Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, December 3

1170
Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket, 52, returned to England after six years of exile in France. (Becket would be martyred on December 29th of this year killed by soldiers sent by his former friend, English King Henry II.)
1552
Death of the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier in China, where he had contracted a fever while awaiting permission to preach. He had been one of the founding members of his order and a soul winner from Portugal to Japan.
1557
Under the leadership of John Knox, Protestants in Scotland sign their First Covenant at Edinburgh, uniting Presbyterians under the name: "Congregation of the Lord."
1659
Torture and execution of Gabriel, the Orthodox metropolitan of Ganos and administrator of Prousa. Jews had accused him of baptizing a Muslim convert into the Christian faith. He could have escaped torture by converting to Islam but refused to deny his faith.
1841
Birth of Clara H. Scott, American music teacher and composer. A contributor to the collections published by Horatio R. Palmer, she is best remembered today as author and composer of the hymn, "Open My Eyes, That I May See."
1879
Baptists in Liberia accept two churches formed by African American missionary Harrison N. Bouey into their conference. The members had migrated with him from the United States.
1886
John Byington, early leader of the Seventh-day Adventists, and president of their first General Conference in 1863, writes, "This is a day of comfort and peace. I have felt my sins were very many; have asked and found mercy of the Saviour, and would declare His loving-kindness to all."
1903
(Probable date) Miserable after burning a Bible, Sundar Singh sees a vision of Christ. The teenager will immediately begin to preach the gospel to others at great risk to himself and be poisoned and expelled from his home.
1926
Death of Mok Lai Chi, a Chinese Pentecostal evangelist, educator, and editor.
1990
Execution in Iran of Assemblies of God pastor Hossmein Soodmand, who had refused to leave his country and his Christian followers to work in a safer region of the world.

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