Evangelical Church of Anhalt
|Area :||2299 km²|
|Membership:||EKD , UEK , ÖRK , CPKE|
|Church districts :||5|
|Parishes :||approx. 144|
|Parishioners:||30,918 (December 31, 2018)|
|Share of the
The Evangelical Regional Church of Anhalt was between 1945 and 1969 and has been one of the 20 member churches ( regional churches ) of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) since 1991 . Like all regional churches, it is a corporation under public law ; its seat is in Dessau-Roßlau .
The church has about 31,000 parishioners (30,918 on 31 December 2018) with 212 churches in about 140 parishes and is therefore measured in number of their parishioners, the smallest country church in Germany. It is also one of the united churches within the EKD and a member of the Union of Evangelical Churches (UEK) as well as the World Council of Churches .
A main church of the Evangelical Church of Anhalt in the real sense no longer exists since the destruction of the city and castle church of St. Mary in the center of Dessau in the Second World War. This was rebuilt with public funds, especially after 1989, and still belongs to the parish of St. Johannis / St. Marien, but is leased to the city of Dessau-Roßlau and is mainly used for concerts and other events (occasionally also for church services) utilized. Large representative events of the regional church often take place in the St. Johannis church, which is also located in the center . The church president is also the second pastor at the Church of St. George.
Territory of the regional church
The area of the Evangelical Church of Anhalt includes the former state of Anhalt , which existed until 1945 and which since then has formed the state of Saxony-Anhalt with most of the former Prussian province of Saxony . Since the second district reform in Saxony-Anhalt, the church area includes larger parts of the districts of Anhalt-Bitterfeld and Salzlandkreis , smaller parts of the districts of Harz , Mansfeld-Südharz and Wittenberg and the independent city of Dessau-Roßlau . The parish of the former Anhalt exclave Dornburg in today's district of Jerichower Land was reclassified in 1982 to the then Evangelical Church of the ecclesiastical province of Saxony . The churches in the former exclaves Groß- and Kleinmühlingen as well as Groß- and Kleinalsleben also belong to the evangelical church in Central Germany . Conversely, the former Prussian village church Altjeßnitz is now part of the Raguhn parish in the Anhalt parish of Dessau.
The princes of Anhalt introduced the Reformation according to the Lutheran confession in their principalities very early on (Köthen 1525, Bernburg 1526, Dessau 1534). However, in 1606 the principality converted to the Reformed Confession, so that after the division of the country there were initially four Reformed regional churches. Anhalt-Zerbst became Lutheran again in 1646. In the other sub-principalities, the immigrant Lutheran residents were allowed to freely practice their religion and to build their own churches at the end of the 17th century.
When the German Confederation was founded in 1815, there were three sovereign Anhalt states: Anhalt-Bernburg , Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen ; these were united in 1863 to form the Duchy of Anhalt .
In 1820 in Bernburg and in 1827 in Dessau a union of Lutheran and Reformed congregations was carried out ("uniate regional churches"). This union did not take place in Köthen until 1880. However, since the reunification of the Anhalt states in 1863 there was a unified regional church, which was given a synodal basis between 1875 and 1878.
Head of the "Evangelical Church of Anhalt" or its predecessor churches was the respective Anhalt prince or duke as " summus episcopus ". The general superintendent had the spiritual direction. After the First World War , the Duke of Anhalt had to abdicate, which meant the end of the sovereign church regiment. The regional church therefore adopted a new constitution, which came into force on August 14, 1920. Since then, the head of the church has been a senior church councilor, who has held the title of church president since 1957. The administrative authority of the regional church is the regional church office . In 1960 the Evangelical Church of Anhalt joined the Evangelical Church of the Union . After its dissolution in 2003, it became a member of the Union of Evangelical Churches . Between 1969 and 1991 the regional church was a member of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the GDR .
Head of the regional church
The regional church is led by the three governing bodies regional church council, church leadership (see below) and regional synod . The chairman of the regional church council is the church president (until 1957 "Oberkirchenrat"), a theologian. The regional church council continues to include the department heads of the regional church office (upper church councils). The regional church council is elected by the regional synod.
