Province, hoping that by his judicious care and power not only their present grievances, but likewise all other misfortunes may evaporate and vanish. And ye said petitioneers humbly beg leave to acquaint ye Excellency, that above five years ago the German minister happening to die**,
Mr. John Giessendanner, by the consent and approbation of your said German petitioners, went to Charlestown with the intention to make his application to the Rev. Mr. Alexander Garden, Commissary, to admit him into holy orders, to preach in German in this township; and when the said Mr. John Giessendanner came to Charlestown aforesaid, he accidentally met with one Major Christian Motte, who acquainted him that he ought not to trouble the said Rev. Alexander Garden with the affair but to go with him to some certain gentlemen, who, if they found him sufficient, would directly give him orders according to his desire; upon which the said Mr. John Giessendanner, being then a stranger to the English method of proceeding in such cases, accompanied the said Major Christian Motte, and was by him introduced to an Assembly of the Presbytery, who after examination presented him with orders to preach, which he has since done in German constantly for the space of five years to the inexpressible satisfaction of the congregation at Orangeburg;
and about two years ago your said English petitioners, being fully sixty miles from any other place of divine worship, some of whom had not been favored with an opportunity of hearing a sermon in the space of seven years, observing the said Mr. John Giessendanner to be a man of learning, piety, all knowledge in the Holy Scriptures, prevailed with him to officiate in preaching once every fortnight in English, which he hath since performed very articulate and intelligible to the entire satisfaction of ye said English petitioners, and always behaves himself with sobriety, honesty and justice, encouraging virtue and reproving vice.

"And the said Mr. John Giessendanner lately observing great irregularities and disorders being committed almost every Sabbath day by some wicked persons in one part of the township, publicly reprimanded them for the same, which reproof so exasperated them that they threatened to kick the said Mr. John Giessendanner out of the church if he offered to preach there anymore, and have lately sent for one Bartholomew Zauberbühler, a man who not long ago pretended to preach at Savannah town, but as your said petitioners are informed, was soon obliged to leave that place and a very indecent character behind him. The last week he arrived at Orangeburg, and upon the last Sabbath, he, the said Bartholomew Zauberbühler had his wicked adherents associated together, and pretended that the said Bartholomew Zauberbühler had brought with him a power from the Hon. William Bull, Esq., late Lieutenant-Governor of this Province, his Majesty's Hon. Council, and the Rev. Alexander Garden, Commissary, an order to expel the said Mr. John Giessendanner from the church, and to preach there himself, and some of ye said petitioners demanded a sight of his said authority, but he refused to produce it, which occasioned great animosities and disorders in the congregation, and when the said Bartholomew Zauberbühler makes his second appearance at or near Orangeburg, which he declares shall be at ye expiration of three weeks, there shall certainly be more disturbance and confusion than before, unless some powerful means be used to obstruct it.
'' Whereupon your said petitioners most humbly beg that your Excellency will be pleased to interpose with your authority, and direct the said Mr. Alexander Garden, if he hath given or granted any such orders, to countermand them, and to permit the said Mr. John Giessendanner still to officiate for them in divine service free from any further disturbance or molestation, &c.

"Signed by John Harn, and above forescore more subscribers.*

* (Note Salley) All efforts to find the original of this petition, with the names appended, have been unsuccessful.

(Note Joop) to avoid misunderstandings:
** Refers to Hans Ulrich Giessendanner (1686-1738), who, although German speaking, was of Swiss origin.
He acted (upon their request) as their first minister, but was, for as much as we know now, never ordained.
full details on Rev. Hans Ulrich

Comment Joop:

© Joop Giesendanner, the Netherlands