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Today in Christian History
Vasco da Gama and his sailors capture Kilwa, an African city state, granting the lives only of those Moors who do not resist. After marching through the city singing a Te Deum, they loot its wealth.
Don Fr. Francisco de Cisneros, archbishop of Toledo and general inquisitor of Spain, issues an order empowering all bishops in New Spain to investigate, imprison, prosecute, and punish heretics.
A small congregation of English Separatists, led by John Robinson, began theiremigration to the New World. Today, this historic group of religious refugees has come tobe known as the 'Pilgrims.'
French mystic Madame Guyon claims she has achieved union with God on this, St. Mary Magdalene's Day.
Death of James Varick, first Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.
Birth of Emily E. S. Elliott, Anglican missions supporter and hymnwriter. Nieceof Charlotte Elliott (who wrote the hymn 'Just As I Am'), Emily penned the words to the hymn'Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.'
The first large company of Mormon immigrants entered the Salt Lake Valley, in whatwas still Mexican territory. Soon after, Mormon leader Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City,Utah.
Birth of Peter P. Bilhorn, sacred composer. He produced over 1,400 hymns in hislife, including 'I Will Sing the Wondrous Story' and 'Sweet Peace, The Gift of God's Love.'
Forty-two delegates meet at Winona Lake, Indiana, to found Youth for Christ International. Torrey Johnson is elected president and recruits Billy Graham as the first full-time evangelist for the movement.
Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, 23, was sentenced to life imprisonment for hisattempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in May of this year.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"