Today in Christian History
Death of Athanasius in Alexandria, Egypt. More than any other man, he took up the fight for Christ's divinity in his writings. Five times he had been forced into exile. Slander dogged him. Yet he remained faithful to his vision of an uncreated Christ. He was the first to list the books of the New Testament as we know them.
Two years after entering the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt, future German reformer Martin Luther, 23, was consecrated a priest. (Luther remained in the order until 1521, when he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church.)
Joan Boucher is burned to death in England for denying that the Virgin Mary was sinless. When a bishop preached at her execution, trying to convert her, she told him he "lied like a rogue" and bade him "go and read the Scriptures."
A lectureship was established at Yale Divinity School in memory of American clergyman Lyman Beecher (1775-1863). The lectures were to cover topics on preaching and the work of the Christian ministry.
Birth of missions pioneer Bob Finley. In 1953 he chartered the Christian Aid Mission in Washington, D.C. Today, this evangelical group works in over 40 countries, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia.
American missionary and martyr Jim Elliot wrote in his journal: 'The man who will not act until he knows all will never act at all.'
Death of Matrona of Moscow (Matryona Nikonova) who had been born blind and early showed an ability to prophesy. She had adhered to the faith of the Orthodox Church despite being rendered homeless by the Soviets, and people had concealed her whereabouts so that she was never arrested and sent to the Gulag. She will be named a saint by her church.
The General Conference of the Methodist Church, held in Minneapolis, demanded abolishment of racial segregation in all Methodist churches.
Lin Xiangao (Samuel Lamb) is arrested in Guangzhou for holding house church services. He had already served two sentences in prison for resisting Chinese laws against giving religious instruction to the young and refusal to submit to the government-run Three Self Patriotic Church.
Roadside bombs explode and hit two buses filled with Christian students making their daily ride to the University of Mosul in Iraq. One hundred and sixty one are injured and Sandy Shabib will die from her injuries.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"