Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, June 18

1464
Pius II led a brief 'crusade' into Italy, against the Turks. However, he soon became ill and died, before the rest of his allies arrived. Soon after, the three-centuries-old 'crusades mentality' among European Christians came to an end.
1546
Judges under King Henry VIII sentence Anne Askew to be taken to Smithfield and burned for her views on transubstantiation. The sentence will be carried out the following month.
1677
Death at Guben, Germany, of Johann Franck, a leading German hymnwriter whose verses were more mystical and individualistic than hymns of preceding centuries.
1781
Eighteen people (three of them African American) gather under a sugar maple tree at Severn's Valley (now Elizabethtown), Kentucky, to form the first Baptist Church in that state. They will soon build themselves a log cabin in which to worship and will conduct baptisms in a nearby stream.
1819
Birth of Samuel Longfellow, an American clergyman who composed the words to the hymn, 'Father, Give Thy Benediction.'
1826
The first Lutheran prison ministry in Germany opens under the leadership of Theodore Fliedner.
1830
Birth of Elizabeth Cecilia Clephane, an orphaned Scottish poet who penned two of the most haunting hymns in the English language: 'Beneath the Cross of Jesus' and 'The Ninety and Nine.'
1896
Bernard Mizeki, an African evangelist, is speared to death in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Threatened, he had refused to flee, saying he worked for Christ. His wife and a helper leave to get blankets for him and report that, from a distance, they see a blinding light on the hillside where he has been lying, and hear a rushing sound, as though of many wings. When they return to the spot, his body has disappeared.
1906
Birth of Gordon Lindsay, missions pioneer. In 1948 Lindsay and he wife Freda founded Christ for the Nations, an interdenominational foreign missions support agency.
1955
Divine services, Bible studies, and celebration of Communion in East Germany are forbidden by the Communist government.

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