Today in Christian History

December 18

December 18, 1707: Charles Wesley, who founded Methodism with his brother John, is born in England. A celebrated and prolific hymnwriter, his "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "Lo, He Comes" are widely sung this time of year (see issue 69: Charles and John Wesley).

December 18, 1835: Lyman Abbott, a Congregational clergyman who was a leading proponent of the social gospel, is born in Massachusetts. Prompted by his admiration of Henry Ward Beecher to enter the ministry, he succeeded Beecher as pastor at Brooklyn's Plymouth Congregational Church.

December 18, 1865: Slavery is abolished in the United States as the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. Many of the abolitionists who pushed for its passage were Christians seeking to make America more like the Kingdom of God (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).

December 18, 1957: English author Dorothy Sayers, a Christian apologist who was also the most popular mystery writer in England, dies.

Read These Next

Free Newsletters
More Newsletters

April 29, 1380: Italian mystic Catherine of Siena dies from exhaustion brought on by her efforts to bring unity to the church. Her visions, experienced since childhood, and her persistent pleading led Pope Gregory XI to return the papal seat to Rome from Avignon, France (see issue 30: Woman in the Medieval Church).

April 29, 1429: Joan of Arc, who had experienced mystical visions and voices since childhood, enters the besieged French city of Orleans to lead a victory over the English. The next Day ...

More from April 29