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September 26, 2019
Gayraud S. Wilmore, Jr., 1960. [Pearl ID: 5065]

--by Douglas H. Brown Clark

A New Black Presbyterian Church

One spring day in 1937, a few white Presbyterians approached two black community leaders on a street corner in North Philadelphia. The white Presbyterians’ local church had been dwindling. African Americans had been moving into the community from the American South in droves as a part of the Great Migration, and...

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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