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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, September 20

1246
Tatars torture and behead Prince Michael of Chernigov and his boyar (noble attendant), Theodore of Chernigov, when they refuse to renounce their Christian faith.
1378
The Great Schism in the Catholic Church began. It was touched off when Gregory XI died, shortly after returning the papal seat from Avignon, in France, to Rome. Continuing for nearly 40 years (until 1417), the Schism at one point produced three concurrent popes!
1565
Pedro Menendez massacres all the Huguenots at St. Johns River, Florida, "because they were Lutherans and enemies of our holy catholic faith."
1646
Jesuit priest Gabriel Lalemant arrives in Quebec. He will soon be martyred.
1838
Marie Rafaravavy, a persecuted Christian in Madagascar, meets secretly with a former missionary of the London Missionary Society, who helps her escape to England with some of her persecuted companions.
1852
Death of Philander Chase, the first Episcopal Church bishop for Illinois. He had been an ardent missionary on the frontier and among Indian tribes, and had founded two seminaries on the American frontier, one of which will survive as Kenyon College.
1883
Birth of Albrecht Alt, German Lutheran Old Testament scholar. "Biblia Hebraica" (13th ed., 1962), which Alt edited with Rudolph Kittel, became a standard critical Hebrew text of the Old Testament among students of the Bible for years.
1884
Dr. Horace Newton Allen arrives in Chemulpo, Korea, praying for an opportunity to evangelize Korea, where the introduction of Christianity is illegal. A rebellion in Seoul will provide the opportunity when Prince Min Yong Ik, a nephew of the king, suffers seven sword thrusts. Refusing to flee with other westerners, Allen tends the prince, who miraculously recovers. Recognizing that western medicine is an outgrowth of Christianity, the grateful king removes restrictions on Christianity.
1932
Four branches of Methodism in England united to form the Methodist Church of Great Britain and Ireland. These were the Wesleyan Methodists (founded 1784), the Primitive Methodists (1811), the United Methodist Free Churches (1857) and the United Methodists (1907).
1948
American missionary Jim Elliot -- eight years before his martyrdom at the hands of the Auca Indians of Ecuador -- penned in his journal: 'I am Thine at terrible cost to Thyself. Now Thou must become mine -- as Thou didst not attend to the price, neither would I.'

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