April 21, 1855 – Dwight L. Moody

Many people know the influence Dwight L. Moody had on Christianity in America – an influence that can be felt today. It all started when Dwight was working as a stock boy in his uncle’s shoe store in Boston and Edward Kimball asked young Dwight to accept Christ on April 21, 1855. This is a plaque at the building where …

April 20, 1529 – 2nd Diet of Speyer

What is a Protestant? Today we know it as the movement that broke away from the Roman Catholic Church that began in earnest with Martin Luther in 1517. It wasn’t until the 2nd Diet of Speyer that started on April 20, 1529. A “diet” is a Latin term that essentially means a meeting of church folks to work through some …

April 19, 1560 – Philipp Melanchthon

One of the not-as-famous leaders of the Protestant Reformation was Philipp Melanchthon. Melanchthon was, like his mentor Martin Luther, a professor at the university in Wittenberg and is the person credited with teaching Luther Greek and encouraging Luther to translate the Bible into German. He also played a key role after Luther’s death in smoothing over the divisions that began …

April 18, 1506 – Blessing of St. Peter’s

When Pope Julius II blessed the foundation stone of the “new” St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on April 18, 1506, he reportedly was lowered into the hole where the stones were being laid. Thousands of people came to watch and for the next 120 years architects and builders and artisans and popes would come and go until St. Peter’s was …

April 16, 1118 – Saint Erland

The Orkney Islands of Scotland were, from time to time, ruled by Norway and at one point in time the Islands were jointly ruled by local twin brothers named Erlend and Paul. Eventually Paul died and his son Haakon and Erlend co-ruled under the approval of the King of Norway until Haakon wanted all the power to rule the Orkneys. …

April 15, 1889 – Father Damien

Father Damien is a hero in Hawaii for the efforts he made at the former leper colony on Molokai. A Roman Catholic priest from Belgium, Joseph Damien greatly improved the living conditions for the lepers there and ultimately died of leprosy on April 15, 1889. Every state in the US can send two statues from their state to be displayed …

April 14, 1950 – Mitsuo Fuchida

Do you know the name Mitsuo Fuchida? Probably not. Have you heard of “Tora! Tora! Tora!”? My guess is yes. Mitsuo Fuchida was the leader of the Japanese bomber unit that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 who gave that famous directive to his fellow pilots. One day after the war he read a pamphlet by American Jake DeShazer …

April 13, 1742 – Handel’s Messiah

When the Duke of Devonshire invited George Fredic Handel to perform a benefit concert for charity he most likely had no idea of the impact. First performed on April 13, 1742 at the Fishamble Street Music Hall in Dublin, Ireland (pictured here) Handel wanted it to be easily performed by a smaller orchestra. He had already suffered a stroke when …

April 12, 1850 – Adoniram Judson

Adoniram Judson, along with William Carey and Hudson Taylor, was a true pioneer in the foreign mission field. He spent his time in Burma with his first wife Ann along his side. He died on April 12, 1850 with the distinction of being the first American missionary to Burma and having translated parts of the Bible into the Burmese language. …

April 11, 1861 – WMUS

The Women’s Union Missionary Society of America for Heathen Lands doesn’t sound like a real catchy title that was created by an advertising focus group but when Sarah Platt Doremus founded it on April 11, 1861 cute titles were not her focus. She and other women were moved by a talk from a missionary to Burma about the plight of …