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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, April 20

1441
During the Council of Florence (1438-45), Eugenius IV issued the bull "Etsi non dubitemus," which asserted the superiority of the pope over the Councils.
1479
Death of Alexander who founded the Orthodox monastery of Oshevensk, experienced miracles, and was a notable spiritual counselor.
1534
Execution of Elizabeth Barton, the "Nun of Kent" who had prophecied against King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn. She said Henry would die shortly thereafter. (He lived fifteen more years.) A staunch Roman Catholic with a reputation for holiness, she urged pilgrimmages and prayer to Mary and strongly opposed the Lutheran Reformation.
1558
Death of Johannes Bugenhagen, a leading Lutheran reformer, a professor at the University of Wittenberg, and the pastor of the city church there. Bugenhagen had helped Luther with his German Bible translation as well as translating the Bible into Low German himself.
1676
Death of Baptist minister John Clarke, a founding father of Rhode Island, and the agent who obtained the colony's charter from King Charles II in 1663.
1718
Birth of David Brainerd, colonial American missionary to the Indians of New England. Following his premature death from tuberculosis at 29, Brainerd's journal (published in 1649 by the Jonathan Edwards) influenced hundreds to become missionaries after him.
1943
In Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.
1962
Theologian Karl Barth is featured on the cover of Time magazine.
1987
In Columbus, OH, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was organized, making it the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. It represented the merger of three smaller Lutheran bodies, and was officially born on Jan 1, 1988.
2001
A Peruvian Air Force aircraft shoots down a private airplane carrying missionaries, killing Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter, Charity.

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