Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, August 24

410
The Visigoths sacked Rome, disillusioning Christians who were trusting in God's protection of this ecclesiastical center of early Christianity. St. Augustine (354-430) later tacked this religious problem in his monumental work, "City of God" (ca.413-27).
552
Death of Menas, patriarch of Constantinople. He had been actively engaged in the issues of his day as an opponent of monophysitism and of Origen's teachings, but was largely subservient to the Roman pope.
1662
The deadline arrives for all British ministers to publicly assent to the Book of Common Prayer. Two thousand Puritans who do not accept this have to vacate their pulpits, becoming known as non-conformists.
1741
After much misery because of his spiritually-lost state, Isaac Backus experiences personal salvation in Christ at the age of eighteen while plowing alone in his fields. In his diary, he records, “I was enabled by divine light to see the perfect righteousness of Christ and the freeness and richness of His grace with such clearness that my soul was drawn forth to trust in Him for salvation. The Word of God and the promises of His grace appeared firmer than a rock, and I was astonished at my previous unbelief.” He will go on to become a Baptist pastor and successful evangelist in New England.
1779
Greek monk Cosmas of Aetolia is martyred by Muslims. He had preached throughout Greece to revive the church and founded over two-hundred schools.
1795
Death of Samuel Stennett. One of the outstanding dissenter (non-Anglican) preachers of his day, he had been a personal friend of England's King George III. He wrote the hymns "Majestic Sweetness Sits Enthroned" and "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand."
1854
The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa was organized by German Lutherans. In 1930 this synod merged with the synods of Ohio and Buffalo to form the American Lutheran Church.
1894
Alois Majonga Mncadi is sent to Rome to study. He will become only the second black African to become a Catholic priest in South Africa.
1906
Five Baptist congregations met at Jellico Creek, Whitley County, Kentucky, and formed the Church of God of the Mountain Assembly. The CGMA both pentecostal and holiness in doctrine reports a world membership today of 7,000.
1917
Death of Ernest W. Shurtleff, while doing relief work in World War I with his wife. An American Congregational clergyman, he had authored the hymn, "Lead On, O King Eternal."

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