Johann Gerhard Oncken

By 1826, though still a member of a church that taught infant baptism, he appears to have decided against it, for in that year he refused to present his child for the ceremony. Matthews (his pastor), C. Matthews became convinced that he should be baptized by immersion, resigned his church and traveled to England to be baptized. Oncken thought this appeared to be without Biblical authority, and said of Haldane's advice, "Even great men are able to err." Oncken also corresponded with Joseph Ivimey. Ivimey invited him to come to London and receive believer's baptism. Oncken had also told his story to Calvin Tubbs, a sea captain. Tubbs told Oncken's story to the (American Baptist) Triennial Convention. In 1833, Barnas Sears, a professor at Hamilton College, visited Germany for studies. Having heard the story, he made it a point to find and speak to Oncken. Sears traveled from Halle, where he was studying, to Hamburg, and baptized Oncken, his wife and five others in the Elbe on 22 April. German authorities felt that people being dipped in the river was an offence to public morals. The next day, Sears organized them into a church body. The church quickly grew to 68 members by 1836, but after that year persecution temporarily halted its growth. Though the Baptists initially engaged in performing baptisms at night, in 1837 Oncken began to baptize openly. The civil authorities gave them peace for a while after the Hamburg fire of 1842, due to the help the Baptists gave to the people of the city. In 1848 and 1850, German citizens gained a degree of religious liberty, making it possible for the Baptists to preach publicly and openly. mehr

Bernardino de Sahagún

Franciscan Friars who went to the New World were motivated by a desire to preach the Gospel to new peoples. They believed that New Spain was the opportunity to revive the pure spirit of primitive Christianity. During the first decades of the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica, many indigenous people converted to Christianity, at least superficially. mehr

Thomas Aufield

He was born in Gloucestershire and educated at Eton College and King's College, Cambridge. He then converted to Roman Catholicism and in 1576 fled to the English College at Douai, France. He was ordained a priest in 1581 and returned to England to preach in secret. He seems to have mostly operated in the North, where he was arrested on 2 May 1582. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London, where he was tortured and apostatised, returning to Protestantism. mehr

Eleazar Wheelock

In 1743, Wheelock took in a student named Samson Occom, a Mohegan who knew English and had converted to Christianity in his childhood. He taught Occom for four years; the youth was a ready student, learning to read and write in Hebrew as well as deeply studying theology. After preaching for several years to the Pequot people in Montauk on eastern Long Island, Occom was ordained in Suffolk County, New York, as a Presbyterian minister. He returned to Connecticut to preach to the Mohegan and later organized Christian Indians as the Brothertown Indians. mehr

Jacob Albright

A German Lutheran in his heritage, he was converted in about 1790 to Methodism, when several of his children died causing him to go through a religious crisis. He was called to take the message of Methodism to the German-speaking people. (George Miller wrote the first biography of Jacob Albright and it is available in two English translations, one by George Edward Epp and the other by James D. Nelson. Written three years after Jacob Albirght's death, Miller uses the preacher's words as remembered by followers in telling about his spiritual journey.) Although he felt that he was unfit to preach, contemporary records reveal that he was a powerful and moving speaker, converting many to Methodism. He was licensed by the Methodist Church but was not permitted to preach in the German language, so he set out on his own. mehr

Wulfram of Sens

Whatever the order of these events, in Frisia, St. Wulfram converted the son of King Radbod and was allowed to preach. The custom was that people, including children, were sacrificed to the local gods having been selected by a form of lottery. Wulfram, having remonstrated with Radbod on the subject, was told that the king was unable to change the custom but Wulfram was invited to save them if he could. The saint then waded into the sea to save two children who had been tied to posts and left to drown as the tide rose. According to the story, the turning point came with the rescue of a man, Ovon, who had been chosen by lot to be sacrificed by hanging. Wulfram begged King Radbod to stop the killing, but the people were outraged at the sacrilege proposed. In the end, they agreed that Wulfram's God could have a chance to save Ovon's life, and if he did, Wulfram and the God could have him. When the Frisians decided to leave Ovon for dead, the rope broke, Ovon fell - and was alive. The faith of the missionaries (and their power to work miracles), frightened and awed the people who turned from their old ways, and were baptized. mehr

Maternus of Cologne

According to legend, he was a follower of Saint Eucharius, the first bishop of Trier. Eucharius was sent to Gaul by Saint Peter as bishop, together with the deacon Valerius and the subdeacon Maternus, to preach the Gospel. They came to the Rhine and to Ellelum (Ehl) in Alsace, where Maternus died. His two companions hastened back to St. Peter and begged him to restore the dead man to life. St. Peter gave his pastoral staff to Eucharius, and, upon being touched with it, Maternus, who had been in his grave for forty days, returned to life. After founding many churches the three companions went to Trier where the work of evangelization progressed so rapidly that Eucharius chose that city for his episcopal residence. Among other miracles related in the legend he raised a dead person to life. An angel announced to him his approaching death and pointed out Valerius as his successor. mehr


