Gerhardt Tersteegen: 1697 - 1769


Gerhardt Tersteegen was born in Germany amid the residual strife of the Thirty Years' War. In preparation to attend a university, young Gerhardt studied at the Latin school at Mörs for over nine years. However, at age fifteen he became a menial apprentice because his mother could not provide the education he desired, for his father had died when he was only six. While still a teen, Gerhardt was brought to Christ through the shepherding of the pietist Wilhelm Hoffman.

Tersteegen took up ribbon-weaving and lived an isolated, ascetic life, which eventually led to depression. After being gloriously set free from darkness through God's grace, Tersteegen lived a less solitary lifestyle. He then took on an apprentice, thus freeing him to minister to his ever-growing number of visitors, literally hundreds, seeking Christ. Before his death in his 72nd year, Tersteegen had published devotional writings, poems, sermons, and 111 hymns.