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

Today in History

January 20

250 Emperor Decius began a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian was martyred. Afterwards the Donatist controversy over readmitting lapsed Christians disaffected many in North Africa.

1150 Henry, Bishop of Uppsala and missionary to Finland, was martyred.

1518 Johann Tetzel’s (14651519) theses against Martin Luther were issued at Leipzig.

1541 A town meeting in Geneva ratified John Calvin’s (15091564) plan to set up a church court that would meet weekly to judge offenders and maintain discipline.

1568 Myles Coverdale (b. ca. 1488), publisher of the first printed English Bible, died.

1586 Johann Hermann Schein, hymnist, was born at Raudten, Silesia (d. 19 November 1630).

1637 John Wheelwright (15921679) of Boston lent his support to Anne Hutchinson and her religious teachings in a sermon.

1669 Susannah Annesley (Wesley), mother of John and Charles Wesley, was born in London. Her father was a nonconformist clergyman, but Susannah renounced Nonconformity early in life and gave her allegiance to the Church of England. The 25th child in her family, she married Samuel Wesley in 1689 and bore him 19 children, the last two being John and Charles Wesley.

1712 Christoph K. L. von Pfeil, hymnist, was born in Gruenstadt, near Worms (d. 1784).

1830 Anton Wagner, pioneer pastor of the Missouri Synod in Chicago, was born in Allendorf an der Lumda, near Giessen, Hessen, Germany (d. 10 January 1914).

1843 Friedrich Eich, New Guinea missionary, was born in Dierdorf, Germany (d. 21 October 1919).

1874 Henry Newman Pohlman, General Synod pastor in New York and president of the New York Ministerium, the New York Synod, the New York and New Jersey Synod and the General Synod, died (b. 8 March 1800, Albany, New York).

1879 Albert Simpson Reitz, American Baptist minister and hymnist, was born in Lyons, Kansas (d. 1 November 1966, Inglewood, California).

1884 Carl O. Björling, Swedish bishop and theologian, died (b. 1804).

1884 Greville Phillimore, hymnist, died at Ewelme, England (b. 5 February 1821, London).

1895 Johann Adam Ernst, early pioneer pastor of the Missouri Synod in Canada, died (b. 27 November 1815).

1895 Karl Gustav Theodor Näther (18661904) arrived in Salem District, India, to begin mission work for the Missouri Synod.

1904 Johann Heinrich Brockmann, Wisconsin Synod pastor and Indian Mission Board member, died (b. 8 February 1833, Bergen, near Celle).

1908 Johann Friedrich Köstering, pioneer St. Louis pastor and author of a history of the Saxon Immigration, died (or January 21; b. 20 February 1830, Hannover).

1918 In Russia all church properties were confiscated and all religious instruction in the schools was abolished following the Bolshevik Revolution.

1941 The Columbus Conference to coordinate Lutheran efforts for orphans and servicemen opened.