October 22: Today in Christian History

October 22: Today in Christian History


October 22, 362

Martyrdom of Theodoritus, a Greek-speaking Syrian Christian priest, during the reign of Emperor Julian the Apostate. His relics will be taken to Uz├Ęs in the south of France and placed in a cathedral dedicated to him.

October 22, 1660

King Charles II of England presents a proposed Declaration of Indulgence to Independents and bishops, who offer suggestions for revision. Three days later the revised declaration is issued. However, it never obtained the force of law because Parliament rejected it.

October 22, 1708

Death in Leiden of Herman Witsius, a Dutch pastor and professor, known for his evangelical zeal, faithful stewardship of churches, and elucidation of covenant theology.

October 22, 1746

Revival leader Jonathan Dickinson obtains a charter for the College of New Jersey to train Presbyterian pastors. It will become Princeton University.

October 22, 1808

The Baptists Won Randall and Then Rejected Him 

October 22, 1844

Between fifty thousand and one hundred thousand followers of Baptist lay preacher William Miller prepare for “The Day of Atonement” —the day Jesus will allegedly return.

October 22, 1870

Death in Jacksonville, Florida, of James William Charles Pennington, an escaped slave who had become a Presbyterian pastor and abolitionist, author of the autobiographical The Fugitive Blacksmith and of the first history of African Americans published in the United States.

October 22, 1899

American Presbyterian missionary James B. Rodgers baptizes the first Filipino Protestants to receive the rite.

October 22, 1903

Death of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of English Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Their marriage had lasted thirty-six years, until Charles’ death in 1892, and she had engaged in many minstries alongside her husband.

October 22, 1922

Death of Lyman Abbott, Congregationalist pastor, publisher, and advocate of social justice. He had been editor-in-chief of The Christian Union, a widely-read magazine that held liberal positions on most issues.

October 22, 1939

C. S. Lewis preaches a sermon at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Oxford in which he asks, “How can we study Latin, geography, algebra in a time like this? Aren’t we just fiddling while Rome burns?” He then assures the assembled students that it is worthwhile and essential to continue studies even in the face of World War II.

October 22, 1941

Presbyterian missionary Bruce Hunt was arrested and imprisoned in Manchuria by Japanese occupying forces. The 38 year-old father of five was released on December 5, after 45 days of imprisonment. While reluctantly preparing to return to the States, he was arrested again two days later, in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack. He was then sent to a concentration camp, where he grew weak and sick from semi-starvation. He was finally freed as part of a prisoner exchange.

October 22, 1965

Death of Paul Tillich, existentialist Lutheran theologian, notorious among orthodox believers for reducing the work of the historical Jesus Christ to complex abastractions and describing God as the “ground of all being” among other non-traditional theological innovations.

October 22, 1969

On this day, Harold John Ockenga, a leading fundamentalist, was inaugurated as president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

October 22, 1987

A volume of Gutenberg’s original Bible is sold at auction at Christie’s for $5.39 million, one of the largest sums ever paid for a printed book. Ironically, Gutenberg had not profited from his invention of printing because his press was seized for debts.

October 22, 1997

Death of Emmanuel Adekunle Atilade, who was an educator, writer, poet and composer, but above all a zealous pastor and evangelist for the Nigerian Baptist Convention and Gospel Baptist Conference.


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