In his letter of 1 March 1529, Martin Luther (1483–1546) responded to a query from the visiting authorities, commissioned by the Saxon elector to examine the territory around Coburg as regards the ecclesiastical situation since the previous year. Luther thus addressed the “visitors in the area of Franconia”, since the estates transferred from the counts of Henneberg to the house of Wettin in the middle of the fourteenth century were considered “Saxon territories in Franconia”.
Luther writes that in the absence of Philip Melanchthon (1497–1560) he had read the letter by which the visitors asked for a pastor to be sent to Hildburghausen. The messenger who delivered the letter did not want to wait for a reply and he had been unable to look for the most suitable candidate in a hurry.
Luther said that he wanted to contact Master Johann Fröschel (probably the Wittenberg dean Sebastian Fröschel) and Michel Stiefel (parish priest in Lochau near Halle) but could not assess the chances of success. He promised to do everything in his power to send a suitable priest to the visitors in Coburg before Easter.
In conclusion, Luther complained about the general lack of people available for such tasks, in particular since the clergymen working in Wittenberg were reluctant to leave. Nevertheless, on 7 March, Luther was able to write a letter to Balthasar Düring as one of the visitors and announce the new pastor of Hildburghausen.