Jan. 1 in Christian History

Jan 01, 2010 02:22 PM EST

1780 - Pioneer Methodist bishop and circuit rider Francis Asbury wrote in his journal: 'My God, keep me through the water and fire, and let me rather die than live to sin against thee!'

1802 - Thomas Jefferson, in a letter written to the Danbury [CT] Baptist Association, coined the metaphor, "a wall of separation between Church and State." From 1947, the "wall of separation" concept gained acceptance as a constitutional guideline.

1832 - In Lexington, KY, 12,000 followers of Alexander Campbell, (called "Campbellites") merged with 10,000 followers of Barton W. Stone (known as "Christians") to form the Disciples of Christ (Christian) Church.

1871 - The Church of Ireland was formally disestablished. Aligned with Anglicanism from 1537, the Irish Church represented the faith of only 12% of the populace by the mid-19th century.

1977 - Jacqueline Means, wife of an Indiana truck driver and mother of four, became the first woman in the U.S. to be ordained a priest in the Protestant Episcopal Church.

© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church