Today in Christian History
In response to Martin Luther's recent challenge to indulgences, Pope Leo X issues the bull Cum postquam which defends indulgences as a treasury of merits.
Ordination of Jedidiah Morse as a Congregationalist minister. He will become a lifelong opponent of Unitarianism, founding and editing a journal to defend orthodoxy and, when Harvard elects a Unitarian to its Hollis Chair of Divinity, will help bring about the creation of Andover Theological Seminary to counter Harvard's liberal theology.
Birth of Asa Mahan, American educator and Congregational clergyman. President of Oberlin College in Ohio from 1835-1850, Mahan was instrumental in establishing interracial college enrollment and in the granting of college degrees to women.
Birth of Christian business traveler Samuel Hill. In 1899 Hill, John Nicholson and W.J. Knights co-founded the Gideons, a Christian organization that ministers through distribution of the Scriptures. To date, the Gideons have placed over 12 million Bibles and 100 million New Testaments.
British philanthropist Moses Montefiore, 52, became the first Jew to be knighted in England. Montefiore was a banking executive who devoted his life to the political and civil emancipation of English Jews.
Death in Hannibal, Missouri, of evangelist Barton W. Stone, a founding leader of the the Stone-Campbell movement, later to be known as the Christian Church and the Disciples of Christ.
Death of Henry Ballantine, missionary to India, who helped translate the Bible into Marathi.
Soviets arrest the Orthodox priest Michael Gordeyevich Zaitsev for "counter-revolutionary agitation." The following March he will be executed by being shot.
The worst Jewish pogrom in peacetime Germany took place as Nazi thugs led a "spontaneous" campaign of terror. During the night 267 synagogues were plundered, 7,500 shops were wrecked, 91 Jews were killed and 20,000 others were arrested and sent to concentration camps. It was afterward known as "Kristallnacht" because of the thousands of windows broken.
Death of Reuben Akinwalere George, the founding general overseer of the Gospel Faith Mission International of Nigeria, a movement that grew rapidly in part because of his faith and zeal. Through his vision, the denomination developed schools and a publishing house.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"