Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948)

By Matti Neumann

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Matti Neumann, M.A. in theology (Friedensau Adventist University) serves as pastor in the Bodensee (Lake Constance) Region.

Karl Kaltenhäuser worked for the Seventh-day Adventist Church mainly in East Africa and Brazil.

Early Life

Karl Kaltenhäuser was born on March 4, 1878, in Immingerode, near Duderstadt, Germany.1 Nothing is known about his parents or siblings. In 1906, after a series of lectures by G. W. Schubert in Berlin, Kaltenhäuser was baptized and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church.2 After working for 16 years in the construction industry, he attended the mission school in Friedensau, Germany, from 1908 to 1909 with the aim of serving as a pastor in Germany.3

Ethiopia and World War I

Due to his experience in construction, in 1910, Kaltenhäuser was sent by Conradi to Abyssinia, today’s Ethiopia, to help with the building of the mission station in Asmara.4 After this was completed, Kaltenhäuser moved to German East Africa with his fiancée, Anna Liedke. Anna was born on May 7, 1880, in Lichtfelde, West Prussia,5 and had also attended the Friedensau Mission School. They worked together with Bruno Ohme in the Victoria-Nyanza area.6

Kaltenhäuser was married twice but had no children. He was married to his first wife, Anna Liedke, on March 8, 1911.7 However, Anna Kaltenhäuser died four months later of blackwater fever.8 This tragedy did not deter Kaltenhäuser, who did pioneer mission work in Tanzania until 1914 and established several mission stations, including the one at Ikizu.9

In 1914 Kaltenhäuser met Lina Barho, who had come to German East Africa as a missionary nurse. They were married in 1915.10

During the First World War, Kaltenhäuser fought for the German Reich and was interned by the Belgians in 1916.11 As a result, he and his wife were separated for 45 months.12 After Kaltenhäuser was able to return to Germany around 1917,13 he worked in the cities around the Ruhr area from 1918 to 1921.14

In 1921, Kaltenhäuser was back in Ethiopia. This time, he and other missionaries established two mission stations west of Addis Ababa to reach the non-Christian Galla. They were building on the efforts of indigenous mission workers who began to be trained as missionaries as early as 1920. Fifty of them were taught to “read, write, in religion and crafts” so that they could reach their compatriots. After the end of the war, however, missionaries of German nationality were restricted in their freedom of movement, so a new mission area was found for some missionaries, including Kaltenhäuser.15

Brazil

In 1923, the Kaltenhäusers left Abyssinia and reached Brazil after a short stay in Germany in 1924.16 In Brazil, the Kaltenhäusers worked for more than 17 years. His function was that of a pastor, evangelist, and missionary in the states of Santa Catarina, Espírito Santo, and Minas Gerais. Until 1930, they worked in the whole area of Santa Catarina. At first, Brusque17 was the main residence of the Kaltenhäusers, from where Karl made long trips to reach the congregations and their members as well as to conduct evangelistic meetings.18

Later, the Kaltenhäusers stayed mainly in the interior of Santa Catarina.19 As early as 1925, he was able to gain a foothold with his work and to baptize the first five people.20 In the following years, Kaltenhäuser visited all the congregations and small groups in his area,21 founded schools, and baptized a small number of believers during his visits.22

From 1931 until 1940, Kaltenhäuser worked in the federal state of Espírito Santo. In his new area, the work was not without dangers—the murder rate in Espírito Santo was very high, and Adventists became the victims of shootings, robberies, and gang crime.23 Kaltenhäuser also found this field so large that he felt overwhelmed by the challenge of being able to serve all the members and congregations in the area. Nevertheless, he would regularly travel for weeks through the area to visit almost every Adventist family.24 After recognizing the situation and problems of the congregations, especially the German members,25 he accepted the challenge of visiting every congregation and family in order to build the Adventist Church in his territory. As a result, many territories were reached, and the number of Adventists increased.26

Later Life

It is not known exactly when the Kaltenhäusers retired, for Kaltenhäuser was already 63 years old when he was transferred in 1940 to Teofilo Otoni in the state Minas Gerais, Brazil. He later worked in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and finally in Juiz de For a, Minas Gerais.27 During that period, the Kaltenhäusers lived in the vicinity of the Theological College of Petropolis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lived there for the rest of their lives.28 There Kaltenhäuser died on July 5, 1948.29 Lina survived her husband for another 26 years and also died in Petropolis, on October 19, 1974.30

