26 – January 26 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
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.