Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, February 17

661
Death of Finan, bishop of Lindisfarne (an island in the North Sea), who had sought to preserve Celtic customs against Roman influence.
1741
English revivalist George Whitefield advised in a letter: 'Be content with no degree of sanctification. Be always crying out, "Lord, let me know more of myself and of thee."'
1815
In deciding the legal case "Terrett v. Taylor," the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional an act of the Virginia Legislature which denied property rights to Protestant Episcopal churches in the state. The Court ruled that religious corporations, like other corporations, have rights to their property.
1821
Levi Parsons arrives in Jerusalem, the first Protestant missionary to found a permanent mission in that city.
1828
Representative John Quincy Adams comments in his diary on the overly-crowded conditions of the church that meets inside the Capitol building in Washington.
1889
Billy Sunday, 27, baseball player-turned-preacher, made his first appearance as an evangelist in Chicago. A strong fundamentalist, Sunday preached temperance and opposed scientific evolution. Over 100 million are estimated to have heard Sunday preach before his death in 1935.
1912
Death of John Nelson "Praying" Hyde, who had served as a missionary in India. His last words were, "Shout the victory of Jesus Christ!" He had recently undergone surgery for a malignant tumor of the brain.
1926
Arrest of Dr. Kao, a Chinese Christian who had moved into the pagan city of Gan-djou to act as a Christian witness. Authorities are angry at him for exposing criminal activities in the city government. He will suffer in jail for many months.
1977
Death of Orestes (Chornock) of Agathonikeia, who had helped draw thirty-seven Catholic uniate parishes in North America back to Orthodoxy after years of conflict with Rome, which wanted to Latinize the churches and end priestly marriages. Orestes became the first ruling bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese.
2001
Death of Richard Wurmbrandt, Romanian-born founder of the Voice of the Martyrs and of ministries to Eastern Europe during the Communist era.

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