August 16, 1795 – Absalom Jones

August 16, 1795 – Absalom Jones was America’s first African-American Episcopal priest when he was ordained on August 16, 1795.  Jones was a former slave who worked diligently to help other freed slaves in Philadelphia, PA and formed the Free Africa Society before his ordination into the Episcopal Church.

August 15, 1096 – Crusades begin

The Crusades of Christians again Muslims in Palestine are not a great example of loving your neighbor or turning the other cheek or taking the Gospel to all the nations.  Pope Urban II began the Crusades by preaching a “kick-off sermon the previous November but the first troops left on August 15, 1096.  They would last about 200 years.

August 14, 1248 – Cologne Cathedral

The most visited place in all of Germany is the great cathedral in Cologne which began construction on August 14, 1248.  This glorious structure was originally built to house the remains of the Magi (I’m not sure where they thought they were getting these remains from) and was completed in the 1880s.

August 13, 236 – Hippolytus

When you are a disciple of Irenaeus of Lyon, who was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the Apostle John you already have some serious credibility. Second century theologian Hippolytus had those creds when he wrote against the Gnostic heretics who had infiltrated the early church. Hippolytus died a martyr on August 13, 236 AD (some records …

August 12, 1812 – Archibald Alexander

Princeton, like most of the universities in America, began as a seminary to train pastors. On August 12, 1812, Princeton’s first full professor was appointed to teach theology. Archibald Alexander took the role having been a Presbyterian minister and the 4th president of Hampton-Sydney College.

August 11, 1872 – Dr. Lowell Mason

Known as the “Father of American Church Music”, Dr. Lowell Mason didn’t begin his celebrated music composition career as a musician but as a clerk in a bank in Savannah, GA. By the time he died on August 11, 1872, he had become the president and conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston and written some famous hymns …

August 10, 1886 – “What a Friend we have in Jesus”

The writer of the well-loved hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” knew Jesus as his friend through some very difficult times.  Joseph Scriven drowned on August 10, 1886 having lived with depression his whole life, was never financially successful and twice had fiancés die before their wedding.  Some friends thought he may have taken his own life.

August 9, 1788 – Adoniram Judson

On August 9, 1788 in Malden, Massachusetts, missionary great Adoniram Judson was born. Judson would go on to serve for decades in Burma (modern day Myanmar) and would develop the first Burmese-English dictionary. Judson College in Alabama and Judsonia, Arkansas are both named for him.

August 8, 1471 – Thomas a’ Kempis

One of the most popular devotional books ever is The Imitation of Christ written by Thomas a Kempis. Thomas, who was a German priest, was an excellent copyist and spent years immersed in Scripture. He died on August 8, 1471. One my favorite quotes from Imitation is: “If God were our one and only desire we would not be so …

August 7, 1771 – Francis Asbury

When the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, wanted to expand his missionary work in the American colonies Francis Asbury answered the call on August 7, 1771.  Asbury rode thousands of miles on horseback spreading the gospel and growing the church.  Asbury was known as the Father of American Methodism and Asbury Seminary in Kentucky was named for him.