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Mission History


Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Germany Munich/Austria Mission
Lommelstrasse 7
81479 Munich
GERMANY

The history of the Munich Mission (and for that matter, all of the German-speaking missions) is rather convoluted. John Moss has come across a book titled Mormonism in Germany by Gilbert Sharffs published in 1970 by Deseret Books which sums things up fairly well. In addition, Keith Irwin has provided valuable information on the Bavarian Mission. The summary below is taken from these sources as well as the indefatigable Craig Harman (who, i have begun to think, knows absolutely everything there is to know on any subject), my own personal knowledge, and too many other sources to list.

The history of the Mormon church in Germany started when Orson Hyde stopped in Frankfurt on June 27, 1841 as he was on his way to dedicate Palestine for the return of the Jews. He was the first to preach the gospel in Germany. He had a visa problem and had to remain in Frankfurt for several days, so he began to study the language and learned well enough to start teaching those who would listen. After dedicating Palestine on October 24, 1841, he wrote to other members of the Twelve in England that he "would proceed over the Alps directly to Germany and try to light up a fire there." He told Elder Parley P. Pratt, "I now go to board ship for Triest, and from thence I intend to proceed to Regensburg and there publish our faith in the German Language." Several delays prevented him from arriving in Germany as quickly as he would have liked, but once he arrived, he wrote in a letter, "I found it appropriate to stay in this city [Regensburg] for a season or two, to enjoy the flowers of German literature, after I had been wandering through the thistles and thorns of the uncivilized world."

The German Mission was formed in 1852 with Daniel Carn as the mission president. Over about the next century the area covered by the Munich Mission (along, generally, with the rest of Germany) was covered by the German Mission, the Swiss-Italian Mission, the European Mission, etc. Finally, in 1959 the South German Mission was created, forming the first mission to fill basically the same job of covering Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg that the Munich Mission does currently. Then, on 4 March 1962 the Bavarian Mission was created from the South German Mission, with the Bavarian Mission based in Munich and covering Bavaria, and the South German Mission based in Stuttgart-Feuerbach and covering Baden-Württemberg; the Bavarian Mission was merged back together with the South German Mission on 10 June 1965 (read additional information from Bro. Hardy L. Anderson). The South German Mission was then renamed the Germany South Mission on 10 June 1970, and finally renamed the Germany Munich Mission on 20 June 1974. (These last two renamings were both part of worldwide renamings of the missions of the church, and not due to boundary changes.) On the statistical side of life, John Moss has thoughtfully provided a short, interesting list of the number of full-time missionaries and convert baptisms in the South German Mission from 1959 to 1967.

From some time in 1971 until early spring of 1973 the Germany South Mission sponsored what was called the FHE Band. Lee Peterson, who was part of the band, has supplied a description of what it was and what it did.

From May 1977 until the mid-1990s (does anyone have the exact dates?) Salzburg and Innsbruck, both in Austria, were part of the Munich Mission because they were part of the Munich Stake (they were, according to members of the Munich Stake, brought into the Munich Stake so that there would be enough Melchizedek priesthood holders to have a stake), and at the same time a section in the northwest of the mission was transferred over into the Frankfurt Mission. One interesting side effect of this was that at least one of the wards in Salzburg straddled the Austria-Germany border, and at times some of the full-time missionaries serving in Salzburg actually lived in Germany (For example, in the early 1990s one of the companionships serving one of the Salzburg wards lived in Freilassing).

In late 1990 (does anyone knows the exact?) the cities of Hof and Coburg, previously in the Nuremberg District, were moved into the Dresden Mission.

In late 1992 or early 1993 (does anyone know exactly when?), what had previously been the "split cities" along the border between the Frankfurt and Munich Missions (Karlsruhe, Heidelberg, and Mannheim--were there any others?--in which English-speakers were served by the Munich Mission and German-speakers were served by the Frankfurt Mission) were transferred entirely to the Frankfurt Mission. This was the result of the dissolution of the Stuttgart Servicemen's Stake, which was dissolved due to the US and Canadian military withdrawal, resulting in fewer English-speakers in the area. The remaining English-speaking units in the Munich Mission were placed in the Nuremberg Servicemen's Stake.

On 20 March 1994, Robert K. Dellenbach dissolved the Nuremberg District and combined it (except as noted below) with the Nuremberg Servicemen's Stake to form the Nuremberg Stake. At the same time, the Coburg branch was transferred from the Dresden Stake (in the Dresden Mission) to the Nuremberg Stake, and therefore into the Munich Mission. (Interestingly, in late 1990, Coburg, along with Hof, had been transferred from the Nuremberg District--and thus from the Munich Mission--to the Dresden Mission.) The Stuttgart and Munich English-speaking wards of the Nuremberg Servicemen's Stake were not placed into the Nuremberg Stake, but rather were placed in, respectively, the Stuttgart and Munich Stakes.

(According to mission folklore, before the establishment of the Nuremberg Stake, the Nuremberg District had been the longest-standing district in Europe. As far as i have been able to determine, this was not actually the case--the longest-standing European district was the Sweden Malmö District, which was a district from 1840 until 1 September 1996, when it was finally organized into a stake.)

In February 1994 the congregations in Innsbruck and Salzburg (or, at least, the parts of the wards on the Austrian side of the border) were split off from the Munich Stake (and therefore the Munich Mission) and were joined with the western bit of the Vienna Austria Stake (namely the congregations in Oberöesterreich/Upper Austria and Kärnten/Carinthia) to form the Salzburg District, as a result placing them in the Austria Vienna Mission; the Munich Stake remained otherwise unchanged. Also, at the same time the Freiburg Ward was moved out of the Stuttgart Stake and into the Basel Stake, and therefore from the Munich Mission into the Switzerland Zürich Mission. (As a sidebar, in early 1997 the Salzburg District was dissolved and made into the Salzburg Stake.)

The Bavarian Mission mission home was on Agnes-Bernauerstraße in Munich. From at least the late 1960s or early 1970s the Munich Mission mission office was on Machtlfingerstraße in Munich, but it has since (February 1994) moved to Boschetsriederstraße. The current address follows, first in English and then in German.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Germany Munich/Austria Mission
Lommelstrasse 7
81479 Munich
GERMANY

Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der Letzten Tage
Deutschland Mission München/Österreich
Lommelstraße 7
81479 München
DEUTSCHLAND
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