The Place: Wölmersen (It’s Near Altenkirchen If That Helps)
What if I were to tell you that a major evangelistic ministry, a nation-wide sports ministry, a sports-themed hotel, and a theological seminary could all be found near a small village in the western part of Germany. And the person used to begin all of this had an incredible testimony of God’s saving grace. It is true. Trust me, I have been there.
The beautiful village of Wölmersen sits in the Altenkirchen district in the western part of Germany. While the reputation of the town may not be widespread, an amazing ministry and school reside there. The ministry, called Neues Leben (New Life), began under the leadership of evangelist Anton Schulte.
The Start: From Paratrooper to Preacher
Schulte, a German paratrooper in the second world war, was captured near Anzio, Italy on June 6, 1944, the very day that the Allies launched the D-Day invasion of France. Anton’s journeys eventually took him to a prisoner of war camp in Scotland where he ultimately heard the Gospel and gave his life to Christ. He returned to his homeland to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and saw untold thousands repent of sin and believe on the Lord Jesus.
I had the opportunity to teach at the theological seminary that is a part of this ministry in October of 2018. The quality of the teaching was impressive (I sat in on a Hebrew class) and the students there were tremendous. Of course, I wanted a picture with the Old Testament faculty!
Even Pablo the school mascot was so friendly! If you look closely you can see the school name on his harness. More on the hotel and the sports ministry in a later post. Also, the trail running there is spectacular. I did some of my marathon training in the forest and hills by the campus.
You always have ideas and expectations when you travel and also you expect to learn new things. The weather was unexpectedly sunny and in the 70s which apparently is unusual for this part of Germany in October. However, one item that took me completely by surprise was…
some of the students’ passion for American Football. I was honored to teach both theology and good passing technique during my sojourn there.
Theologisches Seminar Rheinland–TSR (Theological Seminary of the Rhineland)
Special thanks to my good friend Steffen Schulte who heads up the Theological Seminary of the Rhineland. He is a great leader for the seminary. I hope to teach again there someday and I also have some amazing stories to tell of my time there with Steffen.
My German students knew I had a marathon to run when I returned to the USA and they taught me to defeat my “inner schweinehund” (this is the voice inside of you that tells you to quit) and power my way to completion of the race. Here is a note just for them:
Ein besonderer Dank geht an alle meine Studenten am Theologischen Seminar des Rheinlandes. (TSR).
Vielen Dank für eure Unterstützung und Ermutigung während ich bei euch war. Ich habe die 42,195 km in 5:45:17 geschafft, was nah an meiner Zielzeit von 5:30 war. Ich habe meinen inneren Schweinehund bei Kilometer 37 besiegt und mich bis zum Ziel durchgekämpft!
Ihr seid großartig und ich hoffe euch in Zukunft wiederzusehen.
Want a translation? Ha, then you should learn German! 🙂