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Spring 1999 · Vol. 28 No. 1 · pp. 28–45 

It Is Time to Write the History of German-Speaking Evangelical Missions

Klaus Fiedler

Maybe I am a bit old-fashioned. The writing of comprehensive mission histories seems not to be “in” at the moment, 1 understandable in a time of self-doubt and paradigm changes. Whatever the reasons, no comprehensive history of German and/or Swiss missions has appeared for many years. 2 But even though not really current, there are a good number of histories of German-speaking Protestant missions, all of which cover the Evangelical missions as well. Besides updating them, is there any need to add another book to them, this time on the Evangelical missions?

Evangelical missions not only have their own separate identity, they also have their own issues, problems, and questions.

“History books don’t sell, people are not interested in such dry stuff, and who are the Evangelicals, anyhow?” Well, Evangelicals may be a nuisance, spoiling good concepts of ecclesiastical unity, but they are there and they need to account for what they have been doing. Writing their history is one way to do it. If properly written, that history will sell, and there will be plenty of people willing to read it. Evangelicals in mission will want to find out who they are, and others will want to find out what these Evangelicals are up to. 3


If there are good Protestant mission histories, why should there be Evangelical ones as well? Did they not separate from mainstream mission history only recently? I do not believe in this line of arguing. I am {29} convinced that Evangelical missions never split from the Classical missions because they always had an identity of their own. 4 This may be traced to the first Evangelical mission started in 1828 5 and is even more true since Hudson and Maria Taylor started the China Inland Mission in 1865 as the first interdenominational faith mission. 6 This identity has always been and still is a definite but undemarcated identity. 7 Evangelical missions not only have their own (undemarcated) separate identity, they also have their own issues, problems, and questions. Let us concentrate on our own issues before trying to answer other people’s questions and to solve their problems. 8

If all are equal, minorities often do not get a fair deal. The standard mission histories were all written by scholars from the tradition of the Classical missions, and most of them neither liked nor really understood the Evangelicals. Gustav Warneck, today venerated by so many Evangelicals, 9 was convinced that eight Protestant missions in Germany would have been enough, and these were all Classical missions. 10 Julius Richter obviously tried to incorporate them but was not so successful. 11

After World War II Hans-Werner Gensichen wrote his mission history. 12 As with the other authors, the Classical missions are the real missions for him. But he does draw the reader’s attention to the fact that those missions, which are unwilling to participate in ecumenical cooperation, are (worldwide) growing much faster than the ecumenical missions. 13 The only mission history published by an Evangelical publisher is most disappointing since it includes C. T. Studd and Hudson Taylor as heroes but shows no understanding of Evangelical missions. 14

Among the authors of German mission histories, only one stands out who gives the faith missions a fair deal: Wilhelm Oehler. A former missionary in China, Oehler wrote, as professor of missions, his history of the German Protestant Missions. His work, however, seems not to have received the attention it deserves. 15 Though it takes the Evangelical missions seriously, two problems remain: due to their minority status, the faith missions could only receive a limited attention in a comprehensive book, 16 and, because of its early publication, it could not take account of the major development of German-speaking Evangelical missions after World War II.

A possibility now would be to write a new general mission history, but to do so this time from an Evangelical point of view. One purpose of such a book could be to show that, in the beginning, all the German and Swiss-Protestant missions (with the exception of the Ostasienmission, of course) were really Evangelical—at some point possibly connected with New Delhi 1961—and that the Evangelical missions took over after the {30} Classical missions deviated from their heritage. 17 The problem with such an attempt is that history might not yield the necessary facts, since Evangelical and Classical missions existed side by side as quite separate entities decades before 1961.

Even in missiology the same problem would come up. Warneck, quite representative of Classical missiology, did not agree with the Evangelical missiology developing around him. He judged it for having the wrong eschatology, for being far too much in a rush, 18 and for allowing women to preach (very much contrary to the Bible) 19 and to be pioneer missionaries. 20 Though I do not deny that the Classical and the Evangelical revival heritages had quite something in common, I do not see enough continuity to support the claim that Evangelical missions took over the Classical heritage. No, they had their own, and that is what they often find so difficult to come to terms with.

Practical reasons would also not support such an approach. If one deals with all the missions, 21 the Evangelical missions would of necessity receive too little attention. 22 I think there are enough reasons to write a history of Evangelical missions. Let us give account of our work, and do it in a scholarly way that can be understandable and appreciable to both Evangelical and ecumenical readers.


