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

Today in History

March 29

1058 Pope Stephen IX died (b. ca. 1020).

1139 In the bull Omne Datum Optimum Pope Innocent II (d. 1143) granted the Knights Templar papal approval and made them an independent unit within the church. Created to protect pilgrims from bandits in the Holy Land, the Templars rose in influence and wealth and eventually earned the jealousy of other Christians.

1484 Johann Spangenburg, pastor and supporter of Martin Luther, was born (d. 1550).

1602 John Lightfoot, English churchman and rabbinical scholar, was born (d. 6 December 1675).

1638 Swedish settlers bought land along the Delaware River from Native Americans, creating the first Lutheran settlement in America.

1708 Samuel Rodigast, hymnist, died in Berlin (b. 19 October 1649).

1779 Christian Heinrich Zeller, educator, was born in castle Hohen-Entringer, near Tuebingen, Germany (d. 18 May 1860). [ German Wikipedia article]

1788 Charles Wesley, English hymn writer, died. Charles (b. 18 December 1707) was the brother of the English founder of Methodism, John Wesley.

1824 Hans Nielsen Hauge, Norwegian lay preacher, died (b. 3 April 1771).

1847 Winfield Scott Weeden, American sacred music chorister and hymn writer, was born in Middleport, Ohio (d. 31 July 1908).

1856 Johannes Spiecker, Rhenish Missions director, was born in Boppard, Germany (d. 1920).

1864 Ludwig Ernst Fuerbringer, president of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), was born in Frankenmuth, Michigan (d. 6 May 1947, Saint Louis, Missouri).

1866 John Keble, Anglican clergyman, leader of the Oxford Movement, hymnist and poet, died at Bournemouth (b. 25 April 1792).

1882 The Roman Catholic lay fraternal society, the Knights of Columbus, was chartered in New Haven, Connecticut.

1883 Theodore Gutknecht was born in Caledonia, Minnesota (d. 2 January 1960). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1907 and served from 1907 to 1916 and from 1922 to 1929 as a missionary to India. From 1924 to 1928 he served as the first president of Concordia Seminary, Nagercoil, India.

1887 Ray Palmer, hymnist, died in Newark, New Jersey (b. 12 November 1808).

1892 József Cardinal Mindszenty, Hungarian Catholic cardinal and steadfast opponent of the Hungarian Communist regime, was born (d. 6 May 1975).

1897 Karl H. Henrichs was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1920 and served as an assistant pastor at Saint Paul Lutheran Church (Cleveland, Ohio) from 1920 to 1922. He became an assistant professor at Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) in 1922 and was a full professor there beginning in 1926.

1906 E. Power Biggs American concert organist, was born (d. 10 March 1977).

1907 William H. Schweppe, first full-time missionary for the Lutheran Synodical Conference in Nigeria, was born at Saint James, Minnesota. He was educated at Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin) and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (Mequon), where he graduated in 1932. His only stateside parish was at Osceola-Saint Croix Falls, Minnesota, where he served for three years. He was called to take over the work begun by Henry Nau among the Ibibios in Nigeria's Calabar area. Under his leadership a strong indigenous church was built. He later worked among the Sala people in Northern Rhodesia (now the Republic of Zambia), serving at the Lumano Mission on the Sala Reserve until his death in a motor accident on 15 July 1968 at Mazabuka, Zambia.

1908 Emil A. Heino born in Ashtabula, Ohio. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1934 and served as a pastor in Ely and Sebeka, Minnesota, and Ashtabula, Ohio. He was vice-president and president of the National Evangelical Lutheran Church. He retired in 1984.

1914 The first baptism by a Missouri Synod missionary in China took place.

1943 William Henry Behrens, president of the Oregon and Washington District of the LCMS, died (b. 6 December 1870).

1951 A conference was held in Oslo, Norway beginning on this date and continuing through 31 March between representatives of the Anglican Church, the Church of Denmark, the Church of Iceland and the Church of Norway with a view toward establishing closer relations. An earlier meeting had been held by the four above-mentioned churches in 1947. Limited altar fellowship was established, with the Church of Norway expressing a general position of open communion.

1985 Peter R. Hunt died in Pensacola, Florida (b. 23 November 1901). He graduated from Immanuel Lutheran Seminary (Greensboro, North Carolina) in 1936 and served as a pastor in Bashi, Vineland, Pine Hill, Arlington, Nyland, Sardis, Oak Hill and Acherville, Alabama. He was also president of the Alabama Lutheran Academy and College (Selma, Alabama). He retired in 1973.