Today in Christian History
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from Almanac of the Christian Church