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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, May 15

719
Wynfrith, from Devon, England, is consecrated in Rome as Bishop Boniface. He will carry the gospel across Germany and Prussia.
1455
A crusade against the Turks and for the capture of Constantinople was proclaimed by Pope Calixtus III.
1686
Rev. Robert Ratcliffe arrived in Boston from England, with orders from King Charles II to establish the Anglican Church in Massachusetts.
1778
Death at St-Omer, France, of Alban Butler, author of a well-known five-volume Lives of the Saints.
1816
Birth of Sylvanus Dryden Phelps, U.S. Baptist clergyman and poet. His several writings included the hymn, "Savior, Thy Dying Love."
1879
Death at Angaston of George Fife Angas, Baptist businessman and colonizer of Southern Australia.
1889
At the close of a two-day denominational conference in Cleveland, Ohio, the Epworth League of the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized. It became the foundation of the current United Methodist Youth (UMY) fellowship programs.
1891
Pope Leo XIII issues the influential encyclical Rerum novarum, which grapples with social issues, saying the earth is given for the common good, that there needs to be more equality between capital and labor, and that the state has a central role in regulating justice in these matters.
1937
Death in Woking, England, of hymnwriter Ada Rundall Greenaway. Her best-known hymns are "For the Dear Ones Parted from Us," "O Father, We Would Thank Thee," "O Perfect God, Thy Love," "O Word of Pity, for Our Pardon Pleading," "Rise at the Cry of Battle," and "Rise in the Strength of God."
1955
Obadiah Kariuki and Festo Olang' are consecrated as the first African assistant bishops in the Anglican diocese of Mombasa, covering East Africa. Kariuki will be a bishop and spiritual leader in the Kenyan church after the nation's independence, his diocese growing so rapidly that it will have to be divided in two. Twenty-two years to the day after his consecration, thousands will attend a thanksgiving service in his honor when he retires.

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