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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Saturday, February 17

661
Death of Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne (an island in the North Sea), who had sought to preserve Celtic customs against Roman influence.
1815
In deciding the legal case "Terrett v. Taylor," the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an act of the Virginia Legislature which denied property rights to Protestant Episcopal churches in the state. The Court ruled that religious corporations, like other corporations, have rights to their property.
1816
Birth of Edward Hopper, American Presbyterian clergyman. He is remembered today as author of the hymn, "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me."
1821
Levi Parsons arrives in Jerusalem, the first Protestant missionary to found a permanent mission in that city.
1889
Billy Sunday, 27, baseball player-turned-preacher, made his first appearance as an evangelist in Chicago. A strong fundamentalist, Sunday preached temperance and opposed scientific evolution. Over 100 million are estimated to have heard Sunday preach before his death in 1935.
1898
Death of Frances Willard, a Methodist crusader for prohibition and women's rights.
1926
Arrest of Dr. Kao, a Chinese Christian who had moved into the pagan city of Gan-djou to act as a Christian witness. Authorities are angry at him for exposing criminal activities in the city government. He will suffer in jail for many months.
1969
Russian-born, Milwaukee-raised Golda Meir (nee Mabovitch [Myerson]), 70, was sworn in as Israel's first female prime minister. (She would hold the office for five embattled years.)
2001
Death of Richard Wurmbrandt, Romanian-born founder of the Voice of the Martyrs and of ministries to Eastern Europe during the Communist era.
2008
Two members of the Home Guard, bribed by a man who is furious that his wife converted to Christianity, assassinate Pastor Samson Neil Edirisinghe in Ampara, Sri Lanka, critically injuring Edirisinghe's wife and wounding their two-year-old son.

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