An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Muhlenberg, John Peter Gabriel

(Oct. 1, 1746-Oct. 1, 1807). An eighteenth-century Anglican priest who served Lutheran congregations. He was born in Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. He went to Halle, Germany, for his education. After several years he returned to America. He studied for the Lutheran ministry with Carl Magnus von Wrangel, Provost of the Swedish churches on the Delaware. In Feb. 1769 Muhlenberg took charge of the Lutheran churches at Bedminster and New Germantown, New Jersey. In 1771 he was called to be the pastor of the German Lutheran congregation at Woodstock, Virginia. He went to England for ordination because the Church of England was established in Virginia. Muhlenberg was ordained priest on Apr. 23, 1772, by the Bishop of London. He returned to Woodstock as the pastor of the Lutheran congregation. There is no evidence that he was ever ordained a Lutheran pastor. In Jan. 1776 he preached his farewell sermon on Ecclesiastes 3, which mentions "a time for war, and a time for peace." At the end of the service he removed his clerical gown, revealing under it his military uniform. He was a successful soldier in the Revolutionary War. Afterwards he served in a variety of political positions. Muhlenberg died in Gray's Ferry, Pennsylvania.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.