Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference

By Fritz-Gerhard Link


Fritz-Gerhard Link, German civil servant in environmental conservation. Lay priest (distance learning Servant for Word, SDA University Friedensau), member and former elder of parish Karlsruhe. Author of a book about history and development of the churches in Conference Baden-Wuerttemberg (1887-2020), of this article in the online encyclopedia and of a commentary on Revelation. 

First Published: September 14, 2022

Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference is a part of the South German Union Conference in the Inter-European Division of Seventh-day Adventists. It was organized in 1912 and reorganized in 1970. Its headquarters is in Stuttgart, Germany.

Territory: The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Federal State in the southwest of Germany); there are two churches within the territory of Baden-Wuerttemberg (Günzburg and Lindau) that belong to the Bavarian Conference.

Statistics (June 30, 2021): Churches, 88; membership, 6,378; population, 11,101,557.1

Origin of the Adventist Work Within the Territory of the Conference

The first missionary initiative in the area of today’s Baden-Wuerttemberg was started by Michael Belina Czechowski (1818-1876), who came from the United States. During his pioneer work in Switzerland, in the summer of 1865, he followed an invitation from Wuerttemberg.2 In the year 1868, he continued with a mission trip to three larger towns of the Grand Duchy of Baden (Freiburg, Baden-Baden, Karlsruhe). In the capital of the Duchy of Wuerttemberg (Stuttgart), a core area of German Pietism, he even preached in public in front of 200 people.3

The official start of the Advent mission happened in May 1888, when the first seven literature evangelists4, almost all originating from Switzerland, came to Wuerttemberg and Baden–the Prussian principalities Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen being territorially included. In that year, out of 2,500 copies of the book Steps to Christ, 700 were sold by traveling evangelist Dora Vetter from Göppingen. She had become acquainted with the Advent message in the United States.5 Ludwig Richard Conradi (1856–1939), who had been born in Karlsruhe (Baden), had trained colporteurs at the mission school in Hamburg, which was founded on June 17, 1889. Thus, literature evangelists and traveling preachers systematically went from door to door. Some interested people also received private Bible studies. Public meetings followed. The preachers conveyed a clear prophetic advent message with the expectation of the soon return of Christ. The meetings raised the level of awareness among the population.

Under the leadership of Conradi, as well as Jakob Erzberger (1843–1920)–both ministers ordained in the United States–and especially through Pastor Emil Eduard Frauchiger (1865–1947), also a Swiss citizen, the Advent message was carried to the large towns rapidly. In August 1893 Frauchiger was commissioned in Hamburg by the General Assembly of German Adventists to move to Stuttgart in order to found or establish a church there. The meetings, which took place in November, were attended by up to 300 visitors with an extraordinary response. Within the same year, the first four converts were baptized in the river Neckar near Cannstatt. According to this same evangelistic method, the first church plants followed in Cannstatt (1894) and Stuttgart (1896). During this time Frauchiger, who was the first ordained minister in Germany, traveled by rail from town to town, did missionary work, and visited fellow believers.

He was supported by other ministers like the Swiss Robert Schillinger (1874–1948) and time and again also Conradi himself, as well as other Bible workers and traveling preachers. Thus, churches in the big cities Heilbronn (1902), Karlsruhe, Pforzheim, Mannheim und Ulm (each in 1903), or Heidelberg (1905) were established.

The devoted ministry of the literature evangelists, as well as the newly baptized members, facilitated a fast growth of members and churches, so that in the second phase after World War I from 1919 also the rural regions could be reached with the gospel. At the same time, the literature evangelists were also able to trace some Sabbath keepers who existed before the arrival of Seventh-day Adventists.6 The emergence of the first churches, especially from 1894, is also the result of the missionary initiation and support of the General Conference in the United States and the church in Switzerland as the first European home territory–organized as the Middle European Conference.

On , the delegates of the General Conference had decided to send John Nevins Andrews (1829–1893) there as their first missionary to Europe, i.e., to Basel. Here in Switzerland, until his untimely death7, he rendered valuable services for the kick-off of the European Mission by establishing the organization and facilitating the first publications. A successful start also took place southwest of Germany, thanks to the publishing work started in 1895 in Hamburg and the administration through the German Conference (1898) located there and from 1901 renamed to German Union Conference. Until 1907 this conference belonged to the European General Conference, a pan-European mission organization with mission fields in North Africa and in the Middle East. After that it was directly attached to the worldwide General Conference.

