David Nitschmann

1696-1772. Moravian missionary and bishop. Born in Moravia and a carpenter by trade, he joined the Herrnhut* community as an evangelist. In 1732 he accompanied J.L. Dober* on the first Moravian Brethren* mission to the Negro slaves on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, but returned to Germany after a few months. In 1735 he was the first Moravian to be consecrated bishop, thus establishing the principle of historical succession among the Brethren. Immediately after this he led a group of sixteen missionaries to Georgia and made a deep impression on John Wesley,* who was on the same ship. Constantly active as a bishop, he made at least fifty sea voyages before his death in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a settlement he had founded.