Prolific German composer of church hymns. His most famous compositions include "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded," "If Jesus Be My Friend," and "O World, See Here Your Life."
He studied at the University of Wittenberg and later began a career as a pastor.
He attempted to heal the divisions between Lutheran and Reformed clergymen through organizing a series of talks between the two sides, but his efforts were largely unsuccessful.
He was married to Anna Maria Barthold.
He and Charles Wesley were both important hymn writers.