Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Friday, October 28

312
Roman emperor Constantine, 32, defeated the army of Maxentius, a contender to the throne, at Milvian Bridge, after trusting in a vision he had seen of the cross, inscribed with the words, "In this sign conquer." Constantine was converted soon after and became the first Roman emperor to embrace the Christian faith.
1266
Death of Arsenije I Sremac, second archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church. A pulpil of St. Sava, he succeeded him and also built the monastery at Pec.
1636
Harvard College (not yet named Harvard) is founded by vote of General Court of Massachusetts Bay with the primary purpose of preparing ministers and religious educators.
1646
Missionary John Eliot preaches the first worship service for Native Americans in their native language - in a wigwam at Nonantum, Massachusetts.
1777
Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter; 'The Lord usually reserves dying strength for a dying hour.'
1820
Birth of John H. Hopkins, a leader in the development of Episcopal church hymnody during the mid-19th century. Today, he is better remembered as the author and composer of the Christmas hymn, "We Three Kings of Orient Are."
1892
Edith Warner arrives at Lagos, Nigeria, and is transferred to shore by hoists and derricks as if she were a bale of cotton. She will serve as a missionary in Nigeria for decades, often venturing where no white person had gone before.
1926
Pope Pius XI consecrates six indigenous Chinese priests as bishops in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome, part of a new policy to make the Chinese church more nationalistic.
1949
American missionary martyr Jim Elliot, 22, inscribed in his journal perhaps the most oft-quoted of all his sayings: 'He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.'
1958
Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the Roman Catholic patriarch of Venice, becomes Pope John XXIII. He will convene the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

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