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Samuel Gobat

1799-1879. Bishop of Jerusalem. A French-speaking Protestant, he entered the Basel Mission Society school in 1821 where he showed considerable linguistic aptitude. After studying Arabic in Paris, he transferred to the English Church Missionary Society for service in Ethiopia. He spent two terms there in the 1830s and then went to Malta to do translation work. In 1845 the Lutheran Gobat was ordained in the Anglican Church and a year later King Frederick William IV appointed him to the joint English-Prussian bishopric of Jerusalem. In Palestine he founded hospitals, schools, and orphanages, and brought in German workers from the Kaiserswerth Sisters and the St. Chrischona Mission to assist in his ministry. Gobat's proselytizing activities among the Eastern churches aroused so much controversy that in 1853 several Anglican bishops publicly affirmed their confidence in him. After his death Prussia withdrew its support from the bishopric, leaving it a purely Anglican post.