Aug. 8 in Christian History

Aug 08, 2011 08:02 AM EDT

1471 - Death of Thomas Kempis, 91, Dutch mystic and devotional author. Though most of his years were outwardly uneventful, his book "The Imitation of Christ" remains in print today, a guide to cultivating the inner human spirit.

1518 - German reformer Martin Luther wrote in a letter: 'The Lord will provide with the trial a way out.'

1845 - Birth of Thomas Koschat, Austrian sacred composer. One of his scores became the hymn tune POLAND, to which is commonly sung "The King of Love My Shepherd Is."

1852 - The roots of the Baptist General Conference were planted when Swedish immigrant pastor Gustaf Palmquist baptized his first three converts in the Mississippi River at Rock Island, Illinois. Today, the denomination numbers about 140,000.

1910 - The Sacred Congregation of the Sacraments in the Vatican issued the decree "Quam singulari," which recommended that children be permitted to receive Holy Communion as soon as they reached the "age of discretion" (i.e., about age 7).

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

Almanac of the Christian Church