Today in Christian History

December 8

December 8, 1691: English Puritan minister Richard Baxter dies in London. One of England's most renowned preachers and author of nearly 200 works (including several hymns), he was known as a peacemaker who sought unity among Protestants.

December 8, 1934: American missionaries John and Betty Stam are beheaded by Chinese communists. The couple had met while attending Moody Bible Institute and married just the year before their death. Publication of their biography prompted hundreds to volunteer for missionary service (see issue 52: Hudson Taylor).

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May 1, 1572: Pius V, pope from 1566, dies at age 68. A reforming pope, he ordered bishops and clergy to accept the propositions of the Council of Trent, but he also vehemently opposed the Reformation. He rarely hesitated to use the Inquisition in Italy and hastily excommunicated England's Elizabeth I (creating serious problems for English Catholics).

May 1, 1873: Missionary-explorer David Livingstone dies. Responsible for "opening up" central Africa and for popularizing missions to that continent, ...

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