Today in Christian History
Death of Jean Astruc, a pioneer in the study of venereal diseases and of biblical criticism. In an effort to defend the books of Moses, he noted the different contexts of Elohim and Yahweh (Hebrew names for God) and proposed the documentary hypothesis, that Genesis was based on several ancient sources.
[some sources say 1808] Death in Virginia of James Ireland, a Baptist preacher who had undergone severe incarceration and several attempts upon his life at the hands of the established church in Virginia.
Birth of New England musical artist Ithamar Conkey. In addition to being a well-known church organist and bass soloist, Conkey also penned the hymn tune RATHBUN, to which we sing today, "In the Cross of Christ I Glory."
A General Conference of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (later renamed the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church) meets in Augusta, GA. Its principal achievement will be establishment of a financial system that assesses twenty cents per year on each member, to be divided in this way: for bishops, eight cents; missions, three cents; education, three cents; publishing interests, three cents; Israel Church and Miles Chapel, three cents. The system will work well and be retained with variations for many years.
The Religious Tract Society, founded in 1799, celebrated its 100th anniversary in Exeter Hall, London. The Society had by then published and distributed Christian literature in over 270 languages and dialects.
Death in Edinburgh, Scotland, of Alexander McLaren, a non-conformist preacher who had preached from the original languages of the Bible and witnessed deep transformations in the churches he pastored. He had thought his sermons fell short, but posterity will regard them as among the clearest ever published.
High school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was arrested for teaching the theory of evolution in his Dayton, Tennessee classroom.
Arrest of the Orthodox bishop, Platon of Banja Luka, in Croatia by the fascist group known as the Ustashe. He had been ordered to leave but appealed for time to set his church affairs in order. He will be killed along with hundreds of thousands of other individuals, mostly Serbs, in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Eugene Antonio Marino, 53, was installed as the archbishop of Atlanta, becoming the first black Roman Catholic archbishop in the U.S.
Orthodox Russians in Yekaterinburg (Russia's fourth largest city and located in the Ural Federal District) burn a number of books by "liberals" such as Alexander Men (sometimes called the C. S. Lewis of the Soviet Union), Nicolas Afanasiev, Alexander Schmemann, and John Meyendorff, deeming them heretical.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"