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

Today in History

August 17

Johann Gerhard, Theologian

1544 The Lutheran University at Königsberg (now Immanuel Kant State University of Russia) was founded.

1635 Richard Mather (1596–1669) arrived in Boston. He became the founder of the “Mather Dynasty,” three generations of New England ministers who dominated the religious policies of the Puritan communities of their day.

1639 Martin Opitz (1597–1639), hymnist, was accosted by a beggar diseased by the plague. Opitz died three days later.

1643 The Solemn League and Covenant was accepted by the Scottish General Assembly. Written by Alexander Henderson (ca. 1583–1646), it gave Scottish Presbyterians the same legal rights as the Anglicans in England.

1761 William Carey, Baptist pathfinder in England for modern missions and a missionary to India, was born in Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, England (d. 9 June 1834).

1780 George Croly, Irish churchman, was born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 24 November 1860).

1806 Peter Richard Kenrick, archbishop of Saint Louis from 1847 to 1896, was born (d. 4 March 1896).

1807 Asahel Grant, missionary to Persia, was born in Marshall, New York (d. 24 April 1844).

1809 Thomas Campbell (1763–1854) and a group of followers formed the Christian Association of Washington (Pennsylvania).

1828 George W. Warren, composer, was born in Albany, New York (d. 17 March 1902, New York City).

1832 Pour Out Thy Spirit from on High was written by James Montgomery (17711854).

1836 The Leipzig Evangelical Lutheran Mission Society was founded.

1839 Hubert P. Main, American sacred music editor, was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut (d. 7 October 1925, Newark, New Jersey).

1851 Henry Drummond, Scottish biologist and religious writer, was born at Stirling, Scotland (d. 11 March 1897).

1893 George Walter Gaertner was born in Evanston, Illinois (d. 28 May 1968, Oakland, California). He worked much of his life as a missionary to the deaf and deaf-blind, first in Seattle and then in Oakland, California. For a time he also taught at Concordia College (Oakland). From 1950 to 1964 he served as the regional counselor for the Missouri Synod's Board of Missions to the Deaf.

1910 Herman Charles Scherer was born in Saint Louis, Missouri (d. 31 December 1979, Saint Louis, Missouri). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1935 and served congregations in Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. He served the Western District as executive secretary of stewardship, on the Board for Public Relations, as vice-president and on the stewardship counsel. He also served the Missouri District as president and the Southeastern District as circuit counselor and secretary of the mission board.

1984 Harold V. Huber, president of the Missouri Synod’s Montana District, died in Billings, Montana (b. 25 February 1924, Freeman, South Dakota). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1947 and served parishes in Bateman and Kelstern, Saskatchewan; Oakes, North Dakota; and Kalispell and Billings, Montana. He was a circuit counselor in the Manitoba-Saskatchewan and North Dakota districts and vice-president and president of the North Dakota and Montana districts, serving as president of the latter from 1977 until his death.