Hans Nielson Hauge (1771-1824) – BAM in another Century

Jan Erik Larsen and son Viggo in the Husoy, Norway Prayer House.

My wife and I spent a week in Norway last month exploring the roots of our son-in-law in that country. It was a privilege to be with his family, and learn about this amazing country. One of the interesting things was to have a tour of one of the more than 2,000 prayer houses in Norway.

The prayer house movement has its historical roots in the 19th century pietism, which resulted in the formation of a variety of Lutheran layman’s organizations in Norway and also several foreign mission’s organizations.

Pietism originated in Germany, and spread to other German-speaking parts of Europe, the Baltics, and Scandinavia. It left a permanent mark on countries like Norway, where one figure in particular stands out as the father of the Norwegian prayer house movement, Hans Nielsen Hauge (1771-1824).

It is intriguing and interesting to learn of giants of the faith who integrated a missional evangelicalism with industry, work, and concern for people of all strata of society.  While we were in Norway in August, I learned that my son-and-law’s father had been a coordinator of the Husoy house of prayer for many years.  This House of Prayer is a direct outcome of the work of Hauge and his followers.

I looked further into Hauge’s history and the details as they emerged were fascinating. I remembered the story told by BAM’s very own Mats Tunehag.  And this month, September 2023, Mats is speaking at a conference in Norway’s second largest city organized by the Hauge Business Network. Mats’ words on Linked in:

Why am I going to Norway in September? Well, according to DNA test, I am 4 % Norwegian. So, going to trace my roots? Not really, but Business as Mission is indebted to people like Hans-Nielsen Hauge, who was instrumental in transforming Norway 200 years ago. His motto was to love God and fellow men. He did that proactively and practically by seeking the spiritual as well as the economic and social welfare of people. Learn more –> https://lnkd.in/dPDESxiS
And yes, I will speak at a conference in Bergen, organized by the Hauge Business Network.

Why not take ten minutes or so and learn of BAM 200 years ago and be encouraged that we are on the right track today as we live out our faith in the marketplace.


Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

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