Today in Christian History

February 6

February 6, 891: Photius, patriarch of Constantinople from 858-867, dies after a series of excommunications and restorations. His 867 encyclical, which denounced the presence of Latin missionaries in Bulgaria as an intrusion and objected to the filioque clause in the creed ("the Holy Ghost . . . who proceeds from the Father and the Son"), was significant in the East-West conflict that eventually led to the "Great Schism" (see issue 54: Eastery Orthodoxy).

February 6, 1564: Carried to church in a chair, John Calvin preaches his last sermon three months before his death (see issue 12: John Calvin).

February 6, 1820: Eighty-six free black colonists sail from New York to Sierra Leone, Africa. Though white abolitionists initially supported such emigration efforts, most free blacks (and eventually more radical white abolitionists) denounced the effort as racist and ultimately proslavery (see issue 62: Bound For Canaan).

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April 28, 1789: In the South Pacific, a band of hedonistic sailors stages the famous mutiny on the Bounty. The mutineers then sailed to uninhabited Pitcairn Island, where they soon fell into drinking and fighting. Only one man and several women (taken earlier as slaves) and children survived. The man, Alexander Smith, discovered the ship's neglected Bible, repented, and transformed the community. The Bible is still on display in a Pitcairn church.

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