September 25: Today in Christian History

September 25: Today in Christian History

September 25, 1392

Death of Sergius of Radonezh, a monastic reformer, and one of the most revered saints of Russia. His reforms had emphasized that monks should live by their own labor. Forty groups went out from his original monastery, the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, settling in difficult places that they cultivated until they became centers of expanding civilization.

September 25, 1534

Pope Clement VII dies. An unpopular pope, Clement failed to halt Luther's reformation or to implement his own reforms in the Catholic church. Henry VIII asked Clement VII to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon. The pope's reluctance led to Henry VIII's break from Catholicism

September 25, 1555

The Peace of Augsburg is signed after the defeat of Emperor Charles V's forces by Protestant princes in Germany (1552). The official recognition of the Lutheran church in Germany, the agreement signified the dissolution of both political unity in Germany and the medieval unity of Christendom.

September 25, 1643

Members of the Westminster Assembly and the Scottish Commissioners subscribe to the Solemn League and Covenant, allying Parliament with the Scots Covenanters.

September 25, 1727

Death of Jacques Abbadie. He had become a doctor of theology at the age of seventeen, organized Huguenot churches in Berlin, and pastored in France, England, and Ireland. A Calvinist, his writings, such as The Truth of the Christian Religion, had battled atheism, Arianism, deism, and socinianism.

September 25, 1765

Death of Richard Pococke, who had traveled extensively in the Mid East and Alps before becoming a bishop in the Church of England. He had written extensively of his Oriental travels and of visits he later made to out of the way places in England, Scotland, and Ireland while a bishop. 

September 25, 1789

Elias Boudinot, a representative of New Jersey, asks Congress to appoint a joint committee of the House and Senate to approach President Washington with a petition to proclaim a day of thanksgiving. This sparks vigorous debate about separation of church and state and whether the president has the authority under the constitution. In the end the resolution is approved. President Washington, mindful of the limits of his authority, requests the individual states to comply with his proclamation. 

September 25, 1789

Congress amends The U.S. Constitution to prohibit establishment of a state church or governmental interference with the free exercise of religion.

September 25, 1827

Influential Methodist itinerant preacher Freeborn Garrettson exclaims, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” and dies a few hours later (at about 2 o’clock the following morning).

September 25, 1835

Episcopal bishops George Washington Doane, William White, and others consecrate Jackson Kemper for work on the American frontier (Missouri and Indiana). The event takes place in St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia.

September 25, 1836

Death of Luther Rice, missionary advocate. He had sailed to India as a Congregationalist, converted to Baptist views and returned to the United States to urge Baptists to form mission societies, at which he succeeded in the South. He also founded Columbian College, the first unit of George Washington University.

September 25, 1856 

Methodist missionary William Butler reached Calcutta.

September 25, 1872

Peter Cartwright, an indefatigable Methodist circuit rider, dies at age 97. Though he was characterized as rough, uneducated, and eccentric, his drive and physical stamina enabled him to preach throughout midwestern frontiers for 70 years

September 25, 1879

After a lengthy stay in America to recuperate from the effects of exhaustion, Dr. Clara Swain, missionary doctor, sails from the United States to return to her medical work in India.

September 25, 1892

Death in Bakwena, South Africa, of Chief Sechele, who had become interested in Christianity under the influence of David Livingstone and had united with the church two years before his death.

September 25, 1897

William Raws founds America’s Keswick Colony of Mercy as a spiritual restoration center for men who have become addicted to alcohol.

September 25, 1929

J. Gresham Machen gives the inaugural address of Westminster Seminary to a class of fifty students and some guests.

September 25, 1941

Death of Warren Akin Candler, a prominent figure in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and the first chancellor of Emory University. A strong proponent of traditional Christian morals and a vigorous opponent of racism, he spoke out strongly against lynching and insisted on integrating the faculty of Paine Institute, a college that he had helped found to educate African-American clergy.

September 25, 1957

Death of Baptist pastor Jove Ejovi Aganbi. Years earlier, as a young teacher, he had been flogged in Sanubi for helping destroy an idol. Leaving town, he had met a pastor who encouraged him to become a pastor, too. When Baptist leaders had asked him to work in Lagos, he declined, wanting to bring the gospel to his own people. This had offended them so greatly they cut off his financial aid. However, Aganbi had carried out his vision, establishing several churches among his people, founding schools and a Baptist hospital, and translating hymns into African languages.

September 25, 1995

Roz Al-Yousef, an Egyptian Magazine, publishes an article by Muslim journalist Eassam Abe al-Gewad, stating that from mid-August to mid-September more than a dozen Coptic Christians have been murdered in Upper Egypt. The writer says that the murders were well organized, with defined goals, and covered up by the government.

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