Mar. 24 in Christian History

Mar 24, 2011 10:07 AM EDT

1774 - Anglican clergyman and hymn writer John Newton wrote in a letter: 'What a mercy it is to be separated in spirit, conversation, and interest from the world that knows not God.'

1818 - American statesman Henry Clay wrote: 'All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty.'

1940 - Dr. Samuel Cavert of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America officiated at a Protestant Easter service in New York City. It was the first religious program to be broadcast over television, and was carried by local NBC affiliate TV station W2XBS, in NYC.

1980 - El Salvador's leading human rights activist, Archbishop Oscar Romero, 62, was assassinated by a sniper while saying mass in a hospital chapel.

1982 - Five congregations in the eastern San Francisco Bay area became the first to declare themselves publicly as sanctuary churches, in an effort to help refugees from Central America establish themselves in the U.S. during political and military unrest in their native countries.

© 1987-2011, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church