A pioneer German Lutheran pastor in Pennsylvania, Stoever was born in the Lower Palatinate. He arrived in Philadelphia in 1728, having had some private theological training, and soon began a ministry that lasted for a half a century. After several years spent in the Philadelphia area, during which he was ordained, he moved into Lancaster County about 1735 and eight years later into what is now Lebanon County, where he spent the rest of his life. Stoever ministered to many of the Lutherans in these two areas and organized a number of congregations for them. Between 1735 and 1743 he made a dozen or more trips west of the Susquehanna river and as for south as Virginia, performing pastoral services for many of the Germans, and some others, he found there. His personal register records a total of more than 2,000 baptisms and 1,400 marriages. This does not include others which he entered only in congregational registers. Although he was eventually received into the ministerium which Henry Melchior Muhlenberg and his associates organized in 1748, Stoever was essentially an independent pastor. Strong willed, determined, and apparently often obstinate, he was usually a controversial figure, but at a time when ordained ministers were few and far between in the Pennsylvania field, John Casper Stoever provided services for many hundreds of Lutherans and others who wanted them. He collapsed and died in 1779 while conducting a confirmation service, and was buried in the graveyard of the Quitopahille or Hill church, near Cleona, Lebanon County.
-Charles H. Glatfelter