Schmidt, Georg

Moravian Church
South Africa

Georg Schmidt Georg Schmidt was a pioneer Moravian missionary in South Africa. Schmidt was born at Kunewald, Moravia, and immigrated to Herrnhut in 1725 with Christian David. By trade a butcher, he was active in the life of the community. As a traveling evangelist for the Moravian Brethren, he was imprisoned for two years in Bohemia and served three years of penal servitude in Prague, Commissioned for overseas mission, in 1737 he arrived at Table Bay, South Africa, and began to search for a place to evangelize. Encountering opposition from the established church, he went to work among the Khoikhoi at Bavians Kloof and began teaching them in Dutch in October 1737. In April 1738 he founded Gnadendal, and by the end of the year twenty-eight Khoikhoi were living at the station. Opposition grew to the establishment of Moravian work, and in 1744 he returned to the Netherlands. Denied permission to return to the Cape, he eventually retired to the Moravian settlement of Niesky, Germany, where he died. When Schmidt’s successors resumed contact in 1792, they were greeted by a small band of converts who told of his labors and displayed a Dutch New Testament he had given them.

Albert H. Frank


B. Krüger, The Pear Tree Blooms (1966).

——-, Missions in South Africa (1835).

A. Schultze, Seliger Heimgang von siebenzig Kindern Gottes aus der Brüderkirche (1876).

A. C. Thompson, Moravian Missions (1882).

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.