In the early decades of the Evangelical missionary movement in Germany or Switzerland there was little if any academic approach to history though history was not without interest, especially when an anniversary was coming round. 23 A major reason for this interest was to record God’s great deeds in the course of the history of a given mission, which sometimes led to the glossing over of human limitations and sin. Though some early Evangelical history writing has hagiographic tendencies, these histories do contain good material that can be used for writing an academic history about God’s great deeds in the Evangelical missions.

There seems to be a widespread conviction that Evangelicals do not keep archives. 24 However, I have not yet found an Evangelical mission or institution without archives. 25 True, as an average the early Evangelical missions did not preserve records as carefully as the early Classical missions did, and therefore in Germany there are no Evangelical archives to match those of Basel, Herrnhut, or Leipzig in quality and in organization. But archives are there, and once one locates them, one finds a lot of excellent material. Much of the early correspondence is often lost, but since the missions were small, even the printed material (including “gray” publications and in-house texts) contains a lot of {31} useful and even detailed information. In addition oral sources are often still available, and if the early actors are no longer alive, one may ask their children. 26 In addition to mission archives, denominational archives or publications and archives of the various Fellowship movements yield good material. That there is enough primary source material available has been shown in several dissertations.

The histories of the German Protestant missions followed the principle that the majority is right. Therefore the framework for their understanding of history was derived from the Classical missions. While these principles were applied quite successfully in the interpretations of the Classical missions, they produced some oddities when applied to the Evangelical missions. 27 Therefore Evangelical mission history must be written using Evangelical tools for understanding. 28 I had this in mind when I wrote my Heidelberg dissertation, and since it was published, the theoretical framework which it provided has increasingly been accepted as a starting point for writing Evangelical mission history and for interpreting it. 29 It looks as if it could be a sufficient theoretical framework for the writing of this history, 30 and that it could be developed further in the process of writing.

An overall history can hardly be written from primary sources alone but needs to rely on solid research done before. In this aspect the situation has greatly improved over the last years, and a good part of the early Evangelical mission history has been covered by research on the doctoral level. First Edward Torjesen rediscovered for us Fredrik Franson, who had been largely forgotten among the German speakers. 31 Then Andreas Franz studied all the German and Swiss missions that were influenced by Hudson Taylor (and that was the majority of the early faith missions). 32 Recently Bernd Brandl wrote the history of the very first German faith mission, Neukirchen, up to 1940. 33 Presently Christof Sauer is working on the history of the Sudan Pioneer Mission in Nubia, started by Karl and Lucy Kumm. 34 Independent of these somewhat connected studies, Norbert Schmidt wrote the history of the Marburger and Gnadauer Brasilienmissionen (1932; 1927), two of the few missions founded between the two wars. 35 Besides this doctoral research there is also a lot of recent research on the masters or diploma level. 36 In spite of much research done over the last decades, gaps remain: the efforts to evangelize Eastern Europe (Mission für Osteuropa, 1903; Allianz Bibelschule Berlin, 1905; Licht im Osten, 1920), 37 and almost all efforts after 1950. 38

All this means that there is a solid base of research for the formative period of the Evangelical missions to start writing an overall history. {31} There is less for the period between the two wars, but since not much innovation took place in that period, what is available should also form a sufficient base for writing the overall history. It seems to me that trends which began to emerge before the war need largely to be followed up, and in addition the influence of the national socialist revolution in Germany must be traced and understood.

The bigger gap is for the period of 1948 onwards. No doctoral dissertations cover the period yet, and the material on other levels is also limited. 39 For the history of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Evangelikaler Missionen there is a full M.A. thesis which covers this important aspect of Evangelical cooperation. 40 But useful as this study is, the main focus should not be on the overarching structures, important as they are, but on the actual missions doing their varied work.


Since quite some research has been done it is fair to ask if, besides the description of facts, it has so far yielded anything specific for the writing of an Evangelical history of missions as different from any other history of missions. I think it did, and what follows are some findings which I consider to be important and which can form a base for writing the overall history.

