January 21: Today in Christian History

January 21: Today in Christian History

January 21, 885

Pope Adrian III rules in favor of Rothad who had deposed a priest for unchastity and called a church council. Bishop Hincmar had argued that Rothad, as a suffragan (assistant) bishop, did not have authority to do either.

January 21, 1118

Death of Pope Paschal II. During his troubled pontificate, he had been faced with four anti-popes and suffered captivity at the hands of Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V, who extorted concessions from him.

January 21, 1217

Matthew Paris is clothed as a novice at the Abbey of St. Albans in England. He will be remembered as a monk who chronicled English history.

January 21, 1525

Anabaptists come into being in Zurich when Conrad Grebel baptizes George Blaurock.

January 21, 1525

Hans Denck, a schoolmaster who argues that Lutheran reform is empty unless accompanied by the inward light of the Spirit, is banished from the city of Nuremberg.

January 21, 1549

The English parliament passes “An Act for Uniformity of Service and Administration of the Sacraments throughout the Realm” which establishes the first Book of Common Prayer in Edward’s reign.

January 21, 1575

William Byrd and Thomas Tallis are awarded letters patent giving them the exclusive right to print music in England, and to print ruled music paper. Effective for twenty-one years, this is the first patent of its kind. The first work printed under the patent will be their own Cantiones (1575), containing 34 motets, half by Tallis and half by Byrd.

January 21, 1609

Death in Leyden, Netherlands, of Joseph Justus Scaliger, famed for putting ancient chronology onto a scientific footing.

January 21, 1672

A Bedford, England, congregation calls John Bunyan as its pastor. He is in prison at the time for preaching.

January 21, 1750

Newly-ordained missionary Christian Friedrich Schwartz embarks from London for Tranquebar, the seat of the Danish Mission in India. Four months after arriving, he will preach his first sermon in Tamil and afterwards will conduct a successful work.

January 21, 1781

Robert Aitken petitions the U.S. Congress to officially sanction his publication of the first English-language Bible printed in America.

January 21, 1811

Baptist missionaries John Chamberlain and H. Peacock, with their families and Vrundavun, a baptized Hindu, set out from Serampore to establish a mission work among Hindus in Agra, 800 miles away. Their work will include a successful school.

January 21, 1901

At the Academy of Music in Kansas City, Charles Parham preaches his first sermon dedicated soley to the experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.

January 21, 1913

Death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of Fanny Coppin, an ex-slave who became an educator to her people, principal of the Institute for Colored Youth, an inspiration to the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and a missionary to South Africa.

January 21, 1914

The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau is organized in New York City to inform the general public about The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

January 21, 1921

Presbyterian minister Samuel McCrea Cavert, a notable ecumenist, becomes the General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. A chief player in forming the World Council of Churches, he will die in 1976. “The temptation of Protestantism has always been to magnify freedom at the expense of unity. The temptation of Roman Catholicism, on the other hand, has been to magnify unity at the expense of freedom.”

January 21, 1931

Soviets execute the Orthodox priest Peter Alexeyevich Bulgakov for “agitation against Soviet power.” He had long resisted their efforts to get him to abandon his faith and three months before his death had refused to hand over church keys to them.

January 21, 1956

Elders of the Little Flock and twenty-eight other Christian leaders in Shanghai are arrested. They have carried on the work begun by Watchman Nee, who is in prison.

January 21, 1959

The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY) is constituted as a National Church.

January 21, 1999

Pope John Paul II begins a visit to Cuba, emphasizing the need for fundamental human freedoms.

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