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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, April 9

715
Death of Pope Constantine in Rome. The notable feat of his pontificate was a visit to Constantinople. He had greatly feared for his life, but returned safely.
1558
William Nichol, of Haverfordwest, Wales, is burned at the stake for declaring that Catholics are worshipers of Antichrist.
1761
Death of English devotional writer William Law. His Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life had greatly influenced George Whitefield and John Wesley.
1816
The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at a general convention in Philadelphia. The following day, Richard Allen, 56, was elected the new denomination's first bishop.
1906
Edward Lee asks Pentecostal evangelist William Seymour to pray for him that he will be given the gift of tongues. When Seymour prays, Lee does speak in tongues, one of the events initiating the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles.
1930
Soviet authorities convict the Orthodox priest Innocent Semyonovich Popov of conducting "intensified agitation for the preservation of the church," and organizing illegal meetings in his flat, eliciting "massive disturbance amidst the population." Originally sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to five years in prison.
1933
Death in Jos, Nigeria, of Johanna Veenstra, who had served the Christian Reformed Church as a missionary.
1934
Louisa Lee becomes the first missionary assigned by the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. After twenty years of service in India with the Presbyterian Church in the USA, she has recently broken with it because she feels that its adoption of modernist ideas undercuts basic Bible doctrines. She will continue to serve in India until her death in 1972.
1944
Pius XII issued the encyclical "Orientalis ecclesiae decus," which sought to foster closer relations between Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Uniat churches.
1945
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is hanged by Nazis at Flossenbürg Concentration Camp. Shortly before the end he says, "This is the end… for me, the beginning of life."

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