December 27: Today in Christian History

December 27, 537

The Hagia Sophia, a cathedral designed by Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, is consecrated by Patriarch Menas in Constantinople. The innovative design is not only original but beautiful.

December 27, 1065

Death of Ferdinand I, “the Great,” king of Castile and León. He had maneuvered shrewdly to increase his territory and gain influence over some of Spain’s Muslim occupiers, whom he had forced to pay tribute.

December 27, 1603

Death in Warwick, England, of Thomas Cartwright, a Puritan author, educator, controversialist, and preacher who had frequently attacked practices of the Church of England as unbliblical, especially its manner of governance and its selection and appointment of clergy.

December 27, 1637

Japanese rebels, among whom are many Christians, defeat a large samurai force dispatched by the governor of Nagasaki. Early the following year, shogunate warriors will defeat the rebels and force them to retreat to Shimabara. Beseiged there, they will succumb after a lengthy and valorous defense.

December 27, 1840

George Duffield Jr. is ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in New York. He will be remembered as an eminent hymnwriter. His most famous hymn will be “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus.”

December 27, 1846

Friederich A. Craemer, operating a Lutheran mission in Michigan, baptizes his first Chippewa converts.

December 27, 1855

Death of Josiah Conder, a journalist and editor who wrote scholarly Christian books and produced a popular Congregational hymnal. Among his own hymns were “Day by day the manna fell,” “How shall I follow Him I serve?” and “The Lord is King! Lift up Thy Voice.”

December 27, 1868

Phillips Brooks’s Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” is first sung at the Church of the Holy Trinity on Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square where he is rector. A  choir of thirty-six children sings it from freshly-printed leaflets to a tune composed the night before by the church’s organist Lewis Redner.

December 27, 1937

Death of hymnwriter Cyrus Nusbaum in Wichita, Kansas. His most famous hymn begins “Would you live for Jesus and be always be pure and good...”

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