Birthdays on January 14
Albert Schweitzer was born in Kaysersberg, Alsace. His father was an Evangelical Lutheran pastor and young Albert had an excellent education. He became famous in four fields. First, he was not only a musician (a great organist) but he built his own organs, each a masterpiece and analysed the music of Bach. At age 30 he studied medicine, and is best known for his medical work In Africa. He was also a philosopher of note whose ideas might not have been fully orthodox; nonetheless he believed firmly in the resurrection. Because of his selfless service to the people of Gabon, Africa, he is also known as a missionary! At Lamberene, Gabon, he founded the Schweitzer Hospital, on the Ogooue River "at the edge of the primeval forest." In 1952 he received the Nobel Peace prize.
Birth of Martin Niemoller, German Lutheran pastor, imprisoned by the Nazis for his opposition to Hitler's regime. There is much controversy concerning his ministry and his stand for spiritual things. As the leader of the Confessing Church, the small group of clergymen who opposed Hitler's blasphemous rule, he was, of course imprisoned, and one day saw from his cell, a scaffold being built in the distance. Niemoller vowed that "when they hang me on that scaffold, I will shout and scream my anger toward the wicked Nazis for what they have done to our churches, and to our people in our beloved country!" But just then he seemed to hear a voice saying to him, "But Dr. Niemoller, I didn't die like that! I died praying for My enemies!" Telling of this later, his shoulders sagged as he said with great feeling, "Something happened to me then: I guess that after preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all of those years, you could call this my conversion."