Some years ago I came by the 2-volume Dictionary of Evangelical Biography (1730-1860) which I admit is a bit obscure. But I thought I’d trawl its pages for entries on Swedish Christians to learn more about its notable figures and history.
Gustavus Schroeder or Gustaf Schröder (1821-1914) was another significant figure in the history of the Swedish Baptists.
Born in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden, Schroder became a seaman at the age of 16. He remained a sailor for the next 30 years, including around 20 years as captain of various vessels. In 1844 while on shore at New York he was converted and then baptised in the New York City Mariners Baptist Church.
The following spring he returned to Sweden where he began to hold Bible meetings in his parents’ house. FO Nilsson was one of those who attended those meetings and joined the Baptist cause through Schroeder’s influence.
Although Schroeder himself was never officially a member of the Swedish Baptists he continued to have a strong influence on the young movement and became one of its first chroniclers. Schroeder’s History of the Swedish Baptists in Sweden and America published in 1898 being one of the first and most important accounts of its development.