July 22, 1620 – Pilgrims Set Sail

Too few Americans talk about our Christian heritage but the truth is doctrinal issues drove the Pilgrims to the New World. They were refugees – running from oppression by the Church of England because they felt the Church had lost it’s focus on the supremacy of Scripture. Branded as “separatists” they boarded the ship Mayflower on July 22, 1620 and …

July 21, 1900 – Schweitzer licensed to ministry

Albert Schweitzer is best known for his work in establishing and running a hospital in Africa where he died. Born on the French-German border, he was licensed to the ministry on July 21, 1900 in the Lutheran church and even wrote a biography of Bach (he was an excellent organist). His views on Jesus were not in line with most …

July 20, 1969 – Buzz Aldrin and the Lord’s Supper

Many recall the first moon landing by Buzz Aldrin happened on July 20, 1969 but were you aware right before Aldrin took his walk he had the Lord’s Supper? As a Presbyterian elder in Houston, TX, Aldrin had his church help him with a small chalice, some wine and bread and said back to Mission Control: “This is the LM …

July 19, 64 AD – Rome’s Great Fire

The first time I learned of Emperor Nero fiddling while Rome burned was from a Bugs Bunny cartoon (which is also where I first heard classical music!). What I didn’t know was this was the very beginning of Roman persecution of Christians that would not end for almost 250 years until Constantine came to power. July 19, 64 AD is …

July 18, 1817 – Jane Austen died

Literature enthusiasts would surely place Jane Austen in the Top 10 list of British authors. Austen, who died of Addison’s disease on July 18, 1817, was the daughter of a Church of England minister and her brothers were also ministers. Her classics like, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, are full of characters who show their Christian principles and …

July 17, 431 – Council of Ephesus

As the early church grew it became more and more common for church councils to decide issues of theology and doctrine. The Council of Ephesus was well underway on July 17, 431, when it excommunicated a bishop named John of Antioch. John, along with other bishops, held to the idea Mary the mother of Jesus could be known as “the …

July 16, 1054 – The Great Schism

Remember Jesus never gave us a 3-ring binder on how to set up the church, and even with Paul’s exhortation in his letters, Christians will differ on points of theology which can lead to deep divisions. The first major church division is known as “the Great Schism” and happened in 1054 when the churches of Rome and Constantinople split from …

July 15, 1779 – Clement C. Moore’s birthday

Is Mamma in her kerchief and you in your cap? Many of us have the Christmas eve tradition of reading Clement C. Moore’s classic A Visit from St. Nicholas that we call “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”. Clement Moore, who was born on July 15, 1779, was a professor at the General Theological Seminary in New York City and lectured …

July 14, 1857 – Ting Ang converted

My guess is, like me, you’ve never heard of Ting Ang. He was a tradesman from Fuchau, China and became the first person converted and baptized by Methodist missionaries on July 14, 1857. When asked why he would deny his gods he is said to have replied, “These images are not real gods. I have just learned of the true …

July 13, 1886 – Father Flanagan born

Father Edward Flanagan was born in Ballymoe, Ireland on July 13, 1886 before coming to America and eventually forming Boys Town orphanage west of Omaha, NE. Boys Town now has multiple campuses throughout the United States. Spencer Tracy portrayed Father Flanagan in the movie “Boys Town” in 1938 and you have to be big time to make the cut for …