Today in Christian History
Swiss Reformer Ulrich Zwingli, 34, was elected People's Preacher at the Old Minster Church in Zurich, where he continued as pastor for the remaining 13 years of his life.
Martin Luther says no man can be saved unless he renounces the rule of the pope.
English Puritans introduced the "Root and Branch" petition to the Long Parliament in London. It demanded the English episcopacy, "with all its dependencies, roots and branches, be abolished." (The imagery comes from Malachi 4:1.)
Birth of Joseph Mohr, the Austrian Roman Catholic vicar who, along with the Oberndorf Church organist Franz Gruber, on Christmas Eve of 1818, authored the enduring Christmas hymn, "Stille Nacht" ("Silent Night").
Samuel Adjai Crowther is baptized at the age of sixteen. Recently a slave, he will become the first Anglican bishop of West Africa.
Methodist leader Reverdy C. Ransom becomes the first African American to give an address at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, marking the celebration of the William Lloyd Garrison Centennial.
Death of Lars Olsen Skrefsrud, famous Norwegian missionary. Once a thief, he had been converted to faith in Christ. In India he had translated the Bible into the Santal language and produced a hymnal using native tunes. He wrote textbooks, published a book of traditional Santal myths, founded schools that taught farming, animal care, and carpentry. He sought to establish a church the Santalese could run themselves. By his death, there were fifteen thousand or more Santal Christians.
Soviets cut to pieces Russian Orthodox deacon Constantine Zverev with sabres because he stands up in defence of a priest.
American missionary and apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'Our trusting the Lord does not mean that there are not times of tears. I think it is a mistake as Christians to act as though trusting the Lord and tears are not compatible.'
The Central American Mission changed its name to CAM Intentional, after expanding its missionary efforts into Latin America. (This evangelical mission group was founded in 1890 by C.I. Scofield, editor of the Scofield Bible.)
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"