Lutheran Deaconess History
The Philadelphia Motherhouse of Deaconesses was established by John D. Lankenau in 1884 to provide nurses for the German Hospital of Philadelphia.
Started in 1891 by the General Synod, with the first class of deaconesses consecrated in 1895.
On October 8, 1887, Pastor E.A. Foglestrom and others organized the Evangelical Lutheran Immanuel Association for Works for Charity.
In 1902 a second deaconess training site for the Augustana Lutheran Synod opened in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Bethphage Mission, Axtell, Nebraska, was established in 1913 by the Rev. K. G. William Dahl, to provide a Christian home for “the feeble-minded, the epileptic, and the destitute.”
Sister Elizabeth Fedde found so much need in homes, hospitals, ships in the harbor, and even the streets of Brooklyn, that by 1886 she started a deaconess home and hospital.
Through the insistence of the Rev. Falk Gjertsen, Sister Elizabeth Fedde and two women who wanted to be deaconesses moved into the new deaconess home in Minneapolis on November 2, 1888 and the hospital opened in four rooms of the home a few days later.
The Norwegian Lutheran Deaconess Society of Chicago was incorporated on September 17, 1896. The organization rented two houses to serve as a hospital, which opened on May 22, 1897.
As a pioneer in Lutheran ministry of mercy, the Rev. William Alfred Passavant, Sr., established hospitals and orphanages from Pennsylvania to Illinois and Wisconsin, brought deaconesses from Germany to manage these enterprises, and chartered the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses (IPD) to manage them.
In the summer of 1903 Pastor Jens Madsen visited Danish congregations in several states, soliciting funds to build a tuberculosis sanatorium and a deaconess motherhouse in Colorado.
(Profiles from the ELCA Deaconess Community web site
) Srs. Julianne Holt and Signe Ness Sr. Anna Bergeland, 1891-1979 Sr. Elizabeth Fedde's Diary, 1888 Sr. Martha Pretzlaff, 1884-1978 Sr. Olette Berntsen, 1882-1974 Sr. Mary Cassel, 1879-1951 Srs. Ingeborg Sponland and Caroline Williams Sr. Marie S. Anderson, 1872-1962 Sr. Jennie Christ, 1872-1950 Sr. Elizabeth Anderson, 1869-1971 Sr. Anna Baumgarten, 1859-1944Sr. Emma Carlson, 1859-1933 Sr. Cecilia Nelson, ca. 1861-1940Four Deaconesses from Emanuel Church, Minneapolis John D. Lankenau
Carl August Hultkrans