During the mid 1800's Johann D. BULLING moved from New York City
to Jerusalem.  A number of his friends, all members of the German
Methodist Church of America, followed him to settle and farm in Jerusalem.  
He soon remarked to his neighbors that he felt it was necessary
for them to have a German preacher.  The neighbors agreed, and petitioned 
their former congregation for a minister.  Their request was granted
when, in 1854, Rev. George Able was assigned to the community of Jerusalem 
as the first German missionary of the Washington Street German
Methodist-Episcopal Church.
The first religious services were held in the homes of the German-
speaking residents.  Two years later, in 1856, the Town of Hempstead
gave one acre of land to the mission, on which to build a church and
lay out a cemetery.  This was the origin of the present St. John of
Jerusalem Cemetery, which is located on the west side of Wantagh Ave.
about one-half mile north of North Jerusalem Road.
Little is recorded as to the building of the church or the initial fund 
raising for it.  It has been assumed from the minutes of the
quarterly church meetings that just the shell of the church building
was initially erected in 1856.  The interior finishing was done in
various states in later years, as funds became available.  The members
of the congregation were hard working farmers of little means.  They
were generous to their church, but, as recent immigrants from Germany,
their first concern was to establish their own farms and provide for
their growing families.  Their task was made even more difficult by
the onset of the Civil War and the depression which followed.  As a
result, the church grew slowly.
In December of 1862, the cemetery grounds were surveyed and
measured in 40 lots of 8 graves each.  An initial lot was sold for $5
The first burial listed was Frederick DOSCHER, born December 9, 1814,
died September, 1862.  Records of the cemetery indicate that the pric
of lots increased during the 1860's, until they had doubled in price
by 1872.
During the years that followed, the cemetery trustees decided
that non-members of the congregation could not inter their loved ones
without a death certificate signed by a doctor.  They also set rates
for opening a grave ($2.25 in 1896) and provided, for an additional
charge of 25 cents, the ringing of the church bell during a burial
As the twentieth century progressed, the younger generation
became unwilling to accept the services being held in German, and the
records being kept in German.  The congregation grew smaller and smaler. 
The last entry in the German Methodist-Episcopal Mission Church
record is dated August 1, 1912.  There are no records regarding the
church after this date.
The church remained unused from 1912 to 1926, when permission
was given to the local Lutherans to use it for their services as a
theran mission church, under the guidance of Pastor Miller of
Freeport.  The first service was held on Thanksgiving Day, 1926. 
Services were held in the church building for fourteen years.  In 1940
the Lutheran congregation moved into their own new church building on
Hyland Road in Wantagh.
The church again remained idle until 1949 when the United
Chiristian group obtained permission to use it.  This congregation
prospered for some years, but ended in 1969.
The cemetery was fenced during 1929 and 1930.  It was incorporated
in in 1939, and is currently maintained in excellent condition by a
board of trustees.   An important link in our community's history, it
lies serenely beside the present day activity of Wantagh Avenue.

ST. JOHN OF JERUSALEM CEMETERY Soldiers Interred: Richard Baulsir, Sr.- Civil War Albert Stackhammer - Spanish American War George Borgwardt - World War I Louis Damn - World War I Harry Hart - World War I Charles Ollry - World War I Hans Stendrup - World War I William Abrams - World War I Louis Klug - World War I Carl Klug - World War I Richard Smith - World War I Lester Wiebel - World War I Robert Damm - World War II John Rogoski - Vietnam Compiled by Theodore Wiebel, 1976. Source: Old Burying Ground Oakfield Avenue, Wantagh, N.Y. By: Karl F. Pfeiffer Wantagh American Revolution Bicentennial Committee (Bellmore Library, Bellmore.N.Y.) Transcribed by Nancy E Lutz Back to CEMETERY INDEX Back to BROOKLYN Page Main