Borodino Bessarabia Home Site: Churches which Hein and Remmick families attended...

Last updated: 2 April 2005


Hein & Remmick Churches

Lutheran Church in Borodino / Bessarabia, S. Russia

1847-50 - Built


Lutheran Church in Borodino / Bess. S. Russia

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 Christina, nee Schweikert, and Ludwig Hein attended the Lutheran Church in the German-Russian village of Borodino where they were both born in 1885.

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 Lutheran Church in  Lodi, California, USA

Luth. Ch Lodi

Ludwig and Christina Hein attended this church in Lodi from the early 1940s up to Ludwig's death in 1956, then she moved closer and continued to attend here until the new church was built across town. Christina was the eldest member of the new church up to her death in 1982 at the age of 96.

A Little History

Speyer 's Lutheran Church in Germany

Speyer Church

Remmick-Hubert Collection - 1991


The church shown above is the church rebuilt in 1912-14 where the original church stood in which Martin Luther presented his new thoughts to the Worms Imperial Diet.  The Reichskannergericht [imperial high court] ruled from Speyer since the 7th century.  This church was rebuilt in Martin Luther memory and all others who devoted- in and outside of Speyer -their lives to the Reformation.

The original had been built under Conrad II "the Salient" in the years 1030.

It was here in Speyer where Martin Luther and his followers were first called Protestants.

In 1689 and. again, in 1793 the French troops took Speyer and   they burned the churches and vandalized what was left...

The Bavarian King took control of Speyer in 1815 and with the moneys of Kings Maximillian and Ludwig of Bavaria built "chapel of St. Afra, c.1110, in 1850.

Across the park is the Catholic Church which held the tombs of 8 Emperors and Kings, 3 Empresses , 2 Imperial Chancellors and other medieval tombs of earlier kings....

Before this became a German town it was a Celtic and the town was called Novo Magius.

Martin Luther was born in 1483 sand died in  1546.  It was in 1521 when he was called in front of the Worms Diet in Speyer.   Luther was excommunicated in the same year.  He went on with his religious views.  I won't go into his views, one can dig it out of a book found at your local library, however,  his importance to Germany was not just his rebellion to the Catholic church,  it was he who translated the the entire bible into German so the common person, could read the holy words of his God. In this act, the German lanuage gained a common usage among the Germans in all the German states.

One of Martin Luther's rivals was Zwingli  who married one of my ancestors, Felix Oschners in the Great Church in Zurich, Switzerland in 1525. The Ochsner's migrated to Edenkoben and later to Worms Russia where a Roemmich married a Ochsner.  Calvanism was built on on Zwingli's doctrines.  The Ochsners and Roemmich became   part of the reform church.

Gr. Ch. Z/W  inside ch.

Great Cathedral, Zurich, Switzerland where Ochsner's attended in the 1500s

Roemmich ancestors, Felix Ochsner and his wife, Fronegg Grosswiller were married in this Great Cathedral in the year 1525 by Zwingli.  

#1 fountain sm b

Old Protestant Church in Edenkoben, Pfalz-Rineland


The church on the left is the church the Roemmich family attended while they lived in Edenkoben / Pfalz-Rhineland, Germany.

The church on the right is the same church being restored. The completed restoration by 2000 [#5] is shown on another page in the collection of Worms / Odessa Photographs.

#1 From Remmick-Hubert Collection - 1991

#2 From Penny Raile's Collection - 1996

#3 From Dorothy Kerr's Collection - May 1996

#4 From Merv Rennich's Collection - 1998

#5 From the Collection of JF- No. 15




The Reform Church in Worms / Odessa, S. Russia


Evangelical Lutheran Reform Church in Lodi, California, USA

   One of the many descendent of Felix Ochsner, who followed Zwingli's teachings, Judy A. Remmick [Hubert], attended the Evangelical Lutheran Reform church in Lodi  in the late 1940s to the 1950.  Sometimes,  she went to church with her mother, Lillian, nee Hein, Remmick and her Hein grandparents to the Lutheran Church [shown above].  She especially remembers Christmas Eve being celebrated in the old Lutheran church which was sung and spoken in German.  

A Little More History

The Following is an explnation I felt would help many to understand the various religious groups our German-Russian acnestors were a part.  It was given by Robert M. Benson, who gave  me permision to repeat one of his E-mail.  Dated 8 Dec 1998:

Dear Friends,

Below is an explanation of the two Evangelical Churches in Germany and later Russia, as well as a bit of information on the Anabaptists.

The term "Evangelical" has been shared by adherents to the teachings of both Luther and Zwingli. Evangelical distinguishes these faiths from the Catholic and it means the person or organization professes their faith to be in agreement with the Christian gospels.

