Oncken, John Gerhard, Dd
Oncken, John Gerhard, D.D.
a German Baptist minister, was born in Varet, in the grand duchy of Oldenburg, January 26, 1800.He went to England in his youth, and was converted. The British Continental Society sent him in 1823 as a missionary to Germany, his labors being principally confined to Hamburg and Bremen, and the province of East Frisia. In 1828 he became the agent of the Edinburgh Bible Society. He and six others were immersed, April 22, 1834, in the river Elbe, near Hamburg, by Reverend Barnas Sears, then of the Hamilton Theological Seminary, pursuing his studies in Germany. At the close of 1879 there were in Germany 16,602 members of Baptist churches, and the gospel was preached in 1173 preaching stations. Later statistics would largely swell these numbers. Mr. Oncken was ordained soon after his baptism, and "his life was one of apostolic toil and blessed success in spreading the gospel through Germany." His pastoral Relation with the Church at Hamburg always remained, and that city was made the centre of his evangelistic labors. He frequently visited England to solicit funds to carry on his work in Germany, and in 1853 came to the United States for the same purpose. He died Jan. 1884, in Zurich, where he had resided for two years. See Cathcart, Baptist Encyclop. page 869. (J.C. S.)