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 …

February 3, 1985 – Bishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Mpilo Tutu became the first black Anglican bishop of Johannesburg, South Africa on February 3, 1985. In addition to this ground-breaking achievement he also gets these awards in his trophy case: Nobel Peace Prize, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, the Gandhi Peace Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Check back tomorrow and see just how far South …

February 2, 1900 – Annie Wittenmeyer

Before Gandhi and Martin Luther King’s non-violent protests there was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union who was taking on the destruction of homes due to alcohol. The WCTU’s first president, Annie Wittenmeyer, served from 1874-1879 and died on February 2, 1900. At the height of its influence the WCTU boasted over 1000 chapters across the US and were a force …

February 1, 1933 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

As the Nazi regime grew in power, very few voices were willing to step up and call into question what Hitler was doing to Germany. One of the voices who was willing was the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He gave a national radio address on February 1, 1933 where he reminded the audience there was a large risk in putting …

January 31, 1892 – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Besides being one of the greatest preachers of all time, Charles Haddon Spurgeon also developed numerous commentaries and even trained pastors to be pastors. By the time he died on January 31, 1892, at age 57, it is estimated over 900 pastors went through his seminary. This is a picture of his grave shared by his wife Susanna from their …