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Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Sunday, December 22

1216
Pope Honorius III officially approved the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), founded in 1216 by St. Dominic. During the Middle Ages, many leaders of European thought were Dominicans; and a good number followed Portuguese and Spanish explorers to the Americas as missionaries.
1770
Birth of Father Demetrius Gallitzin, a Dutch Catholic priest. Arriving in America in 1792, he spent his remaining years as a frontier missionary, building up the Catholic church in parts of PA, MD, VA and WV. Gallitzin became known as the "Apostle to the Alleghenies."
1837
Mercer University was chartered in Penfield, Georgia under Baptist support. In 1871 the college moved its campus to Macon, Georgia.
1838
John Hunt and his wife Hanna Summers arrive in the Fiji Islands as missionaries. Hunt will bring about the conversion of the Fijians and help end the practice of cannibalism.
1850
Henry Budd becomes the first person of First Nations ancestry ordained to the Anglican priesthood. He will work a large area of Western Canada and translate the Bible and Prayer Book into the Cree language.
1854
Death in Oxford of Martin Joseph Routh, who until three years earlier had been president of Magdalen College. A notable scholar who compiled and published the works of early church fathers, he was in his hundredth year when he died, but clear-minded - and the owner of a personal library of 16,000 volumes, some very rare.
1871
Death in Richmond, Virginia, of James Barnett Taylor, a Baptist clergyman, especially noted for his role in creating and preserving Richmond College. He had also written a biography of Lott Cary.
1888
Death in New York City of Isaac Hecker, an influential American convert to Roman Catholicism, who had founded the order of Paulists in the United States and edited Catholic World.
1921
The first U.S. commercial radio license assigned to a religious broadcaster was awarded to the National Presbyterian Church of Washington, D.C. Within five years, there were over 60 other licensed religious broadcasters, including KJS-Biola (L.A.), KFUO-Concordia Seminary (St. Louis), and WMBI-Moody Bible Institute (Chicago).
1994
Gilberto Orellana, an El Salvadorean Christian composer teaching in Morocco, is arrested along with five Muslims he has led to Christ. An international outcry obtains his release after he is sentenced to eight months in prison. His converts also face prison, but three recant.

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