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Today in Religious History, November 24th

  • 1703 — In Philadelphia, German-born pastor and hymnwriter Justus Falckner, 31, became the first Lutheran clergyman to be ordained in America
  • 1713 — Birth of Father Junipero Serra, Spanish missionary to western America. From 1769, he established 9 of the first 21 Franciscan missions founded along the Pacific coast, and baptized some 6,000 Indians before his death in 1784. For more on him, see Serra Junipero in our catalog
  • 1838 — Canadian Sulpician missionary Franois Blanchet, 43, first arrived in the Oregon Territory. A native of Quebec, he spent 45 years planting churches in the American Northwest, and is remembered today as the "Apostle of Oregon."
  • 1880 — In Montgomery, AL, more than 150 delegates from Baptist churches in 11 states met to form the Baptist Foreign Missions Convention of the United States. Liberian missionary William W. Colley was chief organizer, and the Rev. William H. McAlpine was elected the first president
  • 1941 — American Trappist monk Thomas Merton wrote in his "Secular Journal": 'Spiritual dryness is an acute experience of longing therefore of love.'