Above: Tubingen, Between 1890 and 1900
Image Source = Library of Congress
Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-01197
JONATHAN FRIEDRICH BAHNMAIER (JULY 12, 1774-AUGUST 18, 1841)
German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier devoted his life to God. He, the son of J. C. Bahnmaier, a Lutheran minister, entered the world at Oberstenfeld, Wurttemberg. Our saint studied theology at Tubingen. Once ordained, his first assignment was as the assistant to his father. Subsequent pastorates at Marlbach-on-the-Neckar (1806-1810) and Ludwigsburg (1810-1815) preceded his time as Professor of Education and Homiletics at Tubingen (1815-1819). Bahnmaier’s relationship to a student organization created political problems which ended his professorship. His final posting, Dean and assistant minister at Kirchheim-unter-Teck (1819-1841), was one in which he demonstrated his oratorical skills and pastoral abilities. Bahnmaier, a fine poet, composed hymns, such as “Spread, O Spread, Thou Mighty Word” (1827), which reflected his interest in missions. He also served on the committee for the Wurttemberg Gesangbuch (1842). Bahnmaier, who had a keen interest in education, preached his last sermon at Kirchheim on August 15, 1841. Three days later he was dead, having suffered a stroke while visiting a school at Brucker.
One should never underestimate the value of a capable and caring pastor. Much of the work of pastoral ministry does not lend itself to detailed summaries long after the fact, due to the confidentiality involved. Nevertheless, I affirm its value and honor this man of God as a saint in the New Testament definition of the word.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
FEBRUARY 9, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF BENJAMIN SCHMOLCK, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER, ENGLISH POET AND FEMINIST
O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant
Jonathan Friedrich Bahnmaier to be a pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:
Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,
that they may minister in your household as true servants of Christ
and stewards of your divine mysteries;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Psalm 84 or 84:7-11
–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719