Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, November 25

2348 BC
According to Archbishop James Ussher's Old Testament chronology, the Great Deluge ("Noah's Flood") began on this date.
1554
Martin Chemnitz, who will be called "the Second Martin" because of his influence in the Lutheran church, is ordained by Johannes Bugenhagen at Wittenberg.
1742
In New York, David Brainerd, 24, was approved as a missionary to the New England Indians by the Scottish Society for the Propagating of Christian Knowledge (SPCK). Brainerd worked heroically from Apr 1743 to Nov 1746, before advancing tuberculosis forced him to relinquish his work. (He died in October 1747.)
1748
Death at Stoke Newington, England, of Isaac Watts, who wrote close to 600 hymns, including "At the Cross," "Come, We That Love the Lord, " "Jesus Shall Reign Where'er the Sun," "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," and "Joy to the World."
1854
Death of John Kitto who raised standards for Bible encyclopedias by adding images and combining articles on relevant topics such as New Testament archeology. Although deaf, he had traveled and taught in the Middle East, laying the foundation for his biblical knowledge. He had also founded and edited the Journal of Sacred Literature.
1864
British Jewish statesman Benjamin Disraeli declared in a speech: 'Man is a being born to believe, and if no church comes forward with all the title deeds of truth, he will find altars and idols in his own heart and his own imagination.'
1884
James Otis Sargent Huntington, who has been working among the poor and immigrants at Holy Cross Mission in New York City, takes a life vow consecrating himself to this vocation. Because of his insistence on the social witness of the Church, he will increase Episcopal Church commitment to social ministries.
1900
Death of Willibald Beyschlag, a German theologian and church leader, editor, and founder of the Protestant League. Although a pietist and an evangelical, he had rejected the formula developed by the Council of Chalcedon (which stated that Christ has two natures coming together to form one person) and the rationalism of David Strauss and Ernest Renan that denied the divinity of Christ. He was also a strong proponent of separation of church and state.
1921
Meletius Metaxakis becomes ecumenical patriarch of the Orthodox Church as Meletius IV. In his extraordinary life, he will be the only man successively to lead three autocephalous (independent) Orthodox Churches. He will found metropolitan sees of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and as ecumenical patriarch will reach out to the Anglican Church.
1935
Sun Chu Kil, who had been at the heart of Korean revival and resistance to Japanese occupation, collapses while preaching at a Bible conference. He dies the next day.

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© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"