The roots of the German and Swiss Evangelical missions are unequivocally in the Holiness revival. 41 The early faith missions have often been identified as missions of the Fellowship movement (Gemeinschaftsmissionen). This is largely correct as long as we understand that they represented only the later part of the Fellowship movement, which had roots in the Holiness movement. The older fellowships, which went back to the Great Awakening, 42 supported the Classical missions. The Holiness roots are also true and indeed very much so, as Bernd Brandl has shown for the Free Evangelical section of the home base of the faith missions. 43 And though today the conceptions of holiness between the Holiness movement and the Brethren are seen as opposed, it has been shown that in the formative era of the Brethren movement in Germany the nascent Brethren groups were very much part of the Holiness movement. 44 This means that the holiness roots for all the early Evangelical missions are proven with the exception of the European Baptist Mission. 45

Recent research has not only shown the clear Holiness roots but also their growing denial. Much popular history writing must be seen, at least in part, as an attempt to rewrite the history playing down the Holiness roots and finding roots in the earlier revival traditions. This change in {33} viewing history was sometimes matched by a change in policy or personnel. In the worldwide context this process was part of the re-Calvinization of the faith missions which were born during the process of Arminianization in the wake of the Holiness movement. In Germany this process found its most eye-catching expression in the rejection of the Pentecostal movement by the Fellowship movement from which it originated.

When the Evangelical missions were born—and similarly whenever new missions are founded—the great fear of existing missions and organizations was that the new arrivals would reduce their own share of the existing cake of mission support. This proved not to be true since the Evangelical missions had their own revival background which provided additional spiritual impetus and through it generated new support for missions in terms of prayer, personnel, and money. 46

It must not be denied that a revival also sometimes brings a change of allegiance of active Christians, but research shows that the revivals were primarily evangelistic, and as a second emphasis stressed a second crisis experience after conversion. 47

At a time when the advance of the Classical missions had slowed down worldwide, not least because of the success they had in many parts of the world, the Evangelical missions renewed the vision of reaching the unreached. The German-speaking Evangelical missions made their greatest early contribution to this in inland China. 48 They were also involved in the other great concerns of the early faith missions: to reach the unreached in the Sudan Belt, and to reach the pagan tribes before they became Muslims. This was the Kumms’ strategy, but they could really develop it only after moving to Britain. 49 This faith mission push forward was accomplished largely with new personnel, new money, and new support from new revival groups.

A result less expected was that the Evangelical missions underwent a rapid and far-reaching process of adaptation to the tenets and practices of the Classical German and Swiss missions. This process did not get as far as Warneck had hoped for, but many decisions were taken to make a given faith mission “to be a mission like any other mission.”

This process showed itself early in a policy of nationalizing the international faith missions, 50 a practice later supported by political nationalist tendencies in Germany. In terms of theology it showed itself in a system of “Lutheranization,” and the support base in many cases was one or several of the fellowships (within the predominantly Lutheran territorial churches).

This process of adaptation, together with the increasing rejection of the Holiness origins, showed perhaps strongest in the changing position {34} of women. From being equal and fully qualified pioneer missionaries, their position was relegated to secondary (and support) roles in many of the faith missions. In some this inequality was explicitly stated; in others the principle of equality was kept without the substance. In others again, the principle of inequality was stated, yet “on the mission field” women could do what they could not have done at home.

Ecclesiology is a key to understanding the faith missions. Research has shown that the German-speaking faith missions, as other faith missions, could well be interdenominational at home, but not on the mission field. 51 For these faith mission churches the view was upheld by missionaries that their denominational allegiance really did not matter, and so they saw it quite fit, when circumstances demanded, that a church be handed over to another mission though that mission may have a very different ecclesiology. Research has shown that this was often strongly resented by the churches in question and therefore it must be concluded that, if the missionaries had not developed a “faith mission church ecclesiology,” the young churches by then had. 52 There is some similar evidence (not undisputed) from the English-speaking side and more research is needed.


For all writing of history, periodization is a key issue since periodization determines to quite some extent the actual writing of history. There is always the temptation to organize mission history according to secular events. This is especially so in Germany, where the two European wars lend themselves easily to this. But if they should help in periodization, it should first be shown that these wars were really events for the history of Evangelical missions and in what way they were such.

The other temptation is to organize Evangelical mission history following an ecumenical periodization. This assumes either that the Evangelical missions were missions like all others, or that Evangelical missionary work is a reaction against ecumenical mission work or developments in ecumenical missiology. For such an approach the big world mission conferences are sometimes used.

But they played a very small role for the Evangelical missions. In Edinburgh 1910 some representatives of Evangelical missions took part and played minor roles, but typical Evangelical issues could not even be discussed. 53 Jerusalem 1928 lacked all Evangelical participation; at Madras 1938 there were about three participants from faith missions. If one puts them all together over the decades, it is hardly enough to make them major Evangelical events. {35}

After World War II, the world mission conferences sometimes serve for periodization, albeit in a negative way. But why should Evangelical mission history be periodized according to non-Evangelical events? 54 My concept is to use Evangelical categories to define the turning points in Evangelical mission history and thus arrive at a preliminary periodization.

