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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, August 7

117
Death of Marcus Trajan, 65, Roman emperor from A.D. 98-117. His attitude toward Christianity gradually changed from toleration to persecution. It was during Trajan's rule that Apostolic Father Ignatius of Antioch was martyred.
1656
Eight Quakers who had arrived in Boston on the Speedwell twelve days earlier are imprisoned and banished, but will be compelled to work until the ships that brought them to America take them away.
1737
Twenty-year-old Benjamin Beddome hears a visiting preacher speak on the text "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent," and is deeply moved. Within two years he will be studying for the pastorate. Under his preaching a revival will break forth in Gloucestershire in 1741, during which forty people will be saved. In 1743 he will accept a different pastorate and will write new hymns for the close of each service.
1771
Francis Asbury volunteers to go to America for the purpose of expanding its small, struggling Methodist Church.
1814
Pope Pius VII restores the Jesuits who had been suppressed for four decades. They will be strong defenders of the papacy and two hundred years later a Jesuit will, for the first time, become pope.
1852
Birth of Franklin L. Sheppard, Presbyterian organist and hymnbook editor. It was Sheppard who composed the hymn tune TERRA PATRIS, to which we sing "This is My Father's World."
1865
Repose (death) of Anthony of Optina, a notable monastic leader in the Russian Orthodox Church who had labored to uplift the spiritual tone of the monks under his care until he became too ill to work.
1878
Missouri Synod Lutheran Church founder C. F. W. Walther wrote in a letter: 'Do not deny the Word of God when it speaks to you.'
1997
Death of Mrs. Minnie Janofski, who as a widow had become an assistant to missionaries in Bolivia twenty-four years earlier, cooking, sewing, and mending as needed, showing that age and lack of extraordinary skills need not be an impediment to Christian service.
2012
A Deeper Life Bible Church in Okene, Nigeria, is attacked by three unidentified gunmen, who open fire on a Bible study group with Kalashnikov assault rifles, killing nineteen.

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