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Today in Christian History
(or 765) Execution of Saint Stephen the Younger, during the reign of Emperor Constantine V. Stephen was an advocate of the use of icons whereas Constantine was strongly opposed to them.
John of the Cross makes his profession as a Carmelite. He will write his famous "Spiritual Canticle" while imprisoned by superiors who reject his reforms.
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Follow after, but do not run before the blessed Spirit; if you do, although you may benefit others, and God may overrule everything for your own good, yet you will certainly destroy the peace of your own soul.'
Wilhelm Weist, pastor of the German Baptist Church in Stolzenberg in East Prussia, baptizes Gottfried Alf and eight others in Poland, the beginning of the Polish Baptist Church. Alf had been a Lutheran school teacher. Required to read sermons for the Lutherans, he came under spiritual conviction and gradually developed Baptist views for which he first lost his teaching job, and then was thrown off his farm. He became an influential revival leader.
Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.
Death of Joseph Parker, a leading non-conformist pastor of the nineteenth century. He produced a twenty-five volume People's Bible and many other notable works.
Death of American Congregational clergyman Jeremiah Eames Rankin who wrote the hymns "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again" and "Tell it to Jesus."
George Jeffreys and several other ministers gather to form the short-lived Bible Pattern Church Fellowship, a Pentecostal denomination.
A constitutional convention (comprised of 14 Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox denominations) met in Cleveland, Ohio, and brought into being the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Today, the NCCC serves to administer disaster relief, strengthen family life, provide leadership training, and promote world peace.
Death of Anna Breneman Haagen, an outstanding missionary to the Gujarati-speaking people of India.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"