Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Wednesday, November 17

594
Death of Gregory of Tours, influential bishop of Tours and historian of the Franks.
680
Death of influential Hild (aka Hilda) of Whitby, abbess of a double monastery of women and men, the site of a famous synod that determined the direction of English Christianity.
1231
Death of Elizabeth of Hungary, at age thirty-four. A noblewoman, she had used her wealth to help the needy. Following her husband's death, she had become the first of the Franciscan Tertiaries and tended the sick at Marburg. (Tertiaries are men or women who serve God within secular occupations.)
1634
Giordano Ansalone, missionary to Japan, is martyred in Nagasaki.
1668
Death of Joseph Alleine, English Puritan, having burned himself out by age thirty-four in labors for the Lord. He wrote Alleine's Alarm.
1758
English churchman Philip Embury, 30, married Margaret Switzer. Afterward immigrating to America, Embury was later encouraged by his cousin Barbara Heck to found a Methodist society in New York City in 1768. Embury thus became the first Methodist preacher in North America.
1775
Anglican hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'Rational assent may be the act of our natural reason; faith is the effect of immediate almighty power.'
1876
English-born Rodney ("Gipsy") Smith, 16, was converted to a living faith. Smith later became an English Wesleyan singing evangelist whose preaching emphasized the love of God.
1906
In Toronto, Ellen Hebden experienced a Pentecostal baptism, followed soon after by her husband James. Their East End Mission afterward became a source and focal point for establishing Pentecostal holiness throughout Canada.
1980
In Stone v. Graham, by a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Kentucky statute requiring the posting of the Judeo-Christian Ten Commandments in public school classrooms.

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