Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, August 17

1635
Richard Mather arrives in Boston, the first of the "Mather Dynasty" in New England.
1662
Repose (death) of Philip of Sukhona, a notable Orthodox hermit on Mt. Yankov. Considering himself unworthy, he had refused to become head of the monastery there.
1734
Presbyterian pastor John Craig arrives in America, disembarking in Delaware. The first settled minister in western Virginia, he travels the region preaching and baptizing.
1761
Birth of William Carey, pioneer English missionary to India. He taught at the newly founded Fort William College of Calcutta from 1801 until his death, and helped found the Serampore Press, which made the Bible accessible to over 300 million people.
1768
John Witherspoon is inaugurated as president of the College of New Jersey (later known as Princeton).
1780
Birth of George Croly, Irish churchman and author. During his life he published writings of biographical, historical and religious importance, but is primarily remembered today as author of the hymn, "Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart."
1809
In Pennsylvania, Thomas Campbell, 46, and his son Alexander, 20, formed the American Movement for Christian Unity, which later became the Disciples of Christ Church.
1862
Stephen and Mary Riggs, missionaries among the Dakota, hold service in the chapel at Hazelwood for the last time. An Indian uprising will force them to flee and the exertions of their flight will completely undermine Mary's health.
1878
Death of Richard Upjohn, an architect who had designed many Christian churches in the United States, applying revived English Gothic architectural style. Because of his strong faith, he refused a commission to design a Unitarian church building, considering Unitarians anti-Christian.
1992
(or 18th) Death of Bautista Silva, the first convert of the Piaroa tribe in Venezuela. He helped with Bible translation and sought to win others to Christ, traveling on foot and sitting up all night to speak about Jesus if need be.

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