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Today in Christian History
French Protestants (called Huguenots) are attacked at Vassy while worshiping in a barn. The 2nd Duke of Guise orders the barn set on fire, killing over sixty of them and wounding one hundred more. This will set off a series of religious wars between French Roman Catholics and Protestants that will last almost forty years.
Death of Venerable Martyrius at the Zelenets monastery he founded. He had been much given to visions of Mary.
On his deathbed, English poet and clergyman George Herbert, 39, uttered these last words: 'I shall be free from sin and all the temptations and anxieties that attend it...I shall dwell... where these eyes shall see my Master and Savior.'
The Salem Witch Trials in the Massachusetts colony officially began with the conviction of Rev. Samuel Parris' West Indian slave, Tituba, for witchcraft.
John Newton, who will one day write the hymn "Amazing Grace," is seized by a naval press gang while ashore in England and forced into a brutal regime aboard a ship.
Johannes Theodorus Vanderkamp, missionary to South Africa, arrives in Capetown. He will redeem many slaves with his own money and break down European settlers' resistance to mission work. Following the death of his wife, he will marry an indigenous African woman by whom he will have four children, leading to outrage among Europeans.
Georgetown College was chartered in Washington, D.C., making it the first Roman Catholic institution of higher learning established in the United States.
Fidelia Fisk sails from Boston Harbor for Smyrna on the Emma Isadora to begin mission work. She writes to her sisters, "It may be that my usefulness will greatly depend upon your prayers for me. Sisters, pray for me."
The first issue of "The Evening Light and Church of God Evangel" was published in Cleveland, Tennessee. A. J. Tomlinson, the publishing editor, was an instrumental figure in the history of the Church of God (also headquartered today in Cleveland, Tennessee).
Several Christian leaders join with other opponents of Japanese occupation to declare Korean independence. As a result they are arrested and thousands of Korea's Christians become the butt of brutal retaliation by the Japanese.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"