The Nativity of Our Lord —
(ca. 466–511), who
united Gaul and founded France, was baptized in the
Cathedral of Rheims followed by 3,000 of his soldiers.
I, longest reigning pope of the first millennium up to
his time, died in Rome.
(742 or 747–814) was
crowned emperor of the Romans (Holy Roman Emperor) by Pope
Leo III at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).
Andreas Karlstadt (1486–1541), pastor of the Wittenberg
city parish church, gave Communion in German and allowed the
laity to take the bread and wine in their hands.
Praise to Thee, Eternal God”
was published for Christmas.
1525 The first completely German mass was held in
Orlando Gibbons, organist and composer, was born at
Cambridge, England (d. 5 June 1625). He used only English in
the text of his music.
1624 Johann Scheffler, known as
Angelus Silesius, hymnist, was baptized in Breslau,
Silesia (d. 9 July 1677).
1642 English mathematician and physicist
Isaac Newton was born (d. 31 March 1727). Deeply
interested in religion throughout his life, Newton (known
especially for formulating the laws of gravitation)
acknowledged Jesus as Savior of the world but not as God
German Baptists (the Dunkards) held their first
immersion service in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania.
1734 Johann Sebastian Bach’s
Christmas Oratorio was first performed in Leipzig.
Joseph Humphreys (b. 28 October 1720), hymnist, was
expelled from seminary for following the teachings of George
Whitefield and the Wesleys.
Awake, Salute the Happy Morn”
was written as a Christmas present by
for his daughter Dolly.
1745 Johann E. Schmidt, hymnist, died at Siebleben,
near Gotha (b. 12 January 1670, Hohenfelden, near Erfurt).
He was educated at Jena, Erfurt and Leipzig. He became
curate in 1697 then pastor at Siebleben, near Gotha.
[The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, comp. W. G.
Polack (Saint Louis: CPH, 1942): 574]
Boos, German Roman Catholic theologian, was born at
Huttenried, Bavaria (d. 29 August 1825).
Christmas Evans, Welsh Baptist preacher, was born near
Cardigan, Wales (d. 19 July 1838).
(Clarissa Harlowe) Barton, American humanitarian and
founder of the American Red Cross, was born in Oxford,
Massachusetts (d. 12 April 1912).
Michael Wolf Hamma, president of the General Synod from
1897 to 1899, was born in Richland County, Ohio (d. June 3,
Justin Edwards Abbott, Presbyterian missionary to India,
was born at Portsmouth, New Hampshire (d. 1932).
Evangeline Cory Booth, English social reformer and
fourth general of The Salvation Army, was born in London,
England (d. 17 July 1950).
Little Town of Bethlehem”
was first sung.
Friedrich Joseph Josenhans, inspector of the Basel
Mission Society, died at Leonberg (b. 1812, Stuttgart).
1895 Oscar E. Feucht was born in Cuyahoga Falls,
Ohio (d. 19 June 1982). After attending Concordia College
(Fort Wayne), he graduated from Concordia Seminary (Saint
Louis) in 1920. The seminary also bestowed on him an
honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1955. He served as
pastor to four parishes in Logan County, Tennessee, from
1920 to 1925. From 1925 to 1945 he was the pastor of Calvary
Lutheran Church (Kansas City, Missouri). In 1946 he was
appointed Secretary of Adult Education for the Missouri
Synod Board of Parish Education. He was the author of
Everyone a Minister (1974).
J. (John) Wilbur Chapman (b. 17 June 1859), American
Presbyterian evangelist, died.
1931 Missionary radio station
HCJB, located in Quito, Ecuador, under the World Radio
Missionary Fellowship, Inc., first began broadcasting the
Gospel to the nations of Eastern Asia.
1950 The Lutheran Hour began in Beirut, Lebanon.
Theodore Gerhardt Tappert, professor of church history
at Lutheran Theological Seminary (Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania), died (b. 5 May 1904, Meriden, Connecticut).
1982 Edward Julius Friedrich, superintendent at
the Lutheran Sanatorium in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, and
executive director of the Wheat Ridge Foundation, died (b.
19 May 1889). He served at the sanatorium, which later
became Lutheran Medical Center, from 1940 to retirement in
1958. Though blind for thirty years, he taught Bible classes
and preached until June 1982, when he was critically injured
in an auto accident. Friedrich taught at Concordia Seminary
(Saint Louis) from 1930 to 1940. He had also served as a
vice-president of the Missouri Synod and as president of the