Tag Archives: Johann Gerhard Oncken




Oncken, Gerhard

Johann Onken


He did not dread the dungeon

Pg. 34 – JOHANN ONCKEN THE FATHER OF THE MODERN GERMAN AND EUROPEAN BAPTISTS – 19TH CENTURY – Johann Gerhard Oncken, the “Apostle of the German Baptists” was born on January 26, 1800 and for fifty years he served the Lord tirelessly! He was also known as the “Father of the Continental Baptists.” H. Leon McBeth in, The Baptist Heritage said, “Oncken served as a one-man mission society, theological seminary, and literature distribution center. Seldom has one man contributed so much to the development of a denomination nor left his stamp more indelibly upon it, not only in Germany but throughout Europe.” Oncken’s motto was “Every Baptist a missionary”, and by 1850 the First Baptist Church of Hamburg supported three missionaries and assisted in erecting more than 20 church buildings in Europe. In 1847 Oncken baptized converts and formed a church in Switzerland. The same year he did the same in Austria. In 1855 he was in Latvia. In 1858 a church was formed in Bucharest as well. Some Hungarians came in contact with Oncken in Germany, and after being converted, went back as missionaries to their own people. Oncken could not be intimidated nor silenced; he paid no heed to the prohibitions of the authorities; neither did he dread the dungeon.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 34.

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Oncken, GerhardJohann Gerhard Oncken

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

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286 – Oct. 13 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Julius Kobner


Baptists come to Denmark


1867 – A new Baptist church edifice was dedicated to the Glory of God in Copenhagen, Denmark, to meet the need of the four hundred members, of what had been a severely persecuted people. Their pastor Julius Kobner, a converted Jew, had come from Germany to give leadership to the Baptists of Denmark who had merged from the persecution after Denmark had made persecution unlawful in 1849. At the beginning of the 19th Century Satan had used the State church and a spirit of nationalism to hinder the gospel, but a spiritual stirring began, including a powerful preacher of the gospel. Kobner made a visit and found a group who had become disenchanted with the doctrine of infant baptism. Kobner maintained correspondence with them. Johann Gerhard Oncken of Germany and Kobner in Oct. of 1839, traveled to Copenhagen, baptized 11 and formed the First Danish Baptist Church. One of their own, a Brother Monster took the leadership and another ten were baptized. Bro. Monster was then imprisoned. Another church was established at Aalborg (Jutland), and then a storm of persecution broke out. Both the Monster brothers were imprisoned again after many more were baptized. In 1841 the British Baptists sent a delegation and presented a petition to the King on behalf of their persecuted Brethren to no avail. But God prevailed with nine Baptist churches by 1867. [J. H. Rushbrooke, The History of American Baptist Missions in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America (Boston: Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, 1850), pp. 233-34. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 561-62]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon


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