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Wilhelm Loehe – 1808 – 1872

Today we commemorate Wilhlem Loehe, a Lutheran Pastor who served in Germany.  He was a Pastor in Neuendettelsau, near Nuremburg.  He said the place was not fit for the burial of dogs, and yet he stayed there for his entire ministry.  His dedication to the church he was called to Pastor shows his understanding of church and ministry and his belief that mission work is the church of God in motion.  He is commemorated for his tireless work in preparing young men to go around the world for the Gospel.  He sent pastors to North America, Australia, New Guinea, Brazil, and the Ukraine. His work for a clear confessional basis within the German church sometimes led to conflict with his superiors. His chief concern was that a parish find its life in the Lord’s Supper and from that source evangelism and works of mercy would flow. Many Lutheran congregations in Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa were either founded or influenced by missionaries sent by Loehe and he is considered a founder of the Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne Indiana.  He is also considered the founder of the Deaconess movement in Lutheran Church.  His love for mercy work and missions led John Pless to write that “he was a missionary who never left home”.

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