Today in Christian History
Pope Vigilius issues his Judicatum against the Three Chapters. As a result, the Bishops of Africa, Illyria, and Dalmatia, with two of his own confidential deacons, withdraw from his communion. Two years later, the African bishops will anathemize him and he will eventually withdraw the Judicatum.
The foundation stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica was laid under the patronage of Julius II. (The church was not completed, however, until 1626.)
Richard Allen of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, becomes the first African-American bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
English philanthropist George Mueller opened his famous orphanage on Wilson Street in Bristol. (By 1875, Mueller's orphanage was providing care for over 2,000 children.)
Death of John England, the first Roman Catholic bishop of Charleston, with a see embracing North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, where he had planted numerous churches and left a well-organized clergy.
Sarah Platt Haines Doremus of New York City becomes the first president of the Women's Union Missionary Society of America for Heathen Lands. She will become known as the “Mother of Missions.”
Death in Lichfield, England, of George Augustus Selwyn, first bishop of New Zealand.
The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston gives a full performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's Passion according to St. Matthew.
Khotan rebels enter Yarkant, China. They soon round up Muslim converts to Christianity. The first killed is twenty-year-old Habil, a Christian teacher, who had come to protect his thirteen-year-old sister from rape. Before being executed he had drawn a cross on a mud wall and above it a crown, saying, “First the cross, then the crown.” His sister Hava will be forced to marry a syphilitic Muslim and will contract the disease. When she is at the point of death, Swedish missionaries will rescue her, but she will die before she is twenty.
The Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International, formed in Dallas in 1962, changed its name to Christ for the Nations. This charismatic missions agency specializes in fund-raising and support for church construction and Christian literature distribution worldwide.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"