July 9, 1228 – Archbishop Stephen Langton

When I teach the History of the Bible one of my slides is of Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton who died on July 9, 1228. The Archbishop (this is a statue of him at Westminster Abbey) makes the cut on Bible history because he’s the one we thank – or blame – for inserting chapters into Scripture. So, if we …

July 8, 1663 – Rhode Island

Ever heard that big things come in small packages? When the colony of Rhode Island was chartered on July 8, 1663 it was completely different from the other colonies. One difference was that the colonists had to buy their land from the Native Americans living there. Another was a religious provision that stated “to secure them in the free exercise …

July 7, 1873 – Lottie Moon

In Southern Baptist denomination work, Lottie Moon is a rock star of the first order. Her story, of leaving her secure school teaching job, and heading to China after she was appointed on July 7, 1873 has inspired naming the annual foreign missions offering each Christmas after her. She made an impact with her new Chinese friends by offering them …

July 6, 1415 – Jan Hus

Way before Martin Luther took the steps in reforming the church, he stood on the shoulders of several valiant theologians and church leaders who blazed the trail before Marty was on scene. One major figure was Jan (or Jon) Hus from Prague. Hus dared to question the authority of the pope, and the priesthood in general, but was keenly focused …

July 5, 1844 – Kensington Riots

Immigrants taking “American native” jobs was just the beginning of the problems that caused the Kensington Riots in Philadelphia, PA in 1844. Philadelphia’s Irish Catholic immigrant population was booming and “native” Americans were increasingly angry when the Irish would work for less wages. At St. Phillip Neri’s Catholic Church in the Kensington district, the first free Catholic School in the …

July 4, 1832 – “My Country ’tis of Thee”

How many times have you sung the song “My country ’tis of Thee?” The song is also known as “America” even though it isn’t the official title. “America” was first sung on July 4, 1832 in Boston, Massachusetts by a children’s choir at Park Street Church (pictured here) and is set to the tune “God Save the King/Queen”. (Don’t say …

July 3, 1843 – Vintons sail to Burma

Newlyweds Justus and Calista Vinton set sail for a 160 day overseas journey from Boston to Burma (which today its Myanmar). They would spend most their married life apart as they determined they could cover more ground by leading two teams. Both knew the Karen language (seen in the copy of this hymnal) and found a great willingness of the …

July 2, 1752 – Algonquian Bible translation

The first Bible printed in America was for the first Americans: the native American Algonquian people. When it was printed on July 2, 1752, it was cheaper to buy an English Bible from England so printing in the colonies was prohibitive. However, a man named John Eliot wanted Native Americans to read the Word so he had the Bible translated …

July 1, 1903 – Geronimo

From the very earliest days of the European exploration of North America, a prime focus was to convert Native Americans to Christianity (it wasn’t always a pretty picture). On July 1, 1903 the great Apache chief Geronimo was baptized into the Methodist Church at Medicine Creek in the Oklahoma territory.

June 30, 1882 – Bishop Nester and Alaskans

Most of us recall from our US history that Alaska was at first a US territory after it was purchased from Russia in 1867. So it stands to reason there was a substantial Russian Orthodox Christian community there. The Russians were given wonderful spiritual counsel from Bishop Nestor who died on June 30, 1882. The see (or diocese) of the …