Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, March 9

1498
The signory of Florence [nine-member council] holds a public meeting to decide what action should be taken with Girolamo Savonarola, whom Pope Alexander VI had censured. Eight days later the signory will command Savonarola to cease preaching.
1509
Martin Luther receives his Bachelor of Bible degree from the University of Erfurt.
1761
The Boston Gazette prints criticism against the feasting and boisterous merrymaking which had taken place after the recent ordination of Dr. Cummings to the Old South Church. The criticism was sharpened by the fact the festivities took place at the home of Dr. Sewall who two years earlier had moderated a meeting to discourage such ordination revelries.
1833
Melville Cox, coming from the United States, reaches Liberia where he hopes to do mission work but will die within four months. His courageous and intrepid attitude, and his heroic death will give an impetus to the Methodist missionary spirit.
1839
Birth of Phoebe Palmer Knapp, American Methodist hymnwriter. She published more than 500 hymn tunes during her lifetime; her most famous melody comprises the tune to Fanny Crosby's hymn, "Blessed Assurance."
1913
Death in Stuttgart, Germany, of Eberhard Nestle, Bible scholar, who compared early texts of the Bible and prepared a thoughtful reconstruction of the probable original text.
1948
Death in Atlanta, Georgia, of hymnwriter Civilla Durfee Martin whose many gospel songs include "The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power," "God Will Take Care of You," and "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."
1954
Pentecostal evangelist Tommy Hicks arrives in Argentina and requests a large stadium. Local ministers, who have had little success winning souls, try to dissuade him, saying it is impossible to obtain a large stadium and more impossible to fill it. Hicks insists and is able to obtain consent from Argentina's president Juan PerĂ³n after healing him of a skin condition. After weeks of healing services in April and May, a larger stadium will be needed to handle the huge crowds.
1956
The British send into exile Makarios III, archbishop of Cyprus, considering his outspokeness a threat to the island's peace.
1965
Three white Unitarian ministers, including the Rev. James J. Reeb, were attacked with clubs on the streets of Selma, Alabama, while participating in a civil rights demonstration. Reeb later died in a Birmingham, Alabama hospital.

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