Christian History Institute

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Christian History

Ephraem the Syrian

It Happened Today: Ephraim the Syrian, Doctor of the Universal Church (373)

Hermit, poet, Bible scholar, he acquired the name, “Harp of the Holy Spirit,” and a title from the church.

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Devotional (2016 church year): Paradise Will Be Better (1887)

Oh, forests, with your fresh coolness; glades, with tempered light, filled...

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Divine services, Bible studies, and celebration of Communion in East Germany are forbidden by the Communist government.

Authority for the date:

Hutten, Kurt. Iron Curtain Christians. Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1967.


Bernard Mizeki, an African evangelist, is speared to death in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Threatened, he had refused to flee, saying he worked for Christ. His wife and a helper leave to get blankets for him and report that, from a distance, they see a blinding light on the hillside where he has been lying, and hear a rushing sound, as though of many wings. When they return to the spot, his body has disappeared.

Authority for the date:


Death of Johann Franck, a leading German hymnwriter whose verses were more mystical and individualistic than hymns of preceding centuries.

Authority for the date:

Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal.


Death of William B. Tappan, a clock maker, pastor, Sunday school leader, and hymnwriter. His most famous hymn is “’Tis Midnight and on Olive’s Brow.”

Authority for the date:



The first Lutheran prison ministry in Germany opens under the leadership of Theodore Fliedner.

Authority for the date:

” Fliedner, Theodore.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911.


Eighteen people (three of them African American) gather under a sugar maple tree at Severn’s Valley (now Elizabethtown), Kentucky, to form the first Baptist Church in that state. They will soon build themselves a log cabin in which to worship and will conduct baptisms in a nearby stream.

Authority for the date:

Nowlin, William D. “Kentucky Baptist History.”


Judges under King Henry VIII sentence Anne Askew to be taken to Smithfield and burned for her views on transubstantiation. The sentence will be carried out the following month.

Authority for the date:

Lambert, Tim. “A Brief Biography of Anne Askew.”