Historical Writings

Today in Christian History

Thursday, December 16

1714
Birth of George Whitefield, the youngest child of Thomas and Elizabeth Whitefield. He will become an international evangelist.
1744
David Brainerd exhibits one of his frequent bouts of depression, writing in his journal, "Was so overwhelmed with dejection that I knew not how to live: I longed for death exceedingly ... I was so much oppressed that my soul was in a kind of horror."
1826
Birth of John Ellerton, Anglican clergyman and writer of children's hymns. Among his better-known compositions are "Savior, Again to Thy Dear Name We Raise" and "Welcome, Happy Morning."
1835
Fire destroys much of Arthur and Lewis Tappan's business on New York City's Pearl Street. The evangelical brothers also lose business because of their strong opposition to slavery and come close to financial ruin. However they will tighten their belts, salvage their fortunes, and repay all of their debts with interest in eighteen months.
1867
Birth of Amy Carmichael, Scotch-Irish missionary. She went to India in 1895 under the Zenana Missionary Society, remaining there without furlough until her death 56 years later. An invalid her last 20 years, she worked to rescue children from Hindu cult prostitution, and founded the Dohnavur Fellowship in 1925.
1870
The Colored Methodist Church of America was established at Jackson, TN. Its name was changed in 1954 to the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The denomination today is comprised of approximately 3,000 congregations.
1897
African-American delegates gather in the Shiloh Baptist church of Washington, DC, to organize the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, later known as Lott Carey Baptist Home and Foreign Mission Convention.
1935
Death of Walter S. Martin, a Disciples of Christ clergyman, teacher, and evangelist. He had composed the tune GOD CARES to which we sing the hymn "God Will Take Care of You."
1944
Death of Betsie ten Boom in Ravensbr
2011
Chinese authorities announce that Christian lawyer Gao Shisheng, whose whereabouts have been unknown for years, is sentenced to three additional years in prison for “violation of probation.” Gao, often tortured in the cruelest manner, had pleaded for greater justice in the application of Chinese law.

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