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 …

June 29, 62 – Apostle Paul beheaded?

One of the interesting things about history is we don’t always know what we think we know. That’s the case for what most scholars THINK happened today: the Apostle Paul’s beheading in Rome on June 29, 62. Or maybe 67 AD. Or maybe…? What we do know is, 2nd only to Jesus Christ, he was the most influential Christian that …

June 28, 1962 – Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America

On June 28, 1962, the Lutheran Church in America (LCA) was formed when 4 synods/groups merged into one organization: 1) the American Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2) the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3) the United Lutheran Church in America and 4) the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. In 1988 other synods merged with the LCA and the Association to form what today …

June 27, 1844 – Joseph Smith

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

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 …