Greetings from Charleston!
Grace and peace to all who have come to this blog. This is part 3 of my discussion on Lutheranism, first started on my podcast, the King’s Cast. I’m coming to you from beautiful Charleston, and we are enjoying this nice weather and the beach. Anyway, I am discussing Lutheranism and why I’m making this transition into Lutheranism. Of course, I love the Lutheran doctrines as expressed in the Book of Concord (http://www.bookofconcord.org/), and most importantly the Holy Scriptures. But on a personal level, as a person who is part of the African Diaspora I cannot tell you how meaningful it is to find out that Lutheranism has been a movement for the nations from the beginning. I will briefly site several discoveries I made about Luther and Ethiopia and then I’m crashing…it’s like midnight EST here right now!!
(1) Martin Luther and his movement were in full communion and fellowship with the Ethiopian Orthodox Church since the 16th century — Several scholarly articles and journals have been written on this connection, such as this one from from Chicago Divinity School: (https://divinity.uchicago.edu/sightings/articles/martin-luther-and-ethiopian-christianity-historical-traces). We discovered that a deacon by the name of Michael traveled from Ethiopia to visit Luther (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_the_Deacon) As we continue to move forward in history, we discover the Reverend Jehu Jones, the first African-American Lutheran pastor, ordained in 1833 in Philadelphia by the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church (http://www.lutheranquarterly.com/uploads/7/4/0/1/7401289/jehu_jones.pdf). Then, we move into the late 1800s and early 1900s to meet Dr. Rosa J. Young, the “Mother of Black Lutherans (https://trinitymemphis.org/2018/01/31/rosa-j-young-mother-of-black-lutheranism/), ” who founded Concordia Seminary, the first historical black college & university (HBCU), which was funded by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, because Booker T. Washington replied when Rosa Young wrote him for advice that “The Lutheran Church does more in this country for colored people than any other denomination.” And then of course, we finally get into Martin Luther King Jr. His father was originally named Michael King. However, Michael traveled to Germany in the 1930s, and was so inspired by what he discovered about Martin Luther that he changed both his name and his son Michael’s name to Martin Luther King Jr., who also visited Berlin in 1964 at the prime minister’s invitation (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/04/04/germany-remembers-martin-luther-king/485017002/), and the rest is history!!!!
These reasons and many more are why I’m transitioning into Lutheranism. More to come!