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Sept. 4 in Christian History

Sep 04, 2009 05:35 AM EDT

1645 - The first Lutheran church building erected in America was dedicated at Easton (near Bethlehem), Pennsylvania.


1802 - Birth of Marcus Whitman, American Presbyterian and pioneer medical missionary. In 1836 his family became the first whites to reach the Pacific coast by wagon train. Whitman and his wife Narcissa were murdered by the Cayuse Indians in present-day Washington state in 1847.


1813 - "The Religious Remembrancer" (later renamed "The Christian Observer") was first published in Philadelphia. It was the first weekly religious newspaper in the U.S., and in the world.


1847 - Anglican clergyman Henry Francis Lyte, 54, suffering from asthma and consumption, penned the words to his hymn, "Abide With Me," before preaching his last sermon in Devonshire, England. (Lyte died 2-1/2 months later.)


1973 - The Assemblies of God opened its first theological graduate school in Springfield, MO, making it the second Pentecostal denomination to establish its own school of theology. (The first such school was opened by Oral Roberts in Tulsa.)


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

Almanac of the Christian Church