Henry Melchior Muhlenberg (September 6, 1711 - October 7, 1787) was a Lutheran clergyman who is viewed as the founder of the Lutheran Church in the United States. He was born in the German state of Hanover, and studied at the universities of Göttingen and Halle (Saale). He entered the ministry in Germany. He was the patriarch of the Muhlenberg Family dynasty.
The Lutheran Churches in Pennsylvania had largely been founded by lay ministers. They sought formally trained clergy, and in 1742 Henry answered that call by immigrating to Philadelphia. He took charge of the congregation at Providence, in what is now Trappe, Pennsylvania, but he served as leader of a series of congregations from Maryland to New York. In 1748 he called The Ministerium of Pennsylvania, the first Lutheran synod in America.
Henry married Anna Maria Weiser, the daughter of Conrad Weiser in 1745. The couple had eleven children. Of their children three of his sons entered the ministry yet became prominent in other fields as well. Peter became a Major General in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and then entered Congress. Frederick served as the first Speaker of the House in the U. S. Congress. Henry Jr. became pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church at Oldwick, New Jersey . Several of Henry and Anna's daughters also deserve mention. Elizabeth was married to General Francis Swaine , and Sarah to Congressman Mathias Richards . Eve married Emmanuel Shulze, and their son John Andrew Schulze became Governor of Pennsylvania.
Henry died at his home in Trappe.