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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, April 9

715
Death of Pope Constantine in Rome. The notable feat of his pontificate was a visit to Constantinople. He had greatly feared for his life, but returned safely.
1727
Death in Trondheim, Norway, of Thomas von Westen, apostle and educator to Norwegian Lapps.
1828
Pioneer U.S. Baptist missionary George Dana Boardman, 27, first arrived in Tavoy, Burma, where he afterward established an extensive educational work among the Karen people.
1857
Author and hymnwriter Marianne Farningham (Mary Anne Hearne) of Farningham, England, contributes some poetry to the first issue of the newspaper The Christian World and will continue as a regular and beloved contributor for over fifty years.
1875
Death of John Samuel Bewley Monsen, a clergyman and hymnwriter of the Church of England. His death is caused by a fall from the roof of his church. Hymnologist John Julian will describe Monsen's hymns as generally "bright, joyous, and musical." Two of his best known will be "Fight the good fight," and "Lord of the living harvest."
1906
Edward Lee asks Pentecostal evangelist William Seymour to pray for him that he will be given the gift of tongues. When Seymour prays, Lee does speak in tongues, one of the events initiating the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles.
1909
In Pentecostal history, the first group outbreak of the charismatic gift of tongues occurred in Los Angeles under the leadership of black evangelist William J. Seymour, 38. It marked the beginning of the three-year-long "Azusa Street Revival."
1934
Louisa Lee becomes the first missionary assigned by the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. After twenty years of service in India with the Presbyterian Church in the USA, she has recently broken with it because she feels that its adoption of modernist ideas undercuts basic Bible doctrines. She will continue to serve in India until her death in 1972.
1944
Pius XII issued the encyclical "Orientalis ecclesiae decus," which sought to foster closer relations between Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Uniat churches.
1945
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is hanged by Nazis at Flossenbürg Concentration Camp. Shortly before the end he says, "This is the end… for me, the beginning of life."

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