April 17: Today in Christian History



April 17, 326

Death of St. Alexander of Alexandria whose appointment as patriarch of Alexandria years earlier had ensured that the heretic Arius could not fill the position. Alexander had treated Arius with consideration, but fostered Athanasius, the great champion of orthodox Christianity, who will succeed him as patriarch of Alexandria.

April 17, 387

Baptism of Augustine of Hippo on Easter Eve. According to his writings, Italy observed Easter on the 18th that year. (Under the rules of the Council of Nicea it should have been observed April 25th.)

April 17, 617

On a Sunday morning, Donnan and fifty-three other monks on the Hebrides Island of Eigg are massacred at the command of a Pictish queen.

April 17, 1478

Repose (death) of Zosima, one of the founders of the famous Solovetsky monastery on the White Sea in northern Russia.

April 17, 1695

Death in Mexico City of Sor Juana InĂ©s de la Cruz, one of Latin America’s most renowned female thinkers. She had written secular and religious plays and poetry—in Latin, Nahuatl, and Spanish.

April 17, 1713

William Law is suspended from his pulpit for non-conformist views. He will become famed as the author of a Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, but his book Power of the Spirit will be more evangelical.

April 17, 1725

John Rudge bequeaths twenty shillings a year to the parish of Trysull, in Staffordshire, that a poor man might be employed to go through the church during sermons and keep the people awake and also to keep dogs out of the church.

April 17, 1805

Repose (death) of Archbishop Makarius at the hermitage of St. Peter in Chios. Metropolitan of Corinth, he had been a mystic and a spiritual writer who sought to revive the Orthodox Church under Turkish rule.

April 17, 1909

After celebrating Communion, missionary/pastor Willis Hoover resigns from his Methodist congregation in Valparaiso, Chile, declaring that he is separating, for reasons of conscience, from the organization of the church but not from Methodism. The following month he will become pastor of the newly-formed Pentecostal Methodist Church in Valparaiso. 

April 17, 1947

Harold John Ockenga, Charles E. Fuller, and Wilbur Smith meet to discuss founding an evangelical seminary, one of the crucial meetings and  contacts that leads to the establishment of Fuller Theological Seminary.

April 17, 1960

Death of Lettie B. Cowman, pioneer missionary to Japan, co-founder of the Oriental Missionary Society (now OMS International), and author of the devotional Streams in the Desert.

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