Christian David | Free Online Biblical Library

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Christian David

1691-1751. Moravian Brethren leader. Born in Moravia and by trade a carpenter, he was converted in 1717 and became a lay evangelist. In 1722 he met Count Zinzendorf,* helped him to found the Christian community of Herrnhut on his estate, and recruited settlers from the exiled Brethren (Unitas Fratrum) in Moravia. In 1733 David led a group of missionaries to Greenland to assist the Norwegian pioneer Hans Egede,* but sharp differences developed between them. David, strongly self-willed and at times intolerant, criticized Egede's Lutheran orthodoxy, while the latter resented the sentimental nature of the Moravian message. When Egede departed in 1736 they had been reconciled, and the work in Greenland prospered. David traveled extensively in Europe, returned to Greenland in 1747 with more missionaries, and built a church and mission residence. He journeyed to Pennsylvania, then returned to Greenland to construct a storehouse before dying in Herrnhut.