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May 3 in Christian History

May 03, 2010 07:55 AM EDT

1512 - The Fifth Lateran Council opened under Pope Julius II. Its twelve sessions lasting through 1517, the council continued under Leo X, following Julius' death in 1513.


1675 - A Massachusetts law was enacted requiring church doors to be locked during the worship service. (Too many people were leaving before the long sermons were completed.)


1738 - English revivalist George Whitefield, 23, first arrived in America. In all, Whitefield crossed the Atlantic thirteen times, and died in Massachusetts in 1770, during his seventh visit.


1850 - Sixteen year old Charles H. Spurgeon made his public profession of faith in Jesus Christ in a Primitive Methodist Chapel, in Colchester, England. Spurgeon began a preaching career the following year which did not end until his death in 1892.


1878 - Death of William Whiting, 53, Anglican poet and music instructor. He is known to have written only one hymn during his life, but its popularity has endured: "Eternal Father, Strong to Save."


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