The Rev. George E. Schnabel, 83, pastor emeritus of St. Mark's Evangelical United Brethen Church in Arlington, died of an aneurysm Wednesday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y.

Mr. Schnabel, who moved to Syracuse from Arlington about two years ago, was active in Washington area pulpits and service organizations for more than 40 years. He was a president of the Ministerial Union of Washington and held several offices in the Washington Federation of Churches, now the Council of Churches. He also had been president of the Arlington Council of Churches.

Mr. Schnabel came to Washington in 1926. He founded Albright Memorial Evangelical United Brethen Church and was its pastor for 25 years. In 1951, he was called to St. Mark's in Arlington, where he was pastor until 1967. On his retirement that year, he was named pastor emeritus.

Since the late 1960s, the Albright congregation that Mr. Schnabel organized has been the Albright Memorial United Methodist Church. He also organized congregations in Cheverly and Fairfax County. For four years he was head of the department of Christian education at the Columbia College of the Bible.

In 1958, he headed the Arlington committee to observe the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Schnabel was born in Olean, N.Y. He graduated from Albright College and the Evangelical School of Theology in Reading, Pa. He moved to Washington from a pastorate in Syracuse.

Survivors include a daughter, Margo S. Koten, of Syracuse; a brother, William, of Buffalo, N.Y.; three sisters, Rose Fredrickson, Clara Dudley and Ann McElvia, all of Olean, and two grandchildren.