No Longer Classical, Not Yet Faith:
The Intermediate Missions (1828-1860)

If we agree that the faith missions going back to the Holiness movement represent the major Evangelical missions and the Classical missions going back to the Great Awakening, a slot or slots must be found for the missions that do not fit either properly. I propose to create two groups: the first encompasses those missions that go back to the Restorationist revival, with the Brethren in the lead, 55 constituting the first group of Evangelical missions. 56

The other group I would call the intermediate group proper, comprising a few missions which shared much with the Classical missions, but were sufficiently different and foreshadowed in some ways the coming faith missions: Gossner (1836), St. Chrischona (1840), Ermeloo (1856). There has been no Evangelical research on Gossner, but it seems to me that the mission with its “charismatic independence” pointing into Brethren or faith mission direction, turned itself (after a change in leadership) into a Classical mission. Research on Neukirchen shows the intermediate character of the Ermeloo and how Neukirchen almost absorbed it, but also that Ermeloo was not a faith mission. Chrischona was shown to have made a clear move from the intermediate form to a faith mission under the Rappards. 57

The Founding Period (1882-1910)

The first Evangelical mission is Neukirchen. Different dates were used to commemorate its founding; I follow Bernd Brandl, proposing 1882. 58 The missions of the Restorationist revival played no role in Germany until about the turn of the century, so in the German-speaking area the faith missions are the earliest Evangelical missions. Characteristic of these missions is their strong reliance on influences from abroad, their very close relation to the Holiness movement, their support from the newly developing ecclesiastical fringes and their unconventional policies.

If it is somewhat easy to put a clear date to the beginning, to date the end of the period is more difficult. I would put the end at the point {36} when these characteristics began to wane. Since this was a process, never completed, and a process that took place in different missions at different speeds, any date must be a bit arbitrary. The year 1907 dates the beginning of the next revival, 1909/10 its rejection by much of the German Evangelical movement. In 1914 the outbreak of the First World War spurred on the process of nationalization. So I propose to use 1910 as a rough date to end the period, and then to adjust it for each individual mission.

The Period of Adaptation and Fringe Existence (1910-1950)

Revivals develop and then recede, 59 often leaving important institutions and Fellowship movements in their wake. By 1910 the Holiness revival had receded, a new revival had come, 60 and the founding period of the great faith missions was over. 61 Everyone was becoming more reasonable—enough, I think, to end the period of the founding mothers and fathers. One of the main concerns of this period was to become respectable missions; the other was sheer survival: first through the war, then through inflation, then through the depression (material and spiritual), national socialism, and another war—and all this on spiritual resources that tended more often to decrease than to increase.

The New Era of the Evangelical Missions (1950-1970)

Warneck might have rejoiced that the Evangelical missions had largely adapted themselves and found their place by 1950, but then the Evangelical mission movement took off to a new start. Again influences from abroad were crucial, often transmitted to Germany via Switzerland. 62 The process of nationalization was replaced by a process of internationalization. China Inland Mission/Overseas Missionary Fellowship came back as a mission in its own right, and big interdenominational missions like WEC or Sudan United Mission established Swiss and German branches. Ernst Schrupp learned much from the interdenominational faith missions and from the parachurch movements, and combining it with the most viable of the earlier Brethren tradition, developed Wiedenest into one of the major German Evangelical missions. 63

In addition there was a proliferation of Bible schools and parachurch movements, which became one of the mainstays of the Evangelical effort. A new development which can be seen as a part of the growing internationalization process was the creation, first in Switzerland and then in Germany, of seconding missions. These had no “field” of their own, but involved second missionaries to (mostly English-speaking) international interdenominational faith missions. The proliferation {37} of Evangelical missions was matched by a proliferation of foreign mission “fields,” sometimes staffed by one or two missionaries. 64

At home the support base broadened. The free church contribution became much stronger, and those groups and individuals in the territorial churches which were related to the various parachurch movements tended to support Evangelical missions. In terms of mission cooperation this period is characterized by a growing awareness by the Evangelical missions of both their separate identity and their unity. The first conference of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Evangelikaler Missionen (AEM) took place in 1969, so I think that 1970 might be a good cutoff point for this period.

