March 20 in Christian History

Mar 20, 2009 01:05 PM EDT

1739 - English founder of Methodism John Wesley wrote in a letter: 'I look upon all the world as my parish.'

1747 - American missionary David Brainerd, 28, ended two-andone-half years of labor among the colonial Indians of New England, after having been continually plagued with ill health. (Brainerd died of tuberculosis seven months later.)

1840 - Scottish clergyman Robert Murray McCheyne wrote in a letter: 'The more God opens your eyes, the more you will feel that you are lost in yourself.'

1852 - American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe, 41, published her classic antislavery novel, "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The controversy it kindled helped lead to the American Civil War, nine years later.

1928 - Birth of Fred Rogers, American Presbyterian clergyman and -- since its premiere in 1965 -- host of public television's longest running children's program: "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."

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

Almanac of the Christian Church