1828-1896
portrait

April 13, 1828, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

February 2, 1896, Hudson, New York.

Viewmont Cemetery, Germantown, New York.

Of Moravian stock, Luckenbach was the oldest child of George B. and Julia Bisel Luckenbach. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where William later helped his father in the family cabinet making business.

Luckenbach took classical and theological courses at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and was licensed to preach by the Synod of East Pennsylvania in 1855. Later that year, he accepted a call to Lockport, New York (the locale which would inspire Maltbie Babcock to write This Is My Father’s World a generation later). In 1857, he was ordained to the ministry by the Hartwick Synod at a meeting in Zion Lutheran Church, Athens, New York. Also that year, he married Mary B. Compton of Lockport. That fall, he was called to St. Luke’s Church in Philadelphia. He went on serve at the Third Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rhinebeck, New York (1861-66); in Canajoharie, New York (1866-68); at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Hook, New York (1868-72); Hagerstown, Maryland (1872-75); Taneytown, Maryland (1875-78); and at Christ’s Lutheran Church, Germantown, New York, where he retired in 1894.

Luckenbach received an MA degree from Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania, and a DD degree from Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio. He was Life Director of the American Tract Society and of the American Bible Society, and, from 1886 until his death, president of the New York and New Jersey Synod of the Lutheran Church.

Luckenbach’s works include:

  1. Bless Me, O Thou Bleeding Lamb
  2. What Art Thou Doing for Jesus?