Pastor Ernst Frederick (E.F.) Winter

St. John’s Founding Pastor


Born in Siegen, Prussia on November 30, 1812 to Carl Samuel and Marianne Jacoby Winter. He was educated in the University of Hamburg and immigrated to the United States in 1834, at the age of 22. He arrived first in Philadelphia and would travel to Pittsburgh and then accepted the pastorate of St. Peter’s Reformed church in Phillipsburg, PA (modern day Monaca) in 1835. In 1836, he added St. John’s to his list of parishes (serving St. John’s for 44 years) and through the course of his ministry, he served at least 11 congregations in western Pennsylvania and in Eastern Ohio of which we are aware. He is listed as a member in good standing in the minutes of the German Reformed Synod of Ohio of the Reformed Church in the United States, having come from the Classis of Western Pennsylvania when it merged with the Ohio Synod in 1837.


In 1838, he married Johanna Katharina Swartz of Wheeling, WV and between them they has twelve children. Pastor Winter was also a talented artist and pianist, regularly giving concerts with his children. He began a German school here at St. John’s which his brother would later oversee. He retired in 1880, at the age of 68 due to declining health and died in 1884. His body remains in the Zelienople Cemetery where it awaits its resurrection to glory at the second-coming of Jesus.


During his ministry, he conducted 1,312 baptisms, 709 confirmations, 245 marriages, and 341 funerals.



Churches that Pastor Winter Served


St. Peters of Phillipsburg, PA from 1835-1859

St. John’s (Burry’s) Church from 1836-1880

Grace Reformed Church of Harmony PA from 1837-1839 and 1842-1845

St. Matthew’s Church of Wallrose, PA from 1838-1865

St. Daniels in Butler, PA from 1839-?

St. Martins in New Lisbon, OH from 1839-?

St. Paul’s in Columbiana, OH from 1839-?

St. John’s of Lovi, PA from 1843-1865

German Reformed Church of Rochester, PA from 1856-1866

St. Peter’s Reformed Church of Zelienople, PA from 1858-1880

St. John’s of Evansburg, PA from 1863-1879

Zion Church of Wayne Township, PA in 1868

Grace Church of Middle Lancaster, PA from 1868-1874