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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.

August 3, 2017

--by Richard Poethig

The global conflicts of the twentieth century shaped the boundaries of nations and the relationship between former colonies and their overseers. This change in turn altered the way the mission of the church was viewed and conducted in overseas countries. The history of church mission had grown out of the expansion of Western powers into Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Christian mission had become characterized by the colonial relationship which European powers had with...

June 26, 2017
 

--by Ira Dworkin

I first visited the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2002 when I began working on Congo Love Song: African American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State. The Montreat branch is now closed, but most of its holdings are at PHS in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, including the papers of the ...

June 11, 2017

I have thought that my coming West was a great mistake. I must be in the wrong place or work, or I would not be so forsaken. In the midst of all my affliction vc [sic] in Africa, I could feel that I was in God’s work: but not so here. The trouble is the trying to serve two masters.”[1]

This was the reflection of the Revered John Menaul, a Presbyterian missionary, after five years of service in the New Mexico and Arizona Territories. A former missionary to Corisco, an island off the coast of West...

March 16, 2017

"We never meant to destroy your house," insurgents told Munir Khoury when hostilities subsided in Jibrail, in Lebanon's Akkar region, in 1958. "It was the American's house we were aiming at."

The Khoury family were closely associated with the American missionaries Neale and Edith Alter, who founded the Jibrail Rural Fellowship Center (JRFC). From its experimental education efforts in 1943 until the dissolution of the property in 1967, Presbyterian mission work at Jibrail treated rural economic development as evangelism, pivoted to counter the threat of communism, and survived...

March 9, 2017

We've recently transferred to digital video a silent home movie from the 1930s, shot by the Presbyterian missionaries to Thailand Kenneth and Margaretta Wells, part of Record Group 268. Their family's tame gibbon, Bimbo, is the star of the show.

Bimbo lived with the Wells family for four years while Kenneth and Margaretta taught at...

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