Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, December 14

1363
Birth of Jean Charlier de Gerson, French theologian. During the papal schism of 1378-1414, Gerson attended the councils of Pisa (1409) and Constance (1414-18). He spent his last years in a monastery at Lyons teaching children, composing hymns and writing books on Christian mysticism.
1417
Sir John Oldcastle, a Lollard leader, is suspended from a gallows in London and roasted to death for his Wycliffian religious views.
1642
Lady Deborah Moody and and others are summoned before the Quarterly Court of Salem for their opposition to infant baptism. Rather than change her opinion, she will move to the New Netherlands (New York) where she will be influential in introducing Baptist teachings.
1710
Death of Henry Aldrich, dean of Christ Church, Oxford. A church of England clergyman, his talent shone in many directions, including architecture (he designed All Saints Church, Oxford), music (he set English words to the music of famed Italian composers and wrote many church anthems), and philosophy (his introduction to logic went through many editions).
1715
Death in London of influential Anglican Archbishop Thomas Tenison, who had been one of the founders of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
1836
Birth of Frances Ridley Havergal, English devotional writer. In frail health most of her life, Miss Havergal was nevertheless a fruitful writer, and authored such hymns as "Take My Life and Let It Be," "Who is on the Lord's Side?" and "I Gave My Life for Thee."
1906
Death in Battle Creek, Michigan, at age thirty-four, of Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, an African-American educator and founder of South Carolina's Denmark Industrial School (later renamed Voorhees Industrial School and now Voorhees College). She had suffered great opposition for her efforts to educate African-Americans, and will be honored in the Episcopal Church calendar.
1943
Death in Battle Creek, Michigan, of John Harvey Kellogg, who had been a doctor at a sanitarium in Battle Creek and a prominent figure among the early Seventh-day Adventists. His theories and experiments led him to develop prepackaged health foods and cereals, which were well received, and led to the formation of the breakfast-cereal industry.
1955
Catholic religious leader, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, 60, was quoted in "Look" magazine on this date as stating that 'an atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.'
1981
The modern nation of Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights, which had been captured from Syria during the 1967 War.

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