Today in Christian History
Death of the Irish scholar and missionary Columbanus at Bobbio, Italy, in one of the many monasteries he had founded.
Death of Nicodemus of Tismana. As a young nobleman he had gone to Mt. Athos in Greece where he became a monk and priest. Upon his return to Romania, he had established a monastic community, then moved to Vodita where he built a church. He attempted to reconcile Serbian and Byzantine churches and founded another monastery at Tismana whose monks copied books.
French thinker Blaise Pascal undergoes a profound religious conversion, which he records on paper, giving the date and time, followed by the mystical words: "Fire. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. Not of the philosophers and intellectuals. Certitude, certitude, joy, peace. The God of Jesus Christ..."
German-born John Philip Boehm, 46, was formally ordained a pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church. Boehm had previously come to America in 1720, where he began organizing religious services among German Reformed immigrants in Pennsylvania.
English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Two things I would earnestly recommend to your constant study: the book of God, and your own heart. These two, well understood, will make you an able minister of the New Testament.'
James Evans, having served as a missionary to Canadian Indians, collapses unexpectedly while in England and dies instantly at forty-five years of age. He had been under tremendous strain from sexual allegations brought against him by liquor traders furious at his preaching. A memorable incident in his life had been his accidental shooting of an Indian convert. Friends urged him to flee. James, however, located the man's family, explained what had happened and offered himself for adoption in the man's place. The mother was so impressed that a white man would care about the feelings of an Indian family, she let James live. For the rest of his short life, James shared his income with her.
Death of John Bowering who wrote the hymn "In the cross of Christ I Glory."
Death of William Wrede, German Lutheran scholar who had taught New Testament at the universities of Gottingen and Breslau. He contended that the Gospels represented the theology of the primitive church rather than a true biographical history of Jesus and that the Paul was the real founder of first-century Christianity.
Jeremiah Mahalu Kisula is sent to Kitengule-Mwibara where he begins his ministry as an ordained minister. He will become the first bishop of the Africa Inland Church of Tanzania.
Pope Paul VI issued a decree barring cardinals over the age of 80 from voting for a new pope.
© 1987-2020, William D. Blake. Portions used by permission of the author, from "Almanac of the Christian Church"