| 1632 series |
POD: May, 1631
|Appearance(s):||Grantville Gazette XIX through Grantville Gazette XXIV|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Religion:||Pentecostalism, formerly Lutheranism|
Dieter Fischer was a Lutheran minister in Camburg in Thuringia, Germany. Previously, Fischer had lived in Austria before he and his family fled the country to get away from Count Tilly's army in the early phase of the Thirty Years' War in the 1620s. For some time, Fischer's family was shunned from some cities due to their citizenship laws. They finally settled in Wittenberg, where Dieter studied at its university. For a time, Fischer and his family remained in relative peace.
After the Battle of Breitenfeld in 1631, the townspeople of Camburg celebrated the Protestant victory. In September, mercenaries under the Swedish flag marched to the town and were unwittingly welcomed by the people. The mercenaries revealed themselves to be Saxons, and attacked and sacked Camburg. Fischer survived the sacking after being knocked unconscious by a Saxon soldier. He awoke to the aftermath of the carnage and suffered a blow to his morale and faith. Fischer abandoned what was left of Camburg and inadvertently moved on to the time-displaced town of Grantville in June 1632. He stayed at the town's refugee center for a few weeks and worked on a labor gang. He briefly encountered Pentecostal minister John Chalker.
One night while walking about the town, he was attracted to Grantville's make-shift Pentecostal church near Buffalo Creek, hosted by Reverend John Chalker. There he was introduced to Evangelism. Chalker recognized Fischer, and introduced Fischer to his congregation. Chalker saw Fischer's presence as the work of God. Chalker concluded that Fischer's last name referenced the "fisher of men" from Mark 1:16, and concluded that God had brought Fischer here to translate the history of the Pentecostal movement into German. Fischer was later invited to move in with Pentecostal Pete Enriquez, a carpenter, and went to work as Enriquez's assistant. Fischer devoted his free time to learning the Pentecostal faith.
Fischer deliberately isolated himself on a secluded hill while translating Chalker's work. During one such period, Grantville was attacked by Croat mercenaries. Fischer arrived into town in the aftermath of Grantville's one-sided battle and helped move the bodies of the raiders.
In September, 1632, Fischer worked at Kelly Construction for the silo manufacturing plant in the new industrial park on the Saale River, just outside the Ring of Fire's borders. During a work shift, Fischer accidentally injured his co-worker Slater Dobbs' hand. Fischer carefully gripped Dobbs' hand, which had three dislocated fingers, and suddenly went into a trance and miraculously healed Dobbs' hand. Dobbs immediately saw Fischer was a miracle worker. The news of this miracle reached Reverend Chalker, who met with Fischer and told him that he was being taken over by 'The Other', something Fischer experienced whenever he was in a dangerous situation, and which caused him to lose consciousness, but be aware of what is happening. The blow to the head he received in Camburg first released 'The Other'. Chalker, having previously experienced a dream, believed Fischer to be driven by the Holy Ghost.
Eventually, Fischer was elected by the Church Elders as the very first minister of the Pentecostal Church in the new universe and as well as Chief Minister of Down-timer Outreach. In October, Fischer later substituted for an ill Chalker at the morning radio devotional at the Voice of America radio station. Unexpectedly, Fischer's radio announcement attracted a very popular following from the German population. This led Fischer to becoming the host of the Pentecostal Church's weekly radio show.
This show, The Ole Timey Radio Hour, featured musical entertainment (both established and new talent), and a children's segment presented by Fischer himself, and quickly became very popular. Fischer tried to keep the program's message, to the extent it had one, positive. In February 1634, after learning that anti-Semites in Jena who had attempted to rob the family of the VoA's Jewish sales manager had quoted Martin Luther, he used time on the program to argue that Luther's late-in-life anti-Semitism should be seen as a mistake, and that up-time branches of Lutheranism had repudiated it. However, when talking about the war, he also consistently omitted the Swedish role in it, even going so far as to omit the role "Captain Gars" and his troops had played in the Battle of Grantville.