Evangelical Missions in Leading Strings (1970-1990)

This period saw a further expansion of the Evangelical missions at the same time when the ecumenical missions were stagnating or sometimes receding, so that the Evangelical missions became the biggest part of the German-speaking mission endeavor. 65 This made a strengthening of the missions’ cooperative efforts necessary, which showed for example in the establishment of the Graduate School of Missions (Freie Hochschule für Mission).

To write recent history is most difficult because of lack of distance. So I am not sure that this period has indeed ended, but I think that a major change took place somewhere in the early 1990s, of which the development of the Charismatic movement’s independent branch may be an indicator. 66

Evangelical Missions and the Charismatic Option (since 1990)

Since 1990 or so there also seems to be some decline in the Evangelical support base, 67 though it seems to be proportionally less than the decline of the support base of the Classical missions. At the same time the Charismatic missions developed and some grew fast. Their common organization is now the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Pfingstlich/Charismatischer Missionen (1993). I do not propose to write the history of this period as a history of Evangelical/Charismatic conflict since I see both as part of the wider Evangelical missionary movement. 68 For the writing of the history of this period, special attention may be given to influences from worldwide Evangelical movements like the “AD 2000 and Beyond” movement and the unreached-people group approach.


The patient reader who has followed me so far may ask the simple question: If it is time to write the history of the German-speaking Evangelical {38} missions, and you know all these things, why don’t you write it? I think I would like to do it, but I live in Malawi, not only far away from Evangelical Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, but also in a much different world. 69 But if I cannot, maybe you can. After all I am not the only Evangelical mission historian. I wrote this article in English, not just because I prefer a wider readership, but because maybe a native or nonnative English speaker might be enticed to write that history.


