January 26, 1564: Pope Pius IV accepts and confirms the decrees of the Council of Trent by the bull Benedictus Deus. The product of the Counter Reformation, it improved church organization, strengthened the papacy, and blocked any reconciliation with Protestants (see issue 28: The 100 Most Important Events in Church History).
January 26, 1859: Millionaire inventor of the reaper, Cyrus McCormick, marries Nettie Fowler, a devoted Christian. Following Cyrus's death in 1884, Nettie used her enormous wealth to establish Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary and to support the work of D.L. Moody, John R. Mott, and countless missionaries to Asia.
January 26, 1906: The Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the oldest Pentecostal denomination, convenes its first General Assembly (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).
January 23, 1786: John Carroll, who would become America's first Roman Catholic bishop, founds the Catholic academy that is now Georgetown University.
January 23, 1893: Episcopal minister Phillips Brooks, bishop of Massachusetts, staunch abolitionist, substitute evangelist for D.L. Moody, and author of "O Little Town of Bethlehem," dies. He was considered the most "considerable American preacher of his generation."