Today in Christian History
Ethelbert, an Anglo-Saxon king, is baptized, having converted to Christianity weeks earlier.
George "Gennadius" Scholarios becomes the first ecumenical patriarch of the Orthodox Church to serve under a Muslim conqueror when Mohammed II invests him with the crosier and mantle.
Joseph Hawley, spiritually depressed, commits suicide in Northampton, Massachusetts, causing the collapse of a revival led by Jonathan Edwards.
Birth of Henry Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman who wrote the hymns 'Abide with Me' and 'Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.'
The executive board of the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention (African American) learns that W.W. Colley, their respected African-American missionary to Liberia, has shot and killed an African boy. Appalled, they order him to turn over the mission to another man. However, he is already on his way home because of illness. It turns out that the killing was accidental. He had fired a gun to frighten off a mentally ill man who had entered the property and had struck the boy without knowing it until later. An African court had already cleared him.
Birth of Ray Knighton, who in 1954 founded the Medical Assistance Program (MAP International) in Chicago.
Missionary-linguist Frank C. Laubach wrote in a letter: 'I must talk about God, or I cannot keep Him in my mind. I must give Him away in order to have Him.'
The Christian Aid Mission (CIM) was chartered in Washington, DC by founder Bob Finley.
Death in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, of Reinhold Niebuhr, a prominent neo-orthodox and realist theologian. Deeply concerned with the conditions of working people, he had rejected the Social Gospel, liberal utopianism, and naive biblical literalism. He was an anti-communist who helped found Americans for Democratic Action. Niebuhr taught at Union Theological Seminary for thirty years and wrote many influential books. Christians who know nothing else about him may still have recited some form of his popular Serenity Prayer: "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."
The Evangelical Free Baptist Church was incorporated in DuPage County, Illinois, having withdrawn from the Southern Baptist Convention following a doctrinal dispute.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"