The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


What does it mean to be Lutheran?

The question for founders of Southern Seminary, Newberry College endures

“The seminary stands open for the reception of students of all Christian denominations.”

Constitution of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, 1833.

They met as expatriates and worked as the original odd couple: one from New York, the other from Prussia, both ministering and serving as leading lights in the American South of the 19th century.

John Bachman (1790-1874) left his New York home in 1815 to serve as pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Charleston, S.C., while Ernest Hazelius (1777-1853) of Silesia, 13 years his senior, accepted the call to serve as the sole professor in a one-room seminary in the same state’s back country two decades later.

The original building of Newberry [S.C.]
The original building of Newberry [S.C.] College fell down in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Bachman had been raised a Lutheran; Hazelius, a Moravian. Bachman was energetic, ebullient and outgoing; Hazelius quiet, devout and retiring.

Bachman was also known as a man of science, the close collaborator of the naturalist John James Audubon. (See “Hope in the swamp, hope in the heart” by Benjamin E. Leese.) Hazelius was known as a man of God, a pious Christian devoted to educating and training future generations of Lutheran pastors, and as a rare German who could “neither sing nor smoke.”

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