Karl Böhmer

Advancing Lutheran Theology Across Continents, from Academia to Ministry

Karl Edwin Böhmer was born on the 10th of May 1977 and was reborn in the waters of Holy Baptism on the 15th of May in the same year. His home language was German. The logging company his father worked for was a national operation, and since his father was frequently transferred within the company, the family had to move a number of times. Nevertheless, Böhmer received the bulk of his schooling in the little town of Wartburg in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, graduating from high school in 1994. After finishing school, Böhmer completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Pretoria, majoring in ancient languages. In October of 1997, he was accepted for basic theological studies at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule, the seminary of the German sister church of the FELSISA, located in Oberursel, Germany. Having passed the intermediate theological examination there and having thereby obtained university exemption for Germany, Böhmer was accepted into an academic exchange program with the American sister church, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri in the USA to continue theological studies at Concordia Seminary. Having completed the year of academic exchange, his application to continue his theological studies in the USA was granted, and so he went on to pursue a Master’s degree in theology in St. Louis. In the course of these studies, Böhmer served as a vicar (student intern) at Faith Lutheran Church in Pierre, South Dakota in the USA from 2000 to 2001. Thereafter he returned to St. Louis and graduated with a master’s degree in mid-2002. Due to a number of vacancies in the FELSISA at the time, his request to continue with post-graduate studies was not granted and he served a second vicarage at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greytown to become acquainted with the situation of the church in South Africa. After the vicarage, he passed his final theological examinations and was ordained into the holy ministry in the FELSISA on the 3rd of November, 2002. His first call was to a dual parish ministry, serving Immanuel Lutheran Church in Pietermaritzburg and Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Wartburg. Here he served as pastor from 2002 until 2008. He married Brigitte Johannes in December of 2004. In April of 2008, the couple moved to the USA, since Böhmer had accepted a call to serve as pastor of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Gunnison, Colorado. Here the couple was blessed with two daughters. While serving in Gunnison, Pastor Böhmer was able to pursue post-graduate studies on a part-time basis, having been received into the doctoral studies program at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in late 2009. After Böhmer had passed his comprehensive examinations, it became necessary to research and write his doctoral dissertation on a full-time basis, so as not to jeopardize the flourishing parish ministry. After due consultation with his ecclesiastical supervisors and with the leadership of the congregation, Böhmer was granted a peaceful release from his call in 2013. The family then moved back to South Africa, where wife Brigitte was able to work as a physiotherapist. Meanwhile, Karl Böhmer focused his research on Bornean and South African mission history. In 2015, he successfully defended his dissertation and was awarded a Ph.D. degree. From 2015 to 2019, he served the Mission of Lutheran Churches (Bleckmar Mission) and the FELSISA as a lecturer in church history and mission studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Pretoria.