January 4: Today in Christian History

January 4: Today in Christian History

January 4, 1286

Death of Eustathius I (aka Jevstatije), the sixth Serbian archbishop. He will be commemorated as a saint.

January 4, 1577

Execution by fire of Hans Bret, a young Anabaptist Protestant in Antwerp. He had been tortured for months in an attempt to force him to deny his faith but kept such a bold testimony his persecutors clamped and seared his tongue so that he could not preach to the crowd when taken to the stake.

January 4, 1821

Death in Maryland of Mother Elizabeth Bayley Seton, first native-born American canonized by the Catholic church. She had founded the American Sisters of Charity and was behind the present system of Catholic parochial schools.

January 4, 1834

Presbyterians dedicate Chicago’s first Protestant church building. Before this, they had worshiped in a Baptist school house. The new building is so primitive an observer exclaims, “I have often heard of God’s house, but I never saw his barn before.”

January 4, 1893

End of a three-day conference of hundreds of mission workers in Bombay (the largest assembled there until that time). The delegates issue an urgent appeal for more missionaries and medical workers to conduct evangelistic work in India where the need is enormous.

January 4, 1947

Presbyterian clergyman Peter Marshall is elected chaplain of the United States Senate. He will die two years later and his wife will write his biography, A Man Called Peter, which will be made into a major motion picture.

January 4, 1953

The Catholic Hour airs for the first time over NBC television.

January 4, 1965

Death in London, England, of T. S. Eliot, the most influential English poet of the twentieth century, who had converted to Christianity and joined the Church of England.

January 4, 1979

Anosisye Mwansombelo Jongo is elected bishop in Tanzania’s Moravian Church after years of leadership, often despite serious opposition. He had been the first black African elected by the Moravians as a superintendent in the province of Southern Tanzania.

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