Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, January 20

250
Death of Fabian, bishop of Rome, under the persecution of Emperor Decius.
473
Death of Euthymius the Great in the desert northeast of Jerusalem. He had been an abbot in Palestine and a hermit noted for his holiness.
1669
Birth of Susannah Annesley, "Mother of Methodism." Born the 25th child in her family, she married Samuel Wesley in 1689 and bore him 19 children, the last two being John (1703) and Charles (1707) Wesley.
1758
English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'I cannot think of you, without thinking of God. Others often lead me to Him, as it were, going round about. You bring me straight into His presence.'
1773
Thomas Charles, who will become a leader of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists, converts to Christianity while listening to Daniel Rowland preach.
1862
Death at Hoddesdon, Herts, England, of hymnwriter Harriet Auber, who had led a quiet and contented life, publishing only one volume, The Spirit of the Psalms. Many of her hymns will appear in hymnbooks, especially an epiphany hymn that begins "Bright was the guiding star that led..."
1879
Birth of Albert S. Reitz, American Baptist evangelist and clergyman. He published over 100 hymns during his lifetime. Of these, the one best remembered today is "Teach Me to Pray, Lord."
1881
In 1875 Fredrik Franson, an evangelist among Minnesota's Swedish immigrants and author of Mormonism Unveiled and a treatise on church growth, is ordained by the Free Church at Phelps Center.
1918
In Russia, following the Bolshevik Revolution, all church property was confiscated and all religious instruction in the schools was abolished.
1942
At the notorious Wannsee Conference in Berlin, German Nazi officials decided on their "final solution," which called for a mass extermination of all the Jews in Europe.

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