Born: March 12, 1607, Gräfenhainichen (near Wittenberg), Germany.
Died: May 27, 1676, Lübben an der Spree, Spreewald, Germany.
Buried: In a crypt below the altar at Paul-Gerhardt-Kirche, Lübben an der Spree, Spreewald, Germany.
Paul was the son of Christian Gerhardt, Burgermeister of Gräfenhainichen, and husband of Anna Maria Berthold (married 1655).
He enrolled at the University of Wittenberg in 1628. He appears to have frequently preached in Berlin in the 1640’s.
In 1651, at the recommendation of the Berlin clergy, Gerhardt was appointed Lutheran Probst (chief pastor) at Mittenwalde, near Berlin. In 1657, he returned to Berlin as third diaconus of St. Nicholas’ church.
However, Gerhardt became involved in the contest between Elector Friedrich Wilhelm (who was of the Reformed Church) and the Lutheran clergy of Berlin. Gerhard was removed from office in February 1666, though he remained in Berlin.
In November 1668, he accepted the post of archidiaconus at Lübben an der Spree, was installed in June, 1669, and stayed there until his death. The motto on his portrait at Lübben read
Theologus in cribro Satanae versatus (a theologian sifted in Satan’s sieve).