Sept. 27 in Christian History

Sep 27, 2011 06:30 AM EDT

1540 - Through the encyclical "Regimini militantis ecclesiae," Pope Paul III officially approved the Society of Jesus, a body of priests organized by Ignatius of Loyola in 1534 for missionary work. Today, the Jesuits constitute the largest Catholic teaching order in the United States.

1735 - Birth of Robert Robinson, English clergyman and author of the hymn, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing." He was converted at age 20 under the preaching of revivalist George Whitefield.

1785 - The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. was founded on this date, following the American Revolutionary War, when U.S. Anglicans met in Philadelphia to create a denomination independent from and autonomous of the Church of England.

1947 - The Church of South India was officially formed by the merger of three denominations: the Anglicans, the Methodists and the South India United Church (a Presbyterian and Congregational union). Historically, it was the first union ever between episcopal and non-episcopal bodies.

1957 - The dramatic anthology series "Crossroads" aired for the last time over ABC television. Depicting the work of various clergymen, the series had premiered in October 1955.

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

Almanac of the Christian Church