Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, September 4

1666
The Great Fire of London destroys old St. Paul's Cathedral.
1741
Thomas Gillespie becomes the minister of Carnock in Fife. He becomes a strong advocate of allowing Presbyterian congregations to choose their own ministers, rather than having one appointed by the general assembly.
1771
Francis Asbury boards ship for America, where he will so organize and extend the Methodist church that by his death it will have grown from being one of America's smallest denominations to being its largest.
1773
Some of the priests of the Canonical Chapter of Castellena protest having to do homage and pay tithe to a woman "bishop" (abbess) in Naples.
1802
Birth of Marcus Whitman, American Presbyterian and pioneer medical missionary. In 1836 his family became the first whites to reach the Pacific coast by wagon train. Whitman and his wife Narcissa were murdered by the Cayuse Indians in present-day Washington state in 1847.
1813
"The Religious Remembrancer" (later renamed "The Christian Observer") was first published in Philadelphia. It was the first weekly religious newspaper in the U.S., and in the world.
1817
The Dutch announce plans to reorganize the Protestant churches in the Dutch Indies (Indonesia).
1844
Death of Oliver Holden, composer and American Puritan clergyman, in Boston, Massachusetts. He had written CORONATION, the tune to which we sing the hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name."
1911
Sergius Petrovich Ilmensky, an Orthodox priest, becomes editor of The Saratov Theological Herald. His increasing prominence will cause him to be made bishop of Solikamsk six years later (taking the name Theophanes) but the Communists will drown him on Christmas Eve 1918 while he is administering the diocese of Perm by their command.
1973
The Assemblies of God opened its first theological graduate school in Springfield, MO, making it the second Pentecostal denomination to establish its own school of theology. (The first such school was opened by Oral Roberts in Tulsa.)

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