United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations.
Secretaries' files: Venezuela Mission, 1911-1972.
Finding Aid to Record Group 99
4.00 cu.ft.

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

Venezuela was the last mission field in Latin America to be occupied by the PCUSA. Early in 1897, the Reverend and Mrs. T.S. Pond of the Colombia Mission were transferred to Caracas. Despite much prejudice toward Protestant evangelicals, a church was established there in 1900 and the station was formally organized by the Board of Foreign Missions as a separate mission in 1912.

In comparison with Presbyterian missionary activities in other parts of Latin America, the work in Venezuela was limited. It centered chiefly in the Federal District of Caracas and in the neighboring state of Miranda, and was primarily educational and evangelistic. It has been estimated that during the 1930s perhaps 85% of the Venezuelan population was illiterate, with two thirds of the remaining 15% possessing only an elementary school education. The Church's educational work commenced in 1900 with the establishment of Colegio Americano, a school for girls and young women that eventually became coeducational with an expanded secondary school curriculum. Other educational facilities were later established at Guatire (Primary School) and Ocumare (Christian Rural Center). Evangelistic work was primarily restricted to Caracas, the only mission station.

In 1945, the Presbytery of Venezuela was organized, though the number of communicants in the Presbyterian Church of Venezuela was and continued to be small amidst an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic population. In 1961, the Venezuela Mission was formally dissolved with its functions being assumed by the Presbyterian Church of Venezuela.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Record Group 99 documents the educational and evangelistic work of the PCUSA in Venezuela, 1911-1972. It is arranged as follows:

SERIES 1: CORRESPONDENCE, 1911-1972

SERIES 2: MINUTES, 1923-1971

SERIES 3: REPORTS, 1919-1970

SERIES 4: MISCELLANY, 1917-1971

NOTES TO THE RESEARCHER

The researcher is advised to consult RG 159, Venezuela Mission Records 1897-1966 for complementary materials. The library's holdings should also be checked for materials that have been catalogued separately.

Missionary correspondence is arranged by year, month and day. Within each folder, the correspondence is further arranged by topic, i.e. property correspondence, correspondence with mission executives, etc. Materials created prior to 1956 are not as well arranged as those created after 1956, though access can be gained by year, month and day.

The bulk of this collection is in English, though some materials dating from the mid-1950s are in Spanish and a reading knowledge of that language would be helpful.

Also included in Series 1 are the Board Letters to the Venezuela Mission, 1914-1955. Series 2 also contains statistical summaries, 1913-1960; estimates/appropriations/Board General letters, 1939-1965.

Collection processed: 1972
Jane Ramsay, Assistant Records Researcher

Collection reprocessed and new finding aid prepared: 1983
Frederick J. Heuser, Jr., Archivist

Box	Folder	Description
1	1	Finding Aid to Record Group 99

		SERIES 1:  CORRESPONDENCE, 1911-1972

		Subseries 1:  Missionary/Fraternal Worker correspondence, 1919-1972

1	2	1919-29
	3	1930-31
	4	1932-33
	5	1934-40
	6	1941-43
	7	1944-46
	8	1947-48
	9	1948-49
	10	1950
	11	1951
	12	1952
	13	1953
	14	1954
	15	1954
	16	1955
	17	1955
	18	1956
	19	1957
	20	1958
	21	1959

2	1	1960
	2	1961
	3	1962
	4	1963
	5	1964
	6	1965
	7	1966
	8	1967
	9	1968
	10	1969
	11	1970
	12	1971-1972

		Subseries 2:  General correspondence to/from Board of Foreign Missions, 1911-1944

2	13   	1911-31
	14	1934-44

		
		Subseries 3:  Correspondence to/from Presbytery of Venezuela, 1961-1966

2	15   	1961-63
	16   	1964-66
	17	Correspondence to/from Latin American Office of John C. Sinclair, 1965

		Subseries 4:  Calendared Correspondence, 1911-1929

3	1	1911-20
	2	1921-29

		Subseries 5:  Cables/Transcripts, 1918-1972

3	3	1918-33
	4	1934-55
	5	1964-72

		Subseries 6:  Board Letters to the Venezuela Mission, 1914-1955

3	6	1914-18
	7	1919-21
	8	1922-25
	9	1926-29
	10	1930-33
	11	1934-46
	12	1947-55

		SERIES 2: MINUTES, 1923-1971

		Subseries 1:  Annual Mission Minutes, 1923-1971

3	13	1923-33
	14	1934-51
	15	1952-55
	16	1956-59
	17	1960-64
	18	1965-66
	19	1967-71
	
		Subseries 2:  Executive Committee Minutes, 1954-1960

3	20   	1954-55
	21   	1956-60
	22   	Station Minutes, 1950-1959
	23	Miscellaneous Mission Minutes, 1915-1934

3	24	Minutes of Special Deputation Meeting, March-April, 1940
	25	Statistical Summaries, 1913-33
	26   				1934-46; 1957-60
	27	Estimates/Appropriations/Board General Letters, 1939-55
	28							       1955-65

		SERIES 3: REPORTS, 1919-1970

		Subseries 1:  Annual Missionary Reports, 1919-1965

4	1	1919-33
	2	1934-51
	3	1951-55
	4	1955-65

		Subseries 2:  Mission Committee Reports, 1922-1965

4	5	1922-33
	6	1934-46
	7	1947-51
	8	1953-55
	9	1955-65

		Subseries 3:  Annual Mission Reports, 1913-1970

4	10	1913-33
	11	1934-51
	12	1953-55
	13	1962-70

	14	Station Reports, 1943-1950
	15	Institutional Reports, 1939-1955

		Subseries 4:  Miscellaneous Reports, 1939-1966

4	16	Report on the work of the Presbyterian mission in the United States of Venezuela, 		1920
	17	Report of the work in the interior (State of Miranda), 1939
	18	Report, Colegio Americano, 1962
	19	Reports, miscellaneous, 1965-66

		SERIES 4: MISCELLANY, 1917-1971

4	20	By-laws: Venezuela Mission/Association of Fraternal Workers in Venezuela, 1946; 		1960

4	21	Commission actions, 1956-59
	22	Christian Rural Center (Ocumare), 1956-58
	23	Colegio Americano, 1923-71
	24	Colegio Americano, 1956-60
	25	El Presbiteriano, 1957-64
	26	The Herald, 1948-50 (Incomplete)
	27	Interoffice memos (Board of Foreign Missions), 1917-47
	28	Map of Presbyterian Work in Venezuela, n.d.
	29	Miscellaneous items re: Venezuelan history, 1933-65
	30	Missionary Travel Flashes, 1936
	31	Mission Secretary correspondence, 1956-57
	32	Once-in-a-while news from Venezuela, 1936-58
	33	Presbytery of Venezuela, 1954-57
	34	Women's/student's work, 1956-58