Baptists go to Germany
1884 – Johann Gerhard Oncken, the “Apostle of the German Baptists,” finished his course, and went home to be with His Lord. As a young Lutheran he had left his native Germany for England to serve an apprenticeship under a devout Presbyterian tradesman. He treasured his Bible, but it was only after a serious accident, and a near death encounter, that brought him to salvation in Christ after hearing a rousing sermon in a Methodist church. Immediately he desired to be a missionary and from that day he became a witness for Christ. He was sent to Germany by the British Continental Society. He united with the English Reformed Church and set out for Hamburg, Germany, but the German State Church for bid him to preach. He became an agent of the Edinburg Bible Society. During his lifetime he distributed over two million copies of the scriptures. Upon the arrival of his first child he began to question infant baptism and after studying His Bible, he longed to be immersed himself, but had to wait five years before he could. In time he found the Rev. Barnas Sears, an American studying in Germany. On April 22, 1834, seven believers were immersed at night in the river Elbe near Hamburg. This became the First Baptist Church in modern Germany, and Oncken became their pastor. Within four years churches were begun in Berlin, Oldenburg, and Stuttgart. In May of 1840, he was arrested and cast into prison, for the first, of what was to become numerous imprisonments. But the opposition merely caused spiritual advancement by the Baptists. Oncken’s work spread into Denmark, the Netherland’s, as well as Lithuania, Switzerland, Poland, and Russia. In 1860, Germany passed a law granting religious freedom. The Hamburg church seated 1400 people.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 02-03
The post 02 – January 02 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST appeared first on The Trumpet Online.