February 13, 1793 – Christian Schwartz

Much discussion has been given to William Carey’s mission work in India, and rightly so, but another missionary also did amazing work. Christian Schwartz was a Lutheran missionary from Prussia who immersed himself in the Indian culture by learning several languages including Urdu so he could talk with Muslims. He died on February 13, 1793 after ensuring the following generation …

February 12, 1663 – Cotton Mather

In addition to having a cool name, Cotton Mather was one of the most famous writers of his day.  He wrote a detailed description of the Salem Witch Trials, was a founder of Yale University, and was pastor of Boston’s Second Church (just like his father Increase Mather had been).  He was born on February 12, 1663.

February 11, 1482 – Spanish Inquisition

One of the darkest spots in the history of Christianity was the Spanish Inquisition. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella wanted to force people to be Christians and if they weren’t sincere enough, they would often resort to torture. The priest Tomas de Torquemada (tork-a-mada) was the chief torturer and was appointed to his post as “inquistioner” on February 11, 1482 …

February 10, 1973 – Idi Amin

The fact that Idi Amin was a dictator is a forgone fact, but did you know he killed Christians as an example of his authority? On January 10, 1973 he gathered 3,000 people into the stadium at Kabale, Uganda to watch his military shoot 3 Christians. Afterward, because of the martyr’s peaceful smiling faces, hundreds asked what made those people …

February 9, 1943 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn hated the Soviet state of his beloved Russia and was accused of trying to overthrow Stalin’s government. He was arrested and eventually sent to the Russian prisons called gulags on February 9, 1943. While in the gulags he would come to know Christ and ended up winning a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970. His speech entitled “Godlessness: …

February 8, 1587 – Mary Queen of Scots

The question of England staying Protestant after the eventual death of Queen Elizabeth I was plotted and debated in many circles. Since Elizabeth was not married the question of her successor’s religion was important to both Catholics and the Church of England. A potential heir was her very-Catholic-French-loving cousin Mary, Queen of Scotland. Mary got a bit uppity and decided …

February 7, 1649 – Westminster Confession of Faith

On a scale of 1-10, for Protestants the Westminster Confession of Faith is about a 45. Ratified by the British Parliament on February 7, 1649 it held first and foremost that the Bible contained the holy, inerrant and authoritative Word of God and anything else (including the Apocrypha) was not to be considered Scripture.

February 6, 1564 – John Calvin

Who knows how many sermons John Calvin preached? It’s somewhere between a few jillion and a ka-jillion. On February 6, 1564 he was carried to the church in a chair because he was so frail and preached his last sermon. It is thought he had malaria and was literally working himself too hard. He would die three months later.

February 5, 1631 – Roger Williams

Arriving in America at the Massachusetts Bay Colony doesn’t seem to be a real important historic event unless it was Roger Williams showing up on February 5, 1631. Williams would leave 5 years later from this Puritan bastion proclaiming he didn’t have religious liberty and went to Rhode Island where he would become president of the colonial government there. His …

February 4, 1928 – Manche Masemola

Yesterday we noted South Africa had its first black Anglican Bishop in 1985. But on February 4, 1928 – just some 60 years earlier – Manche Masemola was killed by her parents for refusing to deny her belief in Christ. The South African teenage girl attended every Church of England service she could and when she refused to stop attending …