1536 Menno Simons (1496–1561) left the Roman Catholic church over his doubts about transubstantiation and converted to the Anabaptist movement, which he would soon led. The Mennonite churches are named after him.
1563 Franciscus Gomarus, Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius (and his followers), was born (d. 11 January 1641).
1603 David Denicke, hymnist, was born in Zittau, Saxony (d. 1 April 1680).
1649 England’s King Charles I, a devout Catholic who staunchly defended the divine right of kings while oppressing the Puritans, was executed by members of Oliver Cromwell’s army (b. 19 November 1600).
1808 Friedrich Layriz, hymnologist and composer, was born in Nemmersdorf, Bavaria (d. 1859). [German Wikipedia article]
1813 Samuel P. Tregelles, English Bible scholar, was born in Falmouth, England (d. 24 April 1875).
1815 Karl Friedrich von Gerok, Christian lyric poet and eloquent preacher, was born at Vaihingen, Württemberg (d. 14 January 1890).
1816 Phineas R. Hunt, missionary printer to Madras, India (1839), and Peking, China (1868), was born in Arlington, Vermont (d. 29 May 1878).
1860 Wilhelm Zoellner, president of the deaconess institution at Kaiserswerth and superintendent-general of the church province of Westphalia, was born in Minden, Westphalia (d. 16 July 1937). [German Wikipedia article]
1867 The American branch of the Evangelical Alliance was organized at the Bible House in New York City. William E. Dodge (1805–1883) was elected president.
1869 Charlotte Barnard (b. 23 December 1830), English student of music and hymnist, died.
1877 Responding to Henry Stanley’s plea for “some pious, practical missionary” to follow up David Livingstone’s missionary foray into Uganda, three members of Alexander Mackay’s (1849–1890) Church Missionary Society team arrived at King Mutesa’s court.
1891 William J. Schaefer, hymn translator, was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin (d. January 25, 1976). He was educated at Northwestern College (Watertown, Wisconsin) and Concordia Theological Seminary (Springfield, Illinois), from which he graduated in 1913. He served as pastor at Garrison, Nebraska; Colome, South Dakota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1935 he was appointed associate editor of the Northwestern Lutheran, the official periodical of the Wisconsin Synod, and became managing editor in 1939. He was a member of the Intersynodical Committee on Hymnology and Liturgics, which prepared The Lutheran Hymnal.
1904 George Minor (b. 7 December 1845), American Baptist sacred music publisher, died.
1907 Alexander Heidel was born in Entre Rios, Argentina (d. 19 June 1955, Chicago). He attended Colegio Concordia in Porto Alegre, Brazil, before graduating from Concordia Seminary (Saint Louis) in 1929. He received a Ph.D. in 1936 from the University of Chicago and was the author of several books including Babylonian Genesis. He taught at Concordia College (Austin, Texas) from 1929 to 1931 and was on the faculty of the University of Chicago from 1932 to 1955. He was a member of the Oriental Institute and did research in Iraq on a Fulbright Scholarship.
1912 Francis Schaeffer, American Presbyterian apologist for Protestant fundamentalism, Evangelical missionary, philosopher, author and lecturer, was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania (d. 15 May 1984).
1930 Rodolfo Hasse opened Missouri Synod mission work in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1950 The first Lutheran high school in Nigeria opened.