Today in Christian History

December 3

December 3, 1552: Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier, one of the founding members of his order (the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits) and one of the greatest missionaries ever, dies awaiting admission to China. Before that, he had converted 700,000 people in Portugal, India, Indonesia, Japan, and elsewhere.

December 3, 1833: Ohio's Oberlin College, the first coeducational college in the United States and one of the first to offer education to blacks, opens. Its unique character was formed as a result of the revival movement of Charles Finney, who later served as president of the school (see issue 20: Charles Finney).

December 3, 1846: Presbyterian widow Leslie Prentice leads a pro-life rally outside the home of New York City's foremost abortionist, Anna Lohman, a.k.a. Madame Restell.

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August 23, 1723: Increase Mather, one of Colonial America's most famous clergymen, dies. Friends and colleagues mourned him as "the patriarch . . . among us" (see issue 41: American Puritans).

August 23, 1948: The "fellowship of churches which accept our Lord Jesus Christ as God and Savior" (a.k.a. the World Council of Churches) is formally constituted in Amsterdam.

August 23, 1572: Catherine de Medici sends her son, young King Charles IX of France, into a panic with threats of an imminent Huguenot ...

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