Today in Christian History
(traditional date) Martyrdom of Edmund, King of the East Angles. Danish invaders had offered him peace at the cost of renouncing Christ but he refused, fighting to preserve his throne and his faith. Captured, he was tortured and murdered.
In Switzerland, French reformer John Calvin, 32, established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.
The first Presbyterian meeting house in England was established at Wandsworth, Surrey.
Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II issues a Tomus on the question of the Gregorian calendar, which the Orthodox Church rejects, sticking with the traditional Julian calendar.
The King of Warri [in Nigeria] writes the pope, pleading that missionaries be sent to his country. In response, the pope will dispatch Capuchin friars who will criss-cross the small country for four years.
Death of Isaac Backus, an influential Massachusetts Baptist leader, soulwinner, and advocate of religious freedom.
Death of Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman and hymnwriter, who wrote "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken." He also penned the hymn, "Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide." His last words are "Joy! Peace!"
Francis "Fanny" J. Crosby becomes a Christian following a disconcerting dream in which a dying friend makes her promise to meet him in heaven. Attending a Methodist revival service, she seeks assurance at the altar and she is flooded with joy, and leaps up, shouting "Hallelujah." She will go on to write hundreds of beloved hymns such as "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine."
Amanda Smith, feeling dull, sees a vision saying "Go Preach." She becomes a well-known African-American evangelist who travels world-wide.
The Russian Orthodox Church joined the World Council of Churches.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"