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Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior (1711–1787)

  1. Dietrich Gotthilf Buss

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0952

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Buss, D. G. 2011. Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior (1711–1787). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in Einbeck, Germany in 1711, Henry Muhlenberg is the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in the United States. His father served on the city council, while his mother, Anna Maria Kleinschmidt, was the daughter of an army officer. His father's untimely death forced Muhlenberg to go out to work to support the family. A basic education enabled him to become a school teacher in the Harz Mountains in 1733–1734. The following year Muhlenberg entered the newly founded Göttingen University. In collaboration with two of his fellow students, he established an orphanage. In 1738 Muhlenberg transferred to the University of Halle, a center of Pietistic teaching. Greatly influenced by the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and service, Muhlenberg was ordained into the Lutheran ministry at Leipzig the following year.


  • Muhlenberg, Henry Melchior (1711–1787);
  • patriarch of the lutheran church, in the United States;
  • Muhlenberg's commitment to overseas missionary service;
  • Pennsylvania ministerium, authority of lutheranism in colonies