1635 - Colonial American Separatist Roger Williams was banished from Massachusetts for preaching that civil government had no right to interfere in religious affairs. (Williams was seeking to establish freedom of worship through the separation of church and state.)
1776 - Spanish missionaries dedicated the first mission chapel on the northern California coast at Yerba Buena. (In 1847, the city which grew up around the mission changed its name to San Francisco.)
1842 - Episcopal missionary James L. Breck was ordained a priest at Duck Creek, WI. In 1850, this "apostle of the wilderness" moved to Minnesota and in 1858 founded the Seabury Divinity School. It is said that "no priest did more for the Episcopal Church in the West than Breck."
1845 - Cofounder of the Oxford Movement in England, churchman John Henry Newman made his celebrated conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism. From 1845-1862, nearly 250 other English clergy followed Newman into the Roman Catholic faith
1747 - Colonial missionary to the New England Indians, David Brainerd died of tuberculosis (brought on by exposure) at age 29. Following his death, the publication of "Brainerd's Journal" by Jonathan Edwards influenced hundreds to become missionaries after him.
© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from Almanac of the Christian Church