Development of the Conference

Before the churches in the southwest were put under the organizational umbrella of the Wuerttemberg Conference, this territory belonged to the geographically more extensive Southern German Conference8, the predecessor of which was the organizationally still dependent Southern German mission field. Formally, during the meeting of the German Conference in Friedensau from July 18-28, 1901, this Southern German Mission Field was founded as a sub-entity of the German Mission Field. The first annual convention of the Southern German Mission Field took place from January 2-5, 1902, in Stuttgart, led by Frauchiger and Conradi. The twelve churches were represented by 24 delegates. Before that, from January 12–14, 1900, a rally for the first Adventists of Southern Germany took place in Stuttgart, with presentations by the American minister and author John Norton Loughborough (1832–1924) from the United States, as well as Conradi, with an audience of 150 people.

The transformation into the more independent and self-supporting Southern German Union Conference followed in the course of the third convention of December 31, 1902, until January 4, 1903, which took place in Karlsruhe with President C. W. Weber. Since July 1902, he had led the Southern German mission field, after Frauchiger had taken over the office of the president of the East German Conference in June 1902. With Frauchiger, the southwest of Germany lost an extremely eager and relentless pioneer, who, together with the literature evangelists, helped plant and establish the first churches in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Heilbronn, and Pforzheim und Karlsruhe. Following Julius Theodor Böttcher (1906) and J. H. Schilling (1907–1909), David Peter Gäde became president in 1910. It appears that he was encouraged by the leader of the European Advent Mission, Conradi, to find a separate conference due to the rapid growth of the Adventist Church in the southwest.9

During the 11th session of the Southern German Conference from January 3–7, 1912, in Heidelberg, it was decided that the Adventist churches of the Kingdom of Wuerttemberg and the Province of Hohenzollern, with effect from January 1, 1912, should be detached from the Southern German Conference, with 19 churches and 393 members, to be consolidated to an independent Wuerttemberg Conference with headquarters in Stuttgart (Johannesstr. 96)10. Emil Gugel was elected president. He executed this office during the difficult years of war until 1919, and he was drafted in 1914.11

During the first convention of the Wuerttemberg Conference from January 15–19, 1913, at the civil museum in Stuttgart, 22 churches and groups were represented by 75 delegates. Especially through the work of 18 colporteurs, six occasional colporteurs, one traveling evangelist, and three Bible workers, the churches had experienced a growth of 452 members.12 As early as 1903,13 it was possible to jointly purchase a tent for the territory, which could be used both in Baden and in Wuerttemberg. Imitating the example of the North American camp meetings, it proved very helpful and effective during this time of build-up to further the proclamation of the gospel and the formation of churches.

The Southern German Conference had the highest number of literature evangelists in German. In 1909, under the leadership of E. Nopper, there were 33 of them14. The churches established in Baden region were detached from the Southern German Conference as of January 14, 1923, and organized into the Baden Conference, with headquarters in Karlsruhe (Kriegsstr. 84).15 Between 1919 and 1921, an interim solution to merge the churches in central and south Baden together with the churches in Wuerttemberg to form the Black Forest Conference had proved, despite the 20 respectively 21 churches in both conferences, not manageable. Therefore, in 1921, the separated parts were merged into the Wuerttemberg-Baden Conference and soon afterwards into an independent conference of Baden. The first president was G. Seng.

The rapid growth of membership and churches from the 1890s can be primarily explained by the hierarchical leadership of Conradi. It corresponded to the insecure lower middle class, as well as the “zeitgeist,” which, after World War I (1914–1918) was geared toward achieving order in society.16 The ever-determined Conradi was a gifted organizer, mission strategist, and motivational preacher. He was a pioneer and demanding president for the entire European field and beyond. From employees he expected a high degree of commitment, readiness for duty, and sacrifice. A young pastor could only be ordained if he had planted a new church or if he had converted a certain number of people to the faith.17

Especially remarkable was the members’ commitment, i.e., the provision of time and money, even to the point of donating property for church purposes. People were passionate about spreading the Advent message. In addition, there was a strong sense of mission work. This, amongst other things, helped believers in this politically unstable time in Germany to operate even under difficult conditions. Four baptisms during the cold winter in the river Neckar-Altarm in Cannstatt (1893 by Frauchiger), in the ice covered Neckar near Reutlingen (1894 by Conradi), in the cool Murg in the Black Forest (four sisters by Robert Schillinger in April 1904), and in the icebound Danube near Tuttlingen (by Max Fuß in March 1922), show the enthusiasm of the pastors and believers to carry out baptisms even under adverse conditions.

