Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, January 3

1521
Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the bull Decet Romanum Pontificum for having challenged practices of the Roman Catholic Church and refusing to recant as required in Exsurge Domine, an earlier bull.
1638
Shogunate warriors defeat Christian and peasant rebels who retreat to Shimabara where they capture the fortress at Hara. After the rebellion is put down, Christianity will be outlawed in Japan.
1785
The famed Methodist "Christmas Conference" concluded in Baltimore, MD. Having opened on Christmas Eve, 1784, this body brought into being the Methodist Episcopal Church (in America), and elected Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke the first two American "general superintendents."
1918
Death at Bennington, Vermont, of Annie Sherwood Hawks, Baptist hymnwriter, best known for the hymn “I need thee every hour.”
1927
Fray Luis (Dr. Walter Monta
1930
Soviets sentence several nuns to exile in the north: Theodora, Anna, Darya, Anysia, and Agrippina. They will not be heard from again.
1934
At Barmen-Gemarke, in Germany, 320 pastors of the German Confessing Church met to draw up a theological statement opposing the Nazi German Nationalist Church. Led by Karl Barth and Martin Niem”ller, the gathering led to the formula afterward known as the Barmen Declaration.
1956
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, established in 1870, officially changed its name to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination is headquartered today in Memphis, TN, and comprises a membership of nearly 500,000.
1963
Peter Vashchenko and several other Russian Christians, desperate after years of mistreatment, which included having their children sent to juvenile homes to live with unmanageable delinquents, overwhelm the policeman at the gates of the American embassy in Moscow and enter, seeking asylum in the West. Their complicated story will cover three decades.

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