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Christian History

The Founders

It Happened Today: First Gideons’ Meeting (1899)

How God turned a providential encounter into a Christian organization.

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Beautiful Thoughts

Devotional (2016 church year): Avoid envy in Christ’s work (1893)

Whenever you attempt a good work you will find other men doing the same kind...

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Martin Niemoller, a leading Lutheran who resists Nazi racism, is arrested by the Gestapo. Released once, he will be arrested again and will spend many years in prison.

Authority for the date:

Clifton, Daniel, ed. Chronicle of the Twentieth Century; The Ultimate Record of Our Times. Dorling Kindersley Publi


Two of Yin Renxian’s children, recently converted to Christianity through his witness, are blown up by a bomb while traveling on a train. At their funeral, Yin will speak to the assembled Chinese about the power of Christ to save from sin. He and his wife Suyun, after years of tepid Christianity, had recently devoted themselves wholeheartedly to Christ with the result that a house church has formed around them. Yin will eventually become a Christian educator until the Communists shut down his activities.

Authority for the date:

Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity.


Hungarian-born Father Arcadius Garyaev is officiating an Orthodox wedding when a band of Red Army soldiers burst into his church and drag him out in his priestly vestments. They take him into the woods, kill him, and throw his body into a ravine where it will be found eleven days later.

Authority for the date:

Moss, Vladimir. Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of the Urals, Siberia, and Central Asia.

Apache leader Geronimo is baptized into the Methodist Church in Medicine Creek, Oklahoma Territory. Authority for the date: Geronimo. Geronimo’s Story of his Life, as told to S. M. Barrett. New York: Duffield & company, 1906.
Beheading of missionary Horace Tracy Pitkin during the Boxer Uprising in China. Authority for the date: Speer, Robert E. A Memorial of Horace Tracy Pitkin. New York: FLeming Revell, 1903.
Death of abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe. A Christian author, she had averaged nearly a book a year at the peak of her production, but Uncle Tom’s Cabin will remain her most famous. Authority for the date: Standard encyclopedias.

Death of Catherine Winkworth, who had made masterful translations of German hymns into English.

Authority for the date:

Episcopal Church. Holy Women, Holy Men.

Robert Murray McCheyne is licensed to preach at the Presbytery of Annam, where he will become a famous pastor and revivalist. Authority for the date: Boreham, F.W. Life Verses.
Baptism of Mary Webb. She had been reluctant to take this public step of faith because of a physical deformity which bound her to a wheelchair. She will become a leading mission organizer. Authority for the date: Vail, Albert L. Mary Webb and the Mother Society. Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1914.
Gentle John Bradford is burned to death as a heretic during the reign of Mary Tudor. As he is led to his death, crowds line the way, weeping and praying for him. In the Tower of London, he had ministered to criminals. Authority for the date: Simcox, Carroll E. Treasury of Quotations of Christian Themes. SPCK, 1976.
The first Lutheran martyrs of the Reformation are burned alive this day in Brussels. Johann Esch (Johann van den Esschen) and Heinrich Voes (Hendrick Voss), young Augustinians at Antwerp, followers of Luther, had been forced to choose between recantation or death. Authority for the date: Kostlin, Julius. Life of Martin Luther. New York: Scribners, 1884.