Portrait and Biographical Record

Pgs. 520 – 521

Typed by: Lisa Rutt Murphy




Rev. J. Lincoln Litch


    Rev. J. Lincoln Litch, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Bethlehem, has a fine reputation as a pulpit orator, and is a successful worker in the Master’s vineyard.  He has only been located in this city since January 1, 1892, but has succeeded in building up an enviable reputation, and under his preaching the congregation is rapidly enlarging.  The birth of our subject occurred August 15, 1846, in Philadelphia, Pa.  He is of Scotch descent; his grandfather, Thomas Litch, however, was born in Massachusetts, where he followed farming.

     The father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch was Rev. Josiah Litch, whose birth occurred in Lunenburg, Mass.  In his earlier years he was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, but later became identified with the Evangelical Advent denomination.  During his ministerial career he was located in different places in Pennsylvania and New England, among others in Philadelphia and Boston.  At one time he was editor of the denominational paper, Messiah’s Herald, published in Boston, Mass.  His death occurred in Providence, R. I., January 31, 1885, when he had attained the age of seventy-seven years.  He was a literary man and on orator of no low degree.  His wife, Sarah, was the daughter of Rev. William Barstow, and was born in Wickford, R. I.  Her father was a native of Seekonk, of the same state, and was a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church, most of his ministry being in connection with the Massachusetts Conference.  Mrs. Sarah B. Litch, who is eighty-two years of age, resides at the home of our subject, and of her family of six children only two are still living, Rev. J. L. and Prof. Wilbur F. Litch, our subject’s brother, who is a Doctor of Dental Surgery and Professor in the Pennsylvania Dental College in Philadelphia.

     Rev. J. L. Litch passed his youth in Philadelphia until his eighteenth year, attending the public and high schools, and then, with his parents, removed to Boston, Mass., where he completed his education.  His ordination took place in Providence, R. I., in 1867, and, like his father, he was a minister in the Evangelical Advent Church, having charge of a congregation at Westboro, Mass., for three years.  At the end of that time, changing his denominational relation, he was located for a like period as pastor of the Congregational Church at Richmond, Vt., thence going to McIndoe’s Falls, Vt., there being stationed for five years.  His next charge was in Rock Island, R. I., though he resided in Derby, Vt., just across the line.  Afterward for five years he preached in the Congregational Church of Marion, Mass.  Receiving a call to the Central Presbyterian Church at Norristown, he accepted the same, and located there in 1886, where for nearly six years he conducted a successful work among that people.  At the expiration of that time he became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Bethlehem.  This church was organized about 1875, the church building having been erected in 1877.  Since the present pastor’s arrival a beautiful manse has been erected on North Center Street, and the work of the church has been progressing favorably along all lines.

     In 1868, in Providence, R. I., our subject married Miss Ruth M. Case, a native of that city, and four children have been born of their marriage: Ruth; Mabel; Robert Lincoln, who is attending Princeton College, in the Class of ’96; John Case; and Sarah I.  Rev. Mr. Litch is a member of the Lehigh Presbytery. 






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