Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, July 17

431
The Council of Ephesus adjourned. This third of the 21 ecumenical councils of theChurch condemned Nestorianism and Pelagianism, and defined Mary's title as 'theotokos'('Bearer of God').
1203
During the Fourth Crusade, a two-pronged Venetian and French assault captures the towers of Constantinople. The usurper Alexius III flees the city.
1429
Charles VII of France is crowned at Rheims, largely as a result of the inspiring efforts of Joan of Arc.
1505
Twenty-one-year-old future church reformer, Martin Luther entered the Augustinianmonastic order, at Erfurt, Germany.
1674
Birth of Isaac Watts, innovative pioneer of modern English hymnody. Among his manybeloved sacred compositions are: 'At the Cross,' 'Joy to the World,' 'Marching to Zion' and'When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.'
1799
Death of Samuel Medley, an English Baptist preacher. Converted after reading a sermon by Isaac Watts, Medley had pastored two different Baptist churches in Liverpool between 1767-99. "O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth," one of his hymns, will be sung for centuries.
1831
Baptism of Indian convert Radhu Das, having abandoned his high caste, his idolatry, and his self-righteous acts. He will become an educator and then a merchant, respected for his integrity and his passion to win souls.
1836
Death of William White, American patriarch of the Episcopalians. It was White who coined the name ‘Protestant Episcopal' for the American church when it separated from the Church of England.
1942
New Tribes Mission was organized by founder Paul W. Fleming. Thisinterdenominational missions agency supports over 1,000 staff members in countries aroundthe world.
1944
Abraham of Travancore becomes metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church of India, sometimes called the "Syrian" church.

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