19th Century

The 1800's were a time of evangelism — especially in remote areas where Christianity had never been preached. The Bible was translated into all sorts of exotic languages — Burmese by Adoniram Judson, Bengali and Sanskrit by William Carey, and Hindustani by Henry Martyn. It was an age of mighty preachers, such as Charles Haddon Spurgeon who would preach to over 6,000 Londoners per week. This was also the Century that, after almost 300 years, a new version of the Bible, the English Revised Version, attempted to de-throne the King James Version. But although it was a scholarly translation, folks still preferred the KJV.

1809:

Pope Pius VII is made a captive by Napoleon.  Both he and leading cardinals are imprisoned and deported to France where they remained in exile until 1814. During this time the Pope refused to cooperate with Napoleon who sought to bring the Church in France under his own control.    [Read more ...]



1813:

David Livingston, explorer and missionary to Africa is born.  Livingston was a Scottish Congregationalist medical missionary with the London Missionary Society. In addition to his famous meeting with H. M. Stanley, which gave rise to the familiar quotation "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?", he spent his life attempting to convert the natives. So loved was he there, that upon his death in 1873, his body was shipped back to England, but his heart was removed and buried in Africa.    [Read more ...]



1825:

The American Tract Society was founded in New York City.  This organization is still active today from its headquarters in Garland, Texas. In addition to tract publication, it also provides start-up funding for tract distribution in foreign countries. It receives funding through a combination of private donations and tract sales.    [Read some Early Tracts]



1834:

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is born in England.  Spurgeon was a Baptist preacher who became highly influential among Christians of various denominations. His Church had seating for 5000 people and standing room for another 1000. It was here that Spurgeon preached to packed audiences several times per week until his death in 1892. It is little wonder that in his time he was called the "Prince of Preachers".    [Read more ...]



1837:

Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist and publisher, is born.  During his ministry he founded the Moody Church, Moody Publishers and the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Founded in 1886, the Bible Institute is still going strong today, with over 4,000 graduate and under-graduate students.    [Read more ...]



1848:

The Orthodox Church releases the Encyclical of the Eastern Patriarchs.  [READ THE ACTUAL TEXT]  This publicly-released letter censured the Roman Catholic Church for missionizing Orthodox Christians, and declared the Catholic Church to be in "apostasy, heresy, and schism." (During the Reformation, 300 years earlier, the Protestants said the same thing about the Catholic Church. Deja vu.)    [Read more ...]



1859:

Constantin von Tischendorf discovers the Codex Sinaiticus.  This was a manuscript of the New Testament that was written in Greek during the 4th Century. Because of its old age, it has great value in determining original text and correcting text that has suffered corruption. Today most of the manuscript resides in the British Museum.    [Read more ...]

The first Greek Orthodox parish is established on American soil in New Orleans, Louisiana. 



  1861:

Birth of William Carey — "The Father of Modern Missions".  Carey was an English Bible translator, preacher and one of the founders of the Baptist Missionary Society. He always had a passion for missions, and in fact became a missionary to India. In his day he was best known for his most-famous quotation "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God."    [Read more ...]



1870:

Papal Infallibility becomes Roman dogma.  This doctrine of infallibility relies on one of the cornerstones of the Catholic faith — that of the supremacy of the Pope, and his authority to decide what are accepted as formal beliefs in the Roman Catholic Church. Although this had been known and respected since the birth of the Church, the First Vatican Council finally formalized it into dogma. It also specified conditions that must be met before a Pope can speak "ex cathedra" — infallibly.    [Read more ...]



1878:

William Booth founds the Salvation Army.  Previously called "The Christian Mission", this organization with its quasi-military structure and government is still known for being one of the largest distributors of humanitarian aid. So beloved was William that upon his death, the body laid in state for 3 days so 150,000 people could file by his casket.    [Read more ...]



1881:

English Revised Version of the New Testament is released.  Its commission was to be "the best version possible for the nineteenth century, as King James' version was the best which could have been made in the seventeenth century." It was followed by the release of the Old Testament in 1885 and the Apocrypha in 1894.    [Read more ...]



1887:

The Catholic University of America is founded in Washington, D.C. 



1889:

Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author, is born in Ohio.  He first became known through his radio program "The Art of Living", which went on the air in 1935, and lasted for 54 years. When television became popular in the late 1950's, Peale started producing TV shows. During those years his name became a household word in America. He wrote several books — the most widely read being "The Power of Positive Thinking".    [Read more ...]



1895:

Roman Catholic archbishop Fulton Sheen is born.  This media-saavy bishop became well-known for his work in radio and early television. His weekly television program "Life Is Worth Living" went on the air in 1951 and for 6 years drew as many as 30 million viewers a week! For that program he was given an Emmy Award, and later declared by Time Magazine as America's "first televangelist". His television ministry continued until the late 1960's.    [Read more ...]