Aug. 16 in Christian History

Aug 16, 2011 09:00 AM EDT

1815 - Birth of St. John Bosco, Italian educator. Poverty among the children in the city of Turin led him in 1859 to establish the Society of St. Francis of Sales (the Salesians). Bosco was canonized by Pius XI in 1934.

1852 - Birth of Adolf von Schlatter, Swiss Protestant New Testament scholar. His 1921 History of Christ maintained that the success of any systematic theology had to be based on a foundation of solid biblical exegesis.

1875 - Death of early 19th century Presbyterian revivalist Charles G. Finney, 82. Converted at 29, he led revivals for several years before affiliating with Oberlin College in 1835, where he spent the rest of his professional life.

1942 - Birth of Don Wyrtzen, contemporary Christian songwriter. Among his most enduring sacred compositions are "Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" and "Worthy is the Lamb."

1972 - African-American Methodist clergyman from Dominica, West Indies, Philip A. Potter, 51, was named general secretary of the World Council of Churches. Serving until 1984, Potter gave strong spiritual guidance to the work of the WCC.

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

Almanac of the Christian Church