Welcome to Concordia Historical Institute, Department of Archives and History for the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.

Today in History

January 3

1521 Martin Luther was excommunicated by the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem issued by Pope Leo X.

1537 Luther and other theologians delivered a position statement to Elector John Frederick of Saxony that resulted in the Smalcald Articles.

1540 Kaspar Bienemann, hymnist, was born (d. 12 September 1591, Altenburg).

1559 Matthius Ratzeberger, Luther's physician and friend died (b. 1501 at Wangen, near Stuttgart, Württemberg).

1785 The Methodist Christmas Conference concluded in Baltimore, Maryland, having created the Methodist Episcopal Church in America and elected Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke its first two general superintendents.

1816 Frederick William Conrad was born in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania (d. 10 April 1898).

1830 Alexander C. Ewing, composer, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland (d. 11 January 1895, Taunton).

1831 Christoph Ludwig Eberhardt, Michigan Synod missionary and president, was born in Lauffen, Wuerttemberg (d. 27 April 1893).

1837 Friedrich August Schmid(t), the Norwegian Synod professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) who later taught at Luther Seminary (Northfield, Minnesota) and at Augsburg Seminary of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, was born in Leutenberg, Thuringia (d. 15 March 1928).

1840 Father Damien (Joseph de Veuster), Roman Catholic missionary to Hawaii, was born at Tremelo, Belgium (d. 15 April 1889).

1844 Johann Ludwig Krapf (18101881) arrived in Mombasa to establish an East African mission.

1884 E. Stanley Jones, Methodist missionary, was born in Clarksville, Maryland (d. 25 January 1973, India).

1892 Literature professor J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a devout Catholic, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa (d. 2 September 1973, Oxford).

1903 Henry J. Pye, hymnist, died in England (b. ca. 1825).

1908 Gustav Adolf Theodor Felix Hnecke, professor at the Wisconsin Synod seminary in Watertown, Wisconsin, died at Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (b. 25 February 1835, Brandenburg, Saxony, Prussia).

1915 Georg Schick, professor of ancient languages at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana), died (b. 25 February 1831 at Homburg vor der Höhe, Hessen-Homburg, Germany).

1918 Annie Sherwood Hawks (b. 28 May 1836, Hoosick, New York), American Baptist hymn writer, died.

1929 Simon Peter Long, professor and president of Chicago Lutheran Bible School, died (b. 7 October 1860 at McZena, near Loudonville, Ashland Co., Ohio).

1934 The Barmen Theses were adopted by opponents of Adolf Hitler, stressing the need to submit to God rather than to depend on humanity.

1958 Blanche Kerr Brock (b. 3 February 1888, Greenfork, Indiana), American sacred music artist, died.

1980 Thomas Coates, president of Concordia College (Portland, Oregon) and professor at Concordia Senior College (Fort Wayne, Indiana), Japan Lutheran Seminary (Tokyo), Yonsei University and Lutheran Theological Academy (Seoul, Korea) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Hong Kong), died (b. 1 October 1910, Oakland, California).

1984 Jacob Gartenhaus (b. 15 January 1896, Austria), founder and first president of the International Board of Jewish Missions, Inc., died.

2000 Fred J. Pankow, missionary and long-time Hispanic-ministry worker, died in Edwardsville, Illinois (b. 8 April 1923, Hankenson, North Dakota). Pankow retired from full-time service in 1988 after nine years as coordinator of Hispanic ministries for the International Lutheran Laymens League, where he supervised and coordinated Hispanic radio, television and print ministries in the United States. Prior to joining the ILLL staff, Pankow served three years as features editor of The Lutheran Witness. From 1968 to 1975 he served as secretary for Latin America with the Missouri Synod mission board and also as acting secretary for Africa during 19741976. Pankow also served as coordinator of Spanish work in New York City for the Atlantic District, 19611968; as pastor of a Mexican-American congregation in Houston, 19561961; and as a missionary to Cuba, 19491956.