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

Today in History

September 27

1540 Through the encyclical Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae, Pope Paul III (1468–1549; pope, 1534–1549) officially approved the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), founded in 1534 by Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556).

1590 Pope Urban VII (b. 4 August 1521) died thirteen days after being chosen as the pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

1616 Peter Frank, composer, was born at Schlausingen. He studied theology at Jena about 1636. In 1640 he was at the University at Altorf. Frank worked as a Hofmeister from 1643 to 1645, when he received a position as a pastor. As such he served churches in Thüngen, Rossfeld, Rodach, Gleussen and Herreth. He died 22 June 1675. [The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, comp. W. G. Polack (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1942): 508]

1627 Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, French bishop and author, was born (d. 12 April 1704). He was one of the first to advocate the theory of political absolutism; he made the argument that government was divine and that kings received their power from God.

1643 Solomon Stoddard, Puritan religious leader and grandfather of Jonathan Edwards (17031758), was born (d. 11 February, 1728/9).

1660 Vincent de Paul, founder of the first Confraternity of Charity in 1617, the Congregation of the Mission in 1625 and the Daughters of Charity, died (b. 24 April 1576).

1696 Alphonsus Liguori, Italian founder of the Redemptorist order, was born (d. 1 August 1787).

1700 Pope Innocent XII died (b. 13 March 1615).

1719 George Smalridge, English Bishop of Bristol, died (b. 18 March 1662).

1735 Robert Robinson, English clergyman and hymnist, was born in Norfolk, England (d. 8 June 1790, Showell Green, Warwickshire, England).

1742 Hugh Boulter, Irish Archbishop of Armagh, died (b. 4 January 1672).

1793 Denis Auguste Affre, archbishop of Paris, was born at Aveyron, France (d. 27 June 1848).

1805 George Müller, English philanthropist, was born near Magdeburg, Germany (d. 10 March 1898).

1817 The Prussian Union of Lutheran and Reformed churches was proclaimed by Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia (17701840) in Potsdam.

1822 Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832) announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta Stone.

1829 Mount Ararat, the mountain in Turkey that is believed by some to hold the remains of Noah's Ark, was first climbed in modern times by Dr. J. J. Parrot.

1857 August Otto Wilhelm Pieper, professor at Wauwatosa and theologian of the Wisconsin Synod, was born in Carwitz, Pomerania (d. 23 December 1946).

1867 W. E. Biederwolf, American Presbyterian evangelist, was born in Monticello, Indiana (d. 3 September 1939).

1872 Bentley DeForest Ackley, American sacred composer, was born in Spring Hill, Pennsylvania (d. 3 September 1958, Winona Lake, Indiana).

1899 James Ellor (b. 26 November 1819), English-born American hat maker and hymn tune composer, died.

1901 F. Wilbur Gingrich, American Evangelical United Brethren (United Methodist) New Testament scholar and translator of the  Bauer-Danker Greek lexicon, was born in Annville, Pennsylvania (d. 19 October 1993, Reading, Pennsylvania).

1914 Edward L. Arndt (1864–1929) baptized the first Chinese converts at his mission in Hankow.

1914 Catherine (nee Wood) Marshall LeSourd, American Christian writer, was born in Johnson City, Tennessee (d. March 1983). She became a best-selling author with the publication of A Man Called Peter, a biography of her first husband, Peter Marshall, chaplain of the U.S. Senate.

1929 Gottlieb Bender Christiansen, United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America president and professor, died (b. 27 October 1851, Vejlby, near Assens, Fyn, Denmark).

1944 Aimee Semple McPherson (b. 9 October 1890), founder of the Church of the Foursquare Gospel, died.

1947 The Church of South India was formed by the merger of three denominations: the Anglican Church (dioceses of Madras, Tinnevelly, Travancore and Chocin and Dornakal plus dioceses of the Church of India, Burma and Ceylon), the South India province of the Methodist Church and the South India United Church (formed originally by a 1908 union of Presbyterian and Congregational churches). The merger was the first union ever between episcopal (bishop-led) and non-episcopal (congregation-led) bodies.

1948 The Family Worship Hour, a ministry of the Lutheran Laymen’s League, was first broadcast over eleven stations.

1949 A committee of thirty-four met to consider organic union of various American Lutheran church bodies.

1957 The half-hour dramatic anthology series Crossroads aired for the last time over ABC television. Depicting the work of clergymen, the series had premiered two years earlier in October 1955.

1958 Saint Paul Lutheran Church and School, Macau, was dedicated.

1971 Erich Hugo Heintzen, professor at Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), died (b. 17 February 1908, New Orleans, Louisiana).

1978 Michael J. Stelmachowicz (1927–2009) was inaugurated as president of Concordia Teachers College (now Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska). He was the school’s seventh president and the first who was also a graduate of the college.