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Lutheran Church in Ostróda, Poland

History

The history of Lutheranism in Ostróda/Osterode starts in 1525, when prince Albrecht Hohenzollern brought the protestant reformation to Prussia. As we can read in 16th century chronicles, first Lutheran pastor was ordained in Ostróda in 1534. In following years the number of Protestants in the region growth. Since the beginnings the Lutheran parish had its own church, which burnt down in 1788. Lutheran pastors however performed services in the ruins. The church had been rebuilt between 1795 and 1801 and later it was used by Polish Lutheran community. The services there were performed by Gustav Gisevius, deserved citizen of Ostróda, prominent ethnographer, writer and Polish national activist (after the 2nd world war a town of Łuczany/Lötzen was named after his surname ? Giżycko). During his time in Ostróda, he defended the rights of Polish community in Prussia and opposed germanization. He died in 1848, and he was buried at Polska Górka (Polish Hill) cemetery in Ostróda. 

In 19th century Polish community, even though in minority, represented a large part of Lutheran citizens in town. According to the document Chronik und Statistik der Evangelischen Kirchen in den Provinzen Ost- und Westrpreußen from 1890, there were 11 Lutheran parishes in the region, with 46 273 believers, of which  25 985 were Poles. Only in Ostróda 5000 of 11 150 Lutherans declared Polish nationality. 

After the reform of King Fredrick William III of Prussia from 1817, who wanted to unite both, Lutheran and Reformed Church into one body, the Lutheran parish in Ostróda preserved its Lutheran character. In 1909 the new Evangelical church ? God's Grace Church - was build in town. Its architecture (especially the construction of a bell tower) symbolizes the union between Lutheran and Calvinist confessions. 

After the  2nd world war the number of Lutherans in Ostróda and in whole Masuria dropped radically. Ostróda was almost completely destroyed by the Soviet Army. The church, where Polish services were performed in 19th century, had also been destroyed (it was rebuilt later, nowadays it's used by the Roman Catholic Parish of St. Dominic Savio). The policy of communist regime in Poland hit the German and Masurian community and forced many people to emmigrate to Germany. In addition, after the war Methodist preachers and missionaries came to Masuria. Due to absence of the Lutheran pastors, Methodists took over the Lutheran church and its vicarages in Ostróda. Same situation happened for example in Kraplewo (Kraplau), Dąbrówno (Gilgenburg) or Gierzwałd (Geyerswalde). Since that time, a Lutheran community in Ostróda was forced to rent a small vicarage from Methodists and the services were performed in former Lutheran church. In 2011 the Lutheran parish in Ostróda recieved a new building. It's the former court building at Olsztyńska 1. On  14th July 2013 the building became the official residence of the Evangelical-Augsburg (Lutheran) Parish in Ostróda.

Famous Lutherans from Ostróda and its surroundings:

Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803, born in Morąg/Mohrungen) ? Prussian philosopher, writer and Lutheran pastor from 18th  century.

Emil Adolf von Behring (1854-1917, born in Ławice/Hansdorf ? Iława/Deutsch Eylau district) ? German bacteriologist, first laureate of Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Abraham Calov (1612-1686, born in Morąg/Mohrungen) ? 16th  century Lutheran theologian, representative of Lutheran Orthodoxy.

Gustav Gizevius (1810-1848) ? Lutheran pastor, Polish national activist, vicar of the Polish Lutheran parish in Ostróda.

Hans Hellmut Kirst (1914-1989, born in Ostróda/Osterode) ? German writer.

Georg Jacob Steenke (1801-1884) ? one of the main architects of Elbląg Canal.

Adolf Tetzlaff (1888-1952) ? originator of tourism on Elbląg Canal.

 

Our life

Evangelical-Augsburg Parish perform services not only in Ostróda, but also in Iława/Deutsch Eylau, Łęguty/Langgut, Morąg/Mohrungen and Pasłęk/Preußisch Holland. Services in Ostróda are performed every Sunday at 10 AM in the chapel of parish residence at Olsztyńska 1. Services in Morąg and Pasłęk are performed every 1st  and 2nd Sunday of the month. Services in Iława and Łęguty are performed every3rd and 4th Sunday.

In upcoming time we plan to renovate the parish building. We want to adapt the building to serve not only in ecclesial way, but also to set there a charity organisation - Diakonia Kościoła Ewangelicko-Augsburskiego w RP agency, which would help injured and disabled people. In that case, the Evangelical-Augsburg Parish in Ostróda organizes fund-raising, which would, at least in a small part, cover the costs of renovation. If you want to help us, the account number and needed figures are given below. Every penny counts. 

God bless You!

 

Parafia Ewangelicko-Augsburska w Ostródzie

ul. Olsztyńska 1

14-100 Ostróda

phone: +48 89 646 25 61

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 Bank account:

SWIFT:  BPKOPLPW

PL 11 1020 3613 0000 6502 0029 3738 

 

Parafia Ewangelicko-Augburska w Ostródzie; ul. Olsztyńska 1; 14-100 Ostróda

tel. 89 646 25 61; email: ostroda@luteranie.pl; www.ostroda.luteranie.pl

Parafia Ewangelicko-Augsburska w Ostródzie, copyright © 2013, projekt i realizacja: Marcin Jóźwik, www.marcin-jozwik.pl