October 16: Today in Christian History


October 16: Today in Christian History

October 16, 1009

(the 24th or 25th of Safar 400; by some calculations, October 18th). Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroys the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, hacking out the church’s foundations down to bedrock.

October 16, 1311 

The Council of Vienne opens to decide if the Templars, a military order sworn to protect Christian pilgrims, are heretical and too wealthy. Pope Clement V decided to suppress the order. Its leader was burned and members' possessions taken by the church. That decision was adamantly derided by the poet Dante and by later historians 

October 16, 1555

English reformers Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer are burned at the stake under the government of Queen Mary.

October 16, 1701

Unhappy with growing liberalism at Harvard, Congregationalists found Collegiate School, later known as Yale.

October 16, 1790

Death of Daniel Rowland, Welsh evangelist.

October 16, 1812

Henry Martyn Approached Muslims with the Gospel Of our Lord Jesus Christ.

October 16, 1859

Militant messianic abolitionist John Brown leads a group of about 20 men in a raid on the federal armory at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Brown believed that only violent action would end slavery and that a massive slave uprising would bring God's judgment upon unrepentant American Southerners. Furthermore, he believed that God had anointed him as the cleansing agent for his country's sin. But when the slaves around Harper's Ferry failed to rally to Brown's cause, he was overpowered. He was arrested, tried, and hanged 

October 16, 1861

After four days of torture, Che Jinguang, an elderly Chinese Christian in Boluo, is ordered to renounce Christianity. When he refuses, he is killed and his body thrown into a river, the first-known Protestant martyr in China.

October 16, 1877 

William Taylor, who has been a Methodist missionary to South Africa and India, sailed for South America to see if the ideas on self-support he had been expounding would work there as well. He taught that when missionaries insisted on establishing structures that were expensive to maintain, they made it impossible for a church to achieve independence and vitality. Eventually, this eminent missions thinker would have a university -- Taylor University in Upland, Indiana -- named after him.

October 16, 1888

Death of Horatio Gates Spafford, who penned the hymn “It is Well with My Soul.”

October 16, 1925

The Texas State Text Book Board bans evolutionary theory from all its textbooks

October 16, 1978

The Roman Catholic College of Cardinals chooses Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope. Taking the name John Paul II, he became the first non-Italian pope in 456 years.

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