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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, April 21

847
Death of Otgar, archbishop of Mainz, an event made all the more memorable because Rabanus Maurus, a famous educator and scholar, will be unanimously elected as his successor.
1142
Death at Cluny of theologian Pierre Abelard, whose "conceptualism" changed the development of philosophy. He will be remembered for seducing his student Heloise. Although often accused of heresy, he remained a popular teacher.
1649
Maryland issues an act defining and forbidding blasphemy and making it an offense to rail publicly against another person's faith. It promises toleration to anyone who professes Christ.
1828
English churchman John Henry Newman wrote in a letter to his sister: 'May I be patient! It is so difficult to make real what one believes, and to make these trials, as they are intended, real blessings.'
1847
Rev. Henry Lipowsky, a former lieutenant in the Austrian Army, opens the first Bohemian-American church in the United States, the St. John Nepomuk Church of St. Louis, Missouri.
1855
Sunday school teacher Edward Kimball visits the Holton Shoe Store in Boston, Massachusetts, where Dwight L. Moody works, finds him in a stockroom, and speaks to him of the love of Christ. Shortly thereafter, Moody is converted and devotes his life to serving God, becoming a notable American evangelist.
1869
Thomas Huxley first publicly uses the word "agnostic" at a meeting of the London Metaphysical Society to describe intellectuals who, like himself, are unable to come to certain conclusions on big issues such as the existence of God.
1897
Birth of A. W. Tozer, one of the most popular and influential pastors to come out of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church. Tozer was also a prolific writer, and his best- known publications include "The Pursuit of God" (1948) and "The Root of Righteousness" (1955).
1908
While rushing to assist a dying man in Labrador, missionary-doctor Wilfred Grenfell is trapped on an ice-pan (a small flat sheet of ice) and almost loses his life when it floats into the ocean.
1947
On his twenty-seventh birthday, while laying bricks, John Ajayi Agbona hears a voice calling him to ministry with the Christ Apostolic Mission Church of Nigera. He obeys and will be instrumental in founding eighty churches in five nations as well as schools in Nigeria. His work will often be accompanied by miraculous healings.

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