As a part of the missionary activities, personal care for others was also at the heart of the church activities. Many contributed their God given talents (Dorcas groups18, choir mission work, visits, and door-to-door work). Furthermore, a strong awareness of community provided for coherence in the church, and helped the believers to stick together and to support each other. The familial, community centered atmosphere in many churches attracted additional individuals; especially in crisis situations, after the experience of the war, after sickness and death of close relatives, during unemployment, or existing poverty. Hence, the respective conferences decided on a regular basis that for example the weekly mission offerings would be added to the poor fund, which had existed already since 1900. Thus, people in need could be helped, for example also in case of crop shortage.19 After World War I a strong social network evolved in the churches, which was oriented, especially in the economically difficult times of the hyperinflation of 1923 and the Great Depression of 1929 to the problems of the society.

The three key elements of the vibrant missionary work were literature evangelism, Bible studies, and public meetings. The strong, economically sustainable literature evangelism was characterized by the distribution of various writings that were published on a regular basis. The colporteurs used the sales conversations to arouse interest for the Bible or in order to find individuals for Bible study, which often prepared them to attend public meetings or fellowship groups. With this model, Adventists of the time of Conradi followed the pattern of Bible study groups that had evolved during the era of Pietism.

Foreign Mission and Health Evangelism

At the same time, the foreign mission work had a strengthening and motivating effect for the churches in the German southwest. After his travels to the Middle East in 1901, Conradi also developed a missionary concept for Africa. He implemented it as early as 1903 with the German missionaries Johann Ehlers and A. C. Enns in German-East Africa. The believers saw God’s leading hand in this development of foreign mission work–European neighboring countries like Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Bulgaria or Greece being also part of the scope–and understood it as a confirmation of the church work at their home country. The missionaries that were sent out reported afterwards during conventions about their work in Brazil, Palestine, Egypt, Eastern Africa, and then also in the Middle East. They received financial and moral support from their churches through offerings. Thus, there were offertories during events with children singing, like in Freiburg in favor of children in Africa. Furthermore, there were collections of clothes and blankets provided through the theological seminary and mission school Friedensau for needy people in Eastern Africa.

During the year 1912,20 missionary Wilhelm Seiler (1892-1979) from Stuttgart was sent to East Africa. Pastor Pönig from the church of Lahr, another missionary to the then German East Africa, even translated the book “Steps to Christ” into the native language of the Pare21. Colonial aspirations and national zeal were a motif for the missionary efforts in the African colonies until the beginning of World War II.

In 1926 the leadership of the Adventist Church in Europe decided to enter new mission fields beyond East Africa. Thus, the church sent Pastor Fritz Hörner from the church of Lörrach to Palestine (1905), Ernst A. Flammer (1926) from the Tübingen church and Karl Friedrich Noltze (1927) from the Stuttgart congregation to do mission work in African Liberia (along with their wives)22. Three years before that, Flammer attended the mission school in Bad Aibling and Darmstadt (Marienhöhe). The European Division subsequently appointed him to the African mission field in Liberia (1926–1933) and then Tanzania (1935). Flammer’s friend and fellow student, Pastor Noltze, worked for the natives in the rainforest for thirteen years. He conducted the construction of three mission stations with school, infirmary, and farm. Both Wuerttembergers laid the cornerstone for enormous membership growth. Ninety years later, there were over fifteen thousand Adventists in Liberia and almost five hundred thousand in Tanzania.23

Several other missionaries from the region made a significant impact on the people they served. The skilled pastor Georg Hoyler (of the Göppingen Church) worked, together with his wife, as a missionary in Brazil from 1927 until 1953.24 Philipp Werner (of the Tuttlingen Church) and Luise Werner (born Drangmeister) worked as missionaries in Africa, Peru, and Martinique from 1933 until 1976. From 1936 to 1954, Max Fuß of the church of Reutlingen performed pioneer evangelism in Mexico. And from 1934 until 1956, Pastor and missionary Gustav Faas from Bad Wildbad was in the mission field in Indonesia plus the last six years in Argentina25. From 1933 Johanna Blauß (1902, Rosenfeld) served in the Adventist hospital in Sultanabad (Iran) for the mission among the sick.

With the foundation of the German Association for Healthcare (Deutscher Verein für Gesundheitspflege–DVG) on January 8, 1900, another branch for missionary work within the Adventist Church was created. Education on the basis of a holistic view of the human being and of the significance of a healthy body was on the missionary agenda right from the beginning. Thus, the church had developed, in addition to its biblical-prophetic orientation, another clear emphasis, which was relevant for personal lifestyle and which was attractive for many people. Just around the early 20th century, a vegetarian diet became an alternative form of nutrition for many people.

