Blog | Presbyterian Historical Society

You are here


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.

September 12, 2023

"Let's continue our worship. You're just going to have to follow the cantor," begins Dr. Melva Costen at the beginning of a seminar on African American worship, leading the group in the Zulu church song Thuma Mina. The group sings "Send me Jesus, send me Lord." Dr. Melva Wilson Costen, Presbyterian intellectual, and key source in the study of African American church music and worship, died September 8 in Atlanta. She was 90 years old.

Melva Ruby Wilson was...

August 7, 2023
Irvin W. Underhill, 1923. Image courtesy of New York Public Library.

Each month, the Presbyterian Historical Society is bearing witness to the lives of African American leaders throughout the history of the denomination. Click here to learn how PHS is collecting records of the Black...

June 22, 2023

At the end of June, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II will conclude his historic tenure as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). Throughout his seven years in the role, Rev. Nelson’s leadership has inspired the Presbyterian Historical Society in immeasurable ways. He has compelled and empowered us to consider how PHS, the national archives of the PC(USA), can do more to document a fuller history of the church; he has guided us through challenging and trying times with grace and compassion; and he reminds us all that history can inform, inspire, and...

June 12, 2023

Harmful Content Alert: This story contains outdated and offensive language. 

In the South in the early 1960s, churches debated whether and how to accommodate African Americans who came to worship. The US Supreme Court's Brown v. Board decision upended legal segregation, and intentionally intercultural congregations emerged to challenge both de facto and de jure segregation in the church. Berea in St. Louis, responding to combined white flight and...

May 30, 2023
Synod of Catawba meeting, 1925.[Pearl ID: 2142]

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) is the recipient of a 2023 grant from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society Endowment Fund, following a recommendation by Ms. Cindy Little.

The $1,800 grant, awarded to the Society’s...

Featured Tags