Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, August 8

1471
Death of Thomas Kempis, 91, Dutch mystic and devotional author. Though most of his years were outwardly uneventful, his book "The Imitation of Christ" remains in print today, a guide to cultivating the inner human spirit.
1518
German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: 'The Lord will provide with the trial a way out.'
1805
The First African Baptist Church of Boston is organized with twenty members.
1845
Birth of Thomas Koschat, Austrian sacred composer. One of his scores became the hymn tune POLAND, to which is commonly sung "The King of Love My Shepherd Is."
1852
Gustaf Palmquist baptizes three converts in the Mississippi River at Rock Island. He will form the Swedish Baptist Church which became known as The Baptist General Conference.
1900
Death in Portland, Maine, of Cyrus Hamlin, who had been a missionary to Turkey and founded Roberts College.
1909
Death of Mary MacKillop, Australian nun, co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. She will be named a saint by the Roman Catholic church - Australia's first.
1910
The Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments in the Vatican issued the decree "Quam singulari," which recommended that children be permitted to receive Holy Communion as soon as they reached the "age of discretion" (i.e., about age 7).
1920
Communists convict the Orthodox priest Alexander Zaitsev of anti-Soviet agitation and handing over Soviet sympathizers to a resistance movement. He is sentenced to death and will be shot.
1929
Death in Medford, Massachusetts, of Catholic layworker and evangelist Martha Gallison Moore Avery.

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