Oncken (1800-1884): his ties with the Regular Baptists in America and his role in the expansion of the Baptists in continental Europe, is Appendix A in A Noble Company, volume 10.

Oncken (1800-1884): his ties with the Regular Baptists in America and his role in the expansion of the Baptists in continental Europe, is Appendix A in A Noble Company, volume 10.

25th Apr 2018

When asked to name some notable Baptists, North American Baptists will recall such luminaries as John Bunyan, Roger Williams, William Carey, Adoniram Judson, C. H. Spurgeon, T. T. Shields, and Billy Graham. Many others could be added to this list. Yet, there is one man with strong connections to American Baptists whose impact in missions and evangelism in Europe is largely unknown. This man is the founder of Continental Baptists in Europe, Johann G. Oncken. . . .The growth of the movement started by Oncken is significant. By 1882, Baptists had expanded into 15 European countries. Under Oncken’s amazing leadership, Baptists had grown from seven members in 1834 to 32,293 adherents in 157 congregations with 1490 preaching stations at the time of his death. . . .When Baptists from European countries where Oncken had a hand in their formation, but had since formed unions of their own are included, the number of Baptists on the continent approaches 60,000. When one considers the additional thousands of Baptists who emigrated to the United States and Canada, the impact of Johann Gerhard Oncken is truly astounding! . . . his legacy of innovation in ministry, evangelism, and piety live on. He is not only an example of what it takes to live fully committed to following Jesus, but also of humility in admitting error and seeking reconciliation. The two Scripture passages on his grave marker sum up this ministry and life. The first is from Ephesians 4:5, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The other is from Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” May the example of Johann Gerhard Oncken spur this generation on to similar acts of love and good deeds. ---Lloyd A Harsch