  1. Karl Müller and Werner Ustorf, eds., Einleitung in die Missionsge-schichte: Situation und Dynamik des Christentums (Stuttgart/Köln: Kohlhammer, 1995), 10, 20ff.
  2. This is true for world mission histories in German as well. The latest history of Christian world missions is a reprint of a book published much earlier (Stephen Neill and Niels-Peter Moritzen, Geschichte der christlichen Mission, reprint Erlangen). See also Ruth Tucker, Bis an die Enden der Erde: Missionsgeschichte in Biographien, ed. Karl Rennstich (Metzingen: Ernst Franz Verlag, 1996).
  3. Nice guesses so far have been that they are preparing for a right wing world revolution—with the help of the CIA, of course—or that they are bent on exporting the blessings of Western civilization.
  4. One important aspect of their separate identity was their premillennial eschatology, while the Classical missions, like the revivals they came from, had a postmillennial (and later amillennial) eschatology. Perhaps the strongest differences were in their ecclesiology.
  5. The first Evangelical mission was that of the Brethren missionaries in Baghdad led by Anthony Norris Groves, the first to apply the “faith principle” of financial support. In this and many other ways the Brethren missions, whose work always remained limited because they were small, strongly influenced the faith mission movement. Being interdenominational, the faith movement had a much larger support base and effect. See H. Groves, Memoir of the Late Anthony Norris Groves, Containing Extracts from His Letters and Journals, Compiled by His Widow (London, 1856).
  6. In historical terms, the large majority of the missions currently members of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Evangelikaler Missionen in both Germany and Switzerland are faith missions.
  7. This may sound contradictory. But it accounts for the fact that Evangelicals, in spite of their definite identity derived from the Holiness movement, the Brethren movement, and the Prophetic {39} movement, share a lot with non-Evangelicals to a varying degree. Therefore it is not a problem to find many Evangelicals in the Ecumenical movement, and much cooperation is going on between Evangelicals and Christians of other tendencies. Doing their own thing is quite Evangelical, whereas separation is the main characteristic of the Fundamentalists.
  8. Corporate cooperation (“ecumenism”) is a major issue for the Classical missions, but not for the Evangelical missions for whom individual cooperation is of similar importance. The integration of church and missions, as demanded by New Delhi 1961, is a major issue for the ecumenical missions. But Evangelicals were mostly not there, and if integration of church(es) and missions is an issue for the interdenominational faith missions, it is so in a very different way.
  9. Signs of this veneration are that a room in the Freie Hochschule für Mission in Korntal is named after him (others are named after other Classical missiologists), and Hans Kasdorf’s UNISA dissertation (Gustav Warneck’s missiologisches Erbe: Eine biographisch-historische Untersuchung [Giessen/Basel: TVG Brunnen, 1990]).
  10. Gustav Warneck, Abriss einer Geschichte der protestantischen Missionen (Berlin, 1905), 143.
  11. In his Book on the German World Mission, each society gets its own chapter. The Evangelical missions receive a summary treatment under the heading “missions of the Fellowship movement,” which is not fully appropriate, and they are lectured on the undue dissipation of their forces over three continents (Julius Richter, ed., Das Buch der deutschen Weltmission [Gotha, 1935]).
  12. Hans-Werner Gensichen, Missionsgeschichte der neueren Zeit (Göttingen, 1961).
  13. Ibid., 42 and 55.
  14. The immense effort of the pioneering faith missions in Central and Northern Nigeria (SIM, SUM) is dealt with just as a nuisance: after that “ever more new missions came into the country” (Horst R. Flachsmeier, Geschichte der evangelischen Weltmission [Giessen/ Basel: Brunnen, 1963], 479).
  15. Wilhelm Oehler, Geschichte der deutschen evangelischen Mission, 2 vols. (Baden-Baden, 1949/1951). Maybe it was published too early; I think a reprint—with no attempt to update it—would be good.
  16. See esp. pp. 49-61.
  17. This position seems to be alluded to in George W. Peters, “Evangelische Missions-wissenschaft,” Evangelikale Missiologie (1985): 3-8. {40}
  18. “Nowhere is it written, that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a hothouse” (Gustav Warneck, Evangelische Missionslehre, 3:1, Gotha: 1902, 243).
  19. Warneck, Abriss, 110.
  20. In his more generous moments he was convinced that, quite soon, they would learn their lessons and become reasonable missions like all the other missions.
  21. For such an approach due consideration would have to be given also to a full inclusion of the Catholic missions which Warneck, in his time, could still relegate to an appendix.
  22. Though now the Evangelical missions make the greatest contribution to foreign mission work, if one takes the whole of history their position is still that of a minority.
  23. Examples of such books are: Ulrich Affeld, Er mache uns im Glauben kühn: Einhundert Jahre Neukirchener Mission (Wuppertal, 1978); Ernst Buddeberg and Heinrich Coerper, Aus dem Leben und Wirken des Gründers der Liebenzeller Mission (1936); and Bertha Polnick, Carl Polnick: Ein Lebensbild (Barmen, 1920).
  24. The argument is that they are ahistorical, therefore not interested in history, thus cannot keep archives, and throw everything away immediately.
  25. In America I discovered one mission, long defunct now, where most probably the founder and leader destroyed the records before stepping down. But that is an extremely isolated case. And even for this mission a good amount of material has been preserved elsewhere.
