May 2, 373: Church father Athanasius, "the father of Orthodoxy," dies. He attended the Council of Nicea, and after becoming bishop of Alexandria, he fought Arianism and won. He was also the first to list the New Testament canonical books as we know them today (see issue 51: Heresy in the Early Church).
May 2, 1507: Martin Luther celebrates his first mass (delayed by a month so his father could attend) as an ordained priest. Luther was so nervous that he nearly dropped the bread and cup. He became so terrified of the presence of Christ in the sacrament that he tried to run from the altar. (see issue 34: Luther's Early Years).
May 2, 1559: John Knox, having spent several years on the Continent studying and writing, returns to Scotland to help lead the Reformation there (see issue 46: John Knox).
May 2, 1821: Methodist missionary William Taylor is born in Virginia. He ministered to miners during the California gold rush and later became missionary Bishop of Africa (1884-1896). Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, named itself after him (see issue 66: How the West Was Really Won).
June 14, 1811: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and daughter of Congregationalist minister Lyman Beecher, is born in Litchfield, Connecticut. When she met Abraham Lincoln in 1863, he reportedly said, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!" (see issue 33: Christianity and the Civil War).
June 14, 847: Methodius, an Eastern church leader who fought vigorously for icons to be preserved and venerated, dies of dropsy. He had earlier ...