Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, March 21

In a letter to the North African bishops, Pope Zosimus declares that none dare dispute the judgment of the see of Rome, but in the same letter responds to their pleas by reversing his own earlier position and declaring Pelagius a heretic. Authority for the date: Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church.
(traditional date) Death at Monte Cassino of Benedict, an Italian monastic founder, author of the famous Benedictine rule. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
The monastery in Citeaux, France was founded by St. Robert, a Benedictine monk and abbot of Molesme. It marked the beginning of the Roman Catholic Cistercian religious order.
King Louis VII of France took up the cause of the Second Crusade, in response to Bernard of Clairvaux's preaching, and became leader of the ill-fated mission.
In Zurich, Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, and George Blaurock escape from prison down a rope. Pacifist Anabaptists, they believed Christians should not hold power, but had been condemned to life imprisonment on concocted charges of fomenting revolution. Captured again that year, Manz and Blaurock will be again imprisoned, and Manz will be executed by drowning in 1527. Authority for the date: Bender, Harold S. Conrad Grebel. Scottsdale, PA: 1971.
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer is burned alive on orders of Mary Tudor, officially because of his "heresies" (he had been a leader in the English Reformation), but actually because of his role in providing King Henry VIII with a divorce from Mary's mother Catherine many years earlier. Authority for the date: Christian History 48 (1995).
Death of the archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher. His Annales Veteris et Novi Testamenti proposed a biblical chronology that placed the creation of the world in 4004 BC, and his dates will be incorporated into the notes of many Bible versions. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
[N.S.] On a slave ship bound for England, during a violent storm at sea, English sea captain John Newton, 22, was dramatically converted to a living faith. It was more than a "foxhole religion," as Newton soon abandoned the sea, and from 1764 until his death (43 years later), he devoted his life as a clergyman in the Anglican Church.
Burial of David Dale, a Scottish manufacturer and philanthropist who sought to alleviate the condition of the poor by providing food, housing, and education at his mills. He had opened new mills to provide work for the unemployed. Strongly evangelical, he served as a lay preacher and headed many philanthropic endeavors, and was known as a lenient magistrate. Authority for the date: www.nrscotland.gov.uk/research/learning/hall-of-fame/hall-of-fame-a-z/dale-david
Gungaram Mundel contracts cholera. He had been the first convert at Khari Baptist Church, Calcutta, and his profession of faith had eased the way for other Indians of the area to follow Christ. Authority for the date: Carey, W.H. Oriental Christian Biography. n.d.
Death of Davis Griffiths, a missionary to Madagascar, who had translated the Bible into the Malagasy language. Authority for the date: www.lutheranhistory.org.
In Chicago, following the death of its founder Dwight L. Moody, the Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions changed its name to Moody Bible Institute. The school has since become the model after which other learning institutions have patterned their curriculum.
Pope Pius XI's Mit brennender sorge against some Nazi policies is read in all Catholic churches in Germany. Authority for the date: Eerdman's Handbook to the History of Christianity.
Baptist minister Martin Luther King, Jr. leads more than three thousand civil rights demonstrators on a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery. By the time they reach their destination four days later, the number of protesters will have swelled to twenty-five thousand. Authority for the date: www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/al4.htm.
Muslim militants burn down the fifth-century historical Coptic Church of Saint Mary the Virgin in Old Cairo. Authority for the date: Bistawros, Baheg T. The Coptic Church of Egypt Today: Under Threat of Annihilation.
The Association of International Mission Services was founded in Dallas. A trans-denominational organization, AIMS promotes the work of foreign missions among independent Pentecostal and charismatic churches.
The people of Augusta, Georgia, dedicate a monument on Green Street to the memory of Christian philanthropist Emily Harvey Thomas Tubman. Authority for the date: www.therestorationmovement.com/tubman,emily.htm.
Teacher Christianah Oluwasesin of Nigeria is beaten to death by a mob on an accusation that she touched a student's handbag which had a Koran in it, thus defiling the Koran. Authority for the date: Voice of the Martyrs, special edition (2009).
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