There were already several publications distributed from Hamburg at the beginning of 1900. By 1920, they comprised a biweekly/monthly, the Herold der Wahrheit (8 viz. 16 pages), Unser kleiner Freund (published once per month, eight pages), Adventbote in der Heidenwelt (six annually, on mission), Kirche und Staat (four annually, on church and state), Der Erzieher (six annually, 16 pages, on education), Jugend-Leitstern (monthly, eight pages, a youth magazine), and Gute Gesundheit (monthly, 16 pages, a health paper). Two dozen literature evangelists in Wuerttemberg alone, as well as church members, distributed this literature with great zeal.

The 1930s were a decade during which foreign missions further progressed. At the same time, the Nazi regime repeatedly hindered the mission work, at least on a national level. Often it was only done under difficult circumstances. In spite of adjustments, the mission work in public did anything but stop. At times, however, infringements against the prohibition to do mission work, as in Pforzheim26, were prosecuted in court.

The prohibition of the church magazine Der Adventbote between 1941 and 1949 greatly hindered church life. Starting from 1941, there were no more regional meetings. World War II itself brought substantial membership losses and destruction of buildings. One example is the severe damage by air strike of the South German Union Conference offices at Diemershaldenstraße 23 in Stuttgart.

After the end of World War II and in the context of beginning economic recovery, the churches regularly used Sabbaths and Sundays for lay mission activities.27 In 1947/48, the Adventist radio mission via Radio Luxembourg28 started to broadcast. In the 1950s and 1960s, mission in song29 on the street was, according to reports from Pforzheim,30 Konstanz,31 or Tuebingen, an effective method of witnessing. It lasted almost forty years until the region wide Youth Sabbath campaigns, as well as the Youth in Mission Movement (YIM), got the attention of the people on the street again during their outreach activities.

From 1945 and especially during the 1950s, the church and the nation had to tackle the significant problems: the emotional disruption and needs following the war, material worries, many refugees (12 to 13 million in Germany), persons disabled by war, blind people, single mothers, the steady transition to the nuclear family as a norm, marital crises, and the “economic miracle” of the 1950s, and the beginning welfare state.

Thanks to the commitment of many women such as Hannelore Witzig (1925, hailing from Stuttgart), these tasks were mastered. From 1957 to 1985, she was the matron of the Friedensau Nurses Association, an Adventist organization for nurses, as well as partly the manager of the Adventist Social Welfare Association (Advent-Wohlfahrtswerk),32 which was founded in 1953, and she was also commissioned for mission and medical ministry by the then Central European Division. During a time when women were in the majority, she motivated many girls to become missionary or geriatric nurses.33

Transition and Growth in Missionary Work

As for the continuation of literature evangelism34 after 1945, which had been prohibited during World War II, Willi Schmid (1909-2009) must be mentioned. At the age of 15, he started to serve as literature evangelist in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria, and in 1938 he was also working in Honduras. From 1950-1962, he was an associate and, later, the leader of the colporteuring work in Wuerttemberg and after that, until 1973, leader of the colporteuring work in the Southern German Union. In 2001 literature evangelism was closed in Germany (due to the fact that through the modern media the demand went down). A local project was still continued until 2009 by the last literature evangelist Steffen Eichwald. He also served as a Bible worker, a type of ministry for which the conference has since hired numerous individuals.

Because of the growing importance of the Internet in mission,35 this medium has essentially taken over the role of the canvasser during earlier colporteuring campaigns. For the Generation Z (“generation YouTube”) born since 1990, churches in the region (for example, Mannheim or Stuttgart-Wangen) have begun to use Internet-based media–livestreams, media libraries, videos, and blogs.

Conference Mergers and the Orientation to the World Church

The constitutional consolidation of the regions Baden, Wuerttemberg, and Hohenzollern into the “southwest state,” i.e., the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in the year 1952, also brought together the two Conferences that had developed independently.36 As a result of this merger in 1970, the new conference would start with 82 churches (with 4.847 members and 8.909.700 inhabitants). The president for the first eight years was Hartmut von Bezold. His successor for another ten years was Heinz Hopf, who had previously been manager and editor at the media department of Stimme der Hoffnung and department director at the Euro-Africa Division. Just as his long-term successor, Erhard Biró, he put missionary work as a top priority.

Since then a number of new churches were planted, partly through special projects, like the churches of Isny and Wangen. Between 1998 to 2008, growth was by 520 new church members and seven new churches). The Adventist educational work also grew by adding five Adventist schools and the Josia-Missionsschule. Since 2007, the “Youth in Mission” congresses (YIM) are taking place annually. The BW (Baden-Wuerttemberg) conventions37 evangelistic training seminars (for individuals) and coachings (for churches) are more oriented toward adults. The subjects of these trainings mirror the missionary self-concept of the conference: small groups (home groups, care groups) as friendship groups with members and guests, involvement for the needs of our neighbors, on a regional level ministries such as refugee work or helping the homeless, and the operation of Bible phone lines38 in the churches.

