Today in Christian History
Death of Gregory Palamas, a fourteenth-century Byzantium monk. He had advocated repetitive prayer and devotion to Mary. Having fled from Mt. Athos to escape the Turks, he became bishop of Thessalonica, was excommunicated during power struggles, and eventually rehabilitated.
Dutch Anabaptist reformer Menno Simons wrote in a letter: 'We ought not to dread death so. It is but to cease from sin and to enter into a better life.'
Death at Hanover, Germany, of the Lutheran philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz who refused lucrative positions that would have forced him to change faith. A mathematical genius, the symbols he developed will be used in calculus.
In Wales, English revivalist George Whitefield, 27, married widow Elizabeth Burnell, 36. (Whitefield apparently did not allow marriage to interrupt his evangelistic activities, since he was not home when their first child was born.)
Consecration of American clergyman Samuel Seabury as a bishop of the Anglican Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Church of England had refused to perform the ceremony because he would not swear loyalty to the crown. The following year he formally becomes America's first Anglican bishop. Five years later, he will help reorganize America's Anglicans as the Episcopal Church.
At a convention of the Northern association of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) in New York City, the United States Christian Commission is formed. It will minister to the material and spiritual needs of soldiers during the American Civil War.
Death of Elizabeth Maria Thompson, founder of the Lebanon Evangelical Mission. She had gone to Lebanon to comfort the widows and orphans created by a Muslim massacre of the Christian males at Damascus.
The Christian-sponsored Girl's Higher Normal School opens in Tokyo, Japan.
Death of John La Farge, a Roman Catholic artist, who had painted murals for Trinity Church, Boston, and the Church of the Ascension, New York City. He had also produced notable work in glass and other media.
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship was incorporated in Chicago. An interdenominational organization with chapters at both colleges and schools of nursing, IVCF provides Christian fellowship, nurture and discipleship among Christian college-age students.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"