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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, January 6

This was the last year the Church in Jerusalem observed the birth of Jesus on this date. (Celebrating Christmas on December 25th began in the late 300s in the Western Church.)
Martyrdom of St. Abo in Tsibili, Georgia. A Muslim perfumer from Baghdad, he had become a Christian and attempted to strengthen Christians and win Muslims to Christ.
Theophylact delivers a flattering address in Constantinople before Emperor Alexius that results in an unwelcome “promotion” to the position of archbishop of Ohrid, Bulgaria (now in Macedonia). Homesick, he will write obscure letters to distract his mind.
Death of Andreas Corsini, Italian bishop of Fiesole. After a reckless youth, he converted and became a strict Carmelite, and was credited with being a prophet and miracle-worker. (Under the Florentine calendar his death is given in 1373.)
Jan Ziska, blind Hussite general and master tactician, defeats Sigsimund of Bohemia at Nebovidy, one of many defeats he will inflict on Bohemia's enemies.
The first mass in America was celebrated in the Roman Catholic church on Isabella Island in Haiti. This was the first church established in the New World, founded by Christopher Columbus.
German Reformer Martin Luther wrote in an Epiphany sermon: 'Though Mary had been conceived in sin, the Holy Spirit takes her flesh and blood and purifies them; and thence He creates the body of the Son of God...Thus He assumed a genuine body from His mother Mary, but this body was cleansed from sin by the Holy Spirit.'
Catholics in the Netherlands form the Union of Arras when they resubmit to Spanish control because of their outrage that Calvinists have destroyed their churches and images. This breaks the unity of the Dutch resistance against the Spaniards.
Death of Samuel Johnson, a New England clergyman, educator, and philosopher. In 1724 he had opened the first Anglican church built in Connecticut, after which he had served as a missionary for the Anglican Church, and played an important role in setting the standards and curriculum for King's College, New York, (later known as Columbia University).
The Indiana State Legislature incorporates Hanover Academy, begun two years ealier with six students by Presbyterian minister John Finley Crowe. The school sits on land donated by Presbyterian Elder, Williamson Dunn, who becomes one of the trustees.
Businessmen operating in China circulate a paper among themselves, calling for a "Morrison Education Society" to bring the gospel to China. The society is named for pioneer missionary Robert Morrison who had died a year earlier. They raise several thousand pounds to support the mission and offer the post of missionary to Samuel Robbins Brown.
Future renowned English Baptist preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon was converted to a living faith at age 16, in a Methodist chapel.
Death in Paris, France, of Louis Braille, developer of the reading system of raised dots for the blind which bears his name. He is just forty-three years old.
Death in Brno (in modern Czechoslovakia) of Gregor Mendel, a monk who through persistent experimentation had discovered the laws of genetics.
Death of Theophan the Recluse, a Russian Orthodox author, priest, and bishop. He had written several works, among them a translation of the Philokalia, a famous collection of the church fathers. Typical of his sayings was, "Attention to that which transpires in the heart and proceeds from it - this is the chief activity of the proper Christian life."
Edith Warner, a Presbyterian missionary, sets out from Asaba, Nigeria, to become the first white woman to visit the East Niger.
Death of Alexander Whyte, regarded as the finest preacher of the Free Church of Scotland. He had also served as professor of New Testament Literature at New College, Edinburgh, and wrote the popular Bible Characters.
In England, the first worship service heard over over radio was aired by the BBC. The service was conducted by H. R. L. Sheppard at St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, in London.
Peter Deyneka and four other men meet to form the Russian Gospel Association.
Janani Luwum converts to Christianity in Uganda. He immediately asks his family to pray that he won't backslide, but rather lead a godly life. Eventually he will become an archbishop and will be executed by the brutal dictator Idi Amin.
Death in California of Pentecostal evangelist Tommy Hicks, allegedly of alcoholism. Nineteen years earlier he had packed stadiums in Argentina, winning thousands to follow Christ.
Death in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Elsie Rebekah Ahlwen. She had served as an evangelist among America's Swedes and wrote the hymn "He the Pearly Gates Will Open."
Naimat Ahmer, a Christian educator and poet in Pakistan, is stabbed seventeen times in earshot of students by a Muslim who claims Ahmer has insulted Mohammad. Ahmer taught that Christ is the only way to salvation.
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