free ebooks

Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for Americ

Deaconesses in german methodism


similar call came from Shanghai, but as it was impossible to return a favorable answer, although the hospital was a Protestant institution, the Sisters of Mercy were invited in, and given control. From 1870 up to 1886 over two hundred and twenty-seven places at widely remote distances, such as Madras, New Orleans, Port Said, Rio de Janeiro, and elsewhere, sent most urgent appeals for Kaiserswerth deaconesses to be assigned them, but invariably the same answer must be returned: "There are none to send." Disselhoff closes by saying, "How many open doors has God given! Whose fault is it that they remain closed?"

[42] Schaefer, _Die Weibliche Diakonie_, vol. i, p. 21. [43] The details of the deaconess work at Muelhausen are largely taken from Schaefer's _Die Weibliche Diakonie_, vol. ii. [44] _Life of Pastor Fliedner_, translated by C. Winckworth, London, 1867, p. 133. "The favor of the great, especially the condescending kindness of our late Sovereign, he took as a gift from the King of kings, who allowed his own work to be thus promoted. He strenuously avoided all personal distinction, and never wore the order which had been sent him; 'for a servant of the Church,' he said, 'there should be but one order--the Cross of the Lord.'" [45] _Der Armen und Kranken Freund_, August, 1888. [46] _Denkschrift zur Jubelfeier_, pp. 248, 249.

justify;">CHAPTER VIII.


The good results of the work of deaconesses in the other Protestant bodies of Germany doubtless had their influence upon German Methodism. As far back as 1868 in Wurtemberg, and later in Frankfort, some preachers introduced parish deaconesses for the care of the sick; but well-directed efforts, and unity in management, were lacking.

The existing association was started July 8, 1874, under the title of "Bethanienverein," or the Bethany Society, through the efforts of several members of the German Conference, among whom were Rev. G. Weiss, who, with two deaconesses, initiated the work in Bremen, Rev. Frederick Eilers, the present inspector, and Rev. G. Hausser, who for several years was president of the board of direction, and now resides in America.[47] A further number of ministers showed themselves inclined to stand by the society, both by their influence and through contributions taken in their churches, so that in 1876 the first trained deaconesses were set at work in the city of Frankfort.

As has been said,[48] the little institution in its early days had to pass through a series of critical experiences, as a young child has to encounter the series of childhood diseases that assail it; but it outlived them all, and is now enjoying a vigorous youth. It was but another illustration of the truth that all beginnings are difficult, and that successful experience has to be bought by overcoming hinderances and obstacles.

To-day there is no branch of German Methodism more successfully and substantially incorporated into the Church life than the deaconess society, and none that wins greater favor among those outside of denominational lines.

The first printed report was issued in October, 1884. In this the inspector says: "Our society is now in three cities, Frankfort, Hamburg, and Berlin, and our sisters are not able to meet all the demands upon them for service." At that time there were thirteen deaconesses and twenty probationers. The last report, issued in July, 1888, shows an increase in numbers both of deaconesses and their stations. There are now eighty-nine deaconesses, eleven of whom are probationers, and there are stations in five places. Besides the ones previously mentioned in Germany, two additional stations have been started in Switzerland: one in Zuerich, and one in St. Gall.

eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us