June 17 in Christian History

Jun 17, 2007 11:27 AM EDT

June 17

1703: Birth of John Wesley, English founder of Methodism. The systematic disciplines of the 'Holy Club,' which John and his brother Charles founded, elicited the nickname 'Methodies' from their critics.

1822: In New York City, the first elders of the newly founded African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church were ordained.

1846: Iowa College was chartered in Davenport under the joint sponsorship of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches. The school changed location in 1859 and was later renamed Grinnell College.

1859: Birth of J. Wilbur Chapman, Presbyterian pastor and evangelist who authored a number of hymns, including "One Day When Heaven Was Filled with His Praises."

1963: English apologist C.S. Lewis wrote in a letter: "Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave it with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind."

[Source: William D. Blake. Almanac of the Christian Church, Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.]