In the 1850′s Pittsfield was an incorporated town of approximately 8,000 inhabitants. Among them were some 200 Germans of various faiths. Perhaps one fifth of them were Lutherans. Loyal to the faith of their fathers, they had a strong desire to worship God in their mother-tongue.
The first knowledge we have of Lutheran services being held in Pittsfield goes back to 1851. Communications had been established with a similar group in Ghent, N. Y. From that village a candidate for the Lutheran ministry, C. A. Julius Pohle by name, visited the Pittsfield Lutherans from time to time. He probably traveled by train on the new railroad line from Chatham, N. Y. At the time, according to his own account, he was preaching in Waldemeier’s schoolhouse, three miles from Ghent and in Liggett’s schoolhouse, six miles distant. His report goes on to say that he was also preaching in Claverack, N. Y., and Pittsfield, Mass.
Not until 1859 does the history of Zion Lutheran Church emerge into clear light. In April of that year the Rev. Augustus Grotrian, who is described in J. E. A. Smith’s History of Pittsfield (1876), as a “a learned and able minister of Albany,” received a call from the Pittsfield Lutherans to become their pastor. Under his guidance the congregation was organized on October 13, 1859, on the basis of the Lutheran confessions. It adopted the name, “The Evangelical Church of the Augusburg Confession.” Since then this date has been observed as the anniversary of the founding of this church.
The Rev. Augustus Grotian – October 13, 1859 to April, 1865
The Rev. A. Kretzschmar – August 1865 to April 1866
The Rev. J. J. Simon – June 1866 to November 1868
The Rev. John D. Haeger – November 1868 to June 3, 1888
The Rev. C. F. W. Hoppe – July 1888 to June 1893
The Rev. Werner L. Genzmer – July 1, 1893 to October 2, 1923
The Rev. Henry B. Dickert – May 18, 1924 to September 1, 1957
The Rev. Gordon E. Hohl – October 1, 1957 to January 24, 1965
The Rev. Richard R. Rintella – July 1, 1965 to August 15, 1969
The Rev. Gordon E. Hohl – October 15, 1969 to April 11, 1983
The Rev. Edwin H. Larson – April 27, 1983 to August 30, 1987
The Rev. Dennis P. Kohl – June 25, 1988 to June 6, 1993
The Rev. Peter D. Boehringer – July 3, 1993 to November 22, 2009
The Rev. Timothy R. Weisman – September 1, 2011 to present