Today in Christian History
Death of Clare of Assisi, a Benedictine nun known for her spiritual relationship with St. Francis and for founding the Poor Clares.
Death of Nicholas of Cusa, a church diplomat and council member. He had been the first to say space is curved, declaring that only if that were true could God be equally the center of every point. However, he had been a man of contradictions, defending the papacy but proving the Donation of Constantine a forgery; suffering imprisonment for the sake of the church but compelling Jews to wear yellow badges.
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'Scriptural faith is a very different thing from a rational assent to the Gospel. Christ is not only the object, but the Author and Finisher of faith.'
Presbyterian missionary Charles Williams Forman sails for India. He will begin Protestant missionary work at Lahore and spend more than forty years in the Punjab, founding Forman Christian College.
Death of composer Lowell Mason in Orange, New Jersey. His publication of church music had been prolific, with over fifteen hundred sacred compositions to his credit. His popular tunes included those to which we sing "Nearer, My God, to Thee,"" When I Survey the Wondrous Cross," "My Faith Looks Up to Thee," and "Blest Be the Tie that Binds."
Death of John Henry Newman. Ordained an Anglican in 1824, he had become a leader in the Oxford Movement, aiming to restore the Church of England to high church principles. But in 1843 he had left Protestantism to become a Roman Catholic. His autobiography, Aplogia pro vita sua, will later be considered a Christian classic.
Birth of Lee Shelley, missions pioneer. In 1957 he founded Christians in Action Missions in Huntington Park, California an interdenominational agency working overseas in evangelism, church planting and missionary training.
In Toledo, Ohio, three Lutheran synods merged to form the American Lutheran Church. (In 1960 the ALC merged with two other branches of Evangelical Lutheranism, and in 1988 joined with a third Lutheran group to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ELCA.)
Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula, a successful pastor and evangelist, moves to Kasamwa-Geita, Mwanza, to become the first African Director of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.
Presbyterian apologist Francis Schaeffer wrote in a letter: 'We live in an abnormal world and all kinds of things do exist, but this does not make them right.'
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"