Milestones in Christian history

Published May 1, 2011

As a reminder of the long, rich, passionate and sometimes violent history of the Christian church, Milestones explores historical and intellectual events in the evolution of Christendom.

May 24, 1738
At a prayer meeting in a chapel on Aldersgate Street in London, English cleric John Wesley, who with his brother, Charles founded Methodism, feels his “heart strangely warmed” while listening to a reading of the preface to Martin Luther’s “Commentary on Romans.” This pivotal event transformed Wesley from a largely ineffective Anglican clergyman into one of the most influential leaders in Christian history.

May 8, 1845
The Southern Baptist Convention organizes in Augusta, Ga., separating from northern Baptists over the slavery issue. Today, it is the world’s largest Baptist denomination and the largest Protestant body in the U.S., with more than 16 million members. It is also the second-largest Christian body in the U.S. after the Catholic Church.

May 10, 1886
Karl Barth is born in Basle, Switzerland. A Reformed Swiss pastor and opponent of theological liberalism, Barth has been described as the most important Christian theologian since St. Thomas Aquinas. Asked in 1962 how he would characterize the essence of the millions of words he had published, the neo-orthodox theologian replied with profound simplicity: “Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Ω

Milestones is presented by
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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