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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September 23, 1595: Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish begin an intensive missionary campaign in the American southeast. In the following two years, 1,500 Native Americans in the area of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina convert to the Catholic faith.

September 23, 1857: Layman-turned-evangelist Jeremiah C. Lanphier holds a lunchtime prayer meeting for businessmen on Fulton Street in New York City. At first, no one shows up, but by the program's third week, the 40 participants requested daily ...

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