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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.

October 9, 2019

--by Stephanie Santoro

"Stephanie: would you tell us a little about your research project at PHS?"

My journey with the Building Knowledge & Breaking Barriers project began with me fielding that question, and my face turning beet red, during a lovely dinner I was invited to at the Presbyterian Historical Society in December 2018. The rain prevented substantial attendance, but I might as well have been put on-the-spot in a room of thousands. I had written a paper...

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...

September 16, 2019
William Phelps Thompson clippings and photographs, 1966. Pearl ID: 1947

--by Dean H. Lewis

William Phelps Thompson, the Kansas lawyer who was elected Moderator and then Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, was not noted for admitting error. However, in an October 15, 1991 letter, he publicly acknowledged having changed his mind on a contentious issue on which his earlier position had been critical.

The 1978 United Presbyterian General...

August 22, 2019
Theodore Roosevelt circa 1908. From a painting by Joseph De Camp. Image in Theodore Roosevelt and His Time (vol. 2) by Joseph Bucklin Bishop, 1920.

--This is the third and final summer post by Richard W. Reifsnyder looking at the ways Presbyterianism influenced the life and politics of Theodore Roosevelt, who died 100 years ago. Read Rich's first two posts on TR here.

During Theodore Roosevelt’s tenures as Governor of...

August 12, 2019
John E. Johnson, one officer in the second row, sailed on the USS Idaho, 1939. Courtesy of Merwyn Johnson.

--by Merwyn S. Johnson

Before he sailed the world’s great oceans as a career U.S. Navy chaplain, my father John E. (“Johnny”) Johnson surveyed the “amber waves of grain” in Iowa, the ancestral home where he spent his summers as a youth. Whether on land or on ship, the seas gave him a wide horizon for his entire life. Navigating them for almost 100 years, May 2, 1899 to November 17, 1998, he immersed...

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