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David Nitschmann (1696-1772)

David Nitschmann was born in Zauchtental in Moravia, the son of a forester. He began to hold religious meetings with friends in 1717 and in 1724 moved to Herrnhut where he learned carpentry, and was finally elected an elder of the Moravian Church.

Nitschmann visited England in 1728 and four years later accompanied the first Moravian missionary to the West Indies. In Berlin in 1735 he was consecrated bishop for employment overseas, and later that year travelled to Georgia as a passenger on the same ship as John Wesley. In 1737 Nitschmann accompanied Zinzendorf to England where he was introduced to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Nitschmann was actively involved in the establishment of many Moravian settlements including Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, to where he retired in 1761.

Source: Dictionary of Evangelical Biography 1739-1860, edited by Donald M. Lewis (1995) and Encyclopedia of World Methodism (1974)

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