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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, April 21

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.
1380
A stroke leaves Roman Catholic mystic Catherine of Siena paralyzed from the waist down.
1621
William Bradford is chosen governor of Plymouth Colony when his predecessor John Carver dies suddenly.
1783
Birth of English churchman and hymnwriter Reginald Heber. Heber published his first hymn at 28, and among his best remembered today are: "Holy, Holy, Holy," "The Son of God Goes Forth to War" and "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."
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.
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).
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.
1991
Egypt grants the Coptic Orthodox Church of Mayiet Bara a permit to repair its toilet, publishing the edict in a semi-official newspaper. This outrages Christians and moderate Muslims because it highlights their long-standing complaint that even the simple repair of a lavatory in a Christian house of worship cannot proceed without the written consent of the Minister of the Interior.

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