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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, February 15

670
Death of King Oswy of Northumbria. Oswy was involved in the treacherous murder of his main rival, Oswin, who had raised forces to oust him. However, under Oswy's rule much of the middle of England converted to Christianity and his armies were triumphant against sizable pagan forces.
1386
Baptism of Jagiello (Jagaila), King of the Lithuanians, in Poland.
1621
Death in Brunswick-Wolfenb├╝ttel of Michael Praetorius, German composer, on his fiftieth birthday. He wrote many beautiful pieces of Christian music, such as "In Dulci Jubilo."
1643
John Campanius, Lutheran pastor and missionary to the American Indians, arrives in America (New Sweden on the Delaware River).
1739
Five slaves on St. Thomas Island, writing in behalf of 650 persecuted Christian brothers and sisters, address a letter to the king of Denmark telling of the violence they have experienced from white owners; their owners also burn their books and declare that a "baptized black is no more than kindling wood for the fires of hell."
1762
Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'We serve a gracious Master who knows how to overrule even our mistakes to His glory and our own advantage.'
1860
Wheaton College was chartered in Illinois under Methodist sponsorship. (The following year the school passed into Congregational control. Today, Wheaton is non-denominational.)
1905
Death at Crawfordsville, Indiana, of Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur. The novel had been conceived on a train ride while arguing about Christ's divinity with famous agnostic Robert Ingersoll. It sold more than 300,000 copies in a decade, making it one of the best-selling religious books of the 1800s.
1930
Death of Franklin L. Sheppard, 78. He served on the editorial committee of the 1911 edition of the Presbyterian Hymnal, but is better remembered for composing the hymn tune TERRA BEATA, to which "This Is My Father's World" is most commonly sung.
1960
Repose (death) of Anthimus of Chios. After years of ascetic living and service to others, he had founded the Monastery of Panagia Voithia on the Island of Chios to take women and nuns displaced in a population swap between Turkey and Greece.

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