Today in Christian History
Menno Simons, a Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands, publicly renounces Catholicism. Baptized by the moderate Anabaptist leader Obbe Philips, he will become the successful leader of the Mennonites.
John Brebeuf pronounces his final vows as a Jesuit. He will go on to labor in Canada where he will be tortured to death by the Iroquois.
(probable date) Death in Tiflis, Georgia, of Paul of Aleppo, an Archdeacon in the Syrian Melkite Church. He had written a chronicle The Travels of Macarius, Patriarch of Antioch, an important source of information for events of his time. He had also written a History of the Patriarchs of Antioch.
In Colonial America, Rev. Jonathan Mayhew of Boston delivered a sermon entitled, "Discourse Concerning Unlimited Submission." The sermon attacked both the divine right of kings and ecclesiastical absolutism.
Pioneer American Methodist bishop Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: 'Alas for the rich! They are so soon offended.'
John Williams is converted while listening to a sermon by Timothy East. This Englishman will become a famous missionary to the New Hebrides islands.
Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'God feeds the wild flowers on the lonely mountain side without the help of man.... So God can feed his own planted ones without the help of man, by the sweetly falling dew of his Spirit.'
Members of the newly organized Evangelical Alliance elect William E. Dodge, a leading merchant, industrialist, and philanthropist to be their president. In their charter they affirm their belief in "the divine-human person and atoning work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the only and sufficient source of salvation, as the heart and soul of Christianity, and as the center of all true Christian union and fellowship." The alliance will organize prayer gatherings and conferences, and issue appeals in behalf of persecuted Christians.
Chinese authorities in Shanghai force more than twenty-two thousand members of the “Little Flock” to attend a mass denunciation because of their faith.
Festo Kivengere, an Anglican Bishop in Uganda, challenges Idi Amin's mass killings in a sermon titled "The Preciousness of Life." Afterward he and his family will have to flee for their lives to Kenya.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"