December 3: Today in Christian History

December 3: Today in Christian History

December 3, 1320

Baruch of Toulouse appears in court to beg for mercy as a heretic because he has continued to live as a Jew after Christian baptism—a "conversion" from which he flips and flops several times

December 3, 1552

Death of the Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier in China, where he had contracted a fever while awaiting permission to preach. He had been one of the founding members of his order and a soul winner from Portugal to Japan.

December 3, 1557

Under the leadership of John Knox, Protestants in Scotland sign their First Covenant at Edinburgh, uniting Presbyterians under the name: “Congregation of the Lord.”

December 3, 1659

Torture and execution of Gabriel, the Orthodox metropolitan of Ganos and administrator of Prousa. Jews had accused him of baptizing a Muslim convert into the Christian faith. He could have escaped torture by converting to Islam but refused to deny his faith.

December 3, 1706

Death of hymn writer Aemilie Juliane of Schaumburg. She had written about six hundred hymns, including “The Lord Hath Helped Me Hitherto.”

December 3, 1833

Presbyterian Caleb Mills organizes the first classes of Wabash College at Crawfordsville, Indiana, with twelve young men. Earlier, as an agent for a Sabbath-schools in Kentucky and Indiana he had become familiar with the educational needs of the region and determined to undertake a campaign for schools.

December 3, 1834

Daniel Lindley leaves Boston for South Africa, where he will do notable work as a missionary.

December 3, 1879

Baptists in Liberia accept two churches formed by African American missionary Harrison N. Bouey into their conference. The members had migrated with him from the United States.

December 3, 1886

John Byington, early leader of the Seventh-day Adventists, and president of their first General Conference in 1863, writes, "This is a day of comfort and peace. I have felt my sins were very many; have asked and found mercy of the Saviour, and would declare His loving-kindness to all."

December 3, 1903

Miserable after burning a Bible, Sundar Singh saw a vision of Christ. The teenager immediately began to preach the gospel to others at great risk to himself. He survived being poisoned and was expelled from his home.

When Sundar Singh’s mom died, the boy raged against the God of the Christians for, although a Sikh, he was being educated at a Christian school. Just fourteen years old, he formed a gang which harassed and persecuted believers. He burned a Bible to show his contempt for Jesus.

His actions brought him no peace, and he determined to know the truth or die. One night he spent several hours asking God—“If there is a God”— to reveal Himself. Otherwise, he planned to throw himself under an early train.

Near morning, Sundar had a vision of Christ which transformed his life. Eyes shining with joy, he hurried to tell his father. His father was baffled. Just days before his son had burned a Bible and now he was embracing Christ. He attempted to change Sundar’s mind, and when every strategem failed, he disowned the boy as a traitor to the Sikhs and even tried to poison him. Sundar survived, and became a yellow-robed “Sadhu” (holy man), wandering through India, Nepal and Tibet with the Gospel. By invitation, he also toured western nations to preach.

December 3, 1926

Death of Mok Lai Chi, a Chinese Pentecostal evangelist, educator, and editor.

December 3rd 1952

Popular Pastor and Televangelist, Pastor Benny Hinn was born

December 3, 1990

Execution in Iran of Assemblies of God pastor Hossmein Soodmand, who had refused to leave his country and his Christian followers to work in a safer region of the world.

December 3, 2011

Hindus burn the Christu Sabha Church building in Tamil Nadu state, India, one of hundreds of incidents of Hindu persecution of Christians in India that will occur in this same year.

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