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

Today in History

January 16

1120 The Council of Nablus was held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1412 The Medici family was appointed official banker of the Papacy.

1545 George Spalatin, German reformer and Luther's co-worker and associate, died (b. 17 January 1484).

1604 At the Hampton Court Conference, Oxford divine John Rainolds presented to King James I the motion that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible.

1661 Johann Friedrich Möckhel, German pastor and hymn poet, was born at Kulmbach, Germany (d. 1729).

1737 “O God of Jacob, by Whose Hand” was written by Philip Doddridge (17021751).

1786 The Virginia Legislature adopted the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, which guaranteed that no one would be forced to attend or support any church nor belong to any religious organization.

1820 Johannes Rebmann, missionary to East Africa, was born in Gerlingen, North Wuerttemberg, Germany (d. 4 October 1876).

1884 Martin Stephan Jr., pastor and architect, died (b. 23 July 1823).

1890 The Moody Bible Institute in Chicago was dedicated seventeen years after evangelist D. L. Moody and college administrator Emma Dryer first discussed the idea.

1894 Bapuji Appaji, a Christian convert from Brahmanism in west India, died.

1900 A preliminary meeting to organize the Slovak Synod was held at Braddock, Pennsylvania.

1907 John Gibson Paton, Presbyterian missionary to New Hebrides, died in Canterbury, Australia (b. 24 May 1824).

1919 The Prohibition Amendment became part of the U. S. Constitution after it was ratified by Nebraska, going into effect a year later.

1936 Gustaf A. Brandelle, president of the Augustana Synod, died (b. 19 March 1861).

1953 Members of the first class of eight graduates from the Lutheran seminary in Nigeria were ordained.

1968 Bob Jones Sr. (b. 30 October 1883), the militant fundamentalist evangelist who in 1924 founded the school known as Bob Jones University, died.

1972 Paul George Elbrecht, president of the Alabama Lutheran Academy and College (Selma) and of Concordia Lutheran College of Texas (Austin), died in Austin, Texas (b. 30 September 1921, Cleveland, Ohio).

1989 Herman A. Bielenberg died in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (b. 13 December 1899, Staten Island, New York). He was a pioneer Missouri Synod pastor in the use of photography and motion pictures. He wrote the original script and supervised the production of the motion picture The Call of the Cross, produced for the centennial of the Saxon Immigration to Missouri in 1938–1939. This was the first sound motion picture produced by the synod. In 1947 he was named chairman of the synods Board for Visual Education. Bielenberg also edited the Eastern District Edition of The Lutheran Witness for seventeen years. He was an avid photographer and won numerous awards for his work. When he retired, he and his wife traveled extensively delivering photographic lectures to congregations, camera clubs and civic organizations. He was active in many photographic societies such as the Photographic Society of America.