January 19: Today in Christian History

January 19: Today in Christian History

January 19, 825

Vikings wipe out the monastery on the Isle of Iona. They allow its monks to celebrate mass before slaying them.

January 19, 1563

Reformed scholars issue the first full edition of the Heidelberg Catechism, a Calvinist statement of faith written by Peter Ursinus and Caspar Olevianus. It will soon be accepted by nearly all of the Reformed churches in Europe.

January 19, 1803

Death in Edinburgh, Scotland, of John Erskine, an evangelical minister connected with Scotland’s eighteenth-century revivals.

January 19, 1852

H.M.S. Dido reaches Banner Cove, Patagonia, and finds dead missionaries, whose diaries show that “Arise, My Soul, Arise” was one of last songs they sang.

January 19, 1859

The Finnish Missionary Society is organized as the result of a decree by Csar Alexander III (Russia had occupied Finland). Its purpose is to spread Christianity in Finland although it will later conduct foreign missions.

January 19, 1886

Death in Wakefield, Massachusetts (formerly South Reading), of hymnwriter Georgiana L. Heath who had written “For the Presence of the Springtime” and “Ye Soldiers of Jehovah.”

January 19, 1896

Death in Oxford, Georgia, of Atticus Greene Haygood, who had been an editor, an author, and the president of Emory College, as well as a progressive bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, advocating fair treatment and full education of African Americans.

January 19, 1897

Mel Trotter staggers drunk through Chicago, determined to drown himself in Lake Michigan, but comes to the Pacific Garden Mission, enters, and is converted. Three years later, alcohol-free, he heads a rescue mission in Grand Rapids and eventually founds the Mel Trotter Mission.

January 19, 1900

Death in Bournemouth, England, of Henry Twells, a clergyman in the Church of England, a preacher of power and author of the hymn “At Even, E’er the Sun Was Set.”

January 19, 1918

Soviets execute the Orthodox priest Peter Skipetrov who had denounced communism boldly in his sermons.

January 19, 1922

The Hymn Society of America is formed to improve the music and poetry of Protestant hymns and write new hymns relevant to contemporary life.

January 19, 1947

An outpouring of God’s Spirit follows a fervent prayer by the seminarian Raymond Buana Kibongui at the Undergraduate Bible Seminary of Ngouedi (in what is now known as the Republic of Congo). Swedish missionaries and Congolese seminarians and pastors had been praying for a spiritual revival.


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