Today in Christian History
Armenians fight a desperate battle at Avarayr to preserve their Christian culture against the Persians, who have a much larger army. This is the first known battle in history fought to preserve a nation's Christian faith. Although the Armenians lose the battle and their best leaders, the Persians lose sixty thousand soldiers and agree by treaty that Armenia may practice its faith.
Pope Gregory IX appoints Dominican friars to be inquisitors in Aragon. He will appoint others for the kingdoms of Navarre, Castile, and Portugal.
Franciscan friar William of Occam, a notable scholar, flees from Avignon to escape Pope John XXII, of whom he had been critical, and joins Emperor Louis of Bavaria. He will take an active part in the emperor's struggles against the pope.
A rump session of the Diet of Worms approves an edict declaring Luther a criminal who has committed high treason, and calls for his capture and death.
In Pittsburgh, the Associate Presbyterian and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian churches merged to form the United Presbyterian Church in North America.
Lillian May Thomas, an African-American, sails from the United States for the Congo as a missionary.
Future President William McKinley, 56, wrote in his notebook: 'My belief embraces the Divinity of Christ and a recognition of Christianity as the mightiest factor in the world's civilization.' (McKinley had been "born again," at age 10, during a revival meeting, and later joined a Methodist church.)
Death in Valparaiso, Chili, of Willis Collins Hoover, a Methodist missionary who founded Chile's Pentecostal movement and consequently was disowned by his Methodist sponsors.
Death in Fort Worth, Texas, of Walter Thomas Conner, a Southern Baptist preacher and educator active in Texas. He had sought to make theological education result in practical expressions of faith, by writing and teaching for four decades at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The religious program "The Fourth R" aired for the last time over NBC television. Produced by several different religious organizations, this short-lived series aired on Sunday mornings.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"