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, and everything in between.
Here are just a few things that happened this week in Church history. They include the largest camp meeting of a great revival and the appointment of one of Methodism's most famous leaders.
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Cane Ridge Revival Begins
This week marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Cane Ridge Revival, believed to be the largest camp meeting of the Second Great Awakening.
Held in Bourbon County, Kentucky, the meeting began on Aug. 6, 1801, and lasted about a week. It was organized by Presbyterian clergyman Barton Stone, who had Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist preachers speak at the event.
"A large crowd estimated at between 10,000 and 20,000 arrived to listen to sermons of redemption and to participate in the engulfing religious fervor," noted the Association of Religion Data Archives.
"Stone recalled six different types of 'religious exercises' experienced at the meeting: 'falling,' 'jerks,' 'dancing,' 'barking,' 'running,' and "singing.'"
In a letter written to the Rev. Dr. John King in September of 1801, Kentucky settler Colonel Robert Patterson described the revival as "the largest meeting of any that I have ever seen."
"Of all ages, from 8 years and upwards; male and female; rich and poor; the blacks; and of every denomination; those in favour of it, as well as those, at the instant in opposition to it, and railing against it, have instantaneously laid motionless on the ground," wrote Patterson.
"Some feel the approaching symptoms by being under deep convictions; their heart swells, their nerves relax, and in an instant they become motionless and speechless, but generally retain their senses."
Francis Asbury's Mission in America
This week marks the anniversary of when one of Methodism's most famous leaders was appointed to go to the British American colonies.
On Aug. 7, 1771, at a Methodist conference held in Bristol, England, Francis Asbury volunteered to be part of the group of preachers who would evangelize North America.
In his journal, Asbury wrote that before the conference, "I had felt for half a year strong imitations in my mind to visit America."
"At the conference it was proposed that some preachers should go over to the American continent. I spoke my mind, and made an offer of myself," recalled Asbury.
"From Bristol I went home to acquaint my parents with my great undertaking, which I opened in as gentle a manner as possible. Though it was grievous to flesh and blood, they consented to let me go."
And go he did to become one of the first two bishops for the American-based Methodist Episcopal Church. He traveled an estimated 265,000 miles on horseback over 45 years to spread the Good News and oversee the affairs of the Church.
"Under Bishop Asbury's direction, the Methodist Episcopal Church grew from 1,200 to 214,000 members and more than 700 ordained preachers," noted the United Methodist Church.
"Among the men he ordained was Richard Allen of Philadelphia, the first African-American minister in the United States."
Small wonder that he is known by many as the "architect" of American Methodism.