January 6: Today in Christian History

January 6: Today in Christian History

January 6, 786

Martyrdom of St. Abo in Tsibili, Georgia. A Muslim perfumer from Baghdad, he had become a Christian and attempted to strengthen Christians and win Muslims to Christ.

January 6, 1088

Theophylact delivers a flattering address in Constantinople before Emperor Alexius that results in an unwelcome “promotion” to the position of archbishop of Ohrid, Bulgaria (now in Macedonia). Homesick, he will write obscure letters to distract his mind.

January 6, 1374

Death of Andreas Corsini, Italian bishop of Fiesole. After a reckless youth, he converted and became a strict Carmelite, and was credited with being a prophet and miracle-worker. (Under the Florentine calendar his death is given in 1373.)

January 6, 1422

Jan Ziska, blind Hussite general and master tactician, defeats Sigsimund of Bohemia at Nebovidy, one of many defeats he will inflict on Bohemia’s enemies.

January 6, 1494

Columbus and his men celebrate the first mass in the Americas, on Isabelle Island, Haiti.

January 6, 1579

Catholics in the Netherlands form the Union of Arras when they resubmit to Spanish control because of their outrage that Calvinists have destroyed their churches and images. This breaks the unity of the Dutch resistance against the Spaniards.

January 6, 1628

Bribed by Roman Catholics, Turks in Constantinople seize a press that is preparing to print a small catechism written by Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Lukaris. Jesuits had already maneuvered to exile Lukaris for several months.

January 6, 1771

First baptism takes place among the Moravian converts of the Saramaccas people, near where the Senthea River empties into the Surinam River. Chief Arabina, the mission’s first convert is baptized.

January 6, 1772

Death of Samuel Johnson, a New England clergyman, educator, and philosopher. In 1724 he had opened the first Anglican church built in Connecticut, after which he had served as a missionary for the Anglican Church, and played an important role in setting the standards and curriculum for King’s College, New York, (later known as Columbia University).

January 6, 1829

The Indiana State Legislature incorporates Hanover Academy, begun two years ealier with six students by Presbyterian minister John Finley Crowe. The school sits on land donated by Presbyterian Elder, Williamson Dunn, who becomes one of the trustees.

January 6, 1835

Businessmen operating in China circulate a paper among themselves, calling for a “Morrison Education Society” to bring the gospel to China. The society is named for pioneer missionary Robert Morrison who had died a year earlier. They raise several thousand pounds to support the mission and offer the post of missionary to Samuel Robbins Brown.

January 6, 1835

The Swedish Mission Society is founded.

January 6, 1844

Hermann Anandarao Kaundinya is baptized in Mangalore, India, with two other young Brahmans. He becomes a notable educator, pastor, and Bible translator in the Kanarese district.

January 6, 1850

Conversion of Charles Spurgeon who will become one of the most notable pastors of all time. He had entered a little Methodist church because of cold and snow where a deacon told him to look to Christ. “I can never tell you how it was but I no sooner saw whom I was to believe than I also understood what it was to believe and I did believe in one moment.”

January 6, 1852

Death in Paris, France, of Louis Braille, developer of the reading system of raised dots for the blind which bears his name. He is just forty-three years old.

January 6, 1884

Death in Brno (in modern Czechoslovakia) of Gregor Mendel, a monk who through persistent experimentation had discovered the laws of genetics.

January 6, 1894

Death of Theophan the Recluse, a Russian Orthodox author, priest, and bishop. He had written several works, among them a translation of the Philokalia, a famous collection of the church fathers. Typical of his sayings was, “Attention to that which transpires in the heart and proceeds from it—this is the chief activity of the proper Christian life.”

January 6, 1902

Edith Warner, a Presbyterian missionary, sets out from Asaba, Nigeria, to become the first white woman to visit the East Niger.

January 6, 1921

Death of Alexander Whyte, regarded as the finest preacher of the Free Church of Scotland. He had also served as professor of New Testament Literature at New College, Edinburgh, and wrote the popular Bible Characters.

January 6, 1934

Peter Deyneka and four other men meet to form the Russian Gospel Association.

January 6, 1948

Janani Luwum converts to Christianity in Uganda. He immediately asks his family to pray that he won’t backslide, but rather lead a godly life. Eventually he will become an archbishop and will be executed by the brutal dictator Idi Amin.

January 6, 1973

Death in California of Pentecostal evangelist Tommy Hicks, allegedly of alcoholism. Nineteen years earlier he had packed stadiums in Argentina, winning thousands to follow Christ. 

January 6, 1986

Death in Grand Rapids, Michigan, of Elsie Rebekah Ahlwen. She had served as an evangelist among America’s Swedes and wrote the hymn “He the Pearly Gates Will Open.”

January 6, 1992

Naimat Ahmer, a Christian educator and poet in Pakistan, is stabbed seventeen times in earshot of students by a Muslim who claims Ahmer has insulted Mohammad. Ahmer taught that Christ is the only way to salvation.

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