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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...

March 1, 2017

This year the Presbyterian Church of Korea celebrates the 110th anniversary of its first presbytery meeting. But Presbyterianism in Korea did not begin in 1907. It began 23 years earlier, in the tense aftermath of an assassination attempt.

Although there had been Christianity in the “Hermit Kingdom” since the 17th century, including Roman Catholic Jesuit missionaries, the first Protestant...

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