October 9: Today in Christian History

October 9: Today in Christian History

October 9, 1258

During a period of persecution unleashed by the emperor Decius, a missionary named Denis who had been sent to Gaul (modern-day France) was arrested along with two other church leaders. All three were beheaded in an area of modern-day Paris now called Montmartre (Martyrs' Hill). Their bodies were thrown into the Seine River.

October 9, 1253

Death of Robert Grosseteste, a reform-minded English bishop who influenced John Wycliffe and formulated the scientific method.

October 9, 1561

The Colloquy of Poissy ends. Held near Paris, the conference between the French Roman Catholic bishops and the Protestant ministers is unsuccessful in reaching accord, but paves the way for the 1562 Edict of St. Germain that will officially recognize and give limited freedom to French Protestantism.

October 9, 1620

Death of Louise de Colligny, widow of William of Orange. She had sided with Arminians against Calvinists in the Netherlands.

October 9, 1635

Roger Williams is sentenced to banishment by Massachusetts for his religious views. In exile, he will found Rhode Island on principles of freedom of conscience.

October 9, 1747

Death of David Brainerd at age twenty-nine of tuberculosis. He had been a missionary to Native Americans in New England. His journal, published by Jonathan Edwards, inspired many readers to become missionaries.

October 9, 1800

Mary Webb, wheelchair-bound, organizes fourteen Baptist and Congregational women into the Boston Female Society for Missionary Purposes.

October 9, 1845

John Henry Newman, formerly an Anglican and a leader of the Oxford Movement, is received into the Roman Catholic church.

October 9, 1860

Conversion of Robert Anderson, who will later head Scotland Yard.

October 9, 1916

Irene Webster-Smith boards the Suwa Maru for Japan, where she will rescue Geisha children.

October 9, 1920

Orthodox reader Basil Ivanovich Katorgin is sentenced to death by Communists of Omsk province for “counter-revolutionary activity.” The sentence will be carried out on October 23 when he is shot.

October 9, 1922

Death of Stephen Nelson Haskell, a Seventh-day Adventist pioneer, several times president of the California conference and co-founder of the Australian work and an organizer of the denomination’s work in Europe. 

October 9, 1935

Yin Renxian and his wife Faith Suyun Ding, who have been reaching out with the gospel to prison inmates and street people, baptize more than twenty prisoners.

October 9, 1940

Death of Wilfred T. Grenfell, vibrant missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador.

October 9, 1954

Death of Vida Scudder, a socialist and peace activist in the Episcopal Church, founder of the Episcopal Church Socialist League, cofounder of Denison House in Boston (to provide social services and education to the urban poor), and an advocate of intercessory prayer.

October 9, 1994

A Roman Catholic mob destroys an evangelical church in Acapulco, Mexico.

October 9, 2011

The Egyptian army ruthlessly ran over and shot Christians who were peacefully protesting the failure of the Muslim government to bring to justice Muslims who had burned Christian churches and attacked Christians. Twenty-seven protesters died. Two days later the Muslims also assaulted the Christian funeral processions.

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