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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, December 16

Birth of George Whitefield, the youngest child of Thomas and Elizabeth Whitefield. He will become an international evangelist.
David Brainerd exhibits one of his frequent bouts of depression, writing in his journal, "Was so overwhelmed with dejection that I knew not how to live: I longed for death exceedingly ... I was so much oppressed that my soul was in a kind of horror."
Birth of Konrad Kocher, German chorister and composer of the hymn tune DIX ("For the Beauty of the Earth"). Kocher did much to popularize four-part singing in the churches.
Birth of John Ellerton, Anglican clergyman and writer of children's hymns. Among his better-known compositions are "Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise" and "Welcome, Happy Morning."
Fire destroys much of Arthur and Lewis Tappan's business on New York City's Pearl Street. The evangelical brothers also lose business because of their strong opposition to slavery and come close to financial ruin. However they will tighten their belts, salvage their fortunes, and repay all of their debts with interest in eighteen months.
Birth of Amy Carmichael, Scotch-Irish missionary. She went to India in 1895 under the Zenana Missionary Society, remaining there without furlough until her death 56 years later. An invalid her last 20 years, she worked to rescue children from Hindu cult prostitution, and founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in 1925.
African-American delegates gather in the Shiloh Baptist church of Washington, DC, to organize the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, later known as Lott Carey Baptist Home and Foreign Mission Convention.
Protopriests John Pyankov and Alexis Saburov, of the Resurrection church in Perm, and Nicholas Yakhontov of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius church, are tortured and drowned in the Kama River during the night. Saburov had been dragged from his bed and driven across the snow in his underwear with a noose around his neck before being tied to an iron bedframe and cast into the water.
Death of Walter S. Martin, a Disciples of Christ clergyman, teacher, and evangelist. He had composed the tune GOD CARES to which we sing the hymn "God Will Take Care of You."
Chinese authorities announce that Christian lawyer Gao Shisheng, whose whereabouts have been unknown for years, is sentenced to three additional years in prison for "violation of probation." Gao, often tortured in the cruelest manner, had pleaded for greater justice in the application of Chinese law.

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