Nov. 28 in Christian History

Nov 28, 2008 06:29 AM EST

1739 - English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Follow after, but do not run before the blessed Spirit; if you do, although you may benefit others, and God may overrule everything for your own good, yet you will certainly destroy the peace of your own soul.'

1863 - Thanksgiving was first observed as a regular American holiday. Proclaimed by President Lincoln the previous month, it was declared that the event would be observed annually, on the fourth Thursday in November.

1904 - Death of Jeremiah E. Rankin, 76, American Congregational clergyman. He authored a number of hymns during his life, including "Tell It To Jesus" and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again."

1950 - A constitutional convention (comprised of 14 Protestant, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox denominations) met in Cleveland, Ohio, and brought into being the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Today, the NCCC serves to administer disaster relief, strengthen family life, provide leadership training, and promote world peace.

1984 - Pope John Paul II completed the last of 133 homilies in St. Peter's Square on the theme, "Theology of the Body." It was the first time in public catechesis that a pope made use of higher criticism of the Old Testament and freely cited a number of Protestant theologians.

© 1987-2008, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church