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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Kavel, Rev. August

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Kavel, Rev. August, was pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church at Klemzig in Prussia from 1826 to 1835, when he resigned in consequence of his conscientious objections to the liturgy by which the Prussian Government sought to unite the Reformed and Lutheran Churches, and which they forced on the unwilling congregations of both creeds. Mr. Kavel's flock desiring to follow their pastor to some new sphere, where freedom of worship would be insured, he made preliminary arrangements with the South Australian Company for their emigration to that colony. The Prussian Government, however, refused passports, and owing to the delay, the negotiations fell through. Mr. Kavel first saw Mr. Angas, the chairman of the company, on the subject in April 1836, and after waiting patiently for over a year the members of his congregation presented a petition to the King, with the result that he instructed Dr. Strauss, a councillor of the Consistory in Berlin, to proceed to Klemzig, and use his best endeavours to bring the people back to the Established Church. His mission totally failed, the people remaining stedfast and immovable. Many of the ministers and philanthropists of London joined together to expedite matters, and proposed to call a meeting to ventilate the whole question. But Mr. Kavel declined to be present, or to accept the well-meant intervention, on the ground that claiming the political interference of a foreign power was contrary to the Lutheran belief in the teaching of Scripture, although it was not inconsistent for them to leave a country where their religious freedom was endangered. The proposed meeting was therefore abandoned. Not so the scheme of emigration, which Mr. Angas ultimately agreed to provide for at his personal expense, chartering the Prince George for the purpose. The passports being at last forthcoming, two hundred of Mr. Kavel's people embarked at Hamburg on the Prince George, which finally left Plymouth in July 1838, arriving at Adelaide in November. The people were settled on Mr. Angas' land, on the north bank of the Torrens, where they founded a settlement called after their old home, Klemzig. The expatriated Lutherans were eager to make their settlements models of prosperity; but in doing so they omitted to make corresponding efforts to discharge their pecuniary obligations to Mr. Angas, who was placed in a most difficult position in consequence. Pastor Kavel grieved at the scandal of having under his care a congregation who had emigrated for conscience' sake, showing so little regard to their conscientious duty, adopted the stringent measure of refusing to administer the Lord's Supper to any who were failing to make faithful efforts to pay their debts. For a time he was a pastor almost without a flock, but the lesson he taught his people resulted in their honourably fulfilling their engagements and expressing their gratitude to Mr. Angas for his generous and timely aid. Mr. Kavel, who took his parents to the colony with him, died in 1859. He published a pamphlet setting forth the advantages of South Australia as a field for settlement, which had a wide circulation in Germany.