The major difference between an Evangelical Lutheran and an Evangelical Reformed is the matter of the Eucharist. Lutherans profess a belief that the bread and wine are the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Reformed profess that the bread and wine represent the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the great stumbling block for Protestant unity when Philip of Hesse invited Martin Luther and his followers and Huldrych Zwingli and his followers to meet at Marburg in 1529.

There were other differences as well, Luther and his followers focused upon personal salvation and the concept of free will, while Zwingli focused on Christian believers leading a good life and social reform. Other differences were mostly liturgical, with the Lutherans being more formal than the Reformed. At Marburg, Luther and Zwingli were able to agree in principle on almost every point that divided them except the nature of the bread and wine as the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John Calvin (Jean Cauvin) was a reformer of the second generation picking up where Zwingli left off. This is not to denigrate his contribution, after all he couldn't help that he was born in 1509. John Calvin was a great theologian, teacher, pastor and organizer and the Evangelical Reformed have much to thank for his contributions to the Reformed movement. And anticipating the question, John Knox was a disciple of John Calvin.

A follower of Huldrych Zwingli was Conrad Grebel. Grebel founded the Anabaptist movement in 1525. The Anabaptists repudiated the validity of infant baptism and baptized adults who had been baptized as children. This offended Lutheran, Reformed, and Catholic alike as they acknowledged only one baptism for the remission of original sin, regardless of the church administering the sacrament. For this reason the Anabaptists or Rebaptists were reviled by both Protestant and Catholic and were suppressed. Conrad  Grebel died in 1526 from a recurrence of the plague. Among the Anabaptists

Germans from Russia might be interested in are the followers of MennoSimons (Mennonites) and Jacob Hutter (Hutterites) as followers of both eventually found their way to Russia.

There is one other group we should discuss and that is the Separatists. The Separatists were conservative Evangelical Lutherans from the state of Wurtenburg that objected to changes in the state religion, in particular the introduction of a new hymn book in 1816 that they considered heretical. This was just after the end of the Napoleonic wars that had ravaged areas in Germany causing a depression, followed by drought. These economic and religious changes convinced some that the millennium was approaching and they left Wurtenburg for Jerusalem to witness Christ's return. Following the Danube to the Black Sea they travelled along the Black Sea coast. The Russians intercepted them before they were able to transit the Caucuses and settled them in the South Caucasus region. The experience of the first group encouraged others to follow and they were likewise settled, in the Black Sea region. Their name originates from their separation from the state sponsored Evangelical Lutheran Church.

My Ger-Rus ancestors came from both Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed persuasions. My gg uncle was the Pastor in Norka, his name was Wilhelm Staerkel. He was born in Norka, attended school in the Volga region and went on to a seminary in Switzerland. He then came to America and was a missionary in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the midwest in the mid 1860's. He returned to Russia and accepted a call in the Volga and later accepted a call to his home village at Norka wherte he retired and passed away in 1914 or 1915. Pastor Staerkel was an advocate of migration to America after the restriction on colony rights were promulgated in the early 1870's. Early on in the Volga separate church services were held by either a Lutheran or a Reformed pastor in a colony. One or the other served both faiths. Later, after years of socialization and with intermarriage they set aside their differences and worshiped together.

A large number of Germans from Russia converted to the reformed church after arriving here. This was due in part to the reception they encountered with their Reichsdeutch brethren. While some Reichsdeutch Lutherans looked upon our people as bumpkins and clodhoppers the Congregational Church was willing to minister to their spiritual needs and an essentially English reformed church found a large German population for its ministry. That church has undergone a number of consolidations with related faiths and is now named the United Church of Christ.

Recommended reading:

Any person interested in understanding the Reformation should consider "A Short History of Reformation Europe - Dances over Fire and Water" by Jonathan W. Zophy and published by Prenice-Hall Inc. ISBN 0-13-181561-X. While I have other books on this subject, this book is recommended as it is an easy but focused read, the focus being of course the Reformation. It deals with some early reformers such as John Wycliff and Jan Hus, gives the reader an understanding as to the underlying politics and geopolitical forces affecting the region and provides short biographies on both the principal and supporting "players." It also includes information on the Anabaptists, including Menno Simons and Jacob Hutter.

Robert M. Benson mb@NS.NET

33 Moonlit Circle

Sacramento, CA 95831-1505


Norka Village Coordinator

Researching Surnames Staerkel (Starkel, Sterkel, Storkel), Knipple, Schaeffer and Lenhardt (Leonhardt) and others originating in Norka, Grimm and possibly Frank.



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