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

Today in History

February 27

272 (ca.) Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to be converted to the Christian faith (ca. 312), was born (d. 22 March 337).

380 Roman emperor Theodosius (347395) made Christianity the official law of the land.

1501 Antonius Corvinus (Rabe), Reformation preacher, was born at Warburg (d. 5 April 1553, Hanover). [German Wikipedia article]

1526 John the Constant (14681532) signed a treaty with Philip of Hesse (15041567) leading to the First Diet of Speyer.

1531 The Schmalkaldic League was formed by evangelical princes for defense against attacks threatened by the emperor, the diet and the leagues of Dessau and Regensburg.

1607 Christian Keimann, hymnist, was born at Pankratz, Bohemia (d. 13 January 1662).

1797 Johann W. Meinhold, hymnist, was born at Netzelkon on the island of Usedom off the coast of Pomerania (d. 30 November 1851).

1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet and hymnist, was born at Portland, Maine (d. 24 March 1882).

1837 Clemens Esaias Haentzschel, a professor at the Missouri Synod teachers seminary in Addison, Illinois, was born in Meissen, Saxony (d. 21 October 1890).

1838 William J. Kirkpatrick, American Methodist music composer, was born in Duncannon, Pennsylvania (d. 20 September 1921, Germantown, Pennsylvania).

1840 Richard Handmann, missionary to India, was born at Oschitz, near Schleiz, Germany (d. 7 December 1912).

1843 Joseph Yates Peek, American Methodist composer, was born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 17 March 1911, Brooklyn).

1848 Immanuel Lutheran Church (Saint Louis) was dedicated. From Der Lutheraner 14:4 (7 March 1848): “This past Sexagesima Sunday and the day after [27–28 February of that year] the local German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession* had the pleasure of being able to dedicate its newly constructed second church in the northern part of the city. The church has received the name Immanuel Church. Present and participating on this occasion, besides the two pastors of the congregation, Buenger and Walther, were pastors Fuerbringer, Fick, Schieferdecker, Lochner and Mueller. Praise be to the One to whom alone all honor is due!  Amen.”

*This was the original official name of the Saint Louis congregation organized by the Saxons in 1839. Often referred to as the “Gesamtgemeinde,” the parish eventually comprised four district churches: Trinity, Immanuel, Zion and Holy Cross (originally Concordia). Each was served by a local pastor with C. F. W. Walther as the senior pastor of the entire parish. The districts became separate congregations after Walther’s death.

1849 William Jewell College was chartered in Liberty, Missouri, under Baptist sponsorship.

1867 Percy Dearmer, hymn translator, was born in London (d. 29 May 1936, London, England).

1871 Lewis Sperry Chafer, American Presbyterian educator, was born in Rock Creek, Ohio (d. 22 August 1952).

1873 Johannes Peter Carl Meyer, professor in the Wisconsin Synod, was born in Zittau, Winnebago County, Wisconsin (d. 10 November 1964).

1907 The Foreign Mission Ladies Aid Society was organized in Saint Louis.

1924 Jeff G. Johnson Jr. was born in Los Angeles, California (d. 16 June 1998, Los Angeles). He was educated at California Concordia College (Oakland) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), becoming the first African American graduate of the seminary in 1948. He did graduate study at Saint Louis University, Washington University (Saint Louis), the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Southern California (Ph.D. in sociology in 1961) and the University of Colorado. He served from 1948 to 1961 as a pastor in Detroit, Michigan; East Saint Louis, Illinois; and Indianapolis, Indiana. From 1962 to 1984 he was a professor in the Sociology Department at Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, Indiana) and chair of the department from 1974 to 1980. He served from 1986 to 1995 as a member of the Missouri Synod's Commission on Black Ministry and was a consultant to the synod's Commission on Theology and Church Relations for its 1994 document “Racism and the Church: Overcoming the Idolatry.” He was the author of Black Christians: The Untold Lutheran Story in the Concordia Scholarship Today Series (CPH, 1991).

1926 John Alden Singmaster, president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and of the General Synod, died (b. 31 August 1852, Macungie, near Allentown, Pennsylvania).

1963 C. Harold Lowden (b. 12 October 1883), American Evangelical and Reformed (now United Church of Christ) sacred music artist, died.

1977 The Evangelical Lutheran Church-Synod of France and Belgium celebrated its 50th anniversary. Pastors from The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod helped establish this synod after World War I. Rev. Martin Strassen was the first president of the synod.