Today in Christian History
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.
Birth of Jane Borthwick, Scottish writer. Together with her sister Sarah, Jane translated many foreign hymns into English, including "My Jesus, As Thou Wilt" and "Be Still, My Soul."
The African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at a general convention in Philadelphia. The following day, Richard Allen, 56, was elected the new denomination's first bishop.
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.
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."
Soviet authorities convict the Orthodox priest Innocent Semyonovich Popov of conducting "intensified agitation for the preservation of the church," and organizing illegal meetings in his flat, eliciting "massive disturbance amidst the population." Originally sentenced to death, his sentence was commuted to five years in prison.
Death in Jos, Nigeria, of Johanna Veenstra, who had served the Christian Reformed Church as a missionary.
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.
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."
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"