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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.

August 20, 2020

On August 13, 2020, Jenny Barr led a Zoom webinar that explored the history of Presbyterian mission to China through records held at the Presbyterian Historical Society.

Watch the video below to take a brief look at the history of Presbyterian mission work in China, and to learn about the archival collections and other resources PHS has that document this fascinating topic. Included are examples of research done using the records of China missionaries.


August 6, 2020

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Thomas Nimick about his article “Missionary Women’s Outreach to Poor Women in China: Origins of the Industrial Class Strategy.” The article appears in the Spring/Summer 2020 Journal of Presbyterian History. Watch the conversation below:

Dr. Nimick is Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West...

March 31, 2016

Between 1932 and 1940, the work of foreign missionaries in China became entangled with the internal revolutionary struggles of the nation and the military aspirations of Imperial Japan. These were pivotal years for both China and the missionary effort. By the end of the period, most western missionaries, including Rev. Lacy Moffett and his family, were faced with a soul-searching dilemma: to continue their life’s work in the face of political turmoil and physical danger, or to return to the United States.

A Brief History of Presbyterian Missions in China


September 15, 2015

Between 1975 and 1980, I lived in Baltimore, Maryland, across the street from Victor Machle and his sister, Elsie Machle White. When Elsie died on January 29, 1978, she left a treasure-trove of letters and a small notebook that recorded the sender, date of receipt, and date of response for each. The letters span 70 years and include early Machle correspondence from China to relatives in the United States.

My name is Georgene Searfoss[1]. I spent hours in the Machle home at 501 E. 42nd...

May 14, 2013

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ---Fred Rogers

Ginling College refugees in gymnasium

It has been called the great forgotten tragedy of the Twentieth Century. In December 1937...

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