The 1730’s through the 1780’s was an era dominated by controversy and efforts to maintain the Gloria Dei congregation in the face of strong competition from other denominations. The pastorship was vacant from 1733 to 1737, and the beloved John Dylander had to rebuild the congregation. He was largely successful in this before his untimely death in 1741. Like Rudman, he is buried in the church. Dylander was succeeded by Gabriel Nasman, whose time at Gloria Dei was marked by competition from Moravian missionaties that reduced the size of the congregation, and a debate within the congregation about cooperating with the newly powerful and numerous German Lutherans, who were led by the energetic and capable Reverend Henry Melchior Muhlenberg.

memory of
the Reverend
John Dylander
missionary from Sweden,
& four years minister of this church,
who died Novbr 2d, Anno Dom. 1741
Aetatis Suce 32

While here he sung his makers praise,
The listening angels heard his song,
And called their consort soul away.
Pleased with a strain so like their own

“His soul attentive to the call,
And quickly listening to obey,
Soared to ethereal scenes of bliss,
For pure to dwell in grosser clay.”