June 21 in Christian History

Jun 21, 2011 09:17 AM EDT

1639 - Birth of Increase Mather, early American theologian. He published nearly 100 books, and is credited with helping end executions for witchcraft in colonial America.

1821 - Birth of Henry W. Baker, compiler of 'Hymns Ancient and Modern' - the unofficial Anglican church hymnal. He also authored the hymn based on Psalm 23: 'The King of Love My Shepherd Is.'

1821 - The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church was formally constituted in New York City. Nineteen clergymen were present, representing six African-American churches from New York City; Philadelphia; New Haven, CT and Newark, NJ.

1963 - In Rome, Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini was elected Pope Paul VI, the 261st pontiff of the Catholic Church.

1968 - Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote in a letter: 'Faith in God's revelation has nothing to do with an ideology which glorifies the status quo.'

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

Almanac of the Christian Church