Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, November 20

303
Because his prisons are full, Diocletian offers amnesty to all Christians who will sacrifice to the Roman gods.
1541
In Switzerland, French reformer John Calvin, 32, established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.
1542
At the urging of Bartolomeo de las Casas, Spain passes new laws to protect American Indians.
1572
The first Presbyterian meeting house in England was established at Wandsworth, Surrey.
1583
Ecumenical Patriarch Jeremias II issues a Tomus on the question of the Gregorian calendar, which the Orthodox Church rejects, sticking with the traditional Julian calendar.
1806
Death of Isaac Backus, an influential Massachusetts Baptist leader, soulwinner, and advocate of religious freedom.
1847
Death of Francis Lyte, Scottish clergyman and hymnwriter, who wrote "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken." He also penned the hymn, "Abide with Me, Fast Falls the Eventide." His last words are "Joy! Peace!"
1870
Amanda Smith, feeling dull, sees a vision saying "Go Preach." She becomes a well-known African-American evangelist who travels world-wide.
1872
The hymn penned by Annie Sherwood Hawks, 36 -- "I Need Thee Every Hour" -- was first sung at a National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1961
The Russian Orthodox Church joined the World Council of Churches.

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