Contribution

Karl Kaltenhäuser actively helped to build up the mission in Ethiopia and Tanzania and continued this work despite the loss of his first wife and the turmoil of the First World War. In his pastoral work in Brazil, Kaltenhäuser successfully organized churches in the context of the pioneering work in those sprawling areas. Through this work, Kaltenhäuser helped to change the image of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the places where he ministered, and from those places, it spread throughout Brazil.

Sources

Brown, J. L. “Itinerating in the South Brazil Union.” South American Bulletin, June 1931.

Centro Nacional da Memòria Adventista. “Enciclopédia da Memória Adventista no Brasil: Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948),” accessed August 21, 2019, http://www.unasp-ec.com/memoriadventista/enciclopedia/8/002k_kaltenhauser_karl.htm.

Conradi, L. R. “German Victoria Nyanza Mission.” ARH, April 10, 1913.

Cuthbert, W. “Among Wild Natives.” ARH, August 21, 1924.

“Dormiram No Senhor.” Revista Adventista, May 1974.

“Editorial.” ARH, September 14, 1911.

Kaltenhäuser, K. und L. Kaltenhäuser. “Der Adventbote erzählt: Unerwartete Reiseschwierigkeiten.” Adventbote, March 1, 1937, 78–79.

“Einwohnerverzeichnis Friedensau, 1899–1922,” Historical Archives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe.

Kaltenhäuser, Karl. “Altes und Neus aus Abessinien.” Adventbote, February 1, 1925.

———.“Besuch am Sabia und in Graca Aranha.” Adventbote, März 15, 1938.

———. “Dedication of the New Church Building in Brusque, Santa Catharina.” South American Bulletin, November 1926.

———. “I Am with Thee.” South American Bulletin, May 1938.

———. “Ihr aber seid getrost.” Adventbote, April 1931.

———. “Kapelle und Schule in Brusque (Santa Catarina), Brasilien.” Adventbote, April 1, 1927.

———. “Missionsbesuche in Brasilien: (Schluß),” Adventbote, May 1, 1939.

———.“Nach Abessinien.” Zions-Wächter, April 18, 1910.

———. “Ordered the Bibles Burned.” South American Bulletin, March 1927.

———. “Reiseerfahrungen.” Zions-Wächter, May 15, 1911.

———. “The Blessing of God.” South American Bulletin, March 1933.

———.“Unter Mördern.” Adventbote, February 1, 1937.

———.“Versammlungs- und Schulhauseinweihung in Legado bei Brusque (St. Catherina).” Adventbote, February 1, 1928.

———. “Was Gott zusagt, das hält er gewiß: Ps. 33, 4.” Zions-Wächter, January 21, 1918.

Kaltenhäuser, Karl, und Lina Kaltenhäuser. “Der Adventbote erzählt: Unerwartete Reiseschwierigkeiten.” Adventbote, March 1, 1937.

Kaltenhäuser, Karl and Lina Kaltenhäuser. “Von Abessinien nach Brasilien.” Adventbote, August 1, 1924.

Kanada, Tussaku. “O pastor Kaltenhàuser e esposa.” Revista Adventista, September 1948.

“Miscellaneous.” Quarterly Report of the European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 12, no. 1 (1926).

Neilsen, N. P. “South Brazil Notes.” South American Bulletin, December 1928.

———. “Gleanings of Progress Throughout the Field.” South American Bulletin, February 1933.

———. “South Brazil Notes.” South American Bulletin, July 1929.

———. “South Brazil Notes.” South American Bulletin, November 1928.

———. “South Brazil Notes.” South American Bulletin, October 1928.

Rodrigues, Maria. “A Organização do Grupo ‘Poton,’ ” Revista Adventista, April 1942.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949.

Notes

  1. “Einwohnerverzeichnis Friedensau, 1899–1922,” Historical Archives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Europe.

