Moller, Henry

Moller, Henry a Lutheran minister, noted for his valuable labors in the Lutheran interests in the United States, was born in Hamburg, Germany, in 1749. When only a youth of fourteen he migrated to this country, and went to Philadelphia. There he was one day, shortly after his arrival, met in the street by the celebrated Dr. Muhlenberg, who had known his people, and who recognized in the young man so striking a family resemblance as to induce him to stop and inquire his name. Identified by the doctor, Henry was at once given a place in his own house, and everything was done-to promote his welfare. The doctor also gave him an appointment as assistant in a school in which he himself was then teaching, while Moller's leisure hours were devoted to the study of theology, under the direction of his patron. Moller was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Synod of Pennsylvania, and was willing to share the privations and sufferings incident to those early days, when the members of churches were scattered through the wilderness, like sheep without a shepherd. He engaged in preaching the Gospel to the poor, in collecting congregations and rearing churches, in extending the principles of the Lutheran faith, and promoting the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom. During the Revolutionary War he was chaplain of a German regiment in the army commanded by general Washington. Moller's first regular pastoral charge was Reading, Pa. Thence he removed to Philadelphia, and later settled at Albany, N.Y., where he built the first Lutheran church, and promoted the interests of his sect. In 1788 he received and accepted a call to New Holland, Pa., and labored there until, in 1795, he was induced to take the Lutheran flock at Harrisburg, and he served them most acceptably for seven years. In 1802 Moller returned to Albany, and for six years more served the people to whom he had in his first connection so greatly endeared himself. He next accepted a call to the united churches of Sharon and New Rhinebeck, N.Y., where he labored until physical infirmities rendered him unable to attend to the active duties of his profession. Cheered by domestic affection and Christian hope, the last six years he lived were spent in retirement, "although," says a contemporary, "his whole life was devoted to the interests of his divine Master. Until the end he sought opportunity to do good, and to make himself useful to those around him." He died as he had lived, full of faith, calm and confident in the great truths of that blessed religion which he had faithfully preached, Sept. 16,1829. As a preacher, Miller's talents were not brilliant, yet he accomplished greater things than the more highly gifted. As a man, his whole life was marked by integrity, truthfulness, and a contempt of everything mean or dishonorable. See (Lutheran) Evangel. Qu. Rev. (memoirs of deceased ministers), 1865, page 273 sq.; Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, volume 9 (Lutherans). (J.H.W.)

 
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