Christian History Institute

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Christian History

Isaac Backus

It Happened Today: Backus Founded Middleborough Baptist Church (1756)

As he studied Scripture, his views on baptism changed.

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Dalton book title page

Devotional (2016 church year): Saturday evening petition (1861)

And now, Lord, we beseech thee, to forgive us the sins of the past week. We...

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United Methodists disturb many fellow Methodists and other traditional Christians by “blessing” a lesbian couple before fifteen hundred people in Sacramento, California. The women were lay leaders who had lived together for fifteen years.

Authority for the date:

Bernard, David K. A History of Christian Doctrine.


Abraham Odekunle Aiki returns to his home town in Ilero, Nigeria, where for more than forty years he will preach, visit, pray, and study. His church will grow from thirty-nine members to over one thousand, and he will plant several new churches and establish a school where none had previously existed.

Authority for the date:

Dictionary of Christian African Biography.


Death of Charles P. Chiniquy, who had been a Catholic priest but, following disciplinary action, left the church and became a popular American agitator against Catholicism and the author of the anti-Catholic book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome. He had also blamed Lincoln’s assassination on a Catholic conspiracy.

Authority for the date:

Standard encyclopedias.


Reformer Henry Thornton dies at William Wilberforce’s house. A banker and Parliamentarian, he had been the financial brains behind the social schemes of the philanthropic and anti-slavery group known as the Clapham Sect.

Authority for the date:

Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals.


Virginia adopts a statute for establishing religious freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.

Authority for the date:

Commanger, Henry Steele. Documents in American History.


Death of Blessed Maximus, Priest of Totma in Vologda District, a “fool for Christ” who had continually fasted and prayed. The Orthodox consider him a saint because of miracles alleged to have occurred at his tomb.

Authority for the date:


Archbishop William Laud consecrates St. Catherine Cree Church, in Leadenhall Street, London, with ritual and ceremony that his detractors consider excessive and counter to Reformation or Puritan tendencies.

Authority for the date:

Wylie, James Aitken. The History of Protestantism.


Puritan John Rainolds suggests to King James I “that there might bee a newe translation of the Bible, as consonant as can be to the original Hebrew and Greek.” James will grant approval the next day. Seven years later, the Authorized Version (King James Version) will be published.

Authority for the date:

Christian History 43 How We Got Our Bible (1994).


Death of Georg Spalatin, a friend of Luther. As confidential secretary, councilor, librarian, historian, archivist, and relic-buyer for elector Frederick the Wise he had been able to promote the Reformation.

Authority for the date:

Standard encyclopedias.


British Parliament prohibits the reading of the New Testament in English by “women or artificer’s prentices, journeymen, servingmen of the degree of yeoman, or under, husbandmen or labourers...”

Authority for the date:

Edwards, Richard M. Scriptural Perspicuity in the Early English Reformation in Historical Theology.


[Approximate year.] Death of St. Fursey who had founded monasteries in England and Gaul. Many years earlier, Fursey, while seriously ill, had fallen into a trance in which he saw visions of heaven and hell that he recorded. These will probably be among the sources from which Dante will draw inspiration for the descriptions of hell and heaven in his Inferno and Paradiso.

Authority for the date:

Mulcahy, C. “St. Fursey.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company, 1909.