Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Tuesday, August 16

1532
Death of John the Constant (Elector of Saxony). He had been a leader of the princes who protested the measures taken by the Catholic-dominated Diet of Speyer in 1529 (thus becoming one of the first to be named a "Protestant"). He signed the Augsburg Confesssion and helped organize the Schmalkaldic League which protected the Protestant Reformation.
1661
Death of Thomas Fuller, a popular preacher of seventeenth-century England. He had written two books which made him famous: A Church History of Britain and Worthies of England. A Royalist during the civil war, he was in such danger that he later remarked "All that time I could not live to study who did only study to live."
1773
A month-old papal brief by Pope Clement XIV is carried into effect, suppressing the Jesuit order in several nations. Forty-one years later Pope Pius VIII will formally restore the order.
1795
Ordination of Absalom Jones, formerly a slave, as a deacon in the Episcopal Church. He will become America's first African-American Episcopal priest.
1815
Birth of St. John Bosco, Italian educator. Poverty among the children in the city of Turin led him in 1859 to establish the Society of St. Francis of Sales (the Salesians). Bosco was canonized by Pius XI in 1934.
1851
Repose (death) of Matrona Naumovna Popova who had founded the first hospice in the town of Zadonsk, a disciple of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.
1875
Evangelist, pastor, and educator Charles G. Finney dies at Oberlin.
1936
Death of hymnwriter Constance Headlam Coote at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, remembered for the hymn "In the Quiet Consecration."
1942
Birth of Don Wyrtzen, contemporary Christian songwriter. Among his most enduring sacred compositions are "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" and "Worthy is the Lamb."
1972
African-American Methodist clergyman from Dominica, West Indies, Philip A. Potter, 51, was named general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Serving until 1984, Potter gave strong spiritual guidance to the work of the WCC.

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