User:AK/Wilhelm Busch

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'Wilhelm Busch'

Born Template:Birth date
Elberfeld, present-day Wuppertal
Died Template:Death date
Lübeck, on the way back from Evangelization in Sassnitz auf Rügen
Religion Lutheran

Wilhelm Busch (27 March 1897 – 20 June 1966) was a German Lutheran pastor, youth evangelist, writer[1] and activist of the Confessing Church during the Nazi period in Germany. His missionary work with youth for CVJM (YMCA) in Essen, Germany, significantly influenced Ulrich Parzany, a successor of famous American Christian evangelist Billy Graham in ProChrist evangelistic international campaigns.


Wilhelm Busch was born in Elberfeld on 27 March 1897 as son of pastor Wilhelm Busch. His mother, Johanna Busch, (born Kullen), came from the House of Kullen, Hülben (near Urach) which was rooted in Swabian Pietism. Although Wilhelm Busch came from a famous family of pastors, he was in his early years anything but religious. He spent his early life in Frankfurt, where he pursued and finished his secondary school studies. After graduating he served within German army as a young officer-lieutenant in WW I, where on battle-field he came into personal faith in Christ while witnessing the atrocities of war[2]:

But that has changed when a few months later during a lull in the battle of the attack on Verdun, he was telling his comrade a dirty anecdote. To his amazement, his buddy did not laugh: “Kutscher, didn’t you find that one funny?” The reaction of poor fellow to joke was no longer a laughing matter: a shrapnel of an enemy grenade struck him right into the heart - he collapsed dead to the ground. "I still see myself on the edge of the trench. A bright light, brighter than the atomic bomb struck me: he is now standing before holy God! And the next thought was: if we had sat in different arrangement, then the splinter grenade would have hit me instead, and then I would be standing face-to-face before God right now! My friend was laying dead in front of my eyes. For the first time in many years, I folded my hands and uttered a prayer, which consisted of only one sentence: "Dear God, I beg You, do not let me fall before I'll be sure not go to hell!"" A few days later, he then entered with a New Testament in the hand a broken French farmhouse, fell to his knees and prayed: "Jesus! The Bible says that you have come from God in order to save sinners. I am a sinner. I cannot promise anything in the future, because I have a bad character. But I do not want to go to hell, if I get a shot. And so, Lord Jesus, I surrender myself to you from head to foot. Do with me whatever you want!" Since there was no bang, no big movement, I just went out. I had found the Lord, a gentleman to whom I belonged."[3]
Consequently, when WW I was over, he decided to study Lutheran theology in Tübingen. After completing his studies he served six months as a pastor in the Lutheran Church at Gellershagen near Bielefeld where he met his future wife Emilie („Emmi“) Müller. In 1929 he became a youth pastor in CVJM (German YMCA)'s Weigle Haus in Essen established by his predecessor, pastor Wilhelm Weigle.[4][1] At the same time he was holding evangelization sermons all over the country and abroad, as well as serving with his Christian ministry to local miners.
The present-day Weigle-Haus in Essen, Germany. Pastor Busch took over the leadership of the House in 1929. On 11 February 1934 the Protestant youth club (Evangelische Jugendverein) was dissolved, and the youth house closed. Bush however resisted the pressure demanding the merger with Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) and managed to reopen the house again shortly. The youth work continued under the name "City Mission", the house itself received its present name and became the "Weigle-Haus". During WW II the house was partially destroyed and reconstruction took place until it was reopened again on 23 May 1954. Wilhelm Busch still led the work until his official retirement in 1962. The program for youth revolved mainly around the jointly spent Sundays with Church services, sports and games and even educational opportunities such as the so-called intelligence-club (Intelligenz-Club).[5]
During the time of national socialism he adopted the strong uncompromising position of the German Confessing Church against the intrigues of the Third Reich in the life of the Church.[6] As an active member of this opposition to government-sponsored efforts to nazify the German protestant church he dared to proclaim his faith openly and ignored the orders to refrain from Bible teachings what earned him several arrests and lengthy jail confinements. On one occasion in 1937, he was arrested right after holding an Evangelization in the church of St.Paul in Darmstadt due to nazi authorities feeling upset over the capability of Christian movement to attract the attention of general public with Biblical message and counter their own aspirations to control masses. Although Gestapo tried to keep under control all entrances into the Church already before the event, he managed to slip in by using underground passage coming from nearby priest-house. During the sermon, state officials tried to avoid public uproar in crowded Church and let him preach. After being captured on return way to the car, SS commissioner presented him official orders issued to expel him from the territory of Hesse. As he refused to accept due to commitment to perform Biblical work among people as a pastor, he was immediately taken into custody.[7]
During my life, I have passed through periods of various hard trials. Because of my faith I have been thrown into prisons on more than one occasion. Not because I would had been stealing silver spoons or committed some other crime. In the Third Reich Nazis didn't like youth pastors like me, and that's why authorities kept throwing me into these pretty sinister places.[6]

After WW II he renewed his activities as an agile youth pastor and itinerant evangelist with the slogan “Jesus our destiny” becoming the central topic of his ministry going even beyond his official retirement in 1962.

