Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, August 20

Death of St. Philibert of France, abbot and monastic founder, particularly associated with Jumi
Death of Bernard of Clairvaux, French theologian, monastic reformer, and hymn writer.
Martyrdom of Theocharis of Neopolis, an Orthodox Christian. The governor of Nevsehir in the Ottoman Empire had offered him his daughter in marriage on condition he convert to Islam. Offended by Theocharis' refusal, he tortures and executes him.
Birth of Francis Asbury, English Methodist missionary and circuit-riding bishop of the American colonies. During 42 years of labor, Asbury traveled 300,000 miles by horseback, ministering up and down the Eastern seaboard.
Death of Pitambara Singha from an asthmatic complaint. He had first read about salvation in a Baptist tract printed at Serampore and had immediately visited the mission there, becoming a faithful convert, Christian author, and evangelist.
Death from cholera of Ganga Narayan Sil, a learned convert from Hinduism, who had become a street preacher to Hindus and Muslims.
Birth of Paul Tillich, German philosophical theologian. Tillich advocated "myth" as a signpost, participating in the reality to which it points. Evangelicals generally criticize Tillich today for his pantheistic views of God.
Kenneth Pike crosses into Mexico for the first time as a missionary. Later he will become a trail-blazing linguist and a founder of the Summer Institute of Linguistics.
A pentecostal sect, formed by Grady R. Kent out of the Church of God of Prophecy, formally adopted as its name "The Church of God of All Nations." The denomination is headquartered today in Cleveland, Tennessee.
Jonathan Myrick Daniels, a theological student in the Episcopal Church, is killed by a shotgun blast. Released from jail just that morning (he had been locked up for participation in a march against segregation), he died while shielding an African-American woman from the gunman.

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