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

Today in History

September 15

608 Saint Boniface IV becomes Pope (ca. 550615).

921 Saint Ludmila of Bohemia was murdered at the command of her daughter-in-law at Tetin (b. ca. 860).

1500 John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, died (b. ca. 1420).

1514 Thomas Wolsey (ca. 14751530) was appointed Archbishop of York.

1526 The New Testament was first published in the Swedish language.

1590 Giambattista Catagna was elected as Pope Urban VII (15211590). He died thirteen days later.

1644 Giambattista Pamfili became Pope Innocent X (15741655), succeeding Pope Urban VIII (15681644).

1648 The Larger and the Shorter Catechisms used by Presbyterian congregations were approved by the British Parliament.

1649 John Floyd, English Jesuit preacher, died (b. 1572).

1729 Fifty-nine families (126 people) of the Church of the Brethren (Conservative Dunkers; German Baptist Brethren Church, Conservative) arrived in Philadelphia after crossing the Atlantic.

1750 Charles Theodore Pachelbel, German composer, organist and harpsichordist, son of Johann Pachelbel, died (b. 24 November 1690).

1815 The Basel Missionary Society was organized.

1835 The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin (18091882) aboard, reached the Galápagos Islands.

1853 John Henry Christian Käppel, director of Saint Paul's College (Concordia, Missouri) from 1888 to 1925, was born at Cleveland, Ohio (d. 3 February 1925).

1853 Antoinette Brown (18251921) became the first woman ordained in America. Her ordination occurred in the Congregational church in South Butler, New York. Miss Brown was an 1847 graduate of Oberlin College before she went on to become its first female theology student.

1865 Knut Gjerset, American Norwegian Lutheran professor, was born in Romsdal, Norway (d. 30 October 1936).

1867 John Mühlhäuser, founder of the Wisconsin Synod, died (b. 9 August 1804, Notzingen, Württemberg).

1885 Adam Geibel, American sacred music publisher, was born in Baden, Germany (d. 3 August 1933).

1891 Arnold C. Mueller was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (d. 9 November 1980, Saint Louis, Missouri). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1914 and served congregations in Ontario, Pennsylvania and Indiana. From 1929 to 1932 he served on the Mission Board of the Central District of the Missouri Synod. From 1933 until 1966 he was the Sunday school editor for the synod in Saint Louis.

1900 Luther Alexander Gotwald, American Lutheran theologian and educator, died (b. 31 January 1833).

1905 Samuel G. Green (b. 1822), English Baptist preacher, died. He began his career as a pastor in 1844 but switched to teaching in 1851. He later worked with both the London Religious Tract Society and the John Rylands Library. His most important book is the Handbook to the Grammar of the Greek Testament, written for beginning Greek students.

1920 In the encyclical “Spiritus ParaclitusPope Benedict XV (18541922) restated the Catholic position on Scripture as “composed by men inspired of the Holy Ghost, has God Himself as its principal author, the individual authors constituted as His live instruments; their activity, however, ought not be described as automatic writing.”

1929 Eva Burrows, thirteenth Salvation Army General, was born.

1931 George H. Trabert, hymn translator, died in Minneapolis (b. 16 October 1843, Learock, Pennsylvania).

1932 Charles H. Gabriel (b. 18 August 1856), American sacred music composer, died.

1935 In Germany, the Nuremberg Laws were enacted by the Nazi Party. These regulations deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited intermarriage with Jews. It was also on this date that Nazi Germany adopted a new national flag featuring the swastika.

1952 The European Bible Institute, founded in 1949 by Robert P. Evans, adopted the new name Greater Europe Mission.

1961 The Baptist World Mission was founded in Chicago, Illinois.

1963 In a racially motivated attack, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, killing four girls.

1966 The American Bible Society published its first edition of Good News for Modern Man, the New Testament of Today’s English Version of the Bible.

1972 Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury (19451961), died (b. 5 May 1887).

1983 Joseph G. Lavalais, second vice-president of the Missouri Synod, died (b. 13 September 1913). Lavalais, pastor of Saint Philip Lutheran Church (Philadelphia) since 1943, was the first African American to be elected to a vice-presidency in the synod. He had been elected second vice-president in 1981 and was elected third vice-president in July 1983. He would have been installed on 25 September. A 1937 graduate of Immanuel Lutheran Seminary (Greensboro, North Carolina), he was ordained in 1938 and served a number of parishes in Alabama. During the 1970s Lavalais chaired the synod's Black Centennial Committee and served on the Black Task Force. He was a member of the missionary board of the former Synodical Conference from 1958 to 1965. In recognition of his service, Concordia Theological Seminary, then located at Springfield, Illinois, awarded him an honorary doctor of divinity degree.

1993 Lorenz A. Buuck died at Fort Wayne, Indiana (b. 16 July 1905, Van Wert County, Ohio). He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1930 and served as a missionary to China for many years. He also served parishes in Arcadia and Noblesville, Indiana; Garfield and Ormsby, Minnesota; and Mattoon, Wisconsin.

1999 E. George Becker died in Georgetown, Texas (b. 1923). Becker graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois) in 1950 and served parishes in Arapahoe, Nebraska; Stillwater, Oklahoma (campus ministry); Rockford, Illinois; College Station, Texas (campus ministry). He also taught at Concordia College (Austin, Texas) from 1967 to 1977 and was professor of sociology and associate dean of arts and sciences at Concordia Teachers College (Seward, Nebraska) from 1977 to 1987, when he retired. He was student coordinator (19541957) and circuit counselor (19571958) in the Oklahoma District and chairman of the missionary conference in the Northern Illinois District (19581959). He was a graduate of Saint John’s College (Winfield, Kansas) and Concordia Teachers College (River Forest, Illinois) and earned his master of divinity degree from the Springfield seminary in 1950 and a doctorate from Texas A&M in 1968. Following his retirement, he served pastorates in Taylor, Rockdale and Walburg, Texas.