Today in Christian History
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa orders Jews of Holland to wear a yellow badge.
Birth of Girolamo Savonarola, Italian reformer. A Dominican from 1474, he was famous for his religious zeal. For 14 years he led in the reformation of Florence, before attacks on Alexander VI led to his excommunication. In 1498, he was convicted of heresy, hanged and burned.
Martin Luther, 36, first published his German translation of the New Testament. (Luther's translation of the entire Bible was completed in 1534 -- perhaps the greatest literary achievement of the great Reformer.)
Death at Harrowgate, England, of John Balguy, a Church of England priest who had written many books of theology and apologetics as well as an essay on redemption that rejected substitution in atonement.
The first lodge of Orangemen is organized in Loughgall, County Armagh, Ireland. Named after William, Prince of Orange, it will be a bitterly sectarian Protestant fraternity that will clash often with equally angry Roman Catholic societies known as Defenders or Ribbonmen.
Francis Scott Key's patriotic verses, entitled "The Star Spangled Banner," were first published in "The Baltimore American." (The poem became the American National Anthem in 1931.)
Archbishop Signaie ordains Charles Chiniquy as a priest in Quebec Cathedral. After causing several scandals, Chiniquy will quit Catholicism and vilify his former church.
In Germany during Hitler's rise to power, Martin Niemoeller began organizing the Pastors' Emergency League. Over 7,000 churches joined, although some 2,500 later withdrew under Nazi pressure. (The League itself gave birth to the more famous Barmen Synod, formed in May 1934.)
Death of James M. Gray, who had been a Bible teacher, author, pastor (Reformed Episcopal Church), dean and president of Moody Bible Institute, an editor of the Scofield reference Bible and hymnwriter. Among his hymns was "Nor Silver Nor Gold" and "Only a Sinner."
Muslim extremists attack a Christian radio station in the Philippines, killing Greg Hapalla (who is taping a program in the local language) and control operator Greg Bacabis.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"