Birthdays on May 15
Birth of Dante Alighieri, Italian poet, in Florence. He became a soldier in 1290. About 1302, Dante lost his property and was forced into exile by political changes. He never saw his wife or home again. Acclaimed world-wide for his literary achievements, Dante is remembered best as the author of The Divine Comedy. It is called a comedy because it has a happy ending, in contrast to dramatic tragedy, and the word "divine" was added later by admiring critics. It is a poetic view of the moral universe describing the three conditions of man: sin, repentance, and salvation; or Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. The writing is considered history's first great Christian epic.
Harold Bennett Sightler was born in the lower part of his beloved South Carolina--the state where he lived his whole 81 years and ministered faithfully 55 of those years. After brief pastorates in Mauldin and Pelham, SC, he founded the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Greenville in 1952, and was the pastor for 42 years and 2 months until his death in September of1995. During his years at Tabernacle, Dr. Sightler founded a children's home, the Tabernacle Baptist Bible College, a Christian school, the Helen Grace Sightler Widows' Apartments, a daycare center, and two radio stations. The church gave $10,000 per week to foreign missions. In addition to all this, from 1948 to 1984 he preached an average of 40 revivals a year. In 1943 he founded his daily radio ministry, The Bright Spot Hour, which is still heard on 45 radio stations across America. He was an author from whose pen came more than 70 books and booklets, including 11 Bible commentaries.