The promotion of valuable spiritual music, of theological symposiums together with ATS and the South German Union Conference, the realization of the J.O.S.U.A.-Camps in cooperation with supporting ministries in 201539 and 201640 support the churches by spiritual empowerment and promoting discipleship, motivating them that their lives may have an impact on their environment and to lead friends to following Jesus. Speakers from Adventist universities of different continents, of the General Conference with the Bible Research Institute, the Geoscience Research Institute, Ellen G. White Estate, Adventist Review, etc. regularly contribute to global networking. The goal is to be well-connected with the worldwide church and also to the worldwide mission field through practical evangelism abroad. The periodical BWgung, which has been published since 2007 on a bimonthly basis, is an important magazine for the unity and the evangelistic motivation of the members in the conference.

The Field Is Ready for Harvest

A few current examples of development and mission projects abroad exemplify the abundance of ongoing projects. Between 2008 and 2010, with the help of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference, Lothar and Martha Weisse from the church of Müllheim went to Bolivia for three months. The goal was to bring the Advent message to the roughly fifty thousand secluded German speaking Mennonites. Individuals received Bible studies with Pastors Erhard Müller and Reinhard Gelbrich, and the first Advent believers were baptized. In 2013, with the help of a donor, a radio station (107,5 MHz) could be installed. Via this station, the spiritual broadcasts produced by Martha Weisse in Müllheim, as well as material of the German radio station Stimme der Hoffnung, was broadcast to the Mennonites.41 In the fall of 2017, Pastor Marc Engelmann (the former youth department director in BW) was sent to Bolivia with his family for five years. He will be also pastoring the Mennonite churches in the area.

Paul Wiesenberg has also dedicated himself to spreading the gospel in many countries. Predominantly in the years 2005 to 2007, dozens of lay preachers and pastors from Baden-Württemberg, including Erhard Biró, Helmut Mayer, Erhard Müller, Christoph Berger, Heinz Hopf with his wife, and Reinhard Gelbrich have conducted evangelistic campaigns with subsequent baptisms in central Asia, like the Muslim countries Kazakhstan, Kirgizia respectively Tajikistan, as well as in southeast Asia (Philippines), Africa and Eastern Europe (Romania, Bulgaria).

In 2009 Eckhard and Magitta Wimmer (from the church of Muehlacker) started to provide the Adventist leprosy hospital in Masanga in the West African State Sierra Leone, with solar energy. Since then, with the association Helfende Hände–Sierra Leone, ein Land in Not (Helping Hands–Sierra Leone, a country in need), which was founded in 2011 together with other church members, they care for children with malnutrition and leprosy. Furthermore, they support education and the spreading of the gospel.

The Adventist Educational Work

The Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference has been able to establish six Adventist schools as officially recognized primary or secondary schools (Elisa-Schule Herbolzheim, Josia-Schule Isny, Salomo-Schule Rastatt, Advent-Schule Heilbronn, Grundschule Mannheim).42 In the fall of 2018, the schools in Müllheim also began to operate. The integration of the faith in every area of life, research, and work in daily routine are part of the curriculum.

The aim of the Josia-Missionsschule in the Allgäu (founded in 2007) is a training center for lay missionary work for young people. The emphases are personal growth, mission, and evangelism.43 The young people learn for one year to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, to discover their calling, to recognize their Adventist identity, to lead people to Jesus, and to have special experiences with God. In the ten years after the establishment in 2007, 140 young people attended this school for one year and experienced personal spiritual growth. Finally, a conference center (Haus Schwarzwaldsonne) and a self-supporting, assisted living center (Haus Lichtblick) in the Swabian-Franconian Forest serve the spiritual exchange and the well-being of the members.

Platforms for an Awakened Youth

By 2017 there were 82 children’s Sabbath Schools, 54 Pathfinder groups, and 44 youth groups with over two thousand seven hundred youth up to the age of 27 years. In 2007, the youth department started the “Youth in Mission” Congresses in Mannheim, after independent youth projects like the ATS Youth Sabbaths showed the desire for a real spiritual-missionary awakening.44 As a platform for the enthusiasm for clear biblical-Adventist foundations (Motto: Inspire–Train–Send), many of the 1,000 young participants decided during the first congress (“Tell the World”) to participate in youth missionary projects: a full-time Jahr mit Jesus (Year for Jesus), to work with ADRA or to go to the Josia-Missionsschule. During the subsequent convention in 2008 (“Be His Hands”), there were already 1,400 participants45. In 2017 the 11th congress took place in Mannheim with more than two thousand participants46. Beyond that, the Adventist youth in Baden-Wuerttemberg organized annually a Jugendaktionswoche (youth rally), which is customary since the 1990s, as well as a special regional Youth Sabbath as further events, which are carried by the spirit of revival and the desire for fellowship among each other and with Jesus Christ.

