March 21 in Christian History

Mar 21, 2009 12:14 PM EDT

1098 - The monastery in Citeaux, France was founded by St. Robert, a Benedictine monk and abbot of Molesme. It marked the beginning of the Roman Catholic Cistercian religious order.

1146 - King Louis VII of France took up the cause of the Second Crusade, in response to Bernard of Clairvaux's preaching, and became leader of the ill-fated mission.

1747 - [N.S.] On a slave ship bound for England, during a violent storm at sea, English sea captain John Newton, 22, was dramatically converted to a living faith. It was more than a "foxhole religion," as Newton soon abandoned the sea, and from 1764 until his death (43 years later), he devoted his life as a clergyman in the Anglican Church.

1900 - In Chicago, following the death of its founder Dwight L. Moody, the Bible Institute for Home and Foreign Missions changed its name to Moody Bible Institute. The school has since become the model after which other learning institutions have patterned their curriculum.

1985 - The Association of International Mission Services was founded in Dallas. A trans-denominational organization, AIMS promotes the work of foreign missions among independent Pentecostal and charismatic churches.

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

Almanac of the Christian Church