Birthdays on October 20

Ernst W. Hengstenberg (1802 to 1869)
He took up a shield for the church.

Ernst W. Hengstenberg was born in Westphalia, Germany. Brought up in a rationalist atmosphere, he became a theologian and, after his views changed under Pietist influences, was an outspoken defender of evangelical Christianity against the rationalism of his day. He authored several important works in the field of Old Testament studies, the most significant being his four-volume Christology of the Old Testament, long in print.

Harry Dixon Loes (1892 to 1965)
He taught music 26 years.

Harry Dixon Loes was born near Kalamazoo, Michigan. He had a musical education. As a student at Moody Bible Institute, he studied under Daniel B. Towner. He began composing gospel songs and later attended the American Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan School of Music, and the Chicago Musical College. He traveled widely throughout the United States and Canada as an evangelist for twelve years. From 1927-1939 he served as music and educational director at the First Baptist Church of Okmulgeee, Oklahoma. In 1939 Loes joined the faculty at Moody Bible Institute where he taught until his death in 1965. He wrote many gospel songs, including "Up Calvary's Mountain, One Dreadful Morn."

Horatio Gates Spafford (1828 to 1888)
Lawyer's daughters drowned.

Birth of Horatio Gates Spafford. A lawyer and hymnwriter, he enjoyed close friendships with Moody, Sankey, Pentecost, Bliss and other evangelists and Christian musicians of the day. Spafford planned a European vacation with his family in 1873. An unexpected business development required him to stay behind, sending his family ahead of him. While his family was sailing on the S. S. Ville du Havre, the ship collided with another, sinking almost instantly. Spafford's wife survived, but his four daughters drowned. Spafford left by ship to meet his wife in Europe where she had been taken after being rescued. While on the ocean near the scene of the recent tragedy, Spafford penned the lines to the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul."

Christopher Wren (1632 to 1723)
Church of England
St. Paul's a monument to his genius.

English architect, scientist and all around genius, Sir Christopher Wren was born on this day in 1632. His greatest design was St Paul's Cathedral in London. A High Churchman (one who accepted a more Roman Catholic form), Wren associated with the believers who founded the Royal Society of which he was a member.

This Day in Church History:

  • Editors' Picks

    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
    Stop Trying to Read the Bible in a Year!
  • The God of All Weather
    The God of All Weather
  • Does Islam Promote Violence?
    Does Islam Promote Violence?