September 30: Today in Christian History

September 30: Today in Christian History

September 30, 1452

The first section of the Gutenberg Bible was finished in Mainz, Germany, by the printer Johannes Gutenberg. It is unclear when Gutenberg conceived of his Bible project, though he was clearly in production by 1452. He probably produced about 180 copies — 145 that were printed on handmade paper imported from Italy and the remainder on more luxurious and expensive vellum. Only four dozen Gutenberg Bibles remain, and of these only 21 are complete.

September 30, 1770

George Whitefield, Anglican preacher, evangelist, and major leading figure in the Great Awakening, dies. Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the eighteenth century and was capable of commanding thousands on two continents through the sheer power of his oratory. In his lifetime, he preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers.

September 30, 420

The Famous Vulgate Is Jerome's Latin Translation of the Bible 

September 30, 1736

Three slaves are admitted into the church by baptism on St. Thomas Island by Frederic Martin who had replaced the original Moravian missionary Leonard Dober. They are the first converts on St. Thomas. When he is unable to pay a fine, Martin will later be imprisoned for refusing to take an oath in court where he was summoned to testify against a robber.

September 30, 1751

Phillip Doddridge, clergyman and author of the influential book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul sails from Falmouth for a warmer climate in the hope of recovering from consumption. He will die a month later.

September 30, 1770

Death of George Whitefield in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The English revivalist had preached his last sermon the evening before.

September 30, 1824

James “Diego” Thomson, Scottish Presbyterian and colporteur of the British and Foreign Bible Society, arrives in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with 800 New Testaments to distribute, which will later be considered the first significant Protestant influence on this Catholic nation.

September 30, 1865

Death of Francis Wayland, Baptist preacher and educator, at Providence, Rhode Island.

September 30, 1882

Death of Johann Jakob Herzog, German Reformed theologian, educator, and a major contributor to The German version of the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge.

September 30, 1943

Death from a seizure of the Orthodox priest Seraphim (Nicholas Zagorovsky), considered a martyr because of the years he spent in exile and because after his release he was forced to live a life of privation and suffering in order to hold religious services in secret.

September 30, 1958

Death of Elsie Singmaster, an award-winning and internationally renowned Lutheran novelist and historical writer, whose books featured Pennsylvanian Germans.

September 30, 1991

Death of Moses Okesiji, a prominent Baptist pastor in Nigeria who had been associated with many efforts in behalf of his church and his people.

September 30, 2011

A Muslim mob ravages the St. George Coptic Church in Edfu, Egypt. Islamic officials and local media put the blame on Christians.

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