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Christian History

Today in Christian History

November 29

November 29, 1898: Christian writer and scholar C.S. Lewis, one of modern Christianity's best-loved writers, is born in Belfast, Ireland (see issue 7: C.S. Lewis).

November 29, 1530: Thomas Wolsey, cardinal and Lord Chancellor to England's King Henry VIII, dies. Known as "a statesman rather than a churchman," Wolsey dismantled monasteries to fund Oxford University and devoted his life to king and country (see issue 48: Thomas Cranmer).

November 29, 1847: Missionary physician Marcus Whitman, his wife Narcissa, and 12 others are killed by American Indians in Washington's Walla Walla valley. Whitman had recently returned from a 3,000-mile journey to convince the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions not to close down one of his three mission stations. He was successful, and returned with a fresh group of immigrants—and the measles virus. Many Indians died of the disease, some of them because Whitman gave them vaccinations. The Indians accused Whitman and other missionaries of black magic and murdered them (see issue 66: How the West Was Really Won).

November 29, 1223: Pope Honorius III formally confirms the "Regula bullata," which organizes the Franciscan Order. The Franciscans are marked by complete poverty and a mission of itinerant preaching (see issue 73: Thomas Aquinas).

November 29, 1780: The Congregational Church of Connecticut licenses Lemuel Haynes to preach, making him the first black minister certified by a predominantly white denomination. Haynes later became the first black minister to pastor a white church (see issue 62: Bound for Canaan).

November 29, 1950: The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States is founded in Cleveland, Ohio, by 27 Protestant and seven Eastern Orthodox denominations. It has been one of America's strongest religious voices for social justice.

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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 ...

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