General superintendents, senior church councils and church presidents
- 1919–1923: Franz Hoffmann , General Superintendent with the title "Oberkirchenrat"
- 1923–1931: Albert Hinze , general superintendent with the title "Oberkirchenrat"
- 1931–1933: Willy Knorr , General Superintendent with the title "Oberkirchenrat"
- 1933–1945: Rudolf Wilkendorf , general superintendent with the title “Oberkirchenrat” and from 1944 president
- 1945–1950: Udo Müller , senior church councilor
- 1950–1960: Waldemar Schröter , Oberkirchenrat (church president from 1957)
- 1961–1970: Martin Müller , Church President
- 1970–1994: Eberhard Natho , Church President
- 1994–2009: Helge Klassohn , Church President
- 2009– : Joachim Liebig , Church President
As the “parliament” and the most important governing body, the regional church has a regional synod . 33 of its 39 members (synodals) are elected by the elders of the church districts, two thirds must be non-theologians and one third pastors. Six synodals are appointed by the church leadership. In addition, there have been two youth synodals since the spring meeting of the synod in 2019. With them, the number of members of the regional synod temporarily increases to 41.
The chairman of the regional synod is the president of the synod, currently Christian Preissner. His predecessor was Andreas Schindler (died 2018). The President of the Synod and two elected assessors form the “Presidium of the Synod”, which in turn, together with two other elected representatives of the Synod and the Regional Council of Churches, forms the church leadership of the Evangelical Regional Church of Anhalt.
As a rule, the synod meets twice a year, with permanent and non-permanent committees in between.
Administration of the regional church
Regional church office and administrative hierarchy
The church president has his official seat in Dessau-Roßlau. In the regional church office there, the regional church is administered by the regional church council , the permanent governing body of the church (“government” of the church) and its employees. The regional church council includes the department heads of the regional church office (they carry the title "Oberkirchenrat" or "Oberkirchenratsin") and the church president.
In the management hierarchy, the national church is built from the bottom up as follows: standing at the base church communities as public corporations with elected parish councils, the "parish church councils." The members of these parish councils are called "elders" or "parish councilors". Several parishes together form a church district (in general administration comparable to a district ), at the head of which is a district pastor. The church districts are not corporations under public law and have the district synod as a body, the members of which are appointed by the respective parishes. The five church districts together form the regional church.
The 5 church districts are divided into 140 parishes, which are combined into regions.
- Dessau city center region
- Region on the Elbe
- East region
- South region
- West region
- Region City of Koethen
- North region
- Southwest region
- Southeast region
- West region
- East region
- Bernburg region
- West region
- North-West region
- Lower Harz region
- Vorharz region
- Harz foreland region
The parishes of the Evangelical Church in Anhalt have been singing or singing in the last few decades mainly from the following hymn books:
- Evangelical hymn book for the Duchy of Anhalt (or for the Anhalt State Church). Published in accordance with the church ordinance of February 15, 1883.
- Hymnal for the Province of Saxony and Anhalt. Introduced by resolution of the Regional Council of Churches on February 3, 1931.
- Evangelical church hymn book , edition for the consistorial districts of Berlin, Magdeburg, Greifswald and Görlitz and for the Evangelical Church of Anhalt, Berlin approx. 1950 or with the title "Evangelical church hymn book, edition for the Evang. Landeskirche Anhalt, Evang. Church Berlin-Brandenburg, Evang. Church of the Görlitz church area, Evang. Regional Church Greifswald, Evang. Church of the Ecclesiastical Province of Saxony ”.
- Evangelical hymn book , edition for the Evangelical Church of Anhalt, the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, the Evangelical Church of Silesian Upper Lusatia, the Pomeranian Evangelical Church, the Evangelical Church of the Church Province of Saxony. Introduced on Easter, April 3, 1994
The churches that were closed , de-dedicated or repurposed after 1945 include the following places of worship:
- Bernburg , district of Waldau , church : built 1893–94, devolved in 1953, sold to private in 1990, now owned by the city of Bernburg
- Güsten , district of Osmarsleben , St. John's Church : closed in 2006 due to structural damage
- Güsten, district of Warmsdorf , church: built in 1884, disengaged in 1960, sold to private customers in 1990, converted into apartments, used as a guesthouse since 2009
- Köthen , Martinskirche : built 1912-14, sacred use abandoned in 1985, handed over to the city of Köthen in 1986, under renovation, to become a youth center (status 2017)
- Staßfurt , Leopoldshall district , interim church: built in 1906, demolished in 1996
- Friedrich Winfried Schubart : The bells in the Duchy of Anhalt - a contribution to the history and antiquity of Anhalt and to general bells . With three hundred illustrations drawn by W. Peters. Baumann, Dessau 1896.
- Evangelical Church in Germany - Church membership numbers as of December 31, 2018 , ekd.de, accessed on February 23, 2020.
- History of the Dornburg Church on dornburg.lima-city.de
- Interim Church ( Memento from January 25, 2015 in the web archive archive.today )