Johann Gerhard Oncken

Johann Gerhard Oncken (* 26. January 1800 in Varel, Lower Saxony; † 2. January 1884 in Zurich) is the founder of the German and continental-European Baptistengemeinden.

Johann Gerhard Oncken
To Johann Gerhard Oncken

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Johann Gerhard Oncken became to 26. January 1800 in the house of its grandfather, the Perückenmachers Johannes Vaubel, in Varel, long road, born. In the place of its birth house today the firm Hruschka stands. The nut/mother Anna Elisabet Vaubel lived with her parents, becausethe father of its son it had left and for political reasons to England had emigrated. In a letter, which is addressed to the minister of the lutherischen municipality Varels, Gerhard Oncken explained itself as a father of the child.

Hamburger Bürgereid, von Oncken unterschrieben
Hamburg citizen oath, of Oncken signed

Oncken grows fatherlessup. Since its nut/mother must provide for living costs, it is educated under the Obhut of its grandparents. Already early he works in the restaurant to the white Ross (today: Hotel Victoria) as Billardjunge and becomes acquainted with here English buyer John Walker Anderson one. This takesthe waked up boys as training also - first to Hamburg and later after Leith, a suburb of Edinburgh in Scotland. During its commercial teachings the young Oncken accompanies its training gentleman on many journeys to England, the Netherlands and France. In EnglandOncken comes under the influence of aroused circles and returns as convinced Christian and bookseller to Germany. It takes its domicile in Hamburg and begins here with a mission activity among sailors and children from socially weak families. 1824 it creates those with an Evangelist ministerSundays school so mentioned, in order to inform the poorest children both in the Christian faith and in reading and writing. This Sunday school becomes the germ cell of the child service and the internal mission justified by Johann Heinrich Wichern.

By the intensive study grows the Bible inOncken the insight that a Christian church can consist only of such, which can have decided personally for a life in the follow-up Jesu Christi and be baptized due to this decision. A connection of the church to the State of, the marriage in such a way specified of throneand, he considers altar from now on unbiblisch.

Ehrengrab Onckens auf dem Ohlsdorfer Friedhof in Hamburg
Honour grave Onckens on the Ohlsdorfer cemetery in Hamburg

1834 can Oncken be baptized with six further humans of the American Baptistenpastor Barnas Sears in the Elbe with Hamburg. Following the baptism the first German Baptistengemeinde becomesbased and Oncken as their oldest one and Prediger appoint. In the future develops Oncken of Hamburg from a large mission activity. Nearly all European Baptistenkirchen has its roots in the pioneer work Onckens. Particularly fully the Baptistengemeinden in the Eastern European area developed, where Evangelist and baptistisch frequentlyidentical terms are.

A special joy day for Oncken was to 20. July 1856 carried out establishment of an independent Baptistengemeinde in its birth city Varel.

Oncken died to 2. January 1884 in Zurich. Four of its eight children had preceded it at the earliest age. Its burial place,today as hansestädtisches honour mark maintained, cemetery in Hamburg is on the Ohlsdorfer. Its hometown Varel calls it „one of her most important sons “ (William Kuck, the roads of Varel and its history, Varel 1991, S. 81)


  • Hans Luckey, JohannGerhard Oncken (Kassel 1956)
  • Günter Balders, Theurer brother Oncken - the life Johann Gerhard Onckens in pictures and documents (Kassel 1978)
  • William Kuck, the roads of Varel and its history (Varel 1991), S. to 81

see also

Web on the left of

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| | * Literature of and overJohann Gerhard Oncken in the catalog of the DDB



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