Henkel, Paul

Henkel, Paul a divine of the American Lutheran Church, was born in Rowan County, N. C., Dec. 15,1754. In 1776 he was awakened under the preaching of Whitefield, who at that time was exciting deep interest throughout the country. He commenced a course of study under the direction of pastor Krüch, of Frederick. Md., with a view to the Lutheran ministry. He was licensed to preach by the Synod of Pennsylvania, and in 1792 became pastor at New Market, Va. His labors extended to Augusta, Madison, Pendleton, and Wythe counties. His position was very much that of an itinerant missionary, visiting destitute portions of the Church, gathering together the scattered members, instructing and confirming the youth, and administering the sacraments. In 1800 he accepted a call to Rowan, his native county, N. C.; but, the location being unfavorable to the health of his family, he removed in 1805 to New Market, and labored as an independent missionary, preaching wherever his services were required, and depending for his support solely upon the good-will of the people. He made repeated tours through Western Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. In 1809 he wrote a work on Christian Baptism in the German language, which he subsequently translated into English. In 1810 he published a German Hymnbook, and in 1816 one in English, many of the hymns being his own composition. In 1811 he published his German, and, soon after, his English Catechism. He also published a German work in rhyme, entitled Zeitvertreib, designed to satirize the fanaticism, the folly, and vices of the day. Mr.Henkel adhered with great tenacity to the standards and usages of his Church. In the earlier part of his ministry he approved of some of the alterations made by Melancthon in the Augsburg Confession, but at a later period his doctrinal position was the unaltered Confession. As a preacher he had more than ordinary power. He educated a large number of candidates for the ministry, who have occupied responsible positions in the Lutheran Church. His habits of life were plain and simple, and, although opposed to everything that looked like ostentation in the discharge of his official duties, he invariably wore his clerical robes. In person he was large and well formed, measuring nearly six feet in height. Five of his sons became ministers in the Lutheran Church. Towards the close of his life he was attacked with paralysis, and died November 17, 1825. (M. L. S.)

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