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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, March 26

668
Pope Vitalian ordains Theodore of Tarsus as Archbishop of Canterbury. Well-educated and diplomatic, Theodore will establish a school, defuse animosity between Christians of the Celtic and Roman traditions, and set diocesean boundaries throughout England.
809
Death of Ludger, a missionary to the Frisians and founder of Munster. He had been notable for his gentleness, but was also courageous - as evidenced by his refusing to respond to messengers from Charlemagne until he completed his devotions, defending his action to the king by saying, "God is to be preferred to you O King and to all men."
1663
An ordinance published in Paris allows Francois Laval to form a seminary in Canada that he has long sought. After his death it will become Laval University and train missionaries for Africa and other countries where French is spoken.
1665
A bullet is fired into the house where Richard Baxter is preaching, but it whizzes past him, narrowly missing the head of a sister-in-law.
1830
Joseph Smith, 24, first published "The Book of Mormon." Having derived it from golden plates he had discovered with the aid of the angel Moroni, Smith maintained that the plates were written in "Reformed Egyptian" which he had translated with the aid of "Urim and Thummim" two stones hrough which he had viewed the writings.
1840
Birth of George Smith, famed English Assyriologist. During several expeditions to the site of ancient Nineveh, (1873Â74), Smith unearthed over 3,000 cuneiform tablets, including one which told the story of an ancient deluge, similar to Noah's Flood.
1843
Death in Indiana of Robert Richford Roberts who for forty years had served as a Methodist frontier circuit rider and bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, working primarily in Indiana.
1862
Joseph Henry Gilmore writes the hymn "He Leadeth Me" inspired by a midweek exposition he had given on the 23rd Psalm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1957
Dr. Basil W. Miller founded the Basil Miller Foundation in Altadena, CA. In 1959 its name was changed to World-Wide Missions.
1998
Joan Andrews is unexpectedly released early from a prison in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where she had been serving a sentence for anti-abortion activities. (This is not the same imprisonment as the 1986 entry on this page.) Up to this point, Joan had been arrested two hundred times for anti-abortion activities and for refusing to comply with rules of probation. She refused to comply because doing so would make it appear she agreed that she had done something wrong.

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