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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.

December 16, 2014

In 1951, going to church on Christmas was a forgotten ritual in many of the small, rural communities of Central Maine. Churches built a century before remained abandoned after residents moved south during World War II, seeking jobs in the industrialized towns of New England. In Leeds, the Baptist and Universalist churches, built 200 feet apart on adjoining lots, stood empty—a reminder of the religious rift that had driven the community apart years before. But a group of 100 concerned Leeds residents were determined to bring their community back together, this time within the walls of...

November 13, 2014

On September 20, 2014, friends of the Presbyterian Historical Society gathered at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church for a special event, In the Midst of Them: Shaping Sacred Spaces. The event explored how churches and church leaders define and create sacred spaces within different communities.

The gathering featured a unique worship service with music by the Old Pine Sacred Jazz Ensemble, led by Warren Cooper. After a welcome message from Old Pine’s pastor...

August 11, 2014

In the middle of the twentieth century, Presbyterians rededicated themselves to ministry in America's inner cities. While the ebb tide of suburbanization drew congregants to new neighborhoods, urban churches were urged to tend to the people right next door. For forty years, Presbyterians' work in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles centered on the Westminster Neighborhood Association.

In 1955, the Presbytery of Los Angeles’ Church Extension Board began study of its own outreach to neglected Angeleno neighborhoods, establishing an Inner City Committee. Members were...

March 5, 2014

“…To a great many people, ‘Go ye into all the world’ means only going to China, Japan, Africa, or to some distant place across the sea; but to the Sunday school missionary it means going into the most isolated and neglected parts of his field…It often means dim and rugged trails over the mountains or across the parched sands of the desert. It means visiting that lonely and isolated home or community, for the Sunday school missionary must ever be primarily a trailblazer, a pioneer in the work of the Kingdom…” Ralph J. Hall, in ...

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