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Today in Christian History
Consecration of Gregory VII (Hildebrand). His reign will be marred by continual skirmishing with Holy Roman Emperor Henry II.
(traditional date) Death by stoning of mystic and missionary Raymond Lull in Bougie, North Africa (Tunisia). He had been persuaded by a vision to seek the conversion of Muslims, had founded a school to train men to the task, and had studied Islamic culture.
Samuel Skelton and Francis Higginson, Presbyterian reverends, arrive on the ship Talbot to Massachusetts, the first clergymen of that sect in what will become the United States.
In Bradford, Massachusetts, the first U.S. missionary society was organized: the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
At Casa Guidi (in Florence, Italy) toward morning the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning seemed to be in an ecstasy. She told her husband of her love for him, gave him her blessing, and raised herself to die in his arms. "It is beautiful," were her last words.
In a ceremony that fills Canterbury Cathedral beyond capacity, Samuel Adjai Crowther is consecrated as the first African bishop of the Church of England.
The first Keswick convention opens, a holiness movement that spreads around the world. Delegates had met for prayer the day before.
Convinced that he is the long-awaited Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, a Sufi Muslim in Kordofan (then a province of Sudan) proclaims "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God, and Muhammad al-Mahdi is the successor of God's Prophet!" He soon imprisons Christian missionaries and in 1885 will massacre many of the Christians in Khartoum.
Birth of Cyrus H. Gordon, American Jewish archaeological scholar. Having taught Assyriology and Egyptology at Dropsie College in Philadelphia, his his technical writings include the 'Ugaritic Handbook' (1947).
The Unevangelized Fields Mission was founded, in England. UFM missionaries today work primarily in Latin America, Europe and Africa, as well as in Haiti and Indonesia.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"