July 30 in Christian History

Jul 30, 2013 02:49 AM EDT

1629 The Puritans of Salem, Mass. appointed Francis Higginson as their teacher and Samuel Skelton as their pastor. The church covenant, composed afterward by these two men, allowed into communion only those who could prove a sound doctrinal knowledge and an experience of grace in their lives.

1718 Death of William Penn, 74, English Quaker and founder of American colony of Pennsylvania. Penn permitted in his colony all forms of public worship compatible with monotheism and religious liberty.

1822 Pioneer church founder James Varick, 72, was consecrated the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church.

1956 By an act of Congress, signed by President Eisenhower, 'In God We Trust' became the official U.S. motto.

1976 Death of Rudolf Bultmann, 92, German Bible scholar and one of the three major pioneers of modern form 'criticism' (i.e., 'analysis') of the New Testament Gospels.

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© 1987-2010, William D. Blake. Used by permission of the author, from

Almanac of the Christian Church