Missionaries from Gerlingen: Johannes Rebmann
- Childhood and youth
Johannes Rebmann is a busy letter writer, always interested in news
from his home town.
"You must not think that that, what seems negligible and not important for you in Gerlingen, is it for me in Africa, too. Specially the far distance gives news of negligible kind an importance."
"I have a duty in East Africa that will not allow me to visit my dear town where I was born, not now and, as far as I can see, also not in the next years."
Johannes Rebmann is born on the 16th of January 1820 as third from eight
children of Mrs Anna Margarete
Rebmann, née. Maisch, into an old Gerlingen family. His father is farmer
and winegrower. The house where Johannes Rebmanns is born is near the church - Kirchstrasse
(Churchstreet) 18 in Gerlingen, Germany.
Gerlingen village has at that time about 1.500 inhabitants. In village life people discuss daily topics but also politics and faith. Also the awakening movement is opinion-forming in Gerlingen: The Pietism gets new strength because of the public resistance against enlightenment, trust in progress and ossify church hierarchy. Mission as task of the Christian world gets an important role and must have impressed little Johannes Rebmann also.
It points out his religious convince already in childhood times that he was called in Gerlingen's elementary school "reverend". He wants to become a missionary, go to unknown foreign countries as a "preacher and canvasser of the gospel".
1839 the 19 years old farmer and winegrower Johannes Rebmann is admitted into the Basler Mission.
Five years later he moves to the Church Missionary Society in Islington, England.
After finnishing his occupational training the bishop of London ordains him on the 26th of October 1845. And in February 1846 he goes on board of the sailingship "Arrow", to reach after months of travelling his new operational area, as a missionary in East Africa.