May 16: Today in Christian History

May 16: Today in Christian History

May 16, 1553

Roman Catholics in Lyons seize five young Frenchmen trained by the reformers Viret and Beza and burn them to death, despite the intercession of Reformed Swiss cantons.

May 16, 1569

Dirk Willem is burned at the stake in his native Netherlands for his Anabaptist faith, captured because he turned to save a pursuer who had fallen through the ice. The very man he rescued had taken him captive.

May 16, 1816

Robert Richford Roberts is consecrated during a Methodist General Conference in Baltimore as the sixth bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

May 16, 1819

Henry Nott baptizes King Pomare II of Tahiti. In a short time the Tahitians pass laws that forbid cruel murders and the islands begin to experience peace. 

May 16, 1835

Death in Dublin, Ireland, of Felicia Hemans, author of two little-known hymns: “He Knelt, the Saviour Knelt and Prayed” and “Father! that in the Olive Shade.”

May 16, 1906

Death in London of Edward Henry Bickersteth, Bishop of Exeter, author of many books, poems, and hymns. The most notable of the latter had been “Peace, Perfect Peace.”

May 16, 1920

George Washington Truett speaks from the Capitol steps in Washington, DC. The Dallas pastor, whose church boasts seven thousand members, takes as his theme “Baptists and Religious Liberty.” He expresses pride that Baptists have never oppressed anyone in the name of religion, saying “God wants free worshipers and no other kind.” He reminds senators, congressmen, and his many other listeners that liberties cannot stand if they become license to do evil. “Selfish ease must be utterly renounced for Christ and his cause and our every gift and grace and power utterly dominated by the dynamic of his Cross.”

May 16, 1920

Joan of Arc is canonized five hundred years after her politically-motivated execution.

May 16, 1945

Death in England of G. Campbell Morgan, one of the great expositors of the Bible.

May 16, 1962

Death of Daniel Lot, a zealous evangelist and prayer warrior of the Church of Christ in Nigeria. At his burial, women will defy tribal tradition and come to the grave site.

May 16, 1971

Cabien Alexis begins preaching in Ile Adam, Haiti, and will soon have a flourishing church in this formerly gospel-resistant area. Eventually his work will branch out to all of Haiti as the Army of God, with churches, schools, and orphanages.

May 16, 1996

Samuel Onyuku Elenwo becomes the first Anglican bishop of the newly created Niger Delta North Diocese. An aggressive evangelist, he will triple the number of districts and parishes and lead many Nigerians to new or renewed faith.

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