  26. In addition to their memories relatives often have written documents like letters, written reminiscences, and unpublished texts.
  27. Warneck for example criticized that of the two hundred missionaries in the Garengaze mission none was ordained (Warneck, Abriss, 163). But he took no notice of the fact that the Brethren know no ordination, except the “ordination of the pierced hand,” which is difficult to account for in Classical mission statistics. Likewise for Warneck’s successors it was difficult to apply the concept of “integration of church and mission” to interdenominational missions.
  28. When I was working on my dissertation on the ecclesiology of the faith missions, someone asked me from which point of view I would criticize them. I was a bit baffled and answered, “From their own point of view.”
  29. A number of dissertations have used the framework. The dissertation was first published in the original German, Ganz auf Vertrauen: Geschichte und Kirchenverständnis der Glaubensmissionen {41} (Giessen/Basel: TVG Brunnen, 1992), then in an English rewritten version, The Story of Faith Missions (Oxford/Sutherland: Regnum/Albatross, 1994), reprinted as, Story of Faith Missions: From Hudson Taylor to Present Day Africa (Oxford: KWM). For the theoretical framework see especially pp. 11-69 in the English version and pp. 9-64 in the German version.
  30. In the dissertation I took note of the Brethren movement, defining their missions as of the “nonchurch type,” and seeing their movement as one of the forerunners of the Holiness revival of 1859. Now I see the Brethren as one constituent part of a wider (and less recognized) revival which I call the Restorationist revival (ca. 1828), formed by seemingly disparate groups like Brethren, Irvingians (Apostolic Church), Churches of Christ, and Seventh Day Adventist, all united in their (very differing) quests for a restitution of the original church in the end times.
  31. Edward P. Torjesen, “A Study of Fredrik Franson: The Development and Impact of His Ecclesiology, Missiology, and Worldwide Evangelism,” 2 vols. (Ph.D. diss., Los Angeles, California, 1984).
  32. Andreas, Franz, “Hudson Taylor und die deutschsprachigen Glaubensmissionen” (diss. ETF, Heverlee/Leuven, 1991), published as Mission ohne Grenzen: Hudson Taylor und die deutschsprachigen Glaubensmissionen (Giessen/Basel: TVG Brunnen, 1993).
  33. Bernd Brandl, “Die Geschichte der Neukirchener Mission als erste deutsche Glaubensmission” (Ph.D. diss. ETF, Heverlee/Leuven, 1997); see also Bernd Brandl and Ludwig Doll, “Der Gründer der ersten deutschsprachigen Glaubensmission” (1988), 41-46.
  34. The founders were the daughter and son-in-law of Fanny and Grattan Guinness who, after the Taylors, were the most important pioneers of the faith mission movement.
  35. Norbert Schmidt, Von der Evangelisation zur Kirchengründung: Die Geschichte der Marburger Brasilienmission (Marburg: Francke, 1991).
  36. Heinz Hengotler, “Introduction of Christianity to the Island People of Yap with Special Emphasis on the Work of Liebenzell Mission” (M.A. Thesis, Columbia Biblical Seminary and Graduate School of Mission, 1983); Klaus W. Müller, Evangelische Mission in Mikronesien (Trukinseln): Ein Missionar analysiert sein Missionsfeld (Bonn, 1989); Siegfried Ulmer, Auf dass wir ihrer viele gewinnen! 30 Jahre Missionsarbeit der Liebenzeller Mission in Taiwan: Eine Untersuchung der Zusammenarbeit zwischen Mission und Einheimischer Kirche (Abschlussarbeit an der Freien Hochschule für {42} Mission, Korntal, 1986); Dorothee Futscher, “Operation Mobilisation in Österreich: Eine Untersuchung der Missionsbewegung Operation Mobilisation am Beispiel ihrer über 30-jährigen Tätigkeit in Österreich mit Überlegungen für die Zukunft” (M.A. Thesis, Columbia International University, Deutscher Zweig, Korntal, 1993).
  37. Given the Evangelical understanding of missions, these missions in Christian or formerly Christian countries form an integral part of the overall mission endeavor.
  38. For WEC, Bernd Schirrmacher, Baumeister ist der Herr: Erfahrungen göttlicher Kleinarbeit in einem Missionswerk (Neuhausen, 1978), offers lots of precious detail but no footnotes for sources. For Wiedenst see Ernst Schrupp, Gott macht Geschichte: Die Bibel-schule und das Missionshaus in Wiedenest (Wuppertal/Zürich, 1995).
  39. For example, Christian Gossweiler, Unterwegs zur Integration von Kirche und Mission: Untersucht am Beispiel der Rheinischen Missionsgesellschaft (Erlanger Monographien no. 23, Erlangen, 1994); Niels-Peter Moritzen, Wohnung Gottes in der Welt: Leipziger Mission 1836-1936-1986 (Erlangen, 1986).
  40. Dagmar Gleiss, Geschichte der Arbeitsgemeinschaft evangelikaler Missionen: 25 Jahre AEM: 1969-1994 (Columbia International University, Deutscher Zweig, Korntal, 1995).
  41. This includes the fact that the Holiness movement attracted believers and groups from earlier revivals, for example in the Gnadauer Verband.
  42. Often in Germany this is simply called “The Revival,” as if there had been only one after the Reformation.
  43. Perhaps refer to his Dissertation, and also to Kampf der Väter.
  44. Bernd Brandl, Neukirchener Mission, 47ff. This is also supported by the fact that Berlin Hohenstauffenstrasse, the original Open Brethren congregation, which was also the main support of the Alliance Bible School and therefore is at the root of Missionshaus Bibelschule Wiedenest, was originally a Holiness Fellowship founded by a woman, Tony von Blücher.
  45. Internationally, the Baptists go back to the Puritan revival, but even here there might be Holiness roots, because Oncken, the founder of the German Baptists, experienced his conversion in a Methodist meeting and started his work in Hamburg as a missionary of the interdenominational Continental Society. All these influences were not from the Holiness movement but may have opened up the early {43} Baptists to such influences. This can also be supported by the fact that the Baptists cooperated closely in the Evangelical Alliance. A serious study of the early EBM history is needed for many reasons.
