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February 18 in Christian History

Feb 18, 2010 07:01 AM EST

1571 - A group of Spanish Jesuits in the Chesapeake Bay area, led by Fray Batista Segura, were murdered by the Indians they had come six months earlier to convert. The massacre led ultimately to the withdrawal of all Jesuits living in Florida as well.


1678 - John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" was first published, in England. Bunyan was frequently imprisoned for preaching without a license. During these sequestered times, between 1660-72, Bunyan collected the ideas enabling him to pen this masterpiece of Christian literature.


1688 - At a monthly meeting in Germantown, PA, a group of Quakers and Mennonites became the first white body in English America to register a formal protest against slavery. The historic "Germantown Protest" denounced both slavery and the slave trade.


1781 - Birth of Henry Martyn, Anglican missionary to Persia. Martyn first sailed for the East in 1805. His great linguistic gifts led him to translate the New Testament both into Hindustani and Arabic, before his premature death at 31.


1867 - The Augusta Institute was founded in Georgia. Established as an institution of higher learning for black students, it moved to Atlanta in 1879, and in 1913 changed its name to Morehouse College.


© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church