Above: The Flag of Australia
Image in the Public Domain
ALBERT ERNEST RICHARD BRAUER (AUGUST 1, 1866-OCTOBER 16, 1949)
Australian Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
Albert E. R. Brauer was a minister of the old Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia, which changed its name to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia in 1944 before merging into the Lutheran Church in Australia in 1966.
Above: Southeastern Australia, 1967
Image Source = Rand McNally World Atlas–Imperial Edition (1967)
Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor
Brauer entered the world near Blumberg (Birdwood since World War I), South Australia, Australia. (Birdwood is immediately west of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. He worked as a clerk in an office in Adelaide before studying law at Prince Alfred College (Wesleyan), Adelaide. Our saint never became an attorney, for he discerned that the ordained ministry was his vocation. He began to study theology under the tutelage of Pastor (Carl Friedrich) Adolph Strempel (1831-1908). The Prussian-born Strempel, who had lived in Australia since 1847, was a physician and a minister at Hahndorf. (Hahndorf, which became Ambleside during World War I, has reverted to its former name. The town is immediately west of Adelaide, east of Murray Bridge and Tailem Bend, and south of Birdwood.) Strempel had become the pastor at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Hahndorf, in 1855. Brauer completed his theological education at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illiniois, an institution of the Missouri Synod, from 1887 to 1890. Then he returned to Australia.
Brauer served God ably as a minister in Australia. From 1890 to 1896 our saint served at Dimboola, Victoria. (Dimboola is northeast of Horsham.) He also founded congregations for settlers and taught part-time at Murtoa College, Murtoa, Victoria. (Murtua is immediately east of Horsham.) In 1893 he married Ottlie Lydia Strempel (1867-1947), daughter of Adolph Strempel. In 1896 Brauer started teaching at the Lutheran school at Hahndorf, the town where his father-in-law was still the minister of St. Michael’s Church. Strempel became the President of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Australia in 1897, serving until 1903, two years after he retired from St. Michael’s Church. Brauer became the assistant pastor of St. Michael’s Church in 1897. Four years later, when Strempel retired, our saint became the senior pastor, a position he held until 1922. That year he transferred to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Melbourne. In the Melbourne area he also served at the associated parishes at Bacchus Marsh and Clarkefield, and as a city missionary, working among migrants. Brauer retired in 1942.
Brauer also served on the denominational level. He served as Strempel’s secretary when his father-in-law was the synodical president. In 1913, when the Synod started publishing The Australian Lutheran, a church journal in the English language (as opposed to the traditional German), Brauer served as its first editor. He had completed that assignment by 1918. Our saint also chaired the committee for the first English-language Australian Lutheran hymnal, the Australian Lutheran Hymn-Book (1925), to which he contributed translations. Brauer also researched and wrote Under the Southern Cross, a history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia. The publication of the book occurred in 1956, seven years after the author had died.
The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains an altered version of Brauer’s 1925 translation of a text by Johann D. Herrnschmidt (1675-1723) from 1714. I have sought the unaltered translation unsuccessfully, so the altered version follows:
Praise the Almighty, my soul, adore Him!
Yea, I will laud Him until death.
With songs and anthems I’ll come before Him
As long as He doth give me breath.
From Him my life and all things came;
Bless, O my soul, His holy name.
Trust not in princes, they are but mortal;
Earth-born they are and soon decay.
Naught are their counsels at life’s last portal,
When the dark grave doth claim its prey.
Since, then, no man can help afford,
Trust he in Christ, our God and Lord.
Blessed, yea, blessed is he forever
Whose help is in the Lord most high,
Whom from the saving faith naught can sever
And who in hope to Christ draws nigh.
To all who trust in Him, our Lord,
Counsel and aid He doth afford.
God the Almighty, the great Creator,
Ruler of sky and land and sea,
All things ordained, and sooner or later,
They come to pass unfailingly.
His rule is over rich and poor,
His promises ever standeth sure.
Penitent sinners, for mercy crying,
Pardon and peace from Him obtain;
Ever the wants of the poor supplying,
Their faithful God He doth remain.
He helps His children in distress,
The widows and the fatherless.
Praise, O mankind, who the name so holy
Of Him, who doth such wondrous things!
All that hath being, to praise Him solely,
With happy heart, its “Amen” sings!
Children of God, with angel host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!
Our saint died at Melbourne, Victoria, on October 16, 1949. His son, Albert Ernest Brauer (1903-1972), was a physician, as Adolph Strempel had been.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 13, 2015 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT SYLVESTER II, BISHOP OF ROME
THE FEAST OF ISAAC WILLIAMS, WELSH ANGLICAN PRIEST, SCHOLAR, AND HYMN WRITER
Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,
thank you for those (especially Albert E. R. Brauer)
who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.
May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
1 Chronicles 25:1-8
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR
THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN