Ludwig Harms

1808-1865. Mission organizer in Germany. Son of a pastor in the L√ľneburger Heath, he was at first influenced by rationalism, but in 1830 was converted to a strongly biblical Christianity. After serving for some years as a teacher at Lauenburg, he succeeded his father in the tiny village of Hermannsburg. A natural outgrowth of his deeply pietistic orientation was an interest in foreign missions, and he assisted in forming the North German Mission in 1836. Although his parishioners were simple peasants, they founded a missionary training school in 1849 and sent a group of missionary colonists to Ethiopia in 1853. Forbidden to land there, they located in Natal and established a settlement named Hermannsburg. They stressed a strongly confessional Lutheranism and trained the Africans in agricultural techniques. Harms himself never left Germany, but continually fostered the work at home and dispatched more agricultural missionaries to open new stations elsewhere in South Africa.