2014 Heritage Day Events Succesful
Dr. Thomas Mueller-Bahlke
Heritage Day Speaker
Dr. Thomas Mueller-Bahlke, Director of the Francke Foundations in Halle, Germany, was our main speaker this Labor Day at Ebenezer. Dr. Mueller-Bahlke heads the three hundred year old historic Pietist foundation with which the Georgia Salzburgers have had an on going relationship of 280 years since the first transport came to Georgia. It was at that time—1733-34—that Pastors Boltzius and Gronau came from the foundations to become the pastors of the Salzburgers traveling to Georgia. During the early years, the Salzburgers and other Germans at Ebenezer received assistance from the Francke Foundations in the form of Bibles, hymnbooks, medicine, clothing and other supplies. Many letters were sent from Ebenezer to leaders of the Foundations and today there are over 1,000 original documents in the Georgia file of the Foundations’ archives. Dr. Mueller-Bahlke, a long-time friend of Georgia Salzburgers, has welcomed and given tours of the foundations to a number of visitors and travel groups from Georgia. He has spearheaded and collaborated with our Society in three major translating and publishing projects: 1) Salzburg – Halle – North America (1999), 2) The Letters of Johann Martin Boltzius (2009), and 3) the current project, the letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, the last pastor to come to Ebenezer from Germany. Dr. Mueller-Bahlke proposed in 2002 that Savannah and Halle become sister cities, and after ten years of intermittent activity in pursue of this goal, the sister city connection of Savannah and Halle finally became a reality. In our celebration of the 280th anniversary of the arrival of the first Salzburgers in Georgia, we were most honored to have Dr. Thomas Mueller-Bahlke as our main speaker.
The Euchees (Yuchi) were here
This year’s special event celebrating the 280th landing anniversary include honored guests from the Euchee (Yuchi) Indians from Oklahoma. There were many Euchees’ attending our Heritage Day celebration since we share much history in this region. Everyone enjoyed their demonstrations…including the dance whom a few were
brave enough to join them in their dance.