Recently processed and now available for research at PHS are the personal papers of two prominent African American leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Gayraud Wilmore and J. Oscar McCloud.
Rev. Wilmore’s papers were brought to the Society by his son Jack and daughter-in-law Carmen in July 2019. Rev. McCloud began donating his papers to the Society in 1999 and also deposited the last few boxes in July. Since then, I've had the privilege to prepare both collections for researchers.
In September 2018, I was hired as the Pam Byers Memorial Fund Project Archivist to work full-time on collecting and making accessible the history of the movement for LGBTQIA+ inclusion in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Thanks to the generosity of donors and the willingness of Presbyterians to participate in this project, PHS has been able to add a substantial amount of material to our collections that document LGBTQIA+ history from the late 1960s until today.
“At a time where feminist values were disparaged, marginalized, and trivialized as ‘politically correct,’ Voices of Sophia called the PC(USA) to its historic commitments to women, to justice, and to reformation. It encouraged spiritual growth, renewal, and interpersonal connections around women’s theologies and justice issues.” –-Janet Lowery
The Presbyterian Historical Society has created a timeline of LGBTQIA+ related history in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The stories included show how church members’ perspectives as well as the language used to speak about sexuality shifted throughout decades of advocacy work by LGBTQIA+ Presbyterians and allies. Click on the image below to view the timeline: