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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.

February 20, 2019

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Two hundred years ago, in 1819, the Presbytery of Philadelphia launched Samuel Eli Cornish (1795–1858) into a remarkable career as minister, evangelist, missionary, publisher, and social reformer.[i] Following a rigorous two-year program of intellectual, practical, and theological training, Cornish became the first African-American preacher to be licensed by the presbytery, making him one of the first African-American ministers in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

For a year, he preached among...

November 20, 2018

On November 5, I drove to Silver Spring, MD, to visit longtime director of the PC(USA) Washington Office and sometime lightning rod for the American far right, the Rev. Elenora Giddings Ivory. In the course of our conversations, and a recorded oral history interview, I learned a great deal about the foundations of Rev. Giddings Ivory's work in legislative advocacy and ecumenism. I left town in the afternoon with an...

June 11, 2018

We've just published in Pearl's Oral Histories Collection a 1981-1982 interview of Presbyterian civil rights worker Gayraud Wilmore, conducted at Newark Airport and in Rochester, New York by PHS advisory council member and Wilmore's colleague, J. Oscar McCloud.

...

June 7, 2018

On December 26th 1965, Duke Ellington took the stage at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City for a performance of what he would call the most important work he had ever done. That day he performed one of his three “Sacred Concerts.” These concerts were written in the later stages of his life as he found himself grappling with his own mortality and relationship to God. The Presbyterian Historical Society is fortunate to hold within our collections a program from that historic night....

May 24, 2018

--by Ginny Rainey

Presbyterians affirm in the Great Ends of the Church the promotion of social righteousness. As the denomination gathers in St. Louis for its 223rd General Assembly, Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson says, “We don’t want the Presbyterians to be simply another convention that comes to town, meets and spends some money, and then leaves without engaging the people and communities....Presbyterians don’t depart the world to come to the General Assembly, we come to the General Assembly precisely and specifically to engage the church AND...

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