How come I’d never heard of Johann Oncken before?

image At the Baptist Assembly this year, Ian Randall spoke about Johann Oncken.  What an interesting and remarkable man.


Oncken (26 January, 1800 – 2 January, 1884) was a pioneer German Baptist preacher, variously referred to as the “Father of Continental Baptists”, the “Father of German Baptists” and the “Apostle of European Baptists”.  He helped direct and guide the growth of Baptists throughout Germany and across much of Europe for half a century.


Converted in England, baptised by an American in Germany, Oncken travelled across the European continent to preach the gospel and give out Bibles. He conducted “preaching tours” in the Balkans, France, Hungary, Prussia, Russia, and Switzerland, as well as visiting Britain and the United States.


He was born a Lutheran, was converted at a Methodist meeting, adopted Baptist views and had a close relationship with the Mennonites.


I especially like this bit: During his ministry, Oncken planted over 280 Baptist churches and 1222 preaching stations. He founded over 170 churches in Scandinavia and the Slavic states. He also formed 771 Sunday Schools in Germany. His ministry even extended indirectly to places such as Australia.


Wow!  A hero of the faith.


Johann Gerhard Oncken – Wikipedia

1 comment to How come I’d never heard of Johann Oncken before?

  • John Smith

    Should you comment on your own posts? Simon Jones writing about Oncken mentions that his motto was ‘jeder baptist ein missionar’ (every baptist a missionary) and all his teaching and discipling was geared towards moulding missionary disciples.

    And he asked each baptismal candidate: “What will you do for Christ?”, which rather impressed Spurgeon.

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