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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, May 15

719
Wynfrith, from Devon, England, is consecrated in Rome as Bishop Boniface. He will carry the gospel across Germany and Prussia.
1164
Death of the abbess, Heloise, whose love affair with, and secret marriage to, the philosopher-theologian Abelard is known to history.
1455
A crusade against the Turks and for the capture of Constantinople was proclaimed by Pope Calixtus III.
1686
Rev. Robert Ratcliffe arrived in Boston from England, with orders from King Charles II to establish the Anglican Church in Massachusetts.
1816
Birth of Sylvanus Dryden Phelps, U.S. Baptist clergyman and poet. His several writings included the hymn, "Savior, Thy Dying Love."
1889
At the close of a two-day denominational conference in Cleveland, Ohio, the Epworth League of the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized. It became the foundation of the current United Methodist Youth (UMY) fellowship programs.
1891
Pope Leo XIII issues the influential encyclical Rerum novarum, which grapples with social issues, saying the earth is given for the common good, that there needs to be more equality between capital and labor, and that the state has a central role in regulating justice in these matters.
1943
German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'I read the Psalms every day, as I have done for years; I know them and love them more than any other book.'
1955
Obadiah Kariuki and Festo Olang' are consecrated as the first African assistant bishops in the Anglican diocese of Mombasa, covering East Africa. Kariuki will be a bishop and spiritual leader in the Kenyan church after the nation's independence, his diocese growing so rapidly that it will have to be divided in two. Twenty-two years to the day after his consecration, thousands will attend a thanksgiving service in his honor when he retires.
1984
Death in Rochester, Minnesota, of Francis Schaeffer, a Christian apologist. With his wife, Edith, he had operated L'Abri, a ministry to intellectuals. His most important book may have been his smallest, Escape from Reason, which caused many evangelicals to look at the development of literature and art. He had often argued that moral relativity is responsible for social ills.

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