October 13, 1605 – Theodore Beza

The man who ensured the theological work of John Calvin would continue was Theodore Beza who died on October 13, 1605. Beza was an instrumental support to Calvin and was his immediate successor of the church in Geneva, Switzerland. These are the statues at the Reformation Wall in Geneva from left to right: William Farel, Calvin, Beza and John Knox.

October 12, 1518 – Luther and Cardinal Cajetan

In the 500 years since Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the doors of the Castle Church in Wittenberg in 1517, we may tend to forget how difficult this was for him at the time.  While he certainly grew in his stamina and resolve, on October 12, 1518 he wasn’t feeling that when he was grilled by Cardinal Thomas …

October 11, 1521 – King Henry VIII

About 13 years before King Henry VIII of England would break all ties with the Catholic Church of Rome, he was awarded the Defender of the Faith by Pope Leo X for his thesis “The Assertion of the Seven Sacraments”.  The thesis was a blistering tract against the “heresy” of Martin Luther when Henry was given the award on October …

October 10, 1821 – Charles Finney

The Second Great Awakening in the United States, which took place over about 30 years from the 1790s to the 1820s, ended with the work of evangelist Charles Finney.  Finney would serve for a time as president of Oberlin College in Ohio and was said to have converted over 500,000 people.  He had a conversion experience on October 10, 1821 …

October 9, 1747 – David Brainerd

Think about how one life can make an impact: David Brainerd was a missionary to Native American Indians in the English colonies who died at age 29 of tuberculosis on October 9, 1747. From Brainerd’s journals Jonathan Edwards wrote his biography which impacted missionaries for a century or more. One of Brainerd’s journal entries said: “I am an old sinner; …

October 8, 451 – Council of Chalcedon

As Christianity grew, the early church often settled issues of theology by meeting together in church councils.  Many of the councils were held near the Mediterranean Sea for logistical reasons and on October 8, 451 the Council of Chalcedon met to settle the heretical teachings of the Eutychians.  Eutychians did not believe Jesus was both God and man at the …

October 7, 1817 – Samuel Leigh

North American Methodist preachers and evangelists were accustomed to “preaching the circuit” to several churches within a given area.  Depending on the location and distance, a circuit could take weeks or even months to complete.  Australia was no different and on October 7, 1817 Samuel Leigh would begin the first Methodist church in Castlereagh by working with a local farmer …

October 6, 1536 – William Tyndale

William Tyndale understood the benefit of publishing the Bible in the English language but neither Pope Paul III nor the English King Henry VIII agreed. Tyndale fled England for Belgium to finish publishing the English Bible but Henry sent hitmen after him who rooted him out and strangled him to death at Vilvoorde Castle not far from Brussels. To make …

October 5, 1690 – Solomon Stoddard

The Harvard University librarian and pastor of the church at Northampton, MA until his death was Solomon Stoddard (this is his home). In the early days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, church membership was necessary for citizenship and Stoddard began a practice of amending the church membership policy as the older generations died out. One practice began on October 5, …

October 4, 1890 – Catherine Booth

Catherine Booth, the co-founder of the Salvation Army along with her husband William, dies in England on October 4, 1890. From the beginning of the Salvation Army’s efforts, she preached sermons and made sure women were an integral part of the leadership of the organization.