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March 17 in Christian History

Mar 17, 2009 12:52 PM EDT

1734 - Forty-two families of German Protestant refugees landed in the American colonies. Sponsored by the British Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (SPCK), the 78 religious pilgrims soon founded the town of Ebenezer, 30 miles from Savannah, Georgia.


1789 - Birth of Charlotte Elliott, English devotional writer. An illness at age 33 left her an invalid her remaining 50 years, during which she devoted herself to religious writing. Of her 150 hymns, "Just As I Am" remains popular today.


1841 - Birth of James R. Murray, American sacred music editor. A veteran of the American Civil War, Murray is better remembered today as composer of the hymn tune MUELLER, to which we sing the Christmas carol, "Away in a Manger."


1890 - Birth of Julius R. Mantey, co-author (with H. E. Dana) of a popular intermediate biblical language grammar. Originally published in 1927, the "Dana & Mantey" New Testament Greek Grammar is still popular, and still in print!


1897 - Emilie Grace Briggs became the first woman in America to graduate from a Presbyterian theological school, when she received her Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, in New York City.


© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church