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New Guinea.

1. 2d-largest is. (after Greenland); part of Malay Archipelago; sometimes included in Melanesia*; N of Australia, S of equator. Area: 319,713 sq. mi. (with related islands: 345,627 sq. mi.) Divided into Territory of Papua (SE part; area: 90,540 sq. mi.; [mainland 87,786 sq. mi.]; Brit. colony from 1888; under control of Australia 1901; became Territory of Papua 1906), Territory of New Guinea (NE part; area [including islands]: 92,160; Ger. colony called Kaiser Wilhelmsland from 1884; mandated to Australia 1920 by League of Nations; under UN trusteeship, Australian administration, 1946; administrative union of Papua and New Guinea promulgated 1949; “and” officially deleted from the combined name 1971; Papua New Guinea attained self-govt. December 1, 1973), and Irian Jaya (see Indonesia, 7). Natives related to Negroes and Melanesians.

2. Luth. miss. work in Irian Jaya, begun 1855 by the Gossner* Miss. Soc., was taken over 1862 by the Utrecht* Miss. Soc. Other missions in Irian Jaya include The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Unevangelized Fields Mission, Baps., and RCs See also Indonesia, 7.

3. The LMS began work in what is now the Territory of Papua in the early 1870s (see also Chalmers, James; Lawes, William George), RCs in the mid-1880s, Angls. and the Overseas Mission of the Meth. Ch. in Australia in the early 1890s.

4. J. Flierl* began work 1886 near Finschhafen, in what is now the Territory of New Guinea; C. Keysser arrived ca. the turn of the c.; this miss. became known as the Luth. Miss. Finschhafen. Friedrich Eich (January 20, 1843–October 21, 1919; b. Dierdorf, Ger.) and J. I. Wilhelm Thomas (June 6, 1843–December 30, 1900; b. Eilbach, Ger.) of the Rhenish* Miss. Soc. explored several fields, including the islands of New Brit. and New Ireland; Thomas abandoned the work because of illness; Eich opened a miss. 1887 at Bogadjim, near Madang; this miss. became known as the Luth. Miss. Madang. For further developments see Australia, C 1.

By 1940 the Luth. Miss. Finschhafen had ca. 40,000 bap. mems., Luth. Miss. Madang ca. 20,000. Missions and missionaries suffered severely in WW II. The UELCA, ALC, and NLC joined hands to rebuild. In 1953 the 2 missions merged to form the Lutheran Mission New Guinea. In 1956 the Ev. Luth. Ch. of New Guinea (ELCONG) was formed.

5. In 1936 the ELCA (Evangelical Luterran Church in Australia in this context) acquired the Neuendettelsau miss. on the Rooke-Siassi islands, bet. the is. of New Brit. and the Huon Peninsula of the Territory of New Guinea. In 1951 the ELCA expanded to the interior of the mainland, opening a station among the Kukukuku (Kukakuka) natives at Menyamya, W of Huon Gulf.

6. On appeal of the ELCA, the LCMS resolved 1947 to aid ELCA miss. work in the Territory of New Guinea with men and money. The ELCA est. a station at Yaramanda (Yaramunda) August 1948. Otto Charles Hintze Jr. (b. March 22, 1923, at El Paso, Texas; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; LCMS miss. to New Guinea 1948; asst. prof. Conc. Sem., Springfield, Illinois, 1966) and Willard Lewis Burce (b. February 9, 1924, at Marshall, Michigan; educ. Conc. Sem., St. Louis, Missouri; LCMS miss. to New Guinea 1948) arrived there November 1948. Work began under joint sponsorship of the ELCA and LCMS; the miss. took the name New Guinea Luth. Miss. (“Mo. Syn.” was later added to the name). The Luth. missions of Rooke-Siassi and Finschhafen provided evangelists and teachers in the early yrs. of work. LCMS assumed full responsibility for this field 1949. First baptisms (79): January 6, 1957. The const. of the Wabag Luth. Ch. was ratified 1961; name changed 1978 to Gutnius Luth. Ch.—Papua New Guines (Gutnius is pidgin for “Good News”). VEH

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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