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April 20 in Christian History

Apr 20, 2009 06:37 AM EDT

1441 - During the Council of Florence (1438-45), Eugenius IV issued the bull "Etsi non dubitemus," which asserted the superiority of the pope over the Councils.


1718 - Birth of David Brainerd, colonial American missionary to the Indians of New England. Following his premature death from tuberculosis at 29, Brainerd's journal (published in 1649 by the Jonathan Edwards) influenced hundreds to become missionaries after him.


1826 - Birth of Erastus Johnson, American hymnwriter. A lifelong student of the Bible, Johnson, at age 47, penned the hymn, "O Sometimes the Shadows are Deep" (a.k.a. "The Rock That Is Higher Than I").


1943 - In Poland, Germans Nazi troops massacred the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.


1987 - In Columbus, OH, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was organized, making it the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S. It represented the merger of three smaller Lutheran bodies, and was officially born on Jan 1, 1988.


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

Almanac of the Christian Church