December 16: Today in Christian History

December 16: Today in Christian History

December 16, 1744

David Brainerd exhibits one of his frequent bouts of depression, writing in his journal, “Was so overwhelmed with dejection that I knew not how to live: I longed for death exceedingly ... I was so much oppressed that my soul was in a kind of horror.”

December 16, 1785

John Marrant arrives at the port city of Shelburne, Nova Scotia. He will pastor at neighboring Birchtown, apparently the first-ever African-American ordained (in Selina Hastings’s Methodist Connexion) with authority to baptize, conduct marriages, and administer Communion. He will perceive himself as a prophet.

December 16, 1835

Early this Wednesday morning beloved Bishop John Emory of the Methodist church leaves home in a one-horse carriage to visit Baltimore on church business. His horse runs away with him, he is thrown violently from the carriage, and receives such a severe head wound that he expires about seven o'clock the same day without regaining consciousness. He is just forty-eight.

December 16, 1835

Fire destroys much of Arthur and Lewis Tappan’s business on New York City’s Pearl Street. The evangelical brothers also lose business because of their strong opposition to slavery and come close to financial ruin. However they will tighten their belts, salvage their fortunes, and repay all of their debts with interest in eighteen months.

December 16, 1897

African-American delegates gather in the Shiloh Baptist church of Washington, DC, to organize the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, later known as Lott Carey Baptist Home and Foreign Mission Convention.

December 16, 1918

Protopriests John Pyankov and Alexis Saburov, of the Resurrection church in Perm, and Nicholas Yakhontov of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius church, are tortured and drowned in the Kama River during the night. Saburov had been dragged from his bed and driven across the snow in his underwear with a noose around his neck before being tied to an iron bedframe and cast into the water.

December 16, 1935

Death of Walter S. Martin, a Disciples of Christ clergyman, teacher, and evangelist. He had composed the tune GOD CARES to which we sing the hymn “God Will Take Care of You.”

December 16, 1944

Death of Betsie ten Boom in Ravensbrück concentration camp, near Berlin. The sister of Corrie ten Boom, she was also involved in hiding Jews from Nazi persecutors.

December 16, 2011

Chinese authorities announce that Christian lawyer Gao Shisheng, whose whereabouts have been unknown for years, is sentenced to three additional years in prison for “violation of probation.” Gao, often tortured in the cruelest manner, had pleaded for greater justice in the application of Chinese law.

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