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Today in Christian History
Columbus discovers the New World. His writings show he intended to bring the gospel as well as pursue his secular ends.
Martin Luther and Cardinal Cajetan meet in Augsburg over the following three days to discuss Luther's 95 Theses. Cajetan tells Luther he must recant unconditionally.
Conversion of Benjamin Abbott, who will become an American revival leader. His conversion to Christianity came after fearful mental struggles, influenced by the preaching of Abraham Whitworth.
The Half Moon Bluff Baptist Church was organized near Clifton. It was the first Baptist congregation to be constituted in the American territory now comprising the state of Louisiana.
Death of Josiah G. Holland, American news editor and author of the Christmas hymn "There's a Song in the Air." After a brief career in medicine, Holland had established a weekly newspaper. Later he joined the staff of the Springfield Republican, in Massachusetts. Holland also helped found Scribner's Magazine, serving as its editor the rest of his life.
Birth of C. Harold Lowden, American sacred composer. His most enduring hymn tunes today are GENEVA ("God Who Touchest Earth with Beauty") and LIVING ("Living for Jesus a Life That is True").
Death of hymnwriter Frances Humphreys Alexander, best known for "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and the Christmas carol "Once in Royal David's City."
A German firing squad executes the British nurse Edith Cavell who had helped allied soldiers escape. At her death she says she has to go deeper to true love.
Simon Kimbangu dies after being imprisoned for years by Belgian authorities in Congo Free State. Baptist-trained, he had preached a Christian gospel of one God, healed the sick, and alarmed colonial administrators.
The rock musical "Jesus Christ, Superstar" debuted on Broadway. (Twenty years later, the actor who played the part of Jesus, Jeff Fenholt became a born-again Christian.)
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"