My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was a pioneer preacher!
I’ve long had an interest in genealogy/family history, and one of the people I’m interested in learning more about is Adolph Nussman. Nussman was recruited by Lutherans in North Carolina in the 1700s because they did not have a pastor. Nussman, in Germany, answered the call and became the first Lutheran pastor in North Carolina. Nussman, called “the Lutheran apostle to NC,” came from Germany in 1773 (age 34), supported the American Revolution, was tortured by the Tories (British loyalists), and planted a bunch of churches over the next couple decades before eventually dying of wounds believed to have resulted from the torture at the age of 55.
Following the Revolutionary War, he called for more pastors. By the time George Washington was inaugurated as America’s first president, there were five Lutheran pastors leading the ministry. Adolph Nussman served 3 congregations and oversaw the 20 churches in NC.
In making the call for more pastors, Nussman described the kind of people needed. He said they must have “determination, courage, and a genuine apostolic spirit.” Most emphatically he asked for unmarried men, explaining that “an American wife in our circumstances is definitely better adapted” to frontier life.
He went on to make a great statement about Christ-following leadership …
Whoever is inclined to worry and feel offended over unfavorable and stupid remarks had better not come to America; and whoever has not sufficient strength of character to undertake unpleasant tasks, which are inevitable, would likewise do well to stay far from here. On every hand there are obstacles to overcome, but wise is he who does not magnify them through impatience. I myself have always been happiest when I bore the burdens laid upon me calmly, seldom, if ever made any complaints, and always fulfilled my duties. … But whoever has a genuine zeal for religion and shows a noble attitude toward life will find friends and support also in this country.
The advice fits today’s leaders as well!
Adolph Nussman is buried at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Concord, NC (Cabarrus County). I believe they erected a new monument at his grave-site a few years ago.
When Nussman came to North Carolina, he brought a friend, Johann Gottfried Arndt (or Arends), who was a teacher at the time. Interestingly, Arndt was was ordained shortly after arriving in NC. I mention Arndt because I keep trying to find a connection between him and Joleen who descends from Aurandt / Aurand / Arndt families in PA (who also came from Germany). But as hard as I’ve tried, I don’t think there’s a connection. 🙂
Any genealogists researching Adolph Nussman who find their way to this post, please leave a comment or email me through the contact page.