Bishop Alexander’s first year in Jerusalem was busy. His first ordination was of John Mühleisen, who worked with CMS in Ethiopia, and was a pioneering missionary to Moslems. The organization he proposed, “The Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Moslems, in connection with the Church of England” owed not a little in its vision, aims and organization, to “The London Society for the Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews”
“The Bishop held his first Ordination on March 17th, the candidate being John Mühleisen, C.M.S. Missionary for Abyssinia, and baptized a Jewish family on Whitsun-Day. On October 9th, he held his first Confirmation, when eight Hebrew Christians were presented; the next week he married two converts, and, on October 30th, ordained E. M. Tartakover, the first Hebrew Christian ordained at Jerusalem since Apostolic days. There were now a bishop, a priest [Ewald], and a deacon, all “Hebrews of the Hebrews,” ministering on Mount Zion; and, within a few months, every ordinance of the church had been performed in the chapel. A larger building, capable of seating 150 persons, was subsequently used in place of the previous “upper chamber.” Eight Jews were baptized during the year 1842.”
More details are given about Muhleisen here:
MÜHLEISEN-ARNOLD, mụl’ī-zen är’nold, John (1817-81). An English clergyman, missionary, and author, born at Zell (Württemberg). He was educated in Germany, and after his removal to England was successively missionary of the Church Missionary Society in India and Abyssinia, chaplain to the Bishop of Gibraltar, and chaplain to Saint Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London (1852-61). In 1850 he founded the Moslem Mission Society in England. He was chaplain of East Ham, Essex, from 1861 to 1865, consular chaplain at Batavia, Java, from 1865 to 1871, and rector of Saint Mary’s Church, Papendorf, Cape Town, South Africa, from 1876 until his death. His publications include:Ishmael: or, A Natural History of Islamism (1859); English Biblical Criticism, and the Authorship of the Pentateuch, from a German Point of View (2d ed. 1864); and Genesis and Science, or, The First Leaves of the Bible (2d ed. 1875).
More details about Tarkatover’s ordination from Juliet Greene in a letter dated Nov 1 1842 from Rev Nicolayson:
“Mr [Emanuel Mendel] Tartakover, ever since his arrival here on Aug 12 had been diligently preparing for examination previous to his admission to deacon’s orders. The bishop had fixed upon Sunday 30th Oct for conferring deacon’s orders upon the two candidates (Mr Tartakover and Mr Whitmarsh). The Bishop preached on 2 Timothy 4: 1 & 2. It is deeply interesting to observe that, by that day’s solemnities, the nucleus of a Hebrew Christian Church in this city is now complete in all its offices, as well as functions. There is now here a bishop, a priest (Mr [Ferdinand Christian] Ewald) and a deacon also, all “Hebrews of the Hebrews”, a fact, in the history of Jerusalem, which has not been realized since its final destruction, by Adrian, in the second century.”
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for these men of faith, vision and service – Alexander, Mühleisen, Ewald and Tarkatover. The ministries they pioneered and the roles they played speak volumes to us, 170 years later, in a different world with different challenges. Help us to know the secret of their faith, and live our lives with the same calling, diligence and discipleship they displayed. In Yeshua’s name we pray. Amen.
- Muhleisen-Arnold, The Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Moslems, in connection with the Church of England; its First Appeal on behalf of 180 millions of Mohammedans (London, 1860).
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