Johann Leonhard Dober

Johann Leonhard Dober biography, “…He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7). If Jesus himself took the form of a servant to save you, are you willing to follow the same example to save others? Johann Leonhard Dober did!

Birth: 07-03-1706
Home Calling: 01-04-1766
Native Place: Monchsroth
Country: Germany
Place of Vision: St. Thomas, Caribbean Islands

Dober was an enthusiastic Christian and a potter by profession in a German village. At the age of eighteen, he heard a slave from West Indies entreating others to send someone to his island to enlighten them about Christ.

Young Dober was troubled in his heart and the thought of people ignorant of Christ made him restless. He was too young to be sent as a missionary and there was no funding agency to support him in this venture.

Finally, he somehow convinced the church authorities who allowed him to go and sent the elderly David Nitschmann, a carpenter with him.

Johann Leonhard Dober ministry in Caribbean Islands

Now, together they traveled to Copenhagen to board a ship to West Indies. There the Dutch authorities were baffled by this young man’s courage. When they were asked, how they were planning to live in West Indies without funding, Nitschmann replied “We shall work, as slaves among the slaves.” But the authorities were not willing to let white men be slaves. But Dober somehow convinced them too and arrived in St. Thomas in 1732.

Although Dober was prepared to become a slave, in God’s provision he sustained there using his pottery and carpentry skills. The slaves were impressed by this white young man who was ready to become a slave like them to teach them the Gospel. They willingly embraced God’s purpose in their lives.

Dober had to return to Germany in 1734 for other ministerial purposes. But many others followed in his footsteps to St. Thomas who built God’s church on the foundations laid by him. After more than 30 years of fruitful ministry in several parts of Europe, Dober went to be with the Lord in 1766.

Beloved, are you ready to put the needs of lost souls ahead of your own comfort?

Take away from the article

“Lord, create in me the heart of a servant choosing to work for Your glory and not my own. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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