Famous German Pastors

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Martin Niemöller

Martin Niemöller
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: January 14, 1892
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lippstadt, Germany
Died: March 6, 1984
Best remembered for the quote “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out...,” Martin Niemöller was a German pastor who tried to counter discrimination against Christian converts with Jewish heritage. His Confessing Church was perhaps his apology for initially being a Nazi sympathizer.

 2 Horst Kasner

Horst Kasner
Famous As: Former German Protestant theologian and father of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Birthdate: August 6, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pankow, Berlin, Germany
Died: September 2, 2011

Horst Kasner is best remembered as the father of German chancellor Angela Merkel. Part of Hitler Youth, he had served Hitler’s army during World War II and was held prisoner at 19. He later became a Protestant theologian and pastor in the town of Templin.

 3 Martin Bucer

Martin Bucer
Famous As: Protestant reformer
Birthdate: November 11, 1491
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sélestat, France
Died: February 28, 1551

Martin Bucer was a German Protestant reformer in the Reformed tradition who was active in the 16th century. He is credited to have deeply influenced Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anglican doctrines and practices. His work resulted in his excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church, and he was exiled to England. He is considered an early pioneer of ecumenism.

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 4 Julius Wellhausen

Julius Wellhausen
Famous As: Biblical scholar
Birthdate: May 17, 1844
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamelin, Germany
Died: January 7, 1918

German biblical scholar Julius Wellhausen is best remembered for best known for his work on the Pentateuch. Born to a pastor, he followed in his father’s footsteps and studied theology. He also taught oriental languages. His New Testament studies were criticized, though his analysis of the Old Testament was well-received.

 5 Friedrich Naumann

Friedrich Naumann
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 25, 1860
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Störmthal, Großpösna, Germany
Died: August 24, 1919

German political theorist Friedrich Naumann was also a Protestant pastor. He was part of the Reichstag and later also co-founded the Democratic Party of Germany, leading it till his death. He is also remembered for his National-Social Association, which he had co-founded with sociologist Max Weber.

 6 Eduard Mörike

Eduard Mörike
Famous As: Pastor
Birthdate: September 8, 1804
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: June 4, 1875

Apart from being a Lutheran pastor, Eduard Mörike was also one of Germany’s best-known lyric poets. His Peregrina poems, his sonnets to Luise Raufolk, his poems and tales, such as Das Stuttgarter Hutzelmännlein, along with his novel Maler Nolten, remain significant to German literature to this day.

 7 Kristijonas Donelaitis

Kristijonas Donelaitis
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 1, 1714
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lasdinehlen
Died: February 18, 1780

Prussian Lithuanian poet Kristijonas Donelaitis had mastered theology and classical languages and also served as a pastor of Tolmingkehmen. His best-known work, Metai, or The Seasons, was penned in hexameters, a style never used before in Lithuanian verse. He had also written Lithuanian fables based on Aesop's Fables.

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 8 Anton Praetorius

Anton Praetorius
Famous As: Pastor
Birthdate: 1560 AD
Birthplace: Lippstadt
Died: December 6, 1613

Calvinist pastor Anton Praetorius was known for his vocal opposition to witchhunts and the practice of burning of witches. He also spoke against the tenet of crimen exceptum, which stated that torture is acceptable as a form of punishment when the crime is of a serious nature.

 9 Regino of Prüm

Regino of Prüm
Famous As: Monk
Birthdate: 0842 AD
Birthplace: Altrip, Germany
Died: 0915 AD

Benedictine monk Regino of Prüm is best known for his two-volume chronicle of the period between Christ’s birth and the early 10th century, Chronicon. The abbot of Prüm, he later headed the monastery at Saint-Martin. He also advocated for a reform of church music and penned a collection of canons.

 10 Samuel Simon Schmucker

Samuel Simon Schmucker
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: February 28, 1799
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hagerstown, Maryland, United States
Died: July 26, 1873

Samuel Simon Schmucker was a theologian and Lutheran pastor. He played a key role in the founding of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg as well as Gettysburg College. He also played a major role in the founding of the Evangelical Lutheran General Synod of the United States of America. He was also well-known for his efforts as an abolitionist.