This Week in Christian History: Fanny Crosby, Archbishop Burned at the Stake, ‘Amazing Grace‘ Author Converted

This Week in Christian History: Fanny Crosby, Archbishop Burned at the Stake, ‘Amazing Grace‘ Author Converted


Free sign up cp newsletter!

Sign up By , Christian Post Reporter | Mar 18, 2018 3:05 PM 1 / 4 Expand | Collapse (Photo: public domain)John Newton, author of the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Christianity is a faith with a long and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.

Each week brings the anniversaries of great milestones, horrid tragedies, amazing triumphs, telling tribulations, inspirational progress, and everything in between.

Here are just a few things that happened this week, March 18-24, in Church history. They include the birth of a prolific hymnist, the martyrdom of an archbishop, and the conversion of the man behind the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Fanny Crosby Born – March 24, 1820

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Public Domain)Famed blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby, (1820-1915).

This week marks the anniversary of when famous blind hymnist Fanny Crosby, who wrote such sacred songs as “Blessed Assurance,” “To God be the Glory,” “Near the Cross,” was born.

Losing her sight as a child due to an infection and improper medical treatments, Crosby authored thousands of hymns and poems during her lifetime.

So prolific her contributions and influence on American hymnody, that one biographer referred to Crosby as the “.”

Archbishop Thomas Cranmer Burned at the Stake – March 21, 1556

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), former Archbishop of Canterbury who introduced the Book of Common Prayer to the Church of England.

This week marks the anniversary of when Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, the first Protestant to hold the church position, was burned at the stake for his beliefs.

A native of Aslacton, Nottinghamshire, England, Archbishop Cranmer was noted for his efforts to reform England‘s church, contributing to the creation of the modern Book of Common Prayer.

When Catholic monarch Queen Mary I, also called “Bloody Mary,” came to power, Cranmer was imprisoned for his Protestant beliefs, forced to sign recantations which he later publicly disavowed, and then was burned at the stake.

‘Amazing Grace‘ Author John Newton Converts to Christianity – March 21, 1748

Expand | Collapse (Photo: Wikipedia Commons)John Newton (1725-1807), Anglican priest and former slave trader who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

This week marks the anniversary of when John Newton, former slave trader and author of the popular hymn “Amazing Grace,” became a born again Christian.

The son of a believing mother and a non-believing father, Newton was on a ship headed home on that date when an intense storm arrived in the area.

“Thus far the Lord had wrought a marvelous thing: I was no longer an infidel: I heartily renounced my former profaneness, and had taken up some right notions; was seriously disposed, and sincerely touched with a sense of the undeserved mercy I had received, in being brought safe through so many dangers,”

“I was sorry for my past misspent life, and purposed an immediate reformation. I was quite freed from the habit of swearing, which seemed to have been as deeply rooted in me as a second nature. Thus, to all appearance, I was a new man.”

Newton annually commemorated the date every year as the anniversary of his conversion, writing 48 years later that he could never forget that “.”

1 / 4 Follow Michael Gryboski on or


Free sign up cp newsletter!

Sign up

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with's FREE daily email newsletter.