This week in Christian history: John Wesley survives fire, pope elected, missionary born

Ludwig Nommensen born – Feb. 6, 1834

Ludwig Nommensen (1834-1918), a Danish missionary known for his evangelism work in Indonesia.
Ludwig Nommensen (1834-1918), a Danish missionary known for his evangelism work in Indonesia. | Public Domain

This week marks the anniversary of when Ludwig Nommensen, a missionary known for his work among the Batak people of Indonesia, was born in the German city of Nordstrand.

In 1862, Nommensen arrived in Sumatra, Indonesia, as a missionary with the Rhenish Mission Society, making friends among Batak leaders and baptizing his first converts in 1865.

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“Often referred to as the Apostle of the Batak, Nommensen was the leading missionary among the Batak from 1864 to 1918 (54 years) and was moderator of the Rhenish Batak Mission from 1881,” explained an entry on Boston University’s School of Theology’s website.

“He received an honorary doctorate of theology degree from the University of Bonn in 1904. When he died, the Batak church had 34 pastors, 788 teacher-preachers, and 180,000 members in more than 500 local churches.”

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