Providence Assures Baptist Succession in Sweden
The Baptists of Sweden numbered nearly 500, though subject to bitter persecution when Adreas Wiberg returned from America in 1855. He had been appointed the Director of the American Baptist Publication Society for Sweden. On Jan. 1, 1856, Wiberg began a Christian publication called The Evangelist. As the work grew a 1200 seat Chapel was built in Stockholm, but the persecution continued from the State Church (Lutheran). A Mr. Hejdenberg, was imprisoned in six different places. Another of the preachers was fined for preaching the gospel without a license from the State. Wiberg was born in 1816 but was “born again” as a student at the University of Upsala while studying for the Lutheran ministry. He had almost drowned at 14 years of age, and the thought of death and eternity became real in his life. At nineteen he had enrolled in the University with a desire to show God his gratitude for being delivered from a premature death. In 1843 he was ordained a minister in the State Church but became dissatisfied with admitting the unconverted to the Lord’s Supper, and he left his work as a minister. At that point, joining other believers in Northern Sweden he was persecuted for his views. In the spring of 1851, he visited Hamburg, Germany, and met with Baptist leader, J.G. Oncken and at first resisted Baptist doctrine. He was given a copy of Pengilly on Baptism, and on full examination, adopted Baptist views. There was no one in Sweden to administer the ordinance of Baptism, but in the providence of God, in 1852 his ship was detained in Copenhagen and he met Rev. F.O. Nilsson who had previously introduced Baptist principles into Sweden but had been imprisoned and finally banished by the High Court. On July 23, 1852 at 11 pm, near the Island of Amager, near Copenhagen, Wiberg was immersed. Growth continued.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 302.