Basil the Great of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Pastors and Confessors
236 Fabian was elected bishop of Rome. He served until 20 January 250, when he became the first martyr under Decius, the emperor who initiated an Empire-wide persecution of Christians.
681 Agatho, pope from 678 to 681, died (b. ca. 577).
1276 Pope Gregory X died (b. ca. 1210).
1514 The first section of the Complutensian Polyglot, the first multi-language Bible, was printed at Alcala (Complutum in Latin), Spain, under the direction of Arnold Guillen de Brocar.
1607 Isaac Jogues, French Jesuit missionary among Native Americans in North America, was born (d. 18 October 1646).
1645 The controversial archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Church of England William Laud (b. 7 October 1573, Reading, Berkshire), was beheaded.
1715 Christian August Crusius, German philosopher and theologian who defended the position of religious orthodoxy, was born (d. 18 October 1775).
1738 The first Protestant and Lutheran orphanage in United States was begun by the Salzburgers of Georgia in Savannah.
1739 George Whitefield (1714–1770), the preacher who sparked America’s first Great Awakening, was ordained into the Anglican ministry.
1831 Karl Brauer, music professor at the Missouri Synod’s Addison, Illinois, teachers seminary, was born in Lisaberg, Hesse (d. 12 May 1907, North Tonawanda, New York).
1834 John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron of Acton, whose hatred of arbitrary power and all forms of absolutism led him to oppose the syllabus of errors issued by Pius IX and the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility, was born in Naples (d. 19 June 1902).
1858 “I Gave My Life to Thee” was written by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836–1879), an English devotional poet and hymn writer, while visiting in Germany. This was her first popular hymn.
1864 Samuel Alexander Bill, Presbyterian missionary to Nigeria, was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland (d. 24 January 1942).
1867 William P. Merrill, hymnist, was born in Orange, New Jersey (d. 19 June 1954, New York City).
1869 [O.S.] Grigori Rasputin, Russian monk and mystic who influenced Tsar Nicholas II and his family, was born (d. 16 December 1916 [O.S.])
1883 Elling Eielsen, lay preacher in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, died (b. 1804).
1888 Peter Parker, missionary to China, died (b. 18 June 1804, Framingham, Massachusetts).
1896 Allen W. Chatfield, hymnist, died (b. 2 October 1808, Chatteris, Cambridge, England).
1903 Edmund Jacob Wolf, professor at the Lutheran Theological Seminary (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) died (b. 8 December 1840).
1906 Samuel Sprecher, professor and president of Wittenberg College (Springfield, Ohio), died (b. 28 December 1810).
1910 Carl Johann Otto Hanser, director of Concordia College (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and member of the Board for Colored Missions of the Lutheran Synodical Conference and of the Missouri Synod Board for Foreign Missions, died in Saint Louis, Missouri (7 September 1832).
1914 Anton Wagner, pioneer of the Missouri Synod in Chicago, died (b. 20 January 1830, Allendorf, near Giessen, Hesse, Germany).
1934 P. Y. Bee was ordained as the Missouri Synod’s first native Chinese pastor.
1939 Zion Chapel, Shasi, China, was bombed out.
1984 The United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations after 117 years.
2002 W. A. Criswell, American Baptist preacher, died (b. 19 December 1909).