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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.

May 26, 2021
Overhead view of Tulsa, 1928. Watch Tulsa General Assembly film here.

On June 1, 1921 the Black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma--Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street, where Black migrants from the South had prospered in the city’s oil boom--was burned down by white rioters. The governor called in the National Guard and evacuated Tulsa’s Black population, some 6,000 people, to the city convention center and fairgrounds. Three hundred people are estimated to have...

March 23, 2021

In some traditional West African religions, the crossroads represent a place of power where anything can happen.

It is fitting then that the Reverend Dr. James Herman Robinson chose to name his organization Operation Crossroads Africa because he recognized Africa as being at a figurative crossroads where one road led to rebirth and the other led to crisis. What is remarkable, however, is that the crisis he saw on the horizon was not for Africa per se but for Christian missionary efforts in Africa. In 1954, Robinson correctly identified the need for a different type of Christian...

February 25, 2021

--By Jill D. Snider, author of Lucean Arthur Headen: The Making of a Black Inventor and Entrepreneur

On a Sunday morning in December 1917, Lucean Arthur Headen rose to address the congregation of Harlem’s St. James Presbyterian Church. Recently returned from a six-week trip abroad, undertaken to demonstrate to the British Admiralty the “Headen system of...

February 11, 2021

On February 4, Dr. Kimberly D. Hill joined PHS Executive Director Nancy Taylor for a conversation about her new book, A Higher Mission: The Careers of Alonzo and Althea Brown Edmiston in Central Africa. 

The Edmistons joined the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in the early twentieth century and served into the 1930s. They were part of the Black Missionary Movement at the turn of the century that grew out of newly established Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in...

February 8, 2021

--originally published in Presbyterian Heritage, Spring 2020

On May 27, 1970, fasting commissioners at the 182nd General Assembly of the UPCUSA in Chicago assigned their meal money—$5,178.60—to the newly created National Committee on the Self-Development of People.

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