The "Vitae" of Lebuinus describe in great detail his appearance before the assembly, where, it is claimed, he pointed out to the Saxons the inefficacy of their deities and warned them of impending destruction at the hands of a powerful king unless they converted to Christianity, and with the intercession of the nobleman Buto persuaded them sufficiently of the power of his mission that they not only allowed him to escape with his life but from then on to preach unmolested in the territory allotted him. mehr

History of Massachusetts

In 1636 all of the New England colonies went to war with the Pequot tribe of southeastern Connecticut, practically wiping them out. In 1646 the Long Parliament gave the missionary John Eliot a commission and funds to preach to the Wampanoags. The colonial government placed the converted Indians (known as Praying Indians) in a ring of villages around Boston as a defensive strategy. mehr

Thomas Asbury Morris

But in 1813, when Thomas was converted to the Christian faith, he united with the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church. Thomas was licensed to preach 2 April 1814 and was ordained circa 1820 by Methodist Bishop Robert Richford Roberts. After serving as a Supply Pastor on a Methodist circuit, the Rev. Morris was admitted into the newly formed Ohio Annual Conference of the M.E. mehr

Francis Burns

One who knew her said she was "a holy and zealous woman." At fifteen years of age Francis was converted to the Christian faith under the influence of Miss Stewart, a white teacher, the daughter of a Baptist preacher. At seventeen Francis felt that God required him to preach. Yet he refrained from doing so because he was bound to his master until the age of twenty-one. mehr

Jesse Truesdell Peck

Bishop Peck was converted to the Christian faith at the age of 16. He sensed a call to preach almost immediately. Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, Peck served as a pastor and a presiding elder. As a Bishop, he was a delegate to the First Ecumenical Conference, 1881. mehr

Richard Green Waterhouse

Richard was converted to the Christian faith in 1873. He was Licensed to Preach in 1878 and admitted to the Holston Annual Conference of the M.E.Church, South. mehr

John Christian Keener

Keener was converted to the Christian faith in Baltimore at the age of 19 (1838). He was Superintendent of a Sunday school in Wesley chapel charge for two years, and in this work he felt the divine call to preach. He continued in business until 1841, when he resolved to close up his business and abandon secular pursuits. mehr

Benignus of Dijon

According to the sixth-century "Passio Sancti Benigni", Benignus was a native of Smyrna. Polycarp of Smyrna had a vision of Saint Irenaeus, already dead, in response to which he sent Benignus, as well as two priests and a deacon, to preach the Gospel in Gaul. They were shipwrecked on Corsica but managed to make their way to Marseilles. mehr

Lehi, son of Helaman

Through these experiences, Lehi and Nephi became instrumental in causing the Lamanites to become more righteous than the Nephites, because of the peoples firmness and steadiness in the faith. The two brothers, along with many converted Lamanites, came down to the land of Zarahemla and to the land North, which was called Mulek, to mingle in fellowship with the Church of God and to preach His Word, helping to cause great peace, prosperity, and joy among the Nephites. mehr

Julian of Le Mans

He was consecrated a bishop at Rome and around the middle of the 3rd century, Julian was sent to Gaul to preach the Gospel to the tribe of the Cenomani. According to the legends surrounding his life, Julian thrust his staff into the ground and prayed. Water began to gush out of the ground. This miracle allowed him to preach freely within Le Mans. The city's principal citizen was converted to Christianity along with his family, donating to the Church part of his palace to serve as Le Mans' first cathedral church. mehr

Bhakti Hridaya Bon

Because of his good breeding and high education he was sent by his guru, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, to the UK and Germany to preach. He took Chaitanya's teachings to the very top of society (even being received in audience by the king of England) and gave many lectures throughout England and Europe. Schulze (Sadananda) and Baron Koeth, whom he brought back to his guru, Sarasvati Prabhupada, for initiation. mehr

St. Thomas Evangelical Fellowship of India

St. Thomas explained his religion, Christianity, to the king. The King of Cochin, as well as the natives in Kerala, were very hospitable and accommodating towards Apostle Thomas and the visitors. The legend has it that the King was so enamored with the new religion that he ordered sixtyfour well-to-do Brahmin families to join the new religion. The king gave prominence to the Christians in his palace and in his kingdom. St.Thomas converted many to Christianity, and eventually went to Madras State (now Tamil Nadu) to preach, and was later murdered by the natives at Mylapore near the city of Madras. mehr
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