Today in Christian History

January 2

January 2, 1909: Aimee Semple and her husband, Robert, are ordained by Chicago evangelist William H. Durham. Aimee, who married Harold McPherson after Robert died, would become the founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel and one of America's most popular preachers of the twentieth century (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).

January 2, 1921: Pittsburgh radio station KDKA broadcasts the first religious program over the airwaves: a vesper service of Calvary Episcopal Church. The senior pastor, unimpressed by the landmark broadcast, didn't even participate in the service, leaving his junior associate to conduct it. The two KDKA engineers (one Jewish, the other Catholic), were asked to dress in choir robes to be less obtrusive. Today religious broadcasting is a multi-billion dollar industry.

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January 17, 356 (traditional date): Antony of Egypt, regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, dies at age 105. Committed to a life of solitude and absolute poverty, he took two companions with him into the desert when he knew his death was near. They were ordered to bury him without a marker so that his body would never become an object of reverence (see issue 64: Antony and the Desert Fathers).

January 17, 1377: Gregory XI moves the papal see from Avignon (where it had been for 72 years) ...

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