Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, September 14

407
Death of John Chrysostom, considered the greatest preacher of his era. He was being forced to march into remote exile despite severe illness.
1321
Death of Dante Alighieri, author of the greatest epic of medieval Christianity, The Divine Comedy.
1741
Consuming many cups of coffee, George Frederick Handel completes the oratorio The Messiah, begun only twenty-four days earlier. The manuscript is remarkably free of errors considering its length, the speed with which it is composed, and his own infirmity - he has already suffered a stroke.
1765
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'How unspeakable are our obligations to the grace of God.'
1814
Francis Scott Key, an Episcopalian layman and cofounder of the American Sunday School Union, is inspired to write the song that becomes America's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," when he sees that Fort McHenry has not struck its colors after a night of heavy bombardment by British ships during the war of 1812.
1863
Death of hymnwriter Jane Fox Crewdson at Summerlands, England. Among her hymns (most of which were written during a long illness) was "I've Found a Joy in Sorrow."
1927
Bob Jones University opened in Greenville, South Carolina, and eighty-eight students registered for the first fall term.
1975
Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton is canonized by Pope Paul VI, becoming the first person born in the United States to be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
1983
Shi Lishi and Shi Wuting are executed in Henan Province on the pretext of having committed murder. Well-known as house church leaders, the Shi family had expected reprisals after they prayed over and cared for a terminally ill woman.
1996
Funeral of Mrs. Joannah Mobola Ayorinde, at First Baptist Church, Broad Street, Lagos, Nigeria. She had been a holy and fearless Baptist leader of the Women's Missionary Union.

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