Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, January 20

Death of Fabian, bishop of Rome, under the persecution of Emperor Decius. Authority for the date: Meier, Gabriel. "Pope St. Fabian." The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton, 1909.
Death of Euthymius the Great in the desert northeast of Jerusalem. He had been an abbot in Palestine and a hermit noted for his holiness. Authority for the date: http://oca.org/saints/lives/2014/01/20/100238-venerable-euthymius-the-great
Bishop Simeon of Beth Ashram from the region of Arabia, travels from the Lakhmid capital Hirta d Na`man and learns of several martyrdoms, especially of holy women, which he records in various letters and wrtings. Authority for the date: Brock, Sebastian P. and Harvey, Susan Ashbrook. Holy Women of the Syrian Orient. Berkeley: University of California
Death in London of English translator Miles Coverdale, who produced the first complete printed English-language Bible. Authority for the date: Encyclopedia Britannica.
Birth of Susannah Annesley, "Mother of Methodism." Born the 25th child in her family, she married Samuel Wesley in 1689 and bore him 19 children, the last two being John (1703) and Charles (1707) Wesley.
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'I cannot think of you, without thinking of God. Others often lead me to Him, as it were, going round about. You bring me straight into His presence.'
Thomas Charles, who will become a leader of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, converts to Christianity while listening to Daniel Rowland preach. Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.
Death at Hoddesdon, Herts, England, of hymnwriter Harriet Auber, who had led a quiet and contented life, publishing only one volume, The Spirit of the Psalms. Many of her hymns will appear in hymnbooks, especially an epiphany hymn that begins "Bright was the guiding star that led..." Authority for the date: Nutter, Charles S. Hymn Writers of the Church.
Clara Swain arrives at Bareilly, India, and begins medical mission work the same day. Authority for the date: Swain, Clara. A Glimpse of India. 1909.
Birth of Albert S. Reitz, American Baptist evangelist and clergyman. He published over 100 hymns during his lifetime. Of these, the one best remembered today is "Teach Me to Pray, Lord."
In 1875 Fredrik Franson, an evangelist among Minnesota's Swedish immigrants and author of Mormonism Unveiled and a treatise on church growth, is ordained by the Free Church at Phelps Center. Authority for the date: www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/GUIDES/087.htm#3
Death in South Euclid, Ohio, of Johann Adam Ernst, early pioneer pastor of the Missouri Synod in Canada. Authority for the date: www.lutheranhistory.org.
In Russia, following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property was confiscated and all religious instruction in the schools was abolished.
At the notorious Wannsee Conference in Berlin, German Nazi officials decided on their "final solution," which called for a mass extermination of all the Jews in Europe.
Roman Catholic bishop Anton Vouk is ambushed, doused with gasoline in Yugoslavia, and set on fire, probably by government hit men. By quick action he manages to save his own life but will suffer from the injuries his remaining years. Authority for the date: Hutten, Kurt. Iron Curtain Christians. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1967.
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