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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, June 17

1703
Birth of John Wesley, English founder of Methodism. The systematic disciplines of the 'Holy Club,' which John and his brother Charles founded, elicited the nickname 'Methodies' from their critics.
1789
In Norwalk, after singing and praying, Jesse Lee preaches his first sermon in Connecticut (out of doors because no one will let him borrow a house or barn), taking as his theme, "You must be born again." He will establish Methodist churches throughout New England.
1822
In New York City, the first elders of the newly founded African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church were ordained.
1855
James Theodore Augustus Holly, an African-American, is ordained as a deacon at St. Matthew's Church, Detroit. Nineteen years later, he will become the first African-American missionary-bishop of the Episcopal Church (for Haiti).
1859
Birth of J. Wilbur Chapman, Presbyterian pastor and evangelist who authored a number of hymns, including 'One Day When Heaven Was Filled with His Praises.'
1922
Evangelist Paul Rader in Chicago makes the first of many radio broadcasts to generate publicity for his evangelistic meetings.
1956
Founding of the Thomas Road Baptist Church by Jerry Falwell and his associates.
1963
English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.'
2004
Jiang Zongxiu, a 34 year old mother and wife in China is arrested and beaten for distributing Christian literature in a marketplace. She will die the next day.
2012
Islamic terrorists bomb three churches in Kaduna State, Nigeria, killing dozens of Christians, including children, and injuring many more.

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