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Today in Christian History
Death of Johannes Oecolampadius, a leader in the Swiss Reformation. He had sided with Ulrich Zwingli in the dispute with Martin Luther over the Lord's Supper.
Death in Edinburgh of John Knox, the most notable of the reformers of Scotland.
Amidst singing and the music of an organ, viols, hautboys, trombones, trumpets, and kettledrums, Justus Falckner is ordained at Old Swede's Church in Philadelphia - the first Lutheran pastor ordained in America.
Birth of Father Junipero Serra, Spanish missionary to western America. From 1769, he established 9 of the first 21 Franciscan missions founded along the Pacific coast, and baptized some 6,000 Indians before his death in 1784.
Ordination of Robert Murray McCheyne to the pastorate of St. Peter's, Dundee. He will become a leader in the ensuing Scottish revival.
Pope Pius IX flees from Rome in face of the approach of revolutionaries led by Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi. Mildly liberal in outlook before the seizure of Rome, Pius IX thereafter becomes a reactionary.
Death in London of George Croly, a clergyman of the Church of England. He had been a hymnologist, publishing Psalms and Hymns for Public Worship. He also wrote the hymn, "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart."
More than 150 African American delegates meet in Montgomery, Alabama, to form the Baptist Foreign Missions Convention of the United States. Liberian missionary William W. Colley is chief organizer, and the Rev. William H. McAlpine will be elected the convention's first president.
Congo rebels seize American missionary Bill McChesney. He is suffering so seriously with malaria he needs help and his friend Jim Rodgers, a British missionary, leaps into the truck with him. Despite McChesney's illness, the rebels beat him mercilessly the whole way to the prison where they will incarcerate him. Both men are beaten and trampled to death the following morning.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"