Dec. 4 in Christian History

Dec 04, 2008 07:59 AM EST

1154 - Adrian IV, 54, was elected to the papacy. Born Nicholas Breakspear, near St. Albans, England, he was the only Englishman ever elevated to the office of pope.

1674 - French Jesuit missionary Jacques Marquette erected a mission on the shores of Lake Michigan, in present-day Illinois. His log cabin became the first building of a settlement that afterward grew to become the city of Chicago.

1809 - The International Bible Society was founded in New York City as an interdenominational agency for translating, producing and distributing the Scriptures. The I.B.S. has since distributed the Bible to over 150 countries in the world.

1854 - Birth of Mary Reed, American Methodist missionary. She died in 1943, having spent the last 52 years of her life ministering to the lepers of India.

1966 - Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote in a letter: 'The good Lord, in spite of reports to the contrary, is not dead.'

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

Almanac of the Christian Church