  46. This was shown for example for Neukirchen which got much support from the fellowships in the Siegerland. Most of them were not those founded in the Great Awakening, but by evangelistic efforts related to Neukirchen.
  47. With the rejection of Pentecostalism this emphasis became suspect. It still played an important role, though different names were applied, e.g., Pentecostal experience, sanctification, second blessing, second conversion, and full dedication. Both crisis experiences generated new spiritual energies (and usually also new mission finances).
  48. Andreas Franz described this in his Mission ohne Grenzen.
  49. With the Sudan Pioneer Mission (1900), the (unsuccessful) attempt was made to enter the Sudan Belt from the east. In 1904 the attempt to enter the Sudan Belt from the south in the Middle Belt of Nigeria was successful (Sudan United Mission). See Peter J. Spartalis, Karl Kumm: Last of the Livingstons, Pioneer Missionary Statesman (Bonn: VKW, 1994).
  50. An example was Liebenzell, developing from the German Branch of the CIM to Liebenzell Mission. In China it was associated with the CIM, but it also had mission fields outside China.
  51. The Marburger Brasilienmission was faced with a similar problem: Is it possible to simply establish fellowships and keep them as such? Marburg decided for developing churches as from 1933 (Schmidt, Von der Evangelisation zur Kirchengründung, 57-58).
  52. Bernd Brandl has shown this convincingly for three Neukirchen Mission fields: Buha in Tanzania, Tana in Kenya, and Java in Indonesia, where reactions were similar though circumstances differed.
  53. The Guinness family insisted that missions in Catholic territories in South America and elsewhere should be included, but that was refused. They also demanded that special emphasis should be given to the attempts to reach the unreached, especially in the Sudan Belt. This was accommodated by later allowing Harry Guinness to present the case to a limited audience. The German missiologist Carl Mirbt presented in an evening address a thoroughly negative view of the German Evangelical missions (Carl Mirbt, “The Extent and Characteristics of German Missions,” in Edinburgh 1910, The History and Records of the Conference Together with Addresses {44} Delivered at the Evening Meetings, Edinburgh, vol. 9, pp. 206-17 [209]).
  54. For this section and indeed most of the article I have used the somewhat narrower definition of “Evangelical,” understanding it as meaning Evangelical missions, churches, groups, etc., as different from Evangelical piety, which can be defined more widely. My argument does not imply that none with an Evangelical piety participated in Jerusalem 1928.
  55. I have little doubt over this classification in general, but in Germany the major Brethren mission took much from the interdenominational faith missions.
  56. This view can be supported by the fact that the “faith principle” of financing missions was not developed by Hudson Taylor or the faith missions but by the Brethren (Anthony Norris Groves and his group, Baghdad 1828).
  57. “Von Gottes Spuren: Zur Geschichte der Pilgermission,” in Wenn Gottes Liebe Kreise zieht: 150 Jahre Pilgermission St. Chrischona (1840-1990), ed. Edgar Schmid (Giessen/Basel: Brunnen, 1990), 14.
  58. Others take 1878 when the orphanage was started.
  59. Revivals usually blur the distinctions between lay and clergy, women and men, class and class. When the revival recedes, everyone is put back into her or his place.
  60. In spite of the rejection, the Pentecostal missions were Evangelical. In history writing they should be included in the respective periods, even though somewhat as a sideline, until they are accepted into the main stream of the Evangelical movement. The Seventh Day Adventist missions could be treated in the same way, acknowledging their belonging to the Evangelical movement and at the same time their special and sometimes contested position in it.
  61. There is good reason to see WEC, founded in 1913, as a latecomer.
  62. Here Dr. Gertrud Wasserzug and Beatenberg Bibel School played a crucial role. Almost no archives of that period are left in Beatenberg. Still there is much room for important research here.
  63. Ernst Schrupp was the pioneer of the “sending congregation principle.”
  64. This process also took place in the ecumenical missions which found many more ecumenical partners in this period.
  65. In terms of interpretation, I do not see this as a split of the Protestant missionary movement, but as the result of the growing strength and the growing needs of the Evangelical missions.
  66. The beginning of the Charismatic movement is usually dated 1960. It developed first within the big mainline churches, and though it did {45} influence the Evangelical missions it only grew a missionary wing with the development of the “independent/free church” section of the Charismatic movement.
  67. An indicator is that the demand for Bible school training has declined somewhat, and that some Evangelical missions have financial support difficulties mainly because of the economic situation.
  68. This period also saw the formal return of the Pentecostal missions into the wider Evangelical missionary movement. A first (partial) history of German Pentecostal missions is Joost Reinke, Deutsche Pfingstmissionen: Geschichte, Theologie, Praxis (Bonn: VKW, 1997; edition afem mission scripts 11).
  69. This may also have led me to make uneven use of German material, making more use of that closer to me.
Klaus Fiedler is Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Malawi, in Zomba, Malawi.

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