- Schwartz, Christian Friedrich
- ( 17 2 6 - 1798 )pioneer Lutheran missionary in IndiaChristian Friedrich Schwartz was born in Sinnen-ber, Prussia, in october 1726. He grew up in a parish heavily influenced by pietism and was inspired by accounts of the Danish-Halle Mission in India. Benjamin Shultze (1689-1760) recruited the youthful Schwartz to assist in preparing a Tamil translation of the Bible. Schwartz was ordained to the ministry (1749), and arrived at Tranquebar in 1750.He quickly mastered Portuguese, Persian, and several indian languages, and began establishing schools and training indian ministers. in 1763, he became military chaplain to one of the local rulers, which opened a whole region to Western-style schools.in 1766, when his area came under British control, Schwartz placed his work under the sponsorship of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, an agency of the Church of England, though he retained his LuTHERANISM.In subsequent decades, he was frequently engaged in peace negotiations between warring factions and in postwar relief. Not being British and familiar with all the languages involved made him trustworthy to all sides. In 1787, the rajah of Tanjore named Schwartz guardian-teacher of his 10-year-old son and heir.Schwartz started a major work in Tirunelveli when in the late 1770s he baptized a well-to-do Indian widow named Clorinda. In 1785, she endowed a church building in Palamcottah, and Schwartz sent his assistant Sathiyanandan (c. 1752-1815) to pastor the church. Ordained in 1790, the latter began work among the Shanar community and oversaw one of the first MASS movements in Indian Christianity While many of the Halle Mission converts became Anglicans, the Shanar church and its 20,000 members ultimately became the core of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church, which in 1975 joined in forming the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India.Schwartz died on February 13, 1798.Further reading:■ Robert Eric Frykenberg, "The Legacy of Christian Fredrich Schwartz," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 23 (July 1999): 130-35■ Daniel Jeyaraj, ed., Christian Frederick Schwartz: His Contribution to South India (Chennai: Lutheran Historical Archives, 1999)■ William H. Price, The Life and Labors of the Rev. Christian Frederick Schwartz, the Great Lutheran Missionary to India (Columbus, Ohio: Lutheran Book Concern, 1895)■ L. B. Wolf, ed., Missionary Heroes of the Lutheran Church (Columbia, S.C.: Lutheran Board of Publication, 1911).
Encyclopedia of Protestantism. Gordon Melton. 2005.