Hans-Heinrich Harms (clergyman)

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Hans-Heinrich Harms (born July 4, 1914 in Scharmbeck ; † April 13, 2006 in Oldenburg ) was Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg from 1967 to 1985 .


After graduating from high school in 1932, Harms decided to study Protestant theology . Study locations were Göttingen , Bonn and Princeton / USA. After his first theological exam, Harms completed his vicariate in Gadenstedt near Peine . On May 14, 1939, he was ordained as pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Duderstadt . In May 1941, Harms received his doctorate with a thesis on Lower Saxony's responses to the Augsburg Interim at the University of Göttingen to Dr. theol.


Harms belonged to the Confessing Church during the Nazi era . He was drafted into the Wehrmacht right at the beginning of the Second World War . In 1943 he was appointed to the parish of the Evangelical Lutheran parish in Roringen . From 1950 to 1952 Harms worked as a senior church councilor for ecumenical issues in the EKD's external church office in Frankfurt am Main . From August 1952 he worked as a consultant at the World Council of Churches in Geneva . From April 1, 1960 to September 30, 1967 he was senior pastor at the main church St. Michaelis in Hamburg. On March 1, 1967 Harms was elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg and was introduced to this office on October 11, 1967 in the Oldenburg Lambertikirche .

In addition to his episcopal activity, Hans-Heinrich Harms held numerous honorary posts. This included chairing the Arnoldshain Conference (1972–1976) and participating in the founding of the Evangelical Missionary Organization (EMW), of which he was the first chairman. Harms was a member of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (1973–1985) and was the moderator of the Faith and Order Commission of the WCC (1967–1971).

Harms took part in the ecumenical work of the 3rd Christian Peace Conference (CFK), which took place in Prague in 1960 .


Due to his great commitment to ecumenism, Harms was far beyond the borders of the Evangelical Lutheran. Church in Oldenburg. The Lutheran-Catholic dialogue was close to his heart, he was in lively exchange with the German Catholic Mission Council . Another focus of his activity was the pastoral accompaniment and spiritual preparation of the pastors.


On February 3, 1963, Harms received an honorary theological doctorate from the Theological Faculty of the University of Göttingen in recognition of his services . In 1980 he was awarded the Great Cross of Merit of the Lower Saxony Order of Merit.


  • Evangelical Lutheran Higher Church Council Oldenburg (Ed.): Festgabe for Bishop D. Dr. Heinrich Harms on his 70th birthday, July 4, 1984 . Oldenburg, 1984


  1. a b Freddy Dutz: "Brother Bishop". Obituary . In: EineWelt. Journal of the Evangelical Mission in Germany , vol. 86 (2006), issue 4, p. 33.

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predecessor Office successor
Simon Schoeffel Senior pastor at St. Michael
1960 - 1967
Hans Jürgen Quest