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

Today in History

December 29

1170 Thomas Becket (b. ca. 1118), Archbishop of Canterbury, was martyred.

1809 William E. Gladstone, British statesman, was born in Liverpool, England (d. 19 May 1898, Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales).

1821 Matthias Sheeleigh, president and secretary of the General Synod, editor and co-editor of several periodicals, author and poet, was born in Charlestown, Chester County, Pennsylvania (d. 15 July 1900).

1823 Thomas Cotterill, hymnist, died at Sheffield (b. 4 December 1779, Cannock, Staffordshire, England).

1832 Francis Pott, hymn translator, was born in England (d. 26 October 1909, Speldhurst, Kent, England).

1851 Henry Jacob Schuh, president of Capital University (Columbus, Ohio) and president of the Western District of the Ohio Synod, was born in Bauernhoff of Maisbach, Germany (d. 7 September 1934).

1851 The first YMCA in the U.S. was organized in Boston, Massachusetts.

1860 The Holston Synod was organized in Sullivan County, Tennessee. It included congregations in Tennessee and western Virginia.

1865 Benjamin Kurtz, influential General Synod writer and editor, died (b. 28 February 1795 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania).

1868 Robert Campbell, hymn translator, died at Edinburgh, Scotland (b. 19 December 1814).

1868 Roland Allen, a Society for Propagating the Gospel missionary to North China, navy chaplain and writer on mission methods, was born, in or near Bristol, England (d. 1947).

1876 Philip P. Bliss, religious composer, died in a tragic railroad accident near Ashtabula, Ohio (b. 9 July 1838).

1894 Christina G. Rossetti, religious poet, died at Saint Giles, London, England (b. 5 December 1830, Saint Pancras, London, England).

1898 The first Lutheran General Conference was held in Philadelphia.

1957 Saint Mark Lutheran Chapel, Cha Kwo Ling, Hong Kong, was dedicated.

1962 Theodore Ferdinand Karl Laetsch, professor at Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis), died (b. 11 February 1877 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin).

1980 John R. Rice (b. 11 December 1895), American Baptist evangelist and editor, died.

1983 Eugene R. Bertermann, veteran churchman and religious broadcasting pioneer, died in Akron, Ohio (b. 2 September 1914). At the time of his death, he was a member of the Missouri Synod Board for Mission Services. He had held membership on that board and its predecessor boards at various intervals since the mid-1950s. Bertermann also served as stewardship counselor for the Lutheran Bible Translators-Messengers of Christ, Inc. He was executive director of the International Lutheran Laymens League from 1967 to 1971, and his early close involvement with The Lutheran Hour radio broadcast led to a keen interest in spreading the Gospel over the airwaves. He began working with The Lutheran Hour in 1935 and became a close associate and personal advisor of its speaker, Walter A. Maier, until Maiers death in 1950. He was also instrumental in establishing Lutheran Hour broadcasting in Japan and Hong Kong and traveled worldwide on behalf of the program and in connection with his service on the mission boards of the synod. From 1959 to 1967 Bertermann served as executive secretary of Lutheran Television and as executive director of the Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod Foundation. In 1971 Bertermann became executive director of the Far East Broadcasting Co. Under his administration Far East Broadcasting constructed two powerful medium-wave facilities in Korea and the Philippines, significantly increasing the possibilities of beaming the Gospel into the Orient. From 1957 to 1975 he was president of the National Religious Broadcasters and was secretary of its board at the time of his death. He served on numerous other boards, including Lutheran Braille Workers, Inc. and Pacific States University, Los Angeles. He had recently been elected president of Religion in Media. A graduate of Concordia College (Milwaukee, 1933) and Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis, 1937), he received both master's and doctor of philosophy degrees from Washington University (Saint Louis).