June 27, 1844 – Joseph Smith lynched

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was lynched on June 27, 1844 in Carthage, Illinois. The locals had “sort-of” tolerated Smith’s perverted version of Christianity but when he approved polygamy and multiple wives it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. His successor Brigham Young would soon guide the Mormons to …

June 26, 1892 – Pearl Buck born

Most of us “had to read” The Good Earth at some point before we graduated from high school. The author, Pearl S. Buck, was a Presbyterian missionary to China who spent most of her life in China before she won the Pulitzer Prize and was born on June 26, 1892. Buck’s parents were missionaries to China and, in addition to …

June 25, 1962 – School Prayer Outlawed

I have sometimes heard politicians say “As long as there are tests there will always be prayer in schools.” They are usually on the fence and don’t want to let their conservative-leaning audience know what they really think. In a decision handed down on June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of five Hyde Park, NY …

June 24, 1813 – Henry Ward Beecher

Advocating for social change from the view of the pulpit is certainly nothing new but Henry Ward Beecher understood the influence well. As a Congregationalist minister, Beecher was a major abolitionist (his sister was Harriet Beecher Stowe of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame – see June 5th) and Abraham Lincoln sent him to Europe to stir up the cause of abolishing …

June 23, 1942 – When We All Get to Heaven

One of my favorite hymns is “When we all get to Heaven” and we sing about what a day of rejoicing that will be (that will be). The lyrics were written by Philadelphia, PA native Eliza Hewitt who wrote over 1700 hymns but the music was written by Emily Divine Wilson who died a childless widow on June 23, 1942. …

June 22, 1750 – Jonathan Edwards dismissed

If we were to rank theological intellect on a scale of 1 to 10, Jonathan Edwards would be a 57 at least. He was a major earthly-reason for the Great Awakening of the 1730/40’s but on June 22, 1750 he was dismissed from his Northampton Congregational Church because he would not agree to give communion to members unless they had …

June 21, 1579 – Francis Drake and Californians

When was the first time a Prayer Book was read in English in the New World? No one can know for certain but the first time it was recorded as taking place was June 21, 1579, when Sir Francis Drake was circumnavigating the globe. He stopped somewhere in modern-day California and read the Book of Common Prayer to Native Americans.

June 20, 404 – John Chrysostom

One of the most prolific writers and theologians of the early church, John Chrysostom, was exiled from yet another church (this time in Constantinople) on June 20, 404. Chrysostom (pronounced chris-ahs-oh-tum) often railed against the upper class who were more concerned with being social Christians instead of humble ones – and it typically meant his services were no longer needed …

June 19, 1745 – David Brainerd

David Brainerd is best known and loved because of what we left behind – not just what he accomplished during his lifetime. He was a missionary to Native Americans who lived primarily in New Jersey and his diary has inspired an untold number of Christians. His missionary journey began on June 19, 1745. He died at age 29 from tuberculosis …

June 18, 1781 – Severns Valley Baptist Church

Not only is the Severns Valley Baptist Church the oldest in Kentucky, but it also became the oldest evangelical church west of the Alleghenies when it was founded on June 18, 1781. Severns Valley is no longer a town (it’s now Elizabethtown, KY) but the church still survives today (pictured here). It’s a long way from a couple of people …