180th Anniversary: Wyneken’s Journey

It’s another 180th year anniversary in the life of Friedrich Wyneken, the Seminary’s first president. On September 20, 1838, the then-missionary reached the settlement of Friedheim (near Decatur, IN). From the writings of our electronic resources librarian (and historian), Rev. Robert E. Smith:

“The first German he met in Indiana received the missionary with suspicion. ‘If you are an honest pastor, then go to that house over there. A very sick man lies in it,” the woodman challenged. ‘If you are something else, like most pastors coming from Germany, then go over there to the rich wagonmaker!’ ‘Nevertheless, I’d love to see the sick man first,’ Wyneken quipped and then carried through. At this sick man’s home, he learned of Karl Friedrich Buuck, the leader of Jesse Hoover’s Adams County congregation and the pastor’s future father-in-law.”

As was his habit, Wyneken stayed in the area some days to minister to the people there before moving on to Fort Wayne and New Haven. The Wabash-Erie Canal (which made Fort Wayne a focal point in the nationwide water transportation system — in fact you can still walk along the remains of the canal, which serves as a popular bike and walking trail near the Seminary — and thus a good home base for Wyneken who had been assigned the task of surveying Indiana and its ministerial needs) had been completed to Logansport, IN only the year before.

To learn more about this leg in Wyneken’s missionary journey into Indiana, go to https://whatdoesthismean.blog/2018/09/20/friedrich-wyneken-in-indiana.