TimelineImportant Events In Church History

30 Crucifixion of Jesus; Pentecost
35 Stephen martyred; Paul converted
46 Paul begins missionary journeys
48 Council of Jerusalem
57 Paul’s Letter to the Romans
64 Fire of Rome; Nero launches persecutions
65 Peter and Paul executed
70 Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus
110 Ignatius of Antioch martyred
150 Justin Martyr dedicates his First Apology
155 Polycarp martyred
172 Montanist movement begins
180 Irenaeus writes Against Heresies
196 Tertullian begins writing
215 Origen begins writing
230 Earliest known public churches built
248 Cyprian elected bishop of Carthage
250 Decius orders empire-wide persecution
270 Antony takes up life of solitude
303 “Great Persecution” begins under Diocletian
312 Conversion of Constantine
312 Donatist Schism begins
313 “Edict of Milan”
323 Eusebius completes Ecclesiastical History
325 First Council of Nicea
341 Ulphilas, translator of Gothic Bible, becomes bishop
358 Basil the Great founds monastic community
367 Athanasius’s letter defines New Testament canon
381 Christianity made state religion of Roman Empire
381 First Council of Constantinople
386 Augustine converts to Christianity
390 Ambrose defies emperor
398 Chrysostom consecrated bishop of Constantinople
405 Jerome completes the Vulgate
410 Rome sacked by Visigoths
431 Council of Ephesus
432 Patrick begins mission to Ireland
440 Leo the Great consecrated bishop of Rome
445 Valentinian’s Edict strengthens primacy of Rome
451 Council of Chalcedon
500 Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite writes
524 Boethius completes Consolation of Philosophy
529 Justinian publishes his legal Code
540 Benedict writes his monastic Rule
563 Columba establishes mission community on lona
590 Gregory the Great elected Pope
597 Ethelbert of Kent converted
622 Muhammad’s hegira: birth of Islam
663 Synod of Whitby
716 Boniface begins mission to the Germans
726 Controversy over icons begins in Eastern church
731 Bede’s Ecclesiastical History published
732 Battle of Tours
750 Donation of Constantine written about this time
754 Pepin III’s donation helps found papal states
781 Alcuin becomes royal adviser to Charles
787 Second Council of Nicea settles icon controversy
800 Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor
843 Treaty of Verdun divides Carolingian Empire
861 East-West conflict over Photius begins
862 Cyril and Methodius begin mission to Slavs
909 Monastery at Cluny founded
988 Christianization of “Russia”
1054 East-West Split
1077 Emperor submits to pope over investiture
1093 Anselm becomes archbishop of Canterbury
1095 First Crusade launched by Council of Clermont
1115 Bernard founds monastery at Clairvaux
1122 Concordat of Worms ends investiture controversy
1141 Hildegard of Bingen begins writing
1150 Universities of Paris and Oxford founded
1173 Waldensian movement begins
1208 Francis of Assisi renounces wealth
1215 Magna Carta
1215 Innocent III assembles Fourth Lateran Council
1220 Dominican Order established
1232 Gregory IX appoints first “inquisitors”
1272 Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica
1302 Unam Sanctam proclaims papal supremacy
1309 Papacy begins “Babylonian” exile in Avignon
1321 Dante completes Divine Comedy
1370 Catherine of Siena begins her Letters
1373 Julian of Norwich receives her revelations
1378 Great Papal Schism begins
1380 Wycliffe supervises English Bible translation
1414 Council of Constance begins
1415 Jan Hus burned at stake
1418 Thomas a’ Kempis writes The Imitation of Christ
1431 Joan of Arc burned at stake
1453 Constantinople falls; end of Eastern Roman Empire
1456 Gutenberg produces first printed Bible
1479 Establishment of Spanish Inquisition
1488 First complete Hebrew Old Testament
1497 Savonarola excommunicated
1506 Work begins on new St. Peter’s in Rome
1512 Michelangelo completes Sistine Chapel frescoes
1516 Erasmus publishes Greek New Testament

