April 2, 742: Charlemagne (Charles the Great) is born. When Pope Leo III crowned him "Emperor of the Romans" on Christmas Day, 800, Charlemagne announced, "Our task [as secular ruler] is externally, with God's help, to defend with our arms the holy Church of Christ against attacks by the heathen from any side and against devastation by the infidels and, internally, to strengthen the Church by the recognition of the Catholic faith." Indeed, within his kingdom he was far more influential in church affairs than the pope. Charles appointed and deposed bishops, directed a revision of the text of the Bible, instituted changes to the liturgy, set rules for life in the monasteries, and sent investigators to dismiss priests with insufficient learning or piety.
April 2, 1914: Three hundred Pentecostals meet at the Grand Opera House in Hot Springs, Arkansas, for a ten-day conference. Though originally intended merely to organize annual conferences, by its close, the conference had birthed the Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism's largest denomination (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).
May 25, 735: Bede ("The Venerable"), father of English history, dies. In addition to his Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731), biographies of abbots, and Scripture commentaries, he wrote our primary source for the story of how Celtic and Roman Christianity clashed at the Synod of Whitby in 664 (see issue 60: How the Irish Were Saved and issue 72: How We Got Our History).
May 25, 1535: After holding Munster under siege for over a year, the army of the city's Roman Catholic ...