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

Today in History

July 17

431 The Council of Ephesus adjourned. It was the third of seven ecumenical councils of the church and was chiefly noted for its condemnation of Nestorianism (which denied the real unity of the divine and human natures in the Person of Christ), defining Mary’s title as “Theotokos” (“Bearer of God”) and condemning Pelagianism (the belief that human nature could take the initial steps toward salvation by self-effort, unaided by divine grace).

1245 The First Council of Lyon adjourned, having held three sessions after convening on June 28.

1274 The Second Council of Lyon adjourned, having held six sessions after convening on May 7. Lyons II achieved a temporary reunification of Rome and the separated eastern churches as well as issuing regulations for papal elections.

1505 Twenty-one year-old Martin Luther presented himself to and entered the monastery of the Augustinian Eremites in Erfurt, Germany.

1566 Bartolomé de Las Casas, missionary to the Indies, priest and defender of the oppressed, died (b. 24 August 1484).

1674 Isaac Watts, pioneer in modern English hymnody, was born at Southampton, England (d. 25 November 1748).

1756 Johann Friedrich Starck, devotional writer and author of a popular prayer book, died in Frankfurt am Main (b. 10 October 1680, Hildesheim). [German Wikipedia article]

1796 John Christopher Hartwick, Lutheran pastor and benefactor, died (b. 6 January 1714).

1799 Samuel Medley, English hymnist, died at Liverpool (b. 23 June 1738).

1820 The Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod was founded at Solomon’s Church, Cove Creek, Green County, Tennessee by Paul Henkel and Jacob Zink of Virginia.

1836 William White (b. 4 April 1748), American patriarch of the Protestant Episcopal Church, died.

1845 Franconian Lutherans under August Friedrich Crämer (18121891) arrived in Monroe, Michigan.

1856 A disastrous railroad accident near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, took the lives of some sixty-six children during a Sunday-school outing.

1863 David Oliver Allen, American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionary to India, died (b. 1800).

1904 Friedrich Reinhold Eduard Preuss, professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) who later became a Roman Catholic, died (b. 10 July 1834).

1918 A planning meeting to form the National Lutheran Council was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

1939 Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter (b. 5 December 1855), American Methodist evangelist and hymnist, died.

1942 The New Tribes Mission was organized in both Los Angeles and Chicago by Paul W. Fleming.

1950 Evangeline Booth (b. 25 December 1865), Salvation Army general, died.

1987 Ewald Justus Otto, pastor, died in Quincy, Illinois (b. 14 August 1914). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1939. In 1940 he founded Our Redeemer Lutheran Church (Quincy, Illinois), where he served as pastor until his retirement in 1982. He served as chairman of the Saint Louis seminary’s Board of Control (Regents) from 1973 to 1986.