1517 Martin Luther posts his Ninety-Five Theses
1518 Ulrich Zwingli comes to Zurich
1521 Diet of Worms
1524 The Peasants’ Revolt erupts
1525 William Tyndale’s New Testament published
1525 Anabaptist movement begins
1527 Schleitheim Confession of Faith
1529 Colloquy of Marburg
1530 Augsburg Confession
1534 Act of Supremacy; Henry VIII heads English church
1536 John Calvin publishes first edition of Institutes
1536 Menno Simons baptized as Anabaptist
1540 Ignatius Loyola gains approval for Society of Jesus
1545 Council of Trent begins
1549 Book of Common Prayer released
1549 Xavier begins mission to Japan
1555 Peace of Augsburg
1555 Latimer and Ridley burned at stake
1559 John Knox makes final return to Scotland
1563 First text of Thirty-Nine Articles issued
1563 John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs published
1565 Teresa of Avila writes The Way of Perfection
1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
1577 Formula of Concord
1582 Mateo Ricci and colleague begin mission in China
1589 Moscow becomes independent patriarchate
1598 Edict of Nantes (revoked 1685)
1609 John Smyth baptizes self and first Baptists
1611 King James Version of Bible published
1618 Synod of Dort begins
1618 Thirty Years’ War begins
1620 Mayflower Compact drafted
1633 Galileo forced to recant his theories
1636 Harvard College founded
1636 Roger Williams founds Providence, R.I.
1647 George Fox begins to preach
1646 Westminster Confession drafted
1648 Peace of Westphalia ends Thirty Years’ War
1649 Cambridge Platform
1653 Cromwell named Lord Protector
1654 Blaise Pascal has definitive conversion experience
1667 John Milton’s Paradise Lost
1668 Rembrandt paints Return of the Prodigal Son
1675 Spener’s Pia Desideria advances Pietism
1678 John Bunyan writes The Pilgrim’s Progress
1682 William Penn founds Pennsylvania
1687 Newton publishes Principia Mathematica
1689 Toleration Act in England
1707 J.S. Bach publishes first work
1707 Isaac Watts publishes Hymns and Spiritual Songs
1729 Jonathan Edwards becomes pastor at Northampton
1732 First Moravian missionaries
1735 George Whitefield converted
1738 John & Charles Wesley’s evangelical conversions
1740 Great Awakening peaks
1742 First production of Handel’s Messiah
1759 Voltaire’s Candide
1771 Francis Asbury sent to America
1773 Jesuits suppressed (until 1814)
1779 John Newton and William Cowper publish Olney Hymns
1780 Robert Raikes begins his Sunday school
1781 Kant publishes Critique of Pure Reason
1789 French Revolution begins
1789 Bill of Rights
1793 William Carey sails for India
1793 Festival of Reason (de-Christianization of France)
1799 Schleiermacher publishes Lectures on Religion
1801 Concordat between Napoleon and Pius VII
1804 British and Foreign Bible Society formed
1806 Samuel Mills leads Haystack Prayer Meeting
1807 William Wilberforce succeeds abolishing slave trade
1810 American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
1811 Alexander Campbell begins Restoration Movement
1816 Richard Allen elected bishop of new AME church
1816 Adoniram Judson begins mission trip
1817 Elizabeth Fry organizes relief in Newgate Prison
1819 Channing issues Unitarian Christianity
1827 J. N. Darby founds the Plymouth Brethren
1833 John Keble’s sermon launches Oxford Movement
1834 George Mueller opens Scriptural Knowledge Institute
1835 Charles Finney’s Lectures on Revivals
1840 David Livingstone sails for Africa
1844 First Adventist churches formed
1844 Soren Kierkegaard writes Philosophical Fragments
1845 John Henry Newman becomes Roman Catholic
1845 Phoebe Palmer writes The Way of Holiness
1848 Marx publishes Communist Manifesto
1851 Harriet Beecher Stowe releases Uncle Tom’s Cabin
1854 Immaculate Conception made dogma
1854 Charles Spurgeon becomes pastor of New Park St. Church
1855 D. L. Moody converted
1857 Prayer Meeting Revival begins in New York
1859 Darwin publishes Origin of Species
1859 Japan reopens to foreign missionaries
1860 U.S. Civil War begins
1864 Syllabus of Errors issued by Pope Pius IX
1865 J. Hudson Taylor founds China Inland Mission
1870 First Vatican Council declares papal infallibility
1878 William & Catherine Booth found Salvation Army
1879 Frances Willard becomes president of WCTU
1880 Abraham Kuyper starts Free University
1885 Berlin Congress spurs African Independent Churches
1885 Wellhausen’s documentary hypothesis
1886 Student Volunteer Movement begins
1895 Freud publishes first work on psychoanalysis
1895 Billy Sunday begins leading revivals
1901 Speaking in tongues at Parham’s Bible school
1906 Azusa Street revival
1906 Schweitzer’s The Quest of the Historical Jesus
1908 Federal Council of Churches forms
1910 Edinburgh International Missionary Conference begins
1910 The Fundamentals begin to be published
1912 Social Creed of the Churches adopted

1914 World War I begins
1919 Karl Barth writes Commentary on Romans
1924 First Christian radio broadcasts
1931 C. S. Lewis comes to faith in Christ
1934 Barmen Declaration
1934 Wycliffe Bible Translators founded
1938 Kristallnacht accelerates Holocaust
1939 World War II begins
1940 First Christian TV broadcasts
1941 Bultmann calls for demythologization
1941Niebuhr’s Nature and Destiny of Man
1942 National Association of Evangelicals forms
1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima
1947 Dead Sea Scrolls discovered
1948 World Council of Churches organized
1949 Los Angeles Crusade catapults Billy Graham
1950 Missionaries forced to leave China
1950 Assumption of Mary made dogma
1950 Mother Teresa founds Missionaries of Charity
1951 Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison
1960 Bennett resigns; charismatic renewal advances
1962 Vatican II opens
1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., leads March on Washington
1966 Chinese Cultural Revolution
1968 Medellin Conference advances liberation theology
1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization
1979 John Paul II’s first visit to Poland
1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall


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