Allan J. Gottneid
Allan Joel Gottneid was born April 8, 1921, in Omaha, Nebraska. Allan and his wife, Alice, served as lay missionaries of the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, going to Tanzania (then Tanganyika) in July 1954 and remaining there until his retirement in 1984. He was a teacher at Marangu Teacher Training College, a Lutheran school on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, from 1954 to 1964. Between 1961 and 1963, he also served as principal at the college. While at Marangu he helped the school prepare for its hosting of the first All-Africa Lutheran Conference. Gottneid was also in charge of publications for this important event. He also promoted lay religious services at the college.
In 1963 the Lutheran Church of Northern Tanganyika, for which Gottneid worked, was united with six other national Lutheran bodies to create the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). Tanzania was the name of the new state created in 1964 by the union of the former British colony Tanganyika, which gained its independence in 1961, and the former British colony Zanzibar, which gained its independence in 1963. Between 1963 and 1966 Gottneid toured the newly-independent nation to survey the state of Christian education and plan for its furtherance through the use of indigenous personnel and nationally-produced texts. During this time he advocated the establishment of an all-Africa Lutheran university.
From 1964 to his retirement in 1984 Gottneid worked in the Arusha headquarters of the ELCT as its Secretary for Christian Education. He was responsible for directing the development of a life-long program of Christian education. By 1980 this had resulted in the publication of nearly thirty books, all in Swahili and with all content produced in Tanzania. Topics included parenting and home life, Sunday Schools, Bible studies, and youth work, among others. This included syllabus preparation, textbook writing and training courses.
This series consists largely of printed items. Many were produced and published in Tanzania under the direction of Allan Gottneid as part of his task of creating texts for lifelong religious education within the ELCT. Others are publications on Christian education topics produced by other bodies, such as the Lutheran World Federation. Also present are publications produced in connection with the first three All-Africa Lutheran Conferences, such as lists of delegates and records of proceedings, and Allan Gottneid’s M.A. thesis. The collection also contains biographical information, the circular letters from the Gottneids, other correspondence, and photographs.
Photograph taken by Allan Gottneid of an English class at Marangu Teacher Training Centre and Ashira Girls' School, ca. 1954.