April 18 in Christian History

Apr 18, 2009 08:59 AM EDT

1521 - German reformer Martin Luther, at the Diet of Worms, proclaimed that a biblical foundation supported the theological position of his "Ninety-Five Theses." Luther ended his defense with the famous words: 'Here I stand! I can do nothing else! God help me! Amen.'

1606 - In Rome, Julius II laid the foundation stone of the second building of St. Peter's Basilica. Completed 20 years later by Urban VIII, St. Peter's today is the largest church in Christendom, with an overall length of 619 feet.

1874 - In England, the remains of Scottish missionary David Livingstone (who had died the previous year in Africa at age 60) were interred in London's Westminster Abbey.

1882 - Birth of George S. Schuler, American music educator. Affiliated with Moody Bible Institute for 40 years, Schuler is remembered today for composing the melody to the hymn, "Make Me a Blessing."

1930 - American pioneer linguist Frank C. Laubach, while serving as a missionary in the Philippines, wrote in a letter: 'After an hour of close friendship with God, my soul feels clean as new fallen snow.'

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

Almanac of the Christian Church