Today in Christian History

July 8

July 8, 1115: French monk Peter the Hermit dies. Several argue that Peter the Hermit launched the crusades. Supposedly, he visited Jerusalem on a pilgrimage in 1093 and returned to Pope Urban II with a plea to do something to stop the Muslims from harassing Christian pilgrims. Two years later Urban II pronounced the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont and Peter the Hermit became one of the crusade's dominant preachers. After leading a failed "pre-crusade" in which Muslims slaughtered his entire army of 20,000 peasants, Peter joined the main army of the First Crusade (see issue 40: The Crusades).

July 8, 1896: At the Democratic National Convention, fundamentalist William Jennings Bryan gives his famous speech supporting "the little man" of American life. "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold," he shouted (see issue 55: The Monkey Trial and The Rise of Fundamentalism).

July 8, 1741: Colonial Congregational minister Jonathan Edwards preaches his classic sermon at Enfield, Connecticut: "You are thus in the hands of an angry God; 'tis nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction" (see issue 8: Jonathan Edwards and issue 77: Jonathan Edwards).

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October 15, 1880: Germany's Cologne cathedral is completed, 633 years after construction began.

October 15, 1900: Charles Fox Parham opens Bethel Bible Institute in Topeka, Kansas, where Agnes Ozman and other students would speak in tongues and begin the Pentecostal movement (see issue 58: Pentecostalism).

October 15, 1932: A small party of supporters gathers in Liverpool, England, to send Gladys Aylward, a 28-year-old parlormaid, off on a dangerous missionary journey to China. Though she'd been turned ...

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