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MGEBROFF, JOHANNES (1868–1920). Johannes Mgebroff, Lutheran pastor, historian, and church music composer, was born at Nikolaev, South Russia, on July 18, 1868. He was the son of Gabriel and Katherine (Bishof) Mgebroff. He attended school in Russia and at Dorpat, Estonia, graduated from St. Chrischona, Switzerland, and was ordained to the Lutheran ministry in 1893.

The next year he moved to Texas, where he settled at Giddings and organized Martin Luther Church. He married Helene Kuemmel at Bartlett and was pastor of St. Peter's Lutheran Church at Walburg until 1898, when he moved to Salem, Washington County, where he remained the rest of his life. He was district archivist for Salem Lutheran Church, served on the board of the Lutheran College of Seguin (see TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY), and was chairman of the Brenham Conference. As a result of his particular interest in the work of young people, he was called the "Father of the Texas District Luther League."

Mgebroff was editor of Lutherische Gemeinde-Bote fuer Texas (commonly cited as Der Gemeinde-Bote), and under the pen names of Hans Maler and of Freund he wrote plays, magazine stories, religious articles, and pamphlets. In 1902 Wartburg Publishing House of Chicago published his noted Die Geschichte der ersten deutschen evangelisch-lutherischen Synode in Texas (The History of the First German Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Texas). While writing a book on the history of famous Christian women of the world, he died at his home at Salem on May 24, 1920. He was buried in Salem Cemetery, which in 1984 was all that remained of the community.


Max Heinrich, comp., History of the First Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Texas (Waverly, Iowa: Wartburg, 1928). Heinz Carl Ziehe, A Centennial Story of the Lutheran Church in Texas (2 vols., Seguin, Texas, 1951, 1954).

Jeanette H. Flachmeier

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Jeanette H. Flachmeier, "MGEBROFF, JOHANNES," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 30, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.