He died in Hospital in Lübeck on 20. June 1966 whilst on the way back from Evangelization in Sassnitz auf Rügen.[1] The theme of his last sermon a day before was “Is life with God worth it?” („Was Hat Man Denn Von Einem Leben Mit Gott?“). He was buried four days after his death and the funeral was attended by a number of people including the later President of the Federal Republic of Germany Gustav Heinemann who gave in his oration following testimony about the late fellow:
Wherever he emerged, there was always something going on. The essential at him was however, that he was a credible and all reservations penetrating ambassador of his Lord. ("Wo er zugegen war, passierte immer etwas. Das Eigentliche aan ihm aber war dieses, dass er ein glaubhafter und aller Vorbehalte durchstoßender Bote seines Herrn war.")[2]
File:UP ProChrist+VIII.jpg
Ulrich Parzany, successor of Billy Graham in ProChrist evangelistic campaigns, preaching at ProChrist in 2009. Parzany's life was strongly influenced by pastor Wilhelm Busch.

Literary works

  • "Jesus Our Destiny" [8] (in German Jesus unser Schicksal) is the most well known of his works.[2][9] It is based on a compilation of his radio speeches. A common theme in his speeches is the centrality of Jesus to Christian doctrine. Published after his death, this book has been translated into all major world languages ​​and attained a worldwide distribution of several million copies.[2] The title "Jesus Our Destiny" comes from the main topic of big Evangelization that pastor Busch held in Essen in 1938.[10]


Pastor Busch significantly influenced Ulrich Parzany who came to faith in Christ in 1955 through the youth work of the Weigle-House in Essen.[11] Consequently, Parzany volunteered there as co-worker in missionary work with youth until 1961 under Busch’s leadership.[12] Later in his age, Parzany succeeded famous evangelist Billy Graham as the main speaker at ProChrist evangelistic major international campaigns broadcasted over satellite and held approximately every three years since ProChrist had started in 1993, when Billy Graham preached in Essen.[13][14]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bautz, Friedrich Wilhelm (1975). Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL), (Aalders–Faustus v. Byzanz) (in German). Hamm: Verlag Traugott Bautz. ISBN 3-88309-013-1. “Busch, Wilhelm (1897-1966); ...während einer Evangelisationsreise...und seit 1931 als Jugendpfarrer in Essen” 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wilhelm Busch, Sein Leben, Sein Werk (German). Buchhandlungbühne GmbH. Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  3. БУШ (Busch), ВИЛЬГЕЛЬМ (Wilhelm) (1995). Приди домой (Come home) (in Russian). Bielefeld: CLV, Christliche Literatur -Verbreitung, 158. ISBN 3-89397-721-X. Retrieved on 2011-11-19. 
  4. BEKANNTE MITGLIEDER DER CVJM/YMCA BEWEGUNG INTERNATIONAL (Famous members of CVJM/YMCA international movement) (German). “1929/30 to 1962 youth pastor in CVJM's Weigle Haus in Essen, which had been established by his predecessor, pastor Wilhelm Weigle. (in German: Wilhelm Busch (*1897; † 1966), evangelischer Pfarrer, Prediger, Schriftsteller.1929/30 bis 1962 Jugendpfarrer in dem von seinem Vorgänger, Pfarrer Wilhelm Weigle, 1912 eingerichteten Weigle-Haus (CVJM) in Essen. Während der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus brachte ihn sein Glaube und der Kampf der Bekennenden Kirche mehrfach ins Gefängnis. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg war er unter anderem als reisender Evangelist tätig.)”
  5. Das Weigle-Haus und seine Geschichte: Das Weigle-Haus – ein Jugendhaus im Zentrum des Ruhrpotts und seine bewegte Geschichte... (German). Evangelische Jugend Weigle-Haus e.V. (01.01.2010). Retrieved on 06.12.2011. “Ein Haus und seine Geschichte...1929 übernahm Wilhelm Busch die Leitung des Hauses. Am 11. Februar 1934 wurde der Evangelische Jugendverein jedoch aufgelöst und das Jugendhaus geschlossen. Busch widerstand dem Druck, die Jugendarbeit mit der Hitler-Jugend zu vereinigen und konnte sogar kurze Zeit später das Haus wieder eröffnen. Die Arbeit lief weiter unter dem Namen Stadtmission, das Haus selbst erhielt seinen heutigen Namen und wurde zum Weigle-Haus. Während des Zweiten Weltkriegs wurde das Haus teilweise zerstört und konnte erst am 23. Mai 1954 wieder eröffnet werden. Wilhelm Busch leitete die Arbeit noch bis 1962. Das Programm für die Jugendlichen drehte sich weiterhin vor allem um die gemeinsamen Sonntage mit Gottesdiensten, Sport und Spiel und auch Bildungsangebote wie den sogenannten „Intelligenz-Club“. Unter der Woche fanden in vielen Stadtteilen die zum Weigle-Haus gehörenden Jungscharen und Jungenschaftsgruppen statt.”
  6. 6.0 6.1 Busch, Wilhelm. Jesus our destiny. inter publishing service. ISBN 0-86347-024-6. “Because he adopted the strong uncompromising position of the German Confessing Church against the intrigues of the Third Reich in the life of the Church, and dared to proclaim his faith openly, Busch was imprisoned several times by the Nazis” 
  7. (2000) Spoveď pri Verdune (Confession near Verdun) (in Slovak). Kežmarok: ViViT. ISBN 80-88903-10-6. 
  8. Busch, Wilhelm (1993). Jesus –our destiny. Collection Ips, 219. ISBN 978-0863470240. 
  9. "Jesus unser Schicksal" -Klassik-Ausgabe (German). Christliche Buchhandlung Retrieved on 2011-11-19. “"Jesus is our destiny" is probably the most famous evangelistic book in German language. ("Jesus unser Schicksal" ist wohl das bekannteste evangelistische Buch in deutsche Sprache.)”
  10. Busch, Wilhelm (2011). Ježiš náš osud (Jesus our destiny) (in Slovak). Bielefeld: CLV. ISBN 978-3-89397-717-8. “In 1938 "Jesus our destiny" - was the main topic of preaching by pastor Busch at big Evangelization that took place in Essen. (Introduction by Kahrl-Heinz-Ehring)” 
  11. Pfarrer Ulrich Parzany (German). on 7.12.2011. “Ulrich Parzany ...Durch die Jugendarbeit des Essener Weigle-Hauses - damals geleitet von dem Pfarrer und Evangelisten Wilhelm Busch - kam er 1955 zum Glauben an Jesus und wirkte bis 1961 ehrenamtlich in der missionarischen Jugendarbeit mit. (In English: Through the youth work of Weigle-Haus Essen – that time led by the pastor and evangelist William Busch – in 1955 he came to faith in Jesus and participated on a voluntary basis in missionary work with young people until 1961.)”
  12. Ulrich Parzany. Retrieved on 7.12.2011. “Rev. Ulrich Parzany: 1955 Came to faith in Christ through the youth work of the Weigle-Houses in Essen; until 1961 Volunteer co-worker at the Weigle-House und particularly affected by youth pastor Wilhelm Busch”
  13. Wunderink, Susan (10.01.2009). A Lost Generation. Christianity Today magazine. Retrieved on 7.12.2011. “Ulrich Parzany succeeded Billy Graham as the main speaker at ProChrist evangelistic meetings, held about every three years since reunification [of Germany – note by Wikipedia].”
  14. Polzer, Wolfgang (2008-04-08). ProChrist: Crowds Flock to Evangelistic Event in Poland. ASSIST News (ANS) Service. Retrieved on 2010-06-05. “ProChrist started in 1993, when Billy Graham preached in Essen, Germany. Since then five major international campaigns have been held with Parzany. More than 1,250 venues in Europe were involved in 2006, when ProChrist was transmitted from Munich.”


