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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, July 1

1643
The Westminster Assembly first convened in England, from which would emerge the Westminster longer and shorter catechisms.
1765
Nineteen-year-old Chevalier de la Barre is decapitated and burned at Abbeville, France, for mutilating a figure of Christ that stood on the bridge of that town, an offence regarded as blasphemy. On the scaffold de la Barre remarks calmly, "I did not believe they could have taken the life of a young man for so small a matter."
1800
The earliest recorded Methodist camp meeting in America was held in Logan County Kentucky, near the Gaspar River Church.
1835
Robert Murray McCheyne is licensed to preach at the Presbytery of Annam, where he will become a famous pastor and revivalist.
1899
In Wisconsin, the Gideons were founded by three traveling businessmen. They placed their first Bibles in 1908 at the Superior Hotel in Iron Mountain, Montana.
1900
Beheading of missionary Horace Tracy Pitkin during the Boxer Uprising in China.
1918
Hungarian-born Father Arcadius Garyaev is officiating an Orthodox wedding when a band of Red Army soldiers burst into his church and drag him out in his priestly vestments. They take him into the woods, kill him, and throw his body into a ravine where it will be found eleven days later.
1934
Two of Yin Renxian's children, recently converted to Christianity through his witness, are blown up by a bomb while traveling on a train. At their funeral, Yin will speak to the assembled Chinese about the power of Christ to save from sin. He and his wife Suyun, after years of tepid Christianity, had recently devoted themselves wholeheartedly to Christ with the result that a house church has formed around them. Yin will eventually become a Christian educator until the Communists shut down his activities.
1937
Martin Niemoller, a leading Lutheran who resists Nazi racism, is arrested by the Gestapo. Released once, he will be arrested again and will spend many years in prison.
1985
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school teachers may not enter parochial school classrooms, to provide remedial or enrichment instruction.

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