Today in Christian History
The bishops of London, Ely, and Worcester pronounce Pope Innocent III's interdict on England, then flee the country. King John had promised to mutilate them if they pronounced the ban, which was issued because he refused to accept Stephen Langton as archbishop. Churches are closed and religious services discontinued. However, the baptism of children will continue, as will confession of the dying and administration of last rites.
Cardinal Reginald Pole is consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury, restoring Catholicism to England for a brief time between the Protestant reigns of Edward VI and Elizabeth I.
Hugo Grotius, a Dutch Arminian imprisoned by Calvinists, after spending an hour on his knees praying, steps into a book box by which he will escape prison.
John Gill is solemnly ordained as a Baptist pastor in Horsleydown in a lengthy public ceremony which involves much prayer and soul searching. Gill will remain at Horsleydown for 51 years and gain recognition as a great controversialist, sharply critical of Wesley's theology because it placed the decision to follow Christ in a person's own hands.
Death in New Jersey from smallpox of Jonathan Edwards, Christian pastor, theologian, scientist, and educator.
Birth of Joseph P. Webster, American sacred music writer. During his lifetime, Webster composed over 1,000 pieces of music, including the still-popular hymn tune SWEET BY AND BY ("There's a Land That is Fairer Than Day").
Birth of Edgar P. Stites, American Methodist frontier preacher and missionary. Stites is remembered today as author of the hymns "Beulah Land" and "Trusting Jesus."
The first meeting of the newly established Young Men's Hebrew Association was held in New York City. Other early "Y's" were founded in Philadelphia (1875), St. Louis (1880) and San Francisco (1885). (The YMHA became the forerunner of the modern Jewish Community Center.)
Death in Guayaquil, Ecuador, of George S. Fisher, founder of the Gospel Missionary Union. He had contracted typhoid fever while visiting the work in Ecuador.
Birthday of Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson, religious broadcaster, politician and founder in 1963 of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"