Especially in the foreign mission realm, the youth ministry with the YIM movement and the Josia lay mission school is bearing manifold fruit. In 2013 there was an evangelistic campaign in the Philippines together with the lay ministry Europe4Jesus with 25 young people47, including participants from other federal states. In June 2015 there were young Adventists involved at the 14-day evangelistic campaign by ShareHim48 in 250 churches in Mexico. Daniela Weichhold, who joined the Karlsruhe Church through a youth rally, was trained in medical missionary work (Lifestyle Counselor) from 2006--2008, followed by mission trips to Hungary, Serbia, Bolivia, and Honduras.


In view of the erosion of enthusiasm for the faith and the vision in mission work and the ever-present entertainment media, the challenges for our church also in the southwest region and for the personal religious life of the faithful are more challenging than ever. The “Zeitgeist” requires a substantiated yet vibrant faith more than ever. Everything will depend on countering the danger of organizational units within our church in Europe drifting apart through connecting with the world-wide Advent movement and putting Adventist beliefs into practice.

List of Conference Presidents

South German Mission Field, from the 1903 South German Conference, as an umbrella organization of the Wuerttemberg-Baden Conference: Emil Frauchiger, 1901; C. W. Weber, 1902-1905; Julius Theodor Boettcher, 1906; J. H. Schilling, 1907-1909; Peter David Gäde, 1910-1912.

Wuerttemberg Conference: Emil Gugel, 1913-1919; Black Forest Swabia Conference: Otto Schildhauer, 1919 to 1920.

Reorganization to Wuerttemberg-Baden Conference: Wilhelm Prillwitz, 1920 to 1921; Johannes Muth, 1922.

Reorganization to Badische Vereinigung (Baden Conference): Gustav Seng, 1923-1927; G. Mai, 1928-1933; W. Schick, 1935-1937; G. Seng, 1938; Erwin Berner, 1939-1949; Edward Mayer, 1950-1962, Heinz Morenings, 1963 to 1964; H. Ehrle, 1965-1970; G. Schmidt (Secretary), 1970.

Reorganization of the Wuerttemberg Conference: Johannes Muth, 1923-1927; G. Seng, 1928-1936; Edward Mayer, 1937-1950; Erwin Berner, 1950-1952; H. Nau, 1952-1959; Erik Detlefsen, 1959-1968; K. Köhler, 1968-1971.

After consolidation of Baden and Wuerttemberg Conferences, 1971: Hartmut von Bezold,1971-1979; Berthold Knoblauch, 1979-1985; Heinz Hopf, 1985-1996; Erhard Biró,1996-2018.


Heinz, Daniel. Adventhoffnung für Deutschland. Die Mission der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten von Conradi bis heute. Lüneburg: Saatkorn Verlag, Abt. Advent Verlag, 2014.

Link, Fritz-Gerhard. Aus Gottes Hand. Die Anfänge der Adventgemeinden im deutschen Südwesten von 1887 bis 1914 sowie Blickpunkte bis 2015. Hrsg. Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags- Adventisten in Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart, Rudersberg: Wertvoll leben, 2015.

Noltze, Ronald, K. Jenseits von Gestern. Afrika-Missionare für Jesus. Wien: Top Life Wegweiser-Verlag, 2016.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook.

Walter, Michael. “Adventistische Schulen. Die Umsetzung unseres Bildungsauftrags in Baden-Württemberg.” BWgung, No.4, July/August, 2011, 7-11.

Whitney, Bue Landon. “The Central European Mission.” In With Reports of the European Missionary councils of 1883, 1884 and 1885, and a Narrative by Mrs. E.G. White and Her Visits and Labors in these Missions, ed. SDA. Basel: Imprimerie Polyglotte, Basle, 1896. Reprint by ed. George Knight, Berrien Springs, Andrews University Press, 2005.


  1. “Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (2021),

  2. Vaucher, Alfred-Félix, M.-B. Czechowski, Imprimerie (Colonges-sous-Salève, FIDES,1976), 13.

  3. Ibid., 36.

  4. Karl Waber, Streiflichter aus der Geschichte der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in der Schweiz von den Anfängen 1865 bis 1901 (Krattigen, Advent Verlag Zürich, 1995), 32.

    Frauchiger, Emil Eduard, “Aus dem kleinen Land der Reformation V,“ Der Adventbote, vol. 17, no. 13. 1 July 1. 1931, 196.