  2. Centro Nacional da Memòria Adventista, “Enciclopédia da Memória Adventista no Brasil: Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948),” accessed August 21, 2019, http://www.unasp-ec.com/memoriadventista/enciclopedia/8/002k_kaltenhauser_karl.htm (site discontinued).

  3. See Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Nach Abessinien,” Zions-Wächter, April 18, 1910, 136.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Today’s Jasna, Poland, which was formerly in West Prussia.

  6. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Reiseerfahrungen,” Zions-Wächter, May 15, 1911, 214–215.

  7. Ibid.

  8. “Editorial,” ARH, September 14, 1911, 24.

  9. W. Cuthbert, “Among Wild Natives,” ARH, August 21, 1924, 5.; L. R. Conradi, “German Victoria Nyanza Mission,” ARH, April 10, 1913, 349.

  10. Tussaku Kanada, “O pastor Kaltenhàuser e esposa,” Revista Adventista, September 1948, 25.

  11. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Was Gott zusagt, das hält er gewiß: Ps. 33, 4,” Zions-Wächter, January 21, 1918, 11–12.

  12. J. L. Brown, “Itinerating in the South Brazil Union,” South American Bulletin, June 1931, 7.

  13. Kanada, “O pastor Kaltenhàuser e esposa,” 25.

  14. Karl Kaltenhäuser und Lina Kaltenhäuser, “Von Abessinien nach Brasilien;” Adventbote, August 1, 1924, 233.

  15. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Altes und Neus aus Abessinien,” Adventbote, February 1, 1925, 45; Kaltenhäuser und Kaltenhäuser, “Von Abessinien nach Brasilien,” 233.

  16. Ibid.

  17. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Dedication of the New Church Building in Brusque, Santa Catharina,” South American Bulletin, November 1926, 3–4.

  18. N. P. Neilsen, “South Brazil Notes,” South American Bulletin, December 1928, 3; N. P. Neilsen, “South Brazil Notes,” South American Bulletin, July 1929, 4.

  19. Brown, “Itinerating in the South Brazil Union,” 7; Karl Kaltenhäuser und Lina Kaltenhäuser, “Der Adventbote erzählt: Unerwartete Reiseschwierigkeiten,” Adventbote, March 1, 1937, 78–79.

  20. “Miscellaneous,” Quarterly Report of the European Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists 12, no. 1 (1926): 19–20, 19.

  21. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Ihr aber seid getrost,” Adventbote, April 1931, 125–126.

  22. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Kapelle und Schule in Brusque (Santa Catarina), Brasilien,” Adventbote, April 1, 1927, 103–104; Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Versammlungs- und Schulhauseinweihung in Legado bei Brusque (St. Catherina),” Adventbote, February 1, 1928, 43; Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Ordered the Bibles Burned,” South American Bulletin, March 1927, 7; N. P. Neilsen, “South Brazil Notes,” South American Bulletin, November 1928, 8.; N. P. Neilsen, “South Brazil Notes,” South American Bulletin, October 1928, 8.

  23. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Unter Mördern,” Adventbote, February 1, 1937, 42–43.

  24. N. P. Neilsen, “Gleanings of Progress Throughout the Field,” South American Bulletin, February 1933, 8.

  25. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “The Blessing of God,” South American Bulletin, March 1933, 6–7.

  26. Karl Kaltenhäuser, “I Am With Thee,” South American Bulletin, May 1938, 6; Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Missionsbesuche in Brasilien: (Schluß),” Adventbote, May 1, 1939, 140; Karl Kaltenhäuser, “Besuch am Sabia und in Graca Aranha,” Adventbote, März 15, 1938, 88.

  27. Maria Rodrigues, “A Organização do Grupo ‘Poton,’ ” Revista Adventista, April 1942, 22.; Kanada, “O pastor Kaltenhàuser e esposa,” 25.

  28. Kanada, “O pastor Kaltenhàuser e esposa,” 25.

  29. “Necrology,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1949), 472.

  30. “Dormiram No Senhor,” Revista Adventista, May 1974, 23.

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Neumann, Matti. "Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Accessed April 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5H87.

Neumann, Matti. "Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 16, 2021. Date of access April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5H87.

Neumann, Matti (2021, April 16). Kaltenhäuser, Karl (1878–1948). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved April 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=5H87.