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

Today in History

February 26

398 John Chrysostom (ca. 347–ca. 407) became bishop of Constantinople. He was known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, his divine liturgy and his ascetic sensibilities. C. F. W. Walther, however, wrote that he was “poor at distinguishing Law and Gospel and constantly and dangerously mingled them” (Law and Gospel, p. 37).

1003 Adelheid of Willich (ca. 9701015) was appointed abbess of Saint Maria in Capitolis in Cologne by Emperor Henry II.

1401 William Sawtrey (d. March 1401), an English priest who followed the teachings of John Wycliffe, was condemned for heresy.

1531 David Chytraeus, a leading Lutheran theologian and one of the authors of the Formula of Concord, was born at Ingelfingen, Württemberg (d. 25 June 1600).

1807 Johann Friedrich Karl Keil, German Lutheran Bible scholar, was born (d. 5 May 1888).

1835 An edict was issued by Ranavalona I (ca. 17821861), Queen of Madagascar, forbidding the newly established Christian faith. The church in Madagascar had been planted by Welsh missionary David Jones, who had returned home because of failing health in 1831 after spending thirteen years in the field.

1846 George C. Stebbins, American Baptist music evangelist and composer, was born in East Carlton, Orleans County, New York (d. 6 October 1945).

1852 Thomas Moore, hymnist, died (b. 28 May 1779, Dublin, Ireland).

1857 Henry Philip Ludwig Birkner, vice-president of the Atlantic District of the Missouri Synod, 1915 to 1918, and president of the district from 1918 to 1930. was born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 7 November 1932, Chicago).

1857 American Congregational clergyman Charles Monroe Sheldon, author of more than fifty books and editor of the Christian Herald, was born in Wellsville, New York (d. 24 February 1946). His most famous work, In His Steps (1896), has sold more than 23 millions copies and spawned the recent What Would Jesus Do? phenomenon.

1873 Protestant Christianity was introduced in Japan.

1899 Martin C. Barthel, first manager of Concordia Publishing House, died (b. 12 February 1838).

1914 Samuel R. Driver (b. 2 October 1846), English Old Testament scholar, died.

1933 Heinrich Zacharias Stallmann, president of the Lutheran Free Church in Germany, died (b. 15 August 1847, Bremen, Germany).

1963 The Lutheran World Federation radio station opened at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

1978 Alumni Hall at Concordia College (Edmonton, Alberta) was destroyed by fire. The hall, built in 1953, was a combined gymnasium-auditorium. In addition to the building, the offices of eight professors, a photography shop, the print shop, a typing classroom, all of the college's athletic and dramatic equipment and much of its audiovisual equipment were destroyed.

1997 Alfred O. Fuerbringer, president of Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), died (b. 11 August 1903, Saint Louis). The son of Ludwig Fuerbringer, professor and president at the Saint Louis seminary, he was educated at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and Concordia Seminary. He served as pastor at Norman and Okmulgee, Oklahoma, and Leavenworth, Kansas. He was president of the Seward college from 1941 to 1953 and of the seminary from 1953 to 1969. He was later associated with Concordia Seminary in Exile/Christ SeminarySeminex from 1974 to 1983. On four occasions after 1948 he was sent to Europe to work toward improvement in theological education and world missions. In 19571958 he was sent to Asia to study seminaries there. He also visited seminaries in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. He played a part in the organization of the Foundation for Reformation Research, serving as its first president (19571964) and as executive director (19651966). He was president of the National Lutheran Education Conference in 1964.