Congregation outside Church at Hermannsburg.

2nd Bethlehem Church

Pastor Carl Strelow and his wife Frieda

Hermannsburg under Pastor Carl Strehlow

Carl Strehlow is perhaps the best known of the missionaries to have worked at Hermannsburg. Appointed by the Immanuel Synod as their first missionary to Hermannsburg, he left a lasting legacy. He was not the only missionary there and many of the achievements in that time were a team effort between him and his wife Frieda Strehlow, co-missionary Pastor Bogner and the lay workers such as builders Mr. Hart and Mr. Haemmerling. Between them they rebuilt the neglected and dilapidated mission.

Sofia with husband Moses sitting beside Albert Namatjira’s father, Jonathon at Jay Creek.

Moses Tjalkabota

The story of Moses Tjalkabota is fascinating. A strong and compelling orator, he embraced Christianity and European ways with enthusiasm and insisted that others should do so too. He repeatedly challenged the traditional Elders and their beliefs and in this, he was probably more influential than the white missionaries themselves.

The Central Australian Women’s Choir.

The Hermannsburg Choir

The records of the mission often mention the beautiful sounds of the Arrarnta people with their voices raised in song. Hermannsburg Mission has a long tradition of music including both pastoral music and popular country and western.

Growing congregation in front of the church

The heart of the mission

The church building of course was the heart of the mission. While the historic Church stands quietly now in the heart of the historic precinct, the new heart has moved with the growing town of Ntaria and is located outside the Mission compound; if you sit quietly enough you can still hear the echo of Arrarnta ancestors raising their voices to God.