the pastors of Jarek

The Pastors of  Jarek

by  Rosi Amthor  (nee Lottbrein)

translated by  Sieghart Rein

In the first three years after the colonization in the year 1787 Jarek had no pastor. The official acts were presumably performed by the Catholic priest from Temerin or by the Slovak Lutheran pastors from Petrovac and Kisatsch.

Johann GETS ministered as the first pastor in Jarek (1790-1796). He was a native of Aportelek (Mokra) in the Komitat of Arad. Pastor Gets was the son of a pastor. He was born in the year 1756 and died after hardly 6 years in office.

Johann KOROSSY followed him as second pastor in office (1796-1842). He was born in 1766 in Petrovac. After completing his theological studies and after 2 years as private tutor and proper inspector of the Montan superintendent, he was called by the Jarek congregation to be its minister. In the year 1842 he retired after he occupied the office of pastor 46 years and passed it to his son with the same name. He was Seniorats Preceptor (preceptor of the church-wide council of elders) for 18 years and several years Schuldekan (dean of religious instruction over all the schools in the South Batschka). He died after a 9-year retirement in Jarek.

As third pastor of the congregation he worked from 1842 till 1894, as successor of his father, Johann KOROSSY, junior. He was born on July 16, 1818 and was called as assistant pastor following his studies in the year 1842. After his father Johann Korossy, Senior retired in 1843, he was unanimously chosen as pastor by the congregation. By his pious, beneficial work, he was highly esteemed in Jarek. When the people of Jarek in the year 1848 had to leave their village, which was set on fire by the insurgents and burned down completely except for the church, he was in danger of his life. He fled to Kula and from there to Srbobran (St. Thomas). The wagons were encircled by the rebels and the men were taken down individually and beaten to death. The pastor was rescued only by the astuteness of someone from Jarek and was able to escape. He died on May 12, 1894, in the 52nd year in office and in the 76th year of his life.

The fourth and at the same time the first German pastor was Peter WACK (1894-1928). The first three pastors in Jarek were of Slovak nationality. Pastor Wack was born on October 4, 1866 in Kischker (B. Dobro Polje). After completion of his study of theology, he was ordained in the year 1893 and thereupon chosen by the Jareker to be their pastor in the year 1894.

In the era of his activity belongs the thorough renovation of the church and the schools, as well as erection of the Luther memorial in the forecourt of the church. Additionally he was the cofounder of the Jarek Male Choral Society. In the governing body he held the leading offices: he was decan, senior recording notary president of the benevolent society, assistant chairman, and finally chairman. As such he represented the national church at the Lutheran World Convention. He died on August 31, 1927.

Picture 1 — Pastor Peter Wack at the dedication
of the Luther memorial (far left)

Elected as successor of Peter Wack as fifth pastor was Franz MORGENTHALER the Elder (1928-1934). He was a native of Jarek. He was born on June 9, 1881 in Jarek as son of a farmer. Following his theological studies he was ordained on August 31, 1905 at Pilis. Immediately thereafter he went as vicar to Cervenka, then as pastor to Neu-Pasua. Under his ministerial leadership the orphanage Siloah was built.

(See also the homepage of: under: History Neu-Pasua ==> in the left column under: further information of the Orphanage Siloah.)

When in the year of the revolution 1918 seditious hordes raided the village, Pastor Morgenthaler remained as protection of the helpless and the old and was almost bludgeoned to death. It took four years for him to recover from the physical and psychological wounds. These he spent in the hospital in Fünfkirchen (Pecs).

From March 1915 until February 1919 he was at the head of the Croatian-Slovakian Seniorat. After he had been pastor in Zabalj from 1924-1928, the members of the Jarek congregation elected him as their pastor in March 1928. He was the founder of the Lutheran Youth Society and introduced Bible study and children’s worship services to Jarek. Regrettably his time in office lasted only 5 years. He died on January 3, 1934.

Picture 2 — Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Senior.

Picture 3 — Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Senior (center),
at his installation into office in the circle
of his colleagues in front of the Luther memorial.

After the death of Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Sr. a two-year vacancy of pastors set in. During those two years the congregation was taken care of by Administrator Pastor Daniel Hübchen from Zabalj and Vicar Martin Haas, pastor in Zemum.

As sixth and last pastor of our congregation, Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Jr. was solemnly installed into his office on November 16, 1935.

He was born on July 11, 1909 in Neu-Pasua, and following his theological studies was ordained as servant of the Lord by the first bishop of our national church, Philipp Popp, D.D. on November 4, 1934 in Zagreb. He spent his time as vicar in Cervenka and Laibach. After he had completed his military service, he was called by his home congregation as its pastor.

He continued the work of his father and enjoyed great popularity among the people. When, shortly after his installation, the preparations for the 150th anniversary were to be met and in connection of it the publication of a Heimatbuch was planned, he devoted all his ability and knowledge and rendered a great service as its coauthor. Regrettably, only eight years in office were granted this esteemed and beloved pastor, because he came down with meningitis and died on December 23, 1943.

Picture 4 — Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Jr.
as student

Picture 5 — Pastor Franz Morgenthaler, Jr. (with bouquet)
at his installation on Nov. 16, 1935 in Jarek
in the circle of members of his family and colleagues

A successor was yet elected indeed, but he did not enter his office due to the occurrences of the war. The official acts were taken over by the pastors of the neighboring congregations.

What this all amounts to is that the two Pastors KOROSSY, who together have served 98 years of the pastorate in Jarek, have shaped the people of Jarek most and influenced the religious life greatly. Under Pastor Korossy, Senior the beautiful Jarek church was built (Link to: History of the Church of Jarek), which his son after the fire of Jarek in the year 1848 (Link to: Revolution of 1848), had renovated and dedicated anew among great sacrifices of the members of his congregation. Both have earned great.

The three subsequent pastors, Peter WACK, Franz MORGENTHALER, Senior and Junior, altogether worked in Jarek exactly half as long. The church was newly renovated and also newly dedicated under Pastor Wack. The two Pastors Morgenthaler enriched the religious life by the extension of institutions, such as children’s worship services and Bible studies. Pastor Morgenthaler, Junior celebrated the 150th anniversary with the members of his congregation and was the coauthor of the Heimatbuch of 1937. Regrettably neither was granted to carry out their service in their beloved Jarek for a longer time.

The people of Jarek admired and esteemed all of their pastors highly.


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