Today in Christian History

August 14

English revivalist George Whitefield wrote in a letter: 'Our extremity is God's opportunity.'
Birth of Samuel S. Wesley, grandson of Methodist hymnwriter Charles Wesley. Himself a sacred composer, Samuel Wesley penned over 130 original hymn tunes. The best remembered of these today is AURELIA, to which is sung "The Church's One Foundation."
During the American Revolution, American patriot Francis Scott Key (1779-1843) was held overnight as a British prisoner during their shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, Key penned what later became our national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Death of English devotional writer Sarah Flower Adams, 43. In 1845 she published The Flock at the Fountain, a catechism containing hymns for children. One of those hymns remains popular to this day: "Nearer, My God, To Thee."
German Lutheran theologian and Nazi martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in a letter from prison: 'God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill all His promises ... leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.'

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