Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, July 1

The first Lutheran martyrs of the Reformation are burned alive this day in Brussels. Johann Esch (Johann van den Esschen) and Heinrich Voes (Hendrick Voss), young Augustinians at Antwerp, followers of Luther, had been forced to choose between recantation or death. Authority for the date: Kostlin, Julius. Life of Martin Luther. New York: Scribners, 1884.
Gentle John Bradford is burned to death as a heretic during the reign of Mary Tudor. As he is led to his death, crowds line the way, weeping and praying for him. In the Tower of London, he had ministered to criminals. Authority for the date: Simcox, Carroll E. Treasury of Quotations of Christian Themes. SPCK, 1976.
The Westminster Assembly first convened in England, from which would emerge the Westminster longer and shorter catechisms.
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." Authority for the date: Chambers Book of Days (1881).
Baptism of Mary Webb, a Bostonian. She had been reluctant to take this public step of faith because of a physical deformity which bound her to a wheelchair. She will become a leading mission organizer. Authority for the date: Vail, Albert L. Mary Webb and the Mother Society. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1914.
The earliest recorded Methodist camp meeting in America was held in Logan County Kentucky, near the Gaspar River Church.
Robert Murray McCheyne is licensed to preach at the Presbytery of Annam, where he will become a famous pastor and revivalist. Authority for the date: Boreham, F.W. Life Verses.
Death of Catherine Winkworth, who had made masterful translations of German hymns into English. Authority for the date: Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.
Death of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. A Christian author, she had averaged nearly a book a year at the peak of her production, but Uncle Tom's Cabin will remain her most famous. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.
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.
Beheading of missionary Horace Tracy Pitkin during the Boxer Uprising in China. Authority for the date: Speer, Robert E. A Memorial of Horace Tracy Pitkin. New York: FLeming Revell, 1903.
Apache leader Geronimo is baptized into the Methodist Church in Medicine Creek, Oklahoma Territory. Authority for the date: Geronimo. Geronimo's Story of his Life, as told to S. M. Barrett. New York: Duffield & company, 1906.
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. Authority for the date: Moss, Vladimir. Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Urals, Siberia, and Central Asia.
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. Authority for the date: Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity.
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. Authority for the date: Clifton, Daniel, ed. Chronicle of the Twentieth Century; The Ultimate Record of Our Times. Dorling Kindersley Publi
Birth of Andrae Crouch, African-American sacred music artist. His most enduring gospel songs have been 'Soon and Very Soon,' 'My Tribute' and 'Through It All.'
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public school teachers may not enter parochial school classrooms, to provide remedial or enrichment instruction.
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