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Rev. Ferdinand Sievers (16 May 1816 - 09 Sep 1893)
Founder of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frankenlust Township.
  • by Marvin Kusmierz (2003)
  • George Enrst Christian Ferdinand Sievers was born in Lueneburg in the province of Hannover, Germany to Heinrich Sigismund Friedrich Sievers and Eleanor Lisette Florentine, nee von Borries. Four years later, his mother died followed by his father one year later. The very young Sievers along with seven brothers and sisters were dispersed growing up with in the families of their relatives. Ferdinand's new home was his uncle, the Rev. Philipp Sievers, in the city of Hannover and where he received a good education.

    At the age of 19, he entered the University of Goettingen studying theology. Upon graduating in 1838, he accepted a tutorage position in the home of a government office in Amelungsborn in the duchy of Braunschweig staying there until April 1842. That May, he return for further schooling at the University of Berlin, then at the University of Halle from September 1841 until March 1843. Again, he accepted another tutorage position, this time in the home of Bergrat Friedrich Koch where he met Mr. Koch's daughter, Carolina who become his future wife. He remained in this service for the next three years. It was during this period when Ferdinand first became aware of the spiritual needs of the German Lutheran immigrants in America.

    On April 27, 1847, he was ordained by the consistory of Hannover to serve as a pastor in North America. Earlier, Rev. Sievers had written to Rev. Wilhelm Loehe, the pastor of St. Nikolai Lutheran Church in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, and the leader of a movement to send pastors to America. Rev. Loehe assigned Rev. Sievers to serve a group of Bavarians who planned on settling in the Saginaw Valley of Michigan. The colony would be called Frankenlust (meaning Joy of the Franconians), and it would to be the third of four colonies intended for this area from the period 1845 through 1851.

    On August 15, 1847, the new Frankenlust colony group met at the home of Rev. Loehe. Most of them came from Rosstal in the middle Franconia area of northern Bavaria. Rev. Loehe escorted the group from his home to Bremen where they met up with Rev. Sievers. At Bremen plans had to be changed as the ship they were to board was in dry dock for repairs. It was agreed that Rev. Sievers would continue on alone and the group would catch up with him in New York. However the plan fell apart when the group arrived in New York and failed to notify Rev. Sievers. Some of the group decided to go to Wisconsin, another portion to Monroe, Michigan and a few to Frankenmuth with Rev. Sievers. The Frankenlust colony failed to materialize at this time.

    On May 5, 1848, Rev. Sievers purchased land just north of Saginaw for the colony of Frankenlust. In June, a second group arrived from Germany. That same month, the St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Frankenlust was organized by Rev. Sievers. A year later, Rev. Sievers notified Rev. Loehe that he had purchased land about seven miles northeast of Frankenmuth for the planned fourth colony called Frankenhilf (now Richville).

    It was in May 1850, that the marriage of Rev. Sievers and Carolina Koch took place in New York. Rev. Sievers traveled to New York to met Carolina and her father upon arrival from Germany. The marriage ceremony took place at the Trinity Lutheran Church.

    While busy meeting the needs of his own congregation, Rev. Sievers maintained a very active missionary ministry.

    In 1850, he became a member of the Board of Missions of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. In 1851, helped spent time in central Wisconsin investigating possibilities of a mission there.

    In 1853, he spent a portion of the summer at Bethany Indian Mission near St. Louis, MI.

    In 1856, he spent two months in the Minnesota Territory exploring mission possibilities among the Chippewa Indians and German Lutherans living there.

    On September 9, 1893, Rev. Ferdinand Sievers left this life and the congregation of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church that he served so well for nearly 53 years. His last spoken words were, "Lord, my Savior."


    Sources:
  • "Forward in Joy -- A History of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church", book, Elmer R. Wagner
  • Rev. Sievers
    St. Paul Lutheran Church
    Letters to Germany.
    Related Pages:
    German Pioneer Assoc.
    People Referenced
    Borries, Eleanor L.F.
    Koch, Bergrat F.
    Koch, Carolina
    Loehe, Wilhelm (Rev.)
    Sievers, G.E.C. Ferdinand (Rev.)
    Sievers, H.S. Friedrich
    Sievers, Philipp (Rev.)
    (Sievers' children, see below.)
    Subjects Referenced
    Amelungsborn
    Bavaria
    Bethany Indian Mission
    Board of Missions
    Chippewa Indians
    Consistory of Hannover
    Duchy of Braunschweig
    Franconia
    Franconians
    Frankenhilf
    Frankenlust
    German Lutheran immigrants
    Hannover, Germany
    Lueneburg, Germany
    Lutheran Church
    Minnisota Territory
    Missouri Synod
    Neuendettelsau, Bavaria
    New York
    Richville, MI
    Rosstal
    Saginaw Valley
    St. Louis, MI
    St. Nikoai Lutheran Church
    St. Paul Lutheran Church
    Trinity Lutheran Church, NY
    Univ. of Goettingen
    Univ. of Berlin
    Univ. of Halle
    Wisconsin
    SIEVERS' FAMILY
    Friedrich Carl Theodor(1):
    b.31May1851-d.15Sep1851

    Friedrich Johann August Theodor(3)
    b.21Jun1852-

    Bernhard Carl Ludwig(3):
    b.16Dec1853-

    Engel Johanna Adlphina:
    b.18May1855-

    Heinrich Ottomar Ferdinand(3):
    b.14Nov1856-d.19Aug1857

    Friedrich August Ferdinand:
    b.17Mar1858-

    Agnes Martin Sigismund:
    b.4Apr1861-

    Auguste Barbara Bertha(1)(2):
    b.5Apr1863-d.24Aug1863

    Carolina Elisabetha Henriette(2):
    b.5Apr1863-

    Gottlieb August Christian(3):
    b.1Jan1865-
    (1) Died at infancy.
    (2) Twins
    (3) Became pastor.
    Internet Resources
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