Lutheran Leader J. G. Arends

J.G. Arends Native German, pioneer teacher and minister, ordained 1775, first president of the N.C. Lutheran Synod. 1803. Grave a few yds. east.

On July 9, 1807, minister, educator and founder of the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church J. G. Arends died in Lincolnton.

Born in Germany in 1740, Arends arrived in Rowan County in 1773 to become a Lutheran teacher. When the minister who served the area left in 1774, Arends was ordained to take his place.

Arends traveled extensively throughout the western part of North Carolina ministering to those who otherwise had no other form of pastoral care. By the end of his ministry he had served 19 churches, most of which he helped establish. Although many in the Lutheran Church in North Carolina were supportive of the Crown, Arends dedicated himself to the cause of American independence.

Responding to the “outburst of intensive religious activity” and the “alarming deterioration of both faith and morals” during revivalism known as the Second Great Awakening, Arends and other Lutheran ministers in North Carolina saw the need to organize and bring authority to the Lutheran Church. They met in Salisbury in May 1803 to form the North Carolina Synod of the Lutheran Church. It was only the third Lutheran synod in America, and Arends was elected the group’s first president.

He died four years later.

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