John Alexis Edgren

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John Alexis Edgren
Born(1839-02-20)February 20, 1839
Östanås, Värmland, Sweden
DiedJanuary 26, 1908(1908-01-26) (aged 68)
Oakland, California
Resting placeMountain View Cemetery, Oakland, California
OccupationBaptist minister
Years active1871–1887
Parent(s)Axel Edgren
Mathilda Berger
RelativesAugust Hjalmar Edgren (brother)
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1862–1865
RankUSN Ensign rank insignia.jpg Ensign[1]
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

John Alexis Edgren (February 20, 1839 – January 26, 1908) was a Swedish-American Baptist Minister. Edgren began what eventually evolved into Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.[2]


Johan Alexis Edgren was born at Östanås, in Älvsbacka, Värmland, Sweden. He was the son of Axel Edgren and Mathilda Berger and the brother of noted Swedish American linguist August Hjalmar Edgren. He attended and completed elementary school in Karlstad. He qualified for the rank of Captain in the navigation school of Stockholm. He went to America in 1862, and received a commission in the Union Navy during the American Civil War. He subsequently trained at Princeton Theological Seminary and the Baptist Theological Seminary in Hamilton, New York.[3][4][5]


A Soldier, author, journalist. Edgren served at First Swedish Baptist Church in Chicago starting in 1871. Edgren opened a department for Scandinavian theological students in the fall of 1871 in the basement of his church for ministerial students. The Baptist Theological Union of the University of Chicago invited Edgren to house a seminary at their location. The Seminary was housed with the Baptist Theological Union from 1871 until 1884 when Edgren resigned. Subsequently, the seminary moved to the facilities of First Swedish Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota where it became a seminary of the Baptist General Conference.[6][7][8]


  1. ^ "US Navy Officers: 1775-1900 (E)". Naval Historical Center. 2006. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Rev. John Alexis Edgren (1839-1908)". Find A Grave Memorial. 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  3. ^ "John Alexis Edgren (1871-1887)". Bethel University. 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  4. ^ "An Extraordinary Heritage". Bethel Theological Seminary. 2009. Archived from the original on 21 April 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  5. ^ Olson, Virgil (2006). "On Whose Shoulders Do We Stand?". Bethel University.
  6. ^ "A Legacy of Leadership". Heart & Mind. 22 (2). Spring 2009. Archived from the original on 2010-08-02.
  7. ^ "Cousins: Betelseminariet Sweden & Bethel Seminary St. Paul". Baptist General Conference History Center.
  8. ^ "Illinois Historic Sites". Bethel University. 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.


  • Ahlstrom, Louis John (1938). John Alexis Edgren, soldier, educator, author, journalist: A biography. Conference Press.

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