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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, August 29

284
Beginning date in the Coptic Church's Calendar of the Martyrs, a date chosen in commemoration of those who died for their faith during the rule of Diocletian the Roman Emperor.
1530
Members of the Evangelical Estates determine to prepare an apology for the Augsburg Confession to present to Emperor Charles V.
1572
In Lyon, France, following the onset of the St. Bartholomew Day's Massacre, officials place Protestants under protective custody in the city's convents and jails. It does not save their lives. Two days later, crowds will break in and massacre the prisoners by sword, strangulation, and drowning. Witnesses report that the Rhone River flows red from the blood of thousand of mutilated corpses.
1654
Oliver Cromwell's government issues an ordinance appointing lay commissioners in all the counties of England and Wales with power to eject "scandalous, ignorant and insufficient [incompetent] ministers and schoolmasters." Each County Committee consists of fifteen to thirty laymen, with eight to ten divines as assessors.
1683
John Dick, a Scotsman who is a fugitive for his Covenanter faith under King Charles II's administration, is captured and brought before the committee of public affairs. Although Dick manages to escape, he will be recaptured a few months later and hanged.
1763
Rev. Devereux Jarratt, a minister of the English Church, settles in a parish in Virginia where he will be instrumental in stirring up revival among a largely apathetic and profane people, working in tandem with Methodist evangelists.
1768
Selina Hastings Huntingdon opens an evangelical college at Trevecca, South Wales.
1792
Birth of Charles G. Finney, American revivalist and educator. Originally trained in law, he was converted to Christian faith at age 29, conducted revival services for eight years and, from 1835 until his death, maintained a close affiliation with Oberlin College in Ohio.
1831
Michael Faraday, a devout Christian, induces an electrical current in one wire from the current in another - a discovery that utterly transforms the world, without which there would be no electronic computers, no power lines, no telephones, no internet.
1852
The Latter Day Saints first published their doctrine of "celestial marriage," popularly known as polygamy. The Mormon Church maintained this teaching until the Manifest of 1890 (and later Congressional legislation) outlawed the practice.
1867
The Social Brethren were officially organized in Illinois. Today, there are about 1,000 total members of this small, evangelistic denomination, with most churches located in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana. Church doctrine is a blend of Methodist and Baptist polity.
1882
All of the bishops of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (later known as the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) meet in the First Methodist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss the educational needs of their denomination. They form a board of trustees, promise aid to one college already opened, and establish the Payne Institute.
1908
Death of Lewis H. Redner, 78, American Episcopal organist. Maintaining a keen interest in music all his life, Redner composed ST. LOUIS, the tune to which today is most commonly sung Phillips Brooks' Christmas hymn, "O Little Town of Bethlehem."
1917
Death of Ernest W. Shurtleff, 55, American Congregational clergyman and author of the hymn, "Lead On, O King Eternal." Shurtleff died during World War I, while doing relief work along with his wife.
1928
W. A. Criswell is ordained in the Southern Baptist Church. He will become known for his excellent expository preaching and will pastor a large Dallas church whose congregration will triple under his ministry. Among its members for a time will be numbered evangelist Billy Graham.
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