Henry Melchior Muhlenberg

(1711—1787) Lutheran pastor in America

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‘Patriarch’ of the Lutheran Church in America. Imbued at Göttingen with a broad form of Pietism, he expressed an interest in missionary work. In response to an appeal by Lutheran congregations in Pennsylvania, in 1742 he was sent to America by the mission centre at Halle which had been established by A. H. Francke. He was to give instruction in confessional Lutheranism, recover disaffected members, and see to the organization of the Lutheran Church. He recruited European Lutheran pastors for service in America, trained an American clergy, and in 1748 organized the Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the first permanent Lutheran synod in America.

Subjects: Christianity.

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