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Today in Christian History
Jan Hus, Czech reformer, is burned at the stake in Constance, Germany for "heresy." He had been outspoken in his appeals for church reform and for political and religious rights for the common people.
As friends arrive for dinner, Luther feels an intense buzzing in his left ear and goes to lie down, when suddenly he calls, "Water … or I'll die!" Afterward he experiences bouts of depression. To combat them, he will eventually write the famous hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."
English Catholic theologian Thomas More was beheaded for refusing to recognize Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England, which had just broken with the Roman Catholic Church.
Death of the Protestant king Edward VI of England, which results in the declaration of Lady Jane Grey as queen, a position she holds only a few days before the Catholic Mary Tudor ascends the throne.
Birth of William McKendree, colonial American church leader. In 1808 he was ordained the first American-born bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Death of Granville Sharp. He had contested slavery and won an important ruling that no person could remain a slave upon English soil. Sharp was also a Bible scholar who established an important rule for translating a particular Greek construction.
Birth of John H. Sammis, American Presbyterian clergyman and author of the hymn, 'Trust and Obey.'
James Stewart sails from Southhampton, England, to South Africa on the Celt. In South Africa he will found an important training center for African Christians.
Death of Kidana-Wald Kefle, an Orthodox Ethiopian scholar who devoted his life to learning, including writing a commentary on Ezekiel and compiling a Ge'ez-Amharic dictionary, a Hebrew-Ge'ez dictionary, and other works.
Kenneth Pike is awarded the Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, from Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, Germany, giving a lecture on "Language and Living."
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"