They Made a Crown of Thorns for Him
Sie flochten Ihm eine Dornenkrone
Sponsored by Lititz Moravian Senior Choir, in honor of Jeffrey Gemmell
Johannes Herbst (1735-1812) was born at Kempten, Swabia, and joined the Moravian Church in 1748. He first served the church as bookkeeper and teacher, and especially as an organist, before coming to America in 1785 to be a pastor in Lancaster and Lititz, Pennsylvania. In his spare time he was a prolific composer, producing over 100 anthems and 200 sacred songs. He was also an avid copier of other composers’ music, and his personal collection of over 1000 anthems and many larger works is a source of incalculable value for the study of Moravian music. He was consecrated a bishop in Lititz on May 12, 1811, two days before leaving to take up new work in Salem, North Carolina. He brought his precious music collection with him, but served only a few months before his death there on January 15, 1812. He is buried in God’s Acre in Salem.