Today in Christian History

January 14

January 14, 1529: Spanish diplomat and writer Juan de Valdes publishes his "Dialogue on Christian Doctrine," which paved the way for Protestant ideas in Spain.

January 14, 1739: George Whitefield, the preacher who sparked America's first Great Awakening, is ordained to the Anglican ministry. Whitefield celebrated it as “a day of fat things” in his journal. Whitefield became famous for his open-air preaching after jealous ministers denied him the use of their pulpits, and he was perfectly suited to it—his booming voice, it was reported, could be heard a mile away (see issue 38: George Whitefield).

January 14, 1875: Theologian, medical missionary, organist, musical historian, and winner of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize Albert Schweitzer is born. His Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906) is considered a foundational work on that subject (see issue 59: The Life and Times of Jesus).

January 14, 1892: Lutheran pastor and political activist Martin Niemoller, who was imprisoned by Hitler for his leadership role in the Confessing Church, is born (see issue 32: Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

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January 24, 1076: Germany's Henry IV convenes the Synod of Worms to secure the deposition of Pope Gregory VII. The Synod charged the pope with serious crimes, called upon Rome to depose him, and issued other anti-papal statements. The pope quickly excommunicated Henry. One year later, Henry traveled to Canossa, Italy, and stood three days in the snow in an attempt to gain Gregory's forgiveness. Gregory granted it, but the two men soon fought again; Henry set up an antipope in Gregory's place.

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