Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, August 16

1642
John Campanius sails from Stockholm with his family to minister in Delaware. There he will learn the Lenni Lenape tongue and translate religious works into it, keep weather records, and consecrate the first Lutheran church built in the new world.
1661
Death of Thomas Fuller, a popular preacher of seventeenth-century England. He had written two books which made him famous: A Church History of Britain and Worthies of England. A Royalist during the civil war, he was in such danger that he later remarked "All that time I could not live to study who did only study to live."
1773
A month-old papal brief by Pope Clement XIV is carried into effect, suppressing the Jesuit order in several nations. Forty-one years later Pope Pius VIII will formally restore the order.
1795
Ordination of Absalom Jones, formerly a slave, as a deacon in the Episcopal Church. He will become America's first African-American Episcopal priest.
1851
Repose (death) of Matrona Naumovna Popova who had founded the first hospice in the town of Zadonsk, a disciple of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.
1852
Birth of Adolf von Schlatter, Swiss Protestant New Testament scholar. His 1921 History of Christ maintained that the success of any systematic theology had to be based on a foundation of solid biblical exegesis.
1936
Death of hymnwriter Constance Headlam Coote at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, remembered for the hymn "In the Quiet Consecration."
1942
Birth of Don Wyrtzen, contemporary Christian songwriter. Among his most enduring sacred compositions are "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" and "Worthy is the Lamb."
1967
Death in New York City of John Courtney Murray, a Jesuit theologian and educator. He is best-known for his defence of the United States' Constitution and his arguments against any effort by the Roman Catholic Church to bring about change within nations by means other than moral persuasion.
1972
African-American Methodist clergyman from Dominica, West Indies, Philip A. Potter, 51, was named general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Serving until 1984, Potter gave strong spiritual guidance to the work of the WCC.

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