Nov. 20 in Christian History

Nov 20, 2008 04:56 AM EST

1541 - In Switzerland, French reformer John Calvin, 32, established a theocratic government at Geneva, thereby creating a home base for emergent Protestantism throughout Europe.

1572 - The first Presbyterian meeting house in England was established at Wandsworth, Surrey.

1850 - Blind Fanny Crosby underwent a dramatic spiritual conversion at age 30. Fifteen years later, she began writing her first of over 8,000 hymns texts. Many of these remain popular today, including "Rescue the Perishing," "Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross," "All the Way My Savior Leads Me" and "Tell Me the Story of Jesus."

1872 - The hymn penned by Annie Sherwood Hawks, 36 -- "I Need Thee Every Hour" -- was first sung at a National Baptist Sunday School Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1961 - The Russian Orthodox Church joined the World Council of Churches.

© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church