August Hermann Francke

1663-1727. German Lutheran minister, professor and early advocate of Pietism. Born in Lubeck, he studied at Erfurt and Kiel and became professor of Hebrew at Leipzig in 1684. Converted in 1687, he began to conduct Bible classes at Leipzig which led to a revival among both students and townspeople. When the theological faculty objected to his religious endeavors, he left and eventually became a minister at Glaucha and professor of oriental languages at the nearby University of Halle (1692). By 1698 he was professor of theology and in this post made important contributions in the scientific study of philology. He was concerned also for poor children, founding an orphanage, common school, teacher training school, and high school. In the course of time he added a drugstore, bookstore, bindery, and other industries, to train his wards and to help finance his work. He helped make Halle a center of piety and missionary enthusiasm.