October 26: Today in Christian History

October 26: Today in Christian History

October 26, 366

One hundred and thirty seven of Ursinius’s followers are massacred in their Basilica by Damasus’s supporters in one of the battles that ensued after rival popes were elected.

October 26, 899

Death of Alfred the Great, ruler of Wessex, England. His defeat of the Danes ensured Christianity’s survival in England, but he is also known for his ecclesiastical reforms and his efforts to revive learning in his country.

October 26, 1277

Walter of Merton, bishop of Rochester, changes his will to leave his fortune to Merton College, Oxford, England. Most of his endowment is intended to assist his numerous cousins and nephews. 

October 26, 1633

The Puritan congregation at Newton (now Cambridge), Massachusetts, chooses Thomas Hooker as its pastor. Hooker had fled persecution in England.

October 26, 1751

Death of Philip Doddridge, famed for his book The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul that led William Wilberforce and others to Christ. He had been plagued with poor health all his life. Offered a free education at Cambridge if he would be ordained as an Anglican, Doddridge declined, becoming a non-conformist instead and author of over four hundred hymns, including “O Happy Day.”.

October 26, 1775

Phillis Wheatley, a slave in Boston who has written Christian poems, sends George Washington a few lines in which she describes him as “first in peace and honors.”

October 26, 1834

The Episcopal Church under Rev. Isaac W. Hallam organizes its first Chicago parish. In 1837, they will erect Chicago’s first brick church.

October 26, 1928

Death of Reuben A. Torrey, an Independent Congregationalist educator and evangelist, who had pastored Chicago’s Moody Avenue Church and served as the first superintendent of both the Moody Bible Institute and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (Biola). Torrey had also been an editor of The Fundamentals, a magazine which helped unite fundamentalists.

October 26, 1929

Arrest of the Orthodox priest Innocent Semyonovich Popov. The following year he will be sentenced to death because “during the anti-religious campaign he conducted intensified agitation for the preservation of the church, organized illegal meetings in his flat, and by his actions elicited massive disturbance amidst the population.” Eventually his sentence will be commuted to five years in prison.

October 26, 1944

Death of William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury. He had been notable for his promotion of social justice, for war-time radio broadcasts, and for ecumenism. Among his more memorable writings were Nature, Man and God and The Faith and Modern Thought. 

October 26, 1966

The first World Congress on Evangelism opened in West Berlin, attracting approximately 600 delegates from about 100 countries

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