Lehigh University
Lehigh Universiy

You are here

Christian Gotthelf Erdman Oehme

22 May 1758-1844. Married 6 Nov 1788.Memoir:Our late Brother left nothing behind in his own hand relating to his walk through this world, thus only the following brief report of the circumstances of his life, written down from stories that he himself related. He testified that the chief impression that the overview of his pilgrimage here below made upon his heart is contained in the hymn verse: “The faithfulness of Jesus never ends, this is the story of my life, which was not always to his praise, but this is proof of that.” He was born the 22nd May, 1758, in Sorau in the County of Promnitz, in Saxony, where his father was chief architect to the castle of the Count von Promnitz and to the city. It remained unforgettable to him how in his 3rd year, his father had died suddenly of a hemorrhage just as his sister, who had died of scarlet fever, lay in a corpse. So they were both buried the same day. The Count graciously took upon himself the care of providing for the support and education of our brother and his 2 sisters. IIn his youth he experienced an apparent protection of his life. Once as he was going home from school he had the misfortune to fall into a cistern that lay by the wayside and would most certainly have been drowned there if a soldier who happened to be nearby had not hurried to his aid. As he got older he found work in farming. When he was grown he left Sorau and went to his paternal grandparents in Christianstadt 2 miles from his birthplace. There was there a small group of awakened souls who held special service for their edification and encouragement on the path of faith. Driven by curiosity our late brother asked for permission to attend one of these services and this was gladly granted to him. What he heard there made a deep impression upon his heart and awakened in him the earnest desire also to become as pious as these people.  Since they were in connection with the Moravian Brethren, the wish became alive in him to belong to these people of the Lord. As a result of this he made a visit to [the Moravian congregation at] Neusalz, where he experienced much love from the chaplain of the Single Brethren’s Choir there as well as later in Herrnhut, to which Congregation he was admitted on the 20 January, 1775.  There he learned the trade of hatter and worked at this profession until the year 1786 when he received the call to go to America. He made the journey in company with the late Bishop Herbst and several other Brethren. While they were at sea they were once in great danger of being taken prisoner by Algerian pirates and from heart thanked the dear Savior for the wonderful deliverance they experienced. (see “a” below) The Watchword of the Moravian Brethren’s Church on that remarkable day was so important to them all: “Fear not, thou shalt not be put to shame.” Isaiah 54:4.  
Birth Year: 
1758
Arrival Year: 
1786
Member Year: 
1775
Death Year: 
1844