January 8: Today in Christian History

January 8: Today in Christian History

January 8, 482

Death in a monastic cell at Favianae (in modern Austria), of Severinus, an early missionary from Africa who preached Christianity along the Danube River.

January 8, 1198

Lothair of Segnei is elected as Innocent III; he will be the first to consistently title himself “Vicar of Christ” and will take the papacy to its pinnacle of power.

January 8, 1455

In the bull Romanus Pontifex, Pope Nicholas V transfers Africa’s harbors, rivers, islands, and seas to Portugal’s rulers; and grants Portugal patronage over its churches and authority to sell infidels into slavery.

January 8, 1539

Tjard Reynders is executed in the Netherlands for sheltering the gentle and holy Anabaptist leader Menno Simons.

January 8, 1672

Death in Jamaica of Elizabeth Hooten, probably the first convert to George Fox’s Quaker teachings, and one of the earliest Protestant women preachers. She had accompanied him there on a mission trip.

January 8, 1736

Death of John LeClerc (Clericus), a Swiss theologian who had left Geneva because his critical study of the Bible led him to disagree with Calvin. Settling in Amsterdam, he had become an Arminian.

January 8, 1800

Moravian missionaries and Hottentot converts consecrate a church building able to seat 1,500 worshipers at Bavian’s Kloof, South Africa (later renamed Gnadenthal or Gracevale).

January 8, 1860

During a British revival service, Catherine Booth announces that she is going to preach.

January 8, 1879

The Grecian Holy Synod condemns Apostolos Makrakis in his absence to three months’ imprisonment. Makrakis, who is popular with the middle class, had preached controversial sermons about Christ and attacked freemasonry, materialism, and simony (the sale and purchase of church positions). The latter charge turned church leaders against him and now they use his view that humans have a soul, spirit, and body to condemn him. In 1880 a court in Athens will absolve him.

January 8, 1956

Missionaries Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian are massacred by Woadani Indians (Auca) in Ecuador.

January 8, 1969

Death in Florida of Harriet Bedell, who had served as an Episcopal missionary among Native Americans in Oklahoma, Alaska, and Florida.

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