In the year 1774 after the birth of Christ the following members of our congregation
began to build the so-called
Organ Church, namely:


                         George Ludwig Siffert

                         Wendel Miller

                         Peter Eddleman

   (Johannes)            John Steigerwalt

                         Phillip Cruse

                         Peter Steigerwalt

                         Micheal Guthmann

   (Christoph)           Christopher Pless

                         Leonard Siffert

                         Jacob Klein

    (Anton)              Anthony Kuhn

    (Georg Heinrich)     George Henry Berger

    (Christoph)          Christopher Guthmann

    (Johannes)           John Hintelmann

    (Johannes)           John Eckel

                         Bastian Lens

                         Jacob Lens

     (Georg)             George Eckel

     (Frans)             Francis Oberhirach

     (Johannes)          John Jose

     (Heinrich)          Henry _ensel

(Signature and date in Latin-)
I have written this with my hand C. A. ___ torch
d. t. V. D U

for the time being minister of the word of God
The 31st day of January, 1789

Being a German Lutheran, Johannes “John” Jose settled with others of the same faith in a community on the Cabarrus/Rowan County NC line.

He was a member of Zion Church, which is fondly known as Organ Lutheran. This name comes from the fact that an early member built an organ for the church which is believed to be the oldest or first built in the southern United States. Page one of the earliest minutes for the church begins with a minister's account of the members of the congregation who had worked to build the church. Written in 1789, he refers to the church as "Organ Church" and further states that construction began in 1774.



(Source:  Descendants of Christopher Pless, excerpts from his history found on