Weiss (Lat Weitzius), George Michael

Weiss (Lat. Weitzius), George Michael a (Dutch) Reformed minister, was a native of the Palatinate of the Rhine, but was licensed and ordained to the Gospel ministry at Heidelberg in 1725. With about four hundred German emigrants, he settled in Pennsylvania in 1726-27, accompanying them by request of his classis as their spiritual teacher. They were aided on their way by the Classis of Amsterdam. In 1731 the colony numbered fifteen thousand souls, who sought here a refuge from oppression. Mr. Weiss settled and founded a Church at Skippach, about twenty-four miles, west of Philadelphia. In 1,728 he asked help for these scattered sheep in the wilderness from his classis of, the Palatinate. But these persecuted "churches under the cross" could only refer them to the Synod of Holland. In 1729-30 he visited Holland with an elder, J. Reif, to solicit money, which was given to a large amount for that day. But Reif stole most of it, only one hundred and thirty- five pounds being recovered. The Classis of Amsterdam sent over ministers and money to sustain these German churches, and thus began that system of missionary labor and supervision out of. which the German Reformed Church has grown up, and which formed a strong and early tie between her and the Reformed Church of Holland. When Weiss returned to America in 1731, he settled among the Germans in New York state, in Schoharie and Dutoihess and Greene counties, at Catskill (now Leeds), Coxsackie etc. Indian depredations obliged in about fourteen years afterwards to return to Pennsylvania. He was a member of the first German ecclesiastical assembly, held in Philadelphia in 1746, and was minister of three German congregations west of Philadelphia about fourteen years. He died at the age of sixty-five. He is represented to have been a fine speaker, speaking Latin as well as he did his native German. His ministry was. entirely a pioneer work, prosecuted under great difficulties and with manifest blessings attendant upon it. See Corwin, Manual of the Ref. Ch. in America, pages 262, 263. (W.J.R.T.)

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