Dec. 21 in Christian History

Dec 21, 2010 03:57 PM EST

1672 - Birth of Benjamin Schmolck, German Lutheran clergyman. Though a busy pastor, Schmolck found time to pen 900 hymns, the best remembered of them being "My Jesus, As Thou Wilt."

1672 - Birth of Johann Christoph Schwedler, German clergyman and author of the hymn, "Ask Ye What Great Thing I Know." Schwedler penned more than 500 hymns during his life, many stressing the joyfilled confidence available to every Christian believer.

1776 - Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: 'It is necessary that our sharpest trials should sometimes spring from our dearest comforts, else we should be in danger of forgetting ourselves and setting up our rest here.'

1835 - Oglethorpe University was chartered in Milledgeville, Georgia under Presbyterian auspices. In 1913 the campus was moved to Atlanta.

1843 - Irish Catholic religious Frances Ward, 33, first arrived in the U.S. in Pittsburgh, where she afterward helped establish successive convents of the Sisters of Mercy, both in Chicago and in Loretto, Pennsylvania.

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

Almanac of the Christian Church