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Today in Christian History
Death of Venerable Stephen the Myrrh-gusher. As king of Serbia, he had united Serbian groups and striven for the political independence of Serbia from the Byzantine Empire. In his old age he became an ascetic monk. His remains are supposed to have exuded the fragrant odor of myrrh.
A national synod is convoked in Bohemia to discuss John Wycliffe's teachings. Jan Hus, the chief exponent of Wycliffe's teachings, is not present, having been exiled. The synod will adjourn without coming to agreement.
Death in Boston of Cotton Mather. A New England minister, he was a strong advocate of smallpox vaccination and a prolific author, but became notorious for his strong support of the Salem witch trials.
Death in Tanjore, India, of Christian F. Schwartz, "Apostle of India."
The American Temperance Society (later renamed the American Temperance Union) was organized in Boston. It quickly grew into a national crusade, and within a decade over 8,000 similar groups had been formed, boasting a total of 1.5 million members.
Death in Krishnagiri, India, of pioneer Lutheran missionary Theodore Karl Naether, from bubonic plague.
The Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, organizes an Armed Services Commission to assist Lutheran chaplains.
Death of Lloyd C. Douglas, 74, American Congregational clergyman and novelist. He published his first religious novel "Magnificent Obsession" in 1929, followed later by "The Robe" (1942) and "The Big Fisherman" (1948).
Death of Ji Zhiwen, who had conducted a notable evangelistic work in China. He established the Bethel Evangelistic Band in Shanghai, followed by the Chinese Evangelization Society and an orphanage (also in Shanghai), and, when driven from mainland China, founded churches in Taiwan. He had extended his ministry to Southeast Asia, founding kindergartens, orphanages and day care centers, and had developed a Christian press before retiring to Los Angeles.
Vietnamese authorities arrest Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly for his calls for religious freedom. He has been arrested many times before.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"