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July 8, 2019
 

--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 ...

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.

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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....

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