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Christian Friedrich Spittler

1782-1867. Swiss- German mission founder. A clerk from a German pastor's family, he became secretary of the Basle Christentumsgesellschaft in 1801. He helped to establish the Basel Mission Society in 1815, and during the 1820s sought to organize a work in Greece. His principal achievement was the St. Chrischona Pilgrim Mission which he founded in 1840. He opened a missionary training school for skilled craftsmen in a church near Basle, and its graduates first ministered among German immigrants in America. After 1846 the primary field became Palestine. Inspired by Samuel Gobat* in Jerusalem, Spittler attempted to extend the St. Chrischona work to Ethiopia, but his plan to establish a chain of mission stations along the Nile to link Jerusalem to Ethiopia came to naught. After his death St. Chrischona restricted itself to home missions until 1895 when it opened a China field in cooperation with Hudson Taylor.*