Nicholas Collin came to the Delaware Valley in 1770 and died here in 1831. He was both the last remaining priest of the Swedish mission and the first priest of the new American Gloria Dei. In his time the American colonies separated from great Britain, the Swedish mission came to an end, and a new Protestant Episcopal Church made up for the sundered relationship with the Church of England. The United states entered on its first great period of economic growth in the two decades after the War of 1812. Collin kept a detailed journal of his activities as a pastor at Trinity Church, Swedesboro, New Jersey (1770-1786), and we learn much about his daily activities, the problems he had keeping his no longer very Swedish congregation together, and the personal peril in which he found himself during the American Revolution.
Andreas Rudman supervised the construction of the new church at Wicaco, beginning in 1698. The church was dedicated on July 2, 1700. Rudman’s deteriorating health led to his replacement as pastor by Anders Sandel in 1702. That same year, Rudman accepted a call to pastor at a Dutch Lutheran congregation in New York City, and later served two Church of England congregations near Philadelphia.
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.
On the 22d of December of 1757, Mr. Parlin died, of pleurisy, after an illness of four days. His remains lie beneath the chancel of Wicaco church, by the side of his predecessors, Rudman and Dylander.
According to “Annals of the Swedes on the Delaware, From their First Settlement in 1636, To the Present Time,” by The Rev. Jehu Curtis Clay, D. D., the following marker appeared under the chancel floor of the church in 1834. This marker appears to be missing today.
"Siste, viator. ingemisce mortalium fatis. Petrus
Kock, Suecus, qui Borealis oritur D. XVIII ante Calend.
Dec., A. R. S., CI381OCCIBll, et in occidente occidit D.
IIII ante Idus Septem. A. C O C C X X X XVI I II.
Disce omnia in hoc orbe ad occasum vergere."
Translated thus: “Stop, traveller, mourn over the fate of mortals. Peter Kock, a Swede, born at the north on the 18th day before the Calends of December in the year 1704, died in the west the fourth day before the Ides of September, in the year 1749. Learn that all things in this world tend to death. ” If in this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable; but thanks be to God,” etc.-1 Cor. xv. K2