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

Today in History

December 15

37 Nero, the Roman emperor who was the scourge of early Christians, was born (d. 9 June 68).

1620 Adam Drese, pietistic composer, was born in Thuringia (d. 15 February 1701).

1634 Thomas Kingo, Denmark’s first great hymnist, was born in Slangerup, Denmark, perhaps of Scottish descent (d. 14 October 1703).

1754 Paul Henkel, home missionary of the eighteenth-century Lutheran Church, was born near Salisbury, North Carolina (d. 27 November 1825).

1791 The Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution came into effect upon ratification by three-fourths of the states.

1808 Henry F. Chorley, English music journalist, was born in Blackley, England (d. 16 February 1872, London, England).

1811 Johannes Theodorus Vanderkemp, missionary to South Africa, died in South Africa (b. 1747 in Rotterdam, Holland).

1830 Lewis Henry Redner, American Episcopal organist and composer, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 29 August 1908).

1837 Ethelbert William Bullinger, Anglican clergyman and hymn tune composer, was born in Canterbury, England (d. 6 June 1913, Hendon, London, England).

1843 A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson, Anglican clergyman and founder of the Christian Alliance and the International Missionary Alliance, was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada (d. 29 October 1919).

1880 Oswald W. Kreinheder was born in Buffalo, New York (d. 31 July 1942). He graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1904 and served as pastor at Saint Mark Lutheran Church, West Henrietta, New York (1904-1910); Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (1910-1916); and Concordia Lutheran Church, Conover, North Carolina (1916-1918). He became president of Concordia College (Conover, North Carolina) in 1918 and served until December 1927, when he became pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Irvington, Baltimore, Maryland. He was secretary of the Mission Board of the Southeastern District, Missouri Synod, and chair of the Baltimore Pastoral Conference.

1896 Thomas B. Pollock, hymnist, died at Birmingham, England (b. 28 May 1836, Strathallan, Isle of Man).

1900 Count Leo Tolstoy (18281910) wrote to the tsar asking him to end religious persecution in Russia.

1907 Concordia College at Portland, Oregon, was dedicated.

1930 Gerhard Friedrich Bente died at Redwood City, California (b. 22 January 1858).

1982 Walter H. Ellwanger died in Austin, Texas (b. 22 April 1897, New Middleton, Indiana). He was a 1921 graduate of Indiana University and a 1928 graduate of Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis). He received a masters degree from the University of Chicago in 1930. Ellwanger served parishes in Missouri and Indiana from 1928 to 1945, including thirteen years as a city missionary in Saint Louis. In 1945 he accepted the call of the Lutheran Synodical Conference Missionary Board to be superintendent of the Alabama field of the African American mission. In 1952 Ellwanger became president of Alabama Lutheran Academy and College, now known as Concordia College, in Selma. He retired in 1967, served vacant congregations in Alabama, Florida and Texas and moved to Austin in 1974. Concordia College (Seward, Nebraska) awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1964.

2009 Oral Roberts, American evangelist, died in Newport Beach, California (b. 24 January 1918, Ada, Oklahoma).