Above: Moravian Logo
Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor
LOUIS (LEWIS) FRANCIS KAMPMANN (FEBRUARY 16, 1817-OCTOBER 21, 1884)
U.S. Moravian Minister, Missionary, and Hymn Translator
Louis (Lewis) F. Kampmann came from a family with deep roots in the Moravian Church. He, born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on February 16, 1817, was a son of Dr. Franz Christian Kampmann (1745-1832), from Schwingelsen, Germany. Our saint’s mother was related to the Nitschmann family (link #1, link #2, and link #3) of Zauchtenthal, Moravia. Due to his mother’s death when he was a child, Kampmann studied at Nazareth Hall, Nazareth, Pennsylvania. In 1835, at the age of 18 years, having studied for the ministry, our saint became a teacher at Nazareth Hall.
Kampmann left his position at Nazareth Hall in 1840. The 23-year-old saint arrived in New Fairfield, Upper Canada (now Ontario), on November 14, 1840, to serve as an assistant missionary to indigenous people. He returned to Pennsylvania in that time to marry Maria Louisa Oerter at Bethlehem in November 1843. The couple had eight children, only three of which survived them. Kampmann, ordained a diaconus in November 1845, served as minister at Canal Dover, Ohio, until 1850, and at Gnadenhutten, Ohio, in 1850 and 1851. From 1851 to 1855 our saint was the assistant minister at Bethlehem. His next posting was in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
In 1857 Kampmann was a delegate to the General Synod at Herrnhut, Saxony. This was a crucial meeting, for it altered the constitution of the Unitas Fratrum, decentralizing the communion and increasing the authority of the provinces.
In 1857 Bishop Peter Wolle (1792-1871) ordained Kampmann a presbyter. The following year our saint became the President of the Moravian College and Theological Seminary, Bethlehem. Our saint, also a member of the Provincial Elders’ Conference, translated a hymn for The Liturgy and Hymns of the American Province of the Unitas Fratrum, or the Moravian Church (1876). Petrus Herbert (1530-1571) had composed a text 25 stanzas long. Kampmann cut 17 stanzas and translated the text as “The Word of God, Which Ne’er Shall Cease,” hymn #2 in The Liturgy and Hymns (1876). Since the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum) (1923), however, North American Moravian hymnals have reduced the number of stanzas to five.
Kampmann died at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on October 21, 1884. He was 67 years old.
Lehigh University, Lehigh, Pennsylvaania, has his papers.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
DECEMBER 4, 2016 COMMON ERA
THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT, YEAR A
THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF DAMASCUS AND COSMAS OF MAIUMA, THEOLOGIANS AND HYMNODISTS
THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CALABRIA, FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE POOR SERVANTS AND THE POOR WOMEN SERVANTS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE
THE FEAST OF JOSEPH MOHR, AUSTRIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER
THE FEAST OF THOMAS COTTERILL, ENGLISH PRIEST, HYMN WRITER, AND LITURGIST
O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Louis (Lewis) F. Kampmann
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