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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, January 18

1460
Pope Pius II issues his bulla Execrabilis, condemning as detestable any appeals against the pope to councils.
1562
The Council of Trent - called by the popes to deal with the monumental problems caused by the Reformation - reconvened, following a suspension of ten years.
1678
James Mitchell is hanged in Edinburgh, denied permission to see his wife and newborn son or to read his final confession of faith. Years earlier he had attempted to assassinate Archbishop James Sharp, a cruel persecutor of Covenanters. Captured, Mitchell was promised in writing full liberty if he confessed, but the promise was revoked and he was tortured with great cruelty. In 1679 a mob will murder Archbishop Sharp in retaliation.
1728
Greenland's first Lutheran baptism takes place.
1769
The church at Housatonic Massachusetts dismisses pastor and theologian Samuel Hopkins, resenting his opposition to the Halfway Covenant and his terrible sermon delivery.
1822
Alone, and on foot, to save his impoverished congregation the expense of his travel, Theodor Fliedner enters Kaiserswerth, Germany, where he will labor for his entire life and found the Lutheran deaconess ministry for which he is famous. A month after his arrival the city's main source of employment will fail and the government will offer Fliedner a better appointment, but he will refuse to leave his people as if he were merely a hireling. Instead he will make a laborious journey across Germany to raise money for an endowment to support the Kaiserwerth church.
1846
Taylor University was established in Fort Wayne, Indiana, under Methodist sponsorship.
1887
Death in Washington, DC, of Richard Harvey Cain, a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, formerly an abolitionist and congressman. He had helped found Paul Quinn College and served as its president until 1884.
1951
Death in Dohnavur, India, of Amy Carmichael who had rescued children from temple prostitution and written many inspirational Christian books.
1969
Death of Roberta Martin, an innovative gospel singer and organizer of the Roberta Martin Singers. Many singers got their start through her. Her signature song had been "Only a Look." Fifty thousand will turn out for her funeral. In 1998, the United States Postal Service will issue a commemorative stamp in her honor.

Copyright Statement
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"