March 18 in Christian History

Mar 18, 2009 12:56 PM EDT

1123 - The First Lateran Council opened in Rome. It was the Ninth Ecumenical Council, and the first one to be held in the West. Lateran I settled the right of investiture (i.e., the right to choose replacement clergy) by a treaty between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V.

1314 - 39 French Knights Templars were burned at the stake. Most church history experts agree that these and other hostilities shown against the Knights Templars were caused by the greed and cunning of Philip the Fair, who sought the great wealth this medieval military religious order had amassed in the enturies following the Crusades.

1673 - Lord Berkeley of England sold his half of the American colony of New Jersey to the Quakers.

1767 - Anglican clergyman and hymn writer John Newton wrote in a letter: 'The more you know him, the better you will trust him; the more you trust him, the better you will love him; the more you love him, the better you will serve him.'

1861 - The Metropolitan Tabernacle first opened in London. It was the church at which famed English Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon pastored.

© 1987-2009, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church