  5.   Emil Eduard Frauchiger, “Bericht aus Württemberg und Baden,“ Zions-Wächter, vol. 3 (July 1897): 54. This report also mentions that in this city, a certain sister A. sold within thirty hours 865 issues of the magazine Herold der Wahrheit.

  6. 1889: Wilhelm Heiß aus Roßbürg bei Crailsheim; 1894: Christiana Rilling aus Pfullingen bei Reutlingen; 1896: Johannes Gölz aus Kirchheim bei Esslingen.

  7.  While Andrews was serving in Switzerland, the first Adventist Church also developed in Germany (Vohwinkel).

  8. mit Baden, anfänglich auch Bayern, Württemberg, Hohenzollern, Pfalz, Elsaß-Lothringen und Luxemburg.

  9. Hopf, Heinz, “`Für die Zukunft nichts zu befürchten´. Gedanken zum 100. Geburtstag der Baden-Württembergischen Vereinigung,“ BWgung. no 6, November/December 2012, 8.

  10. R. Liechti, “Elfte Konferenz der Süddeutschen Vereinigung,“ Zions-Wächter, vol. 18, no. 3, February 5, 1912): 43.

  11. Emil Gugel, “Bericht aus Württemberg und Baden,“ Zions-Wächter, vol. 18, no. 18, September 16, 1912): 365. Gugel emphasizes that the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Wuerttemberg had their spiritual roots in the Reformation: “In Wuerttemberg, our message was among those places where it was perceived first; Bengel, Hahn and Kelber are famous names. ‘Stundenlaufen’ [meaning prayer meeting] is the order of the day: whoever is Christian-minded attends any other meeting besides the regular church service…. The spirit of the men mentioned above is unfortunately found rarely. Bengel, Hahn, and Kelber were leaders of the Wuerttemberg revival movement in the 19th century with its expectation of the second coming.”

  12. H. Schulze, “Erste Konferenz der Württembergischen Vereinigung,” Zions-Wächter, vol. 19, no. 5, March 3, 1913, 114.

  13. C. W. Weber, “Bericht aus Süddeutschland,” Zions-Wächter, vol. 10, no. 17, September 5, 1904, 174.

  14. N.N., “Kolporteursbericht vom August 1909,” Zions-Wächter, vol. 15, no. 19/20, October 18, 1909, 324.

  15.  In 1912, for the region of Baden, with Bavarian Palatinate included, there was no need to have their own leadership. This was due to the number of churches and the relatively low membership of 318.

  16. Daniel Heinz, 1998. Ludwig Richard Conrad. Missionar, Evangelist und Organisator der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Europas. (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, Schriftenreihe des historischen Archivs der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Europa Bd. 2), 59.

  17. Ibid., 63.

  18. According to Dorcas/Tabea (Acts 9:36-42), social charitable handicraft groups.

  19. Johannes Hartlapp, “Die Blütezeit der Adventmission in Deutschland 1889–1933“ in Die Adventisten und Hamburg, ed Pfeiffer, Baldur Ed., Träder & Knight, George (Frankfurt am Main. Peter Lang, Europäischer Verlag der Wissenschaften, 1992), 70–87.

  20. Wilhelm Seiler, “Unsere Pionierarbeit in Afrika. Im Ussukumafeld,” Der Adventbote, vol. 59, no. 17, September 1, 1960, 267.

  21. W. Noack, “Bruder, nimm den Bruder mit. Missionshelfer-Tagung des Süddeutschen Verbandes vom 5. August 1956 in Marienhöhe,” Der Adventbote, vol. 55, no. 20, October 15,1956, 306.

  22. Ernst A. Flammer, “Unsere Mission und unsere Industrieschule in Liberia,” Der Adventbote, vol. 36, no. 6, Dezember 15, 1930, 6. Ernst A. Flammer, “Mache den Raum deiner Hütte weit,” Der Adventbote, vol. 36, no. 34, Dezember 15, 1930, 376. Hanny Flammer, “Als Krankenschwester unter Negern,” Der Adventbote, vol. 49, no. 9, May 1, 1950, 142, 143.

  23. Seventh-day Adventist Online Annual Statistical Report. 152nd Report of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for 2014 and 2015, 89, 90.

  24. Gustav Faas, “Wieder auf dem Weg ins Missionsfeld,” Der Adventbote, vol. 49, no. 14, July 1, 1950, 222.

  25. Ibid.

  26. Gerhard Brändle, interview by author, Karlsruhe, July 15, 2014. Personal information on the basis of his reasearch in Generallandesarchiv Karlsruhe, Bestand 507.

