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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

April 7, 2017

--By Christopher D. George

Little did the elders and members of the Second United Presbyterian Church of Allegheny City, PA, know what they were getting themselves into during the summer of 1860. Being “destitute of a fixed Pastor,” a call was made for Rev. John Barr Clark, then a little-known minister in Canonsburg, PA, to lead the church and take “charge of our souls.” Soon after Rev. Clark accepted this...

March 23, 2017

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Philadelphia’s importance as a center of African American history rests in part on its role as the birthplace of the nation’s first black churches. It was the churches which gave shape and protection to the emerging African American community in the urban North—educating their young, disciplining their members, and providing young and old with material support, moral guidance, and spiritual hope. Philadelphia saw both the...

January 12, 2017

In different points in its life, the Philadelphia congregation known as Beacon has been a Sunday school mission, a nesting congregation, a mother church with its own college, a church in schism, and a new church development. A persistent thread in the fabric of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, its population waxed and waned by turns, for 146 years.

Beacon began life in 1871 as a Sunday school mission of the First Presbyterian Church of Kensington. In 1872, the growing church bought a parcel of land from...

January 4, 2017

The Presbyterian Historical Society is pleased to report that we have awarded Heritage Preservation Grants to five PC(USA) congregations. The winners are:

  • Community United Presbyterian Church (New Alexandria, Pa.), organized in 1805.
  • First Presbyterian Church (Perrysville, Ohio), organized in 1818.
  • First African Presbyterian Church (Philadelphia, Pa.), organized in 1825.
  • First Presbyterian Church (Lincoln, Ill.), organized in 1866.
  • First Presbyterian Church (Kalispell, Mont.), organized in 1892.

The Heritage...

November 8, 2016

The Presbyterian Historical Society documents the experiences of Presbyterians from across the country. As part of our series on regional history, here are five stories about the Houston area collected by PHS.

Organization of Houston's first Presbyterian church

General Sam Houston (a Presbyterian) secured the future of the newly-minted Republic of Texas in April 1836 when he defeated the Mexican army in the Battle of San Jacinto.  In the aftermath of war, land promoters founded a...

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