Becker, Wolfgang; Eberhard Hahn, Rolf Hille, (1997). "Dein Wort ist die Wahrheit. Festschrift für Gerhard Maier", Die Autorität der Heiligen Schrift in der evangelistischen Verkündigung. Zu einer These von Wolfgang Bub am Beispiel des Evangelisten Wilhelm Busch (in German). Wuppertal: R. Brockhaus. ISBN 3-417-29424-X. 

Becker, Wolfgang (2010). "'Beiträge zu Evangelisation und Gemeindeentwicklung", Wilhelm Busch als evangelistischer Verkündiger (in German). Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag. ISBN 978-3-7887-2444-3. 

Busch, Emmi (1980). Ein Bündel Briefe (in German). Wuppertal: Aussaat- und Schriftenmissions-Verlag. ISBN 3-7958-0839-1. 

Ehring,, Karl-Heinz (1997). in Ulrich Parzany: Begegnungen mit Wilhelm Busch. (in German). Aussaat Verlag, Neukirchen-Vluyn. ISBN 3-7615-3569-4. 

Parzany, Ulrich (1973). 'Im Einsatz für Jesus. Programm und Praxis des Jugendpfarrers Wilhelm Busch (in German). Gladbeck: Schriftenmissions-Verlag. ISBN 3-7615-3509-0. 

Staebler, Martin (2009). 'Pastor Wilhelm Busch. Biografische Notizen als Gestaltungsmittel der Verkündigung, chrismon (in German), Frankfurt am Main: Hansisches Druck- und Verlagshaus. ISBN 978-3-86921-010-0. 

Busch, Wilhelm (2009). Plaudereien in meinem Studierzimmer, 11 (in German), 299. ISBN 978-3761557044.