  27. Shortly after the war, fourteen members with bicycles went to the villages to play brass instruments, especially during the month of May. For a small contribution, they distributed mission literature. In October, mostly after the harvest, there were meetings held at the Adventist church of Karlsruhe, which, at a time before the TV conquered the families, found remarkable feedback.

  28. Wilhelm Mueller, “Großes hat der Herr an uns getan (2). W. Müller gab in San Franzisco den Bericht der Mitteleuropäischen Division,” Der Adventbote, vol. 53, no. 19, October 19, 1954, 300.

  29. N.N., “Liedmission im Schwabenland,” Der Adventbote, vol. 59, no. 3, February 1, 1960, 45.

  30. F.W. Lorenz, “Liedmission in Pforzheim,” Der Adventbote, vol. 49, no. 6, March 15, 1950, 92, 93.

  31. G. H. Göbel,“Liedmission am Bodensee,” Der Adventbote, vol. 48, no. 17, September 1, 1949, 235-237.

  32. For example, in 1956, as the leader of social welfare in the Southern German Union, Hannelore Witzig, cared for 45 groups of assistants in the churches. There, sometimes over 100 needy families with many children were helped with free provisions of clothes, food, and domestic help (197.923 services, 326.603 hours of neighborly help and home care). See D. Brozio, “Die Stimme des Wohlfahrtswerkes. Einer trage des anderen Last. Was die Helferkreise getan haben,” Der Adventbote, vol. 55, no. 9, May 1, 1956, 291.

  33. Ch. M., “Unsere Schwesterntagung in Freudenstadt,” Der Adventbote, vol. 58, no. 4, February 15, 1959, 60-61. H. Moerings, “Fortbildungslehrgang für unsere Wohlfahrtsleiterinnen im Süddeutschen Verband,” Der Adventbote, vol. 58, no 1, January 1, 1959, 12,13.

  34. Heinz Hopf, “Buchevangelisationsfeldzug in Balingen 23.-28. Februar 1958,” Der Adventbote, vol. 57, no. 13, July 15, 1958, 205, 206. N.N., “Von Gott zur Buchevangelisation berufen,” Der Adventbote, vol. 57, no. 13, July 15, 1958, 206, 207.

  35. Rill, Roman, “Der Link zu einem Youtube-Video. Wie ich durch das Internet den Weg in Gottes Gemeinde fand,” BWgung, no. 5, September/October, 2011,15,16.

  36. The legal establishment of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference (Legal Association: Gemeinschaft der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Baden-Wuerttemberg, a corporation under public law for the district of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Firnhaberstr. 7, Stuttgart) in the year 1971 is also a consequence of the political merger of these regions.


  38. Engelin, Rüdiger, “Bibeltelefone im Aufwind. Eine unkomplizierte Art der Verkündigung,“ adventisten heute, 04/2017, April, 23 In Karlsruhe allein über 9.000 Anrufen im Jahr.

  39. Kramp, Rabea, “Vereinigung und Missionswerke veranstalten JOSUA-BW-Camp,“ BWgung. no. 5, September/October 2015, 12.

  40. Lachmann, Magdalena, “Josua Camp-Meeting,” BWgung. no.4, July/August 2016, 12-14.

  41. Lothar Weisse, “Ein Traum wird wahr. Mission unter Mennoniten in Bolivien erhält Radiosende,” BWgung, no. 3, May/June 2014, 6-11.

  42. N.N., “Auf dem Weg zu einer adventistischen Schulkultur. Schulleiterwochenende auf der Marienhöhe,” Adventisten heute, May 2017, 20,21.

  43. .

  44. Before the beginning of the convention, they got actively involved in social projects with children and senior citizens in Mannheim. Conference results were 151 decisions for baptism, 116 young people wanted to invest one year for Jesus, and 47 took the decision to become Pastors. See Berger, Christoph, “Zurück zur Missionsbewegung. Über die Jugendarbeit in der Baden-Württembergischen Vereinigung,” BWgung, no. 6, November/December 2008, 18.

  45. Eugen Hartwich, “151 entschieden /sich zur Taufe. 2. Youth in Mission-Kongress noch besser als der erste,” BWgung, no.4, July/August 2008, 22.


  47. Marc Engelmann, “Von Dämonen befreit. Junge Adventisten aus Deutschland erleben die Macht Gottes auf den Philippinen,” BWgung, no. 1, January/February 2013, 6.



Link, Fritz-Gerhard. "Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 14, 2022. Accessed June 14, 2024.

Link, Fritz-Gerhard. "Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. September 14, 2022. Date of access June 14, 2024,

Link, Fritz-Gerhard (2022, September 14). Baden-Wuerttemberg Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 14, 2024,