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Today in Christian History
Death of St. John the Almsgiver, Cyprus-born Patriarch of Alexandria. Upon taking office, he had found that the Monophysites held a large number of Egyptians in their sway, but through symapthy and charity, he won much of the population back to Orthodoxy.
The fourth Lateran Council is convoked. It officially confirms the doctrine of transubstantiation - that the substance of Eucharistic bread and wine become the physical body and blood of Christ. The council also prescribes annual confession for all Christians.
In signing the The Mayflower Compact the Pilgrims pledge themselves, "solemnly mutually in the presence of God and one another," to "covenant, and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic."
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'You cannot live on what He did yesterday. Therefore He comes today.'
Baptist preacher Nat Turner is hanged in Jerusalem, Virginia, having led a slave insurrection that resulted in the deaths of fifty-five white people. (Whites killed two hundred or more African-Americans in retaliation.)
Death of David Lipscomb, a Disciples (Churches of Christ) editor and author, and one of the founders of Nashville Bible School, which will later be renamed Lipscomb University.
Death of English theologian and educator P. T. Forsyth, who wrote The Person and Place of Jesus Christ, stressing man's need for atonement and Christ's voluntary provision of it. He had been principal of Hackney Theological College in Hamstead, London.
Kate Smith first sings Irving Berlin's "God Bless America," a song that she thought she was not going to like. It will become her signature song.
Death of Jesuit bishop Tsiang Beda of Shanghai in a communist prison. He had refused to head the Chinese "reform" church.
The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren voted to merge into one denomination in the U.S., afterward to be called the United Methodist Church. (The "declaration of union" took place officially on April 23, 1968.)
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"