Blues Music and Gospel Proclamation

The Extraordinary Life of a Courageous East German Pastor

Theo Lehmann,

Blues Music and Gospel Proclamation: The Extraordinary Life of a Courageous East German Pastor
Born in 1934 in Dresden, Germany, Theo Lehmann lived through both the Nazi era and the Communist-ruled German Democratic Republic (GDR). Ordained in the Lutheran Church of Saxony, he was called to an urban parish in Chemnitz. There he introduced a youth worship service marked by contemporary music, uncompromising preaching of the gospel message, and calls to discipleship in Christ that attracted thousands. Lehmann then embarked on an itinerant ministry of youth evangelism with Jorg Swoboda, a Baptist musician and youth leader. He gained the undying enmity of the Communist regime, was under constant surveillance by the dreaded secret police, and was rejected by many of his own ministerial colleagues. Theo Lehmann was also the best-known scholar of jazz and blues music in the GDR. Indeed these musical forms expressed so well his own longing for freedom. His reputation as an evangelist spread far beyond the narrow confines of East Germany, and he was named to the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. His dreams were fulfilled by the fall of the Berlin Wall, and he was then free to proclaim the Word of God throughout the reunited Germany. The author of over twenty books and composer of numerous songs widely sung in churches and evangelical gatherings, Lehmann is today his country's foremost evangelist. His life is an extraordinary witness to the power of God and one person's faithfulness to the gospel message.

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