Pennsylvania Lutherans/Allegheny Synod Lutherans/the Lutheran Historical Society of the Middle Atlantic celebrated the pioneering Lutheran missionary, Rev. J. C. Frederick Heyer on June 14, 2015 at Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church, 131 Main St., Friedens, Pennsylvania.

The celebration began with Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, professor of Modern Church History and Global Missions at Gettysburg Seminary, speaking about Rev. Heyer’s significance for the history of American Lutheranism. During worship, Prof. Erling presented a memorial plaque and a $750 preservation grant to Rev. Edward B. DeVore pastor of the Friedens congregation, on behalf of the Lutheran Historical Society of the Middle Atlantic. It recently designated Rev. Heyer’s gravesite as highly significant in the history of American Lutheranism.

Known as a missionary in Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Rev. Heyer initiated foreign mission work by American Lutherans in 1842, when he traveled to India and established a permanent mission there.  Born in Germany in 1793, Rev. Heyer died in Philadelphia in 1873, after making three missionary journeys to India.