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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, January 13

1635
Birth of Philip Jacob Spener, founder of German pietism. The name for the Bible studies (called "collegia pietatis") held in his home came to be associated with his followers, who were afterward called Pietists.
1817
Robert Moffat reaches Cape Town. The London Missionary Society had been reluctant to send him because of his limited education but he will translate the New Testament into Bechwanas within the decade, and demonstrate that Christian missionaries can succeed in Africa by persistence and patience. Many know him as the mentor and father-in-law of David Livingstone.
1847
Pius IX mounts a pulpit and preaches a sermon, allegedly the first pope to do so in three hundred years.
1888
Charles Spurgeon is censured by the Baptist Union because of his stand in the Down-Grade Controversy and his refusal to provide names and supporting evidence against other Baptist ministers.
1915
Death in Nigeria of missionary Mary Slessor, known as the "White Queen to the Cannibals."
1919
Death in Miami, Florida, of hymnwriter Margaret Jenkins Harris who had written the popular hymns "He Took My Sins Away," "I Will Praise Him," and "I've Pitched My Tent in Beulah."
1930
Soviets arrest Orthodox priest Artemius Grigoryevich Zuyev in Taldy-Kurgan province and sentence him to death for anti-Soviet and counter-revolutionary propaganda and agitation.
1936
Baptist clergyman B.B. McKinney, 50, wrote the words and tune to the gospel song, "Wherever He Leads, I'll Go," a few days before the opening of a Sunday School convention in Alabama.
1964
Pope Paul VI nominates Karol Wojtyla to be Archbishop of Cracow. In 1978 Wojtyla will become Pope John Paul II.
2007
Security forces in Sri Lanka shoot Nallathamby Gnanaseelan in the stomach as he motorcycles to a meeting for prayer and fasting. They complete his murder by shooting him again where he lies in the road. A pastor of the Tamil Mission Church in Jaffna, he was not politically active. The police will concoct various cover stories in